Discover beauty through professional reviews

NOW READING Sheet Mask 101: The Who, What, When, Where & Why of K-Beauty’s MVP
March 11, 2019

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.

sheet mask


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.



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Paparecipe Canada (@paparecipe_canada) on


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.


sheet mask
So Natural Facial Design Deep Black Clay Mask


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.)



View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Klairs | Simple, but enough ( on


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!


sheet mask


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.


sheet mask
Innisfree Jeju Orchid Cream Mask


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).


sheet mask


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!


sheet mask


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.


sheet mask


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.



Coco Park is an author, beauty journalist, blogger, podcast host, and all around oddball living in Montreal Quebec with her family. Originally from the southern USA, she worked for several years in the makeup industry as a professional makeup artist and holds a certificate in esthetics. She is a proud member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Want to know more? Check her out on the Beauty Beyond Basics podcast, on her blog, on Instagram @thebeautywolf, and in her book "Korean Beauty Secrets: A Practical Guide to Cutting-Edge Skincare & Makeup."




I am completely obsessed with Sheet Masks! Love using them at least 3-4 times per week during my nighttime routine . I prefer applying it near the end of my skincare, after my essences/ampoules/serums to seal everything with a nourishing mask. On days I really want my skin to glow I even incorporate the 7Skin method prior.


I use a sheet mask every night and some mornings, after I've done all the steps I feel like a sheet mask might help sink in. (Up to ampoules, no creams.) I'm still exploring-- I have some Papa Recipe ones on the way!-- but so far I really like those Etude House Air ones. And for a dollar? Are you serious? I'm also into MasKingdom and My Beauty Diary when they're on sale somewhere!


Etude House surprisingly makes good sheet masks! & You're going to love the Papa Recipe ones, they're fantastic!


I'm sort of in between – I'm no stranger to sheet masks but I'm always looking for more staples to include in my arsenal. I know some of found at CVS are a total miss but there were a few gems I found. I have been branching out and trying to buy some online with the hope that I get a good result instead of having to yank it off, due to a reaction.


I haven't tried an oil under my mask - I usually do all my layers, then the mask, then top off with cream/oil. I'll have to try that!


Soothing sheet masks help my acne so much! Anything with centella, tea tree, green tea, bamboo, mugwort, skin looks and feels so much better after I use a sheet mask with these in it.

Speaking of which, will y'all be restocking the Dr. Skinica masks anytime soon? I used up my last one after a serious breakout and I'm already missing it ><


I think we had to cut Skinica for some reason!!! 😩😩 I knowwwwww ... so many people love it! But have you tried the Keep Cool Soothe mask? It's one of my faves for a breakout, too.


I'll put that one on my list!


The first time I used a sheet mask on a plane, my husband looked over at me and jumped in shock. He was like, "WHAT are you doing????" And I was like, hey, everyone's doing it. 😂 Now sheet masking on a plane is my go-to.

I love charcoal masks in the summer when my T-zone gets super oily, and Papa Recipe honey masks are for any time I wanna treat myself. That true honey scent is to die for. I'm going through a hardcore sheet masking season because I cleaned out my massive sheet mask collection and am trying to... Read more