Sheet Mask 101: The Who, What, When, Where & Why of K-Beauty’s MVP
If there’s one thing that Korean beauty will go down in beauty history for, it’s the ubiquity of sheet masks. Everyone is getting into the sheet masking game, from mass retailers and moms to celebs and their makeup artists. Here, a roundup of the basics of this anything-but-basic skincare hero, and why you need to get #sheetfaced, if you’re not already.
If you, in 2019, don’t know what a sheet mask is, I say, “Congratulations on waking up out of that 5-year-long coma, you look great!”
What I’m trying to say in a non-smartass way is we all know what sheet masks are. You can’t open an IG feed and not see someone in one. But maybe you’re not so sure about the five W’s of sheet masking, and that’s where this article comes to the rescue, much like the Eclado Double Wired Lifting Mask does for my skin. Let me help you navigate your way around the wonderful world of sheet masks!
Who: Literally everyone
Who are sheet masks good for? Legit every single person you know. You, your mama, your granny, even granddad will benefit from a good ol’ fashioned masking sesh!
These days, sheet masks have come a long way from the simple, mostly for show, basic AF masks of yesteryear. If you’ve got a skin concern, I guarantee you there’s a sheet mask out there to address it, and you’re gonna love the results.
What type of sheet masks are there?
You’ve got a cornucopia of mask formulations out there, and you’ve also got several different options for the type of sheet that delivers it to you. There’s the typical sheet mask you’re probably seeing if you close your eyes and envision one, made from a simple thin sheet. But even those aren’t so basic anymore.
You have masks like the Papa Recipe Bombee Rose Gold Honey Mask Pack, which features a gorgeous gold honeycomb pattern that’s oh-so Instagrammable.
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There’s also hydrogel masks, which I personally am a big fan of; the soft, cool jelly texture is ultra soothing and hydrating. Then you’ve also got the ultra thin and fine cotton gauze, microfiber, rayon, cupro, and bio-cellulose sheets, which usually fit like a dream since they cling so well to the skin.
If that’s not exciting enough for you, there’s now mud, charcoal, and bubble pack sheet masks! So Natural Facial Design Pink Mud Mask is infused with pink kaolin to absorb excess sebum. It’s also available in the Deep Black Clay Mask version, which I believe is a little more heavy duty, as pink clay is generally thought to be more nourishing and less drying.
Charcoal masks are usually inky black in color and are infused with charcoal to suck up all the impurities and excess sebum on the skin. (The Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask and Leaders Daily Wonders Detox and Chill Mask are great for breakouts and heavy pollution days.)
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On the bubble side we have Let Me Skin Ultra Bubble Bubble O2 Mask and the JayJun All in One Multi Cleansing Mask, with their sheet masks that bubble up to detoxify, brighten, and make your face feel like it’s taking the world’s most thrilling bubble bath. It’s to tingly and fun!
For the dry skinned folks, there’s even cream masks! Usually infused with light yet rich hydrators, these masks replace watery essences with nourishing cream. Cream masks like the Moksha Shea Butter Mask and the Innisfree Jeju Orchid Enriched Cream Mask are just richer, more lotion-y versions of your typical sheet mask, while the Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Creamy Mask is actually made to replace your cream step, after your toner, essence, and serum.
When do you use a sheet mask?
One thing that there seems to be a lot of confusion about is what step a sheet mask fits into in your routine. The answer is, there is no right answer! It’s a free-for-all out there in the masking world. I guess if you really want to play strictly by the rules, it’s all going to come down to what kind of mask you’re choosing. If you’re using the aforementioned cream mask, maybe that’s going to be best suited for near the end of your routine, or over the top of your already done and flagging routine mid-day (or flight, LBR).
A watery essence mask could be used directly after cleansing, or even after you’ve done the majority of your routine but haven’t quite yet done the lotions or creams. One of my favorite hacks is applying a light layer of oil beneath my masks, notably the SanDaWha 100% Extra Virgin Camellia Oil. It really gives me that “just been to the spa” experience and a mega-watt glow.
Where should I use my sheet mask?
Aside from someone’s wedding, funeral, or baptism, I can’t think of a place you shouldn’t sheet mask these days, and that last one is iffy if you’re way in the back during a 3-hour Catholic snoozefest. I’ve seen plenty of people in planes, trains, and automobiles getting gorgeous skin on-the-go!
Why should I be using a sheet mask anyway?
Did you not hear that part about gorgeous skin? Once sheet masks hit the mainstream, there was the inevitable pushback from media outlets trying to garner clicks. I’ve heard everything from “they’re not really doing anything” to “they’re actually harmful,” and to both of those I say Fake News. A well-formulated sheet mask can give you a truncated spa experience with a concentrated dose of treatment. Are there some crappy sheet masks out there? Yeah, and they suck, but thankfully Beautytap doesn’t carry them.
These days there’s no excuse for a crappy sheet mask, there are so many wonderful ones to choose from! Just give some superstars like the 23 Years Old Rose Gold 24 Mask or basically anything from JayJun or Leaders a whirl and tell me that your skin doesn’t look better than it did when you started. You’ll be dedicated a sheet mask convert in no time!
Are you a sheet mask newb or a sheet mask master? Let me know in the comments — and keep a straw on hand because it’s wine night and not even the pursuit of glow is going to get in the way of that.