Over the past five years K-Beauty, aka Korean beauty, has quickly expanded to the rest of the world thanks to advanced skin enhancing products. One of the most popular K-beauty trends that have taken off this year has been face sheet masks. While beauty pros claim that face sheet masks have become a staple for Korean women for well over a decade, it still remains a vital part of their daily regimen. This leads to the question, are they really worth the hype or are face sheet masks adding to your skincare routine?
WHAT IS A SHEET MASK?
Sheet masks are face-shaped sheet fabrics that are soaked in a cocktail of hydrating ingredients called serum. Most are packed full of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals. The texture of the mask is wet, cool, and usually dripping out of the package. You place it on your face by lining up the holes over your eyes and mouth. A sheet mask is generally used once and it is individually packaged, making them fast, convenient, and easy to use.
HOW DO I USE SHEET MASKS?
It is very easy! Gently unfold the sheet mask and place on face adjusting eye, nose, and mouth openings to fit. Most sheet masks have directions for how long to leave a mask on, ranging from somewhere between 10–20 minutes. Some people believe that the longer you leave on a sheet mask the better, but it can actually have a reverse osmosis effect. You should take your sheet mask off before the mask starts to feel dry. It is not recommend leaving it on for more than 20 minutes or sleeping in sheet masks as once the mask is dry, they can actually absorb moisture back out of your skin. There is no need to rinse your face. You can use sheet masks as many times as you want throughout the day or week, but many beauty pros recommend using it three times a week or once a day for extra care.
HOW DO SHEET MASKS WORK?
Sheet masks work as a physical barrier that seals your skin with a mixture of good-for-you ingredients. The physical sheet prevents quick evaporation of water phase and extends the time frame the ingredients require to penetrate deep into the skin. Think of a sheet mask as saturating your skin in a temporary but effective moisturizing combination of skin care, where good stuff gets in but nothing gets out. This results in the sheet masks outperforming the effects of the traditional serum-type skincare even when applied once.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Does having your skin look radiant, plumper, more bouncy, brightened, luminous, and more hydrated in only 10 to 12 minutes sound good to you? Then sheet masks are for you. Sheet masks bring fast effects in regards to enhancing skin. They are great because it allows the skin to ‘rest’ while it is saturated in hydrating, brightening, or anti-aging ingredients and give an extra boost to your current skin routine when you need it the most. The serum is filled with various vitamins and minerals, and won’t dry out the skin. Sheet masks have a simple, effective, moisturizing-added benefit. The sheet on your face helps the serum soak into your skin a little longer. Dehydrated skin means a more vulnerable skin barrier and less than ideal skin environment, which generally leads to more inflammation, faster collagen breakdown, more breakouts, and more hyperpigmentation. Sheet masks effectively gets moisture back into skin. As an added bonus, sheet masks are inexpensive compared to going to a spa, convenient, easy to apply, and brings glowing effect on your skin. Although, I wouldn’t recommend you go toss out your creams and serums from your medicine cabinet, face sheet masks do not take the place of a regular skincare regimen.
ARE THERE ANY NEGATIVE EFFECTS FROM USING A SHEET MASK?
By design, the majority of sheet masks are intended to be hydrating or soothing so there is very low risk for any adverse outcomes. Their purpose is to nourish, not exfoliate or cleanse your skin. In addition, serum from low quality sheet masks evaporates quickly even before it gets soaked into the deeper layer of your skin.
My go-to sheet mask is made by one of my favorite drug store brands, Pacifica Beauty. The multi-targeted cotton sheet mask is infused with charcoal and a blend of super green plant extracts like kale, cilantro, green tea, and algae designed for superpower detoxing.
It is made for all skin types, especially clogged pores and blemish prone skin types.