In case you’re one of the few who hasn’t heard of them yet, sheet masks are one of the hottest new products to hit the skincare scene. What is a sheet mask? Simply, it’s a thin piece of cotton soaked in serum or a hydrogel, now available ready to go and packaged individually for your convenience. From deep-moisturizing to skin brightening, there’s a type of sheet mask for just about every skincare issue you can imagine.
Don’t get sheet masks confused with traditional at-home facial mask treatments, though. Sheet mask benefits don’t typically include deep cleansing or exfoliating of any kind. They’re actually the opposite of that, aimed at hydrating, balancing, moisturizing, calming and brightening your skin.
You can use sheet masks as often as you like, even daily if you are feeling really fancy, though most people use them once or twice per week. Be sure to pay attention to the directions for each type of mask and follow the recommended time for that specific treatment. Some are meant to be used for shorter amounts of time (10 to 15 minutes) and others longer (up to 25 minutes), but either way you won’t want to let the mask fully dry and begin pulling moisture back out of your skin.
For the most part you can plan to relax with your sheet mask for approximately 15 to 20 minutes of treatment time. Once you remove the sheet don’t be shy — squeeze the rest of the serum out of the packet and massage it onto other areas like your neck, chest, even your hands. But don’t waste it! You should expect your face to feel moist still; do not rub the serum in until it’s dry, but rather allow your skin to slowly absorb the solution. Remember, we’re aiming for that well-hydrated, healthy, radiant look and feel.
And sheet masks are not just for women. In Korea, where the popularity of sheet mask originated, menmake just as much of an effort to care for their skin as women.
Here are the top five types of sheet mask benefits to consider when selecting a type to add to your skincare routine.
Sheet masks will drench your skin in deep hydration — firming, plumping and rejuvenating your appearance. If your skin has dry patches, seems less supple, if you have been traveling (the recycled air on airplanes is really harsh on skin), have spent a lot of time in the sun, or notice a crepe-y look that didn’t used to be there, get yourself a hydrating sheet mask and take the burden off your tired and overworked skin.
As we age our skin can take on a dull appearance. A brightening sheet mask can help balance your skin tone, lighten overworked and overtired skin, and brighten a dull spots. These sheet masks are great to make a part of your routine more than once a week to help restore the healthy tone and luster of your younger days.
Every day our skin is boarded with dirt, debris, allergens, pollution and a whole host of other offensive elements. Use a detoxifying sheet mask to help clear out the toxins from the delicate skin on your face and replenish it with nourishment and soothing ingredients. Look for masks that contain charcoal for clarifying your skin and algae for soothing and rehydrating to balance out the damage those nasty pollutants do to your vivacious visage.
4. Treat acne
Acne-prone skin is more sensitive than most people realize. If you decide to use a sheet mask to help treat and prevent acne you will want to look for one with a small level of salicylic acid to treat existing acne and calming ingredients like algae or aloe to help calm irritation and inflammation that often accompanies acne and acne-prone skin. These types of masks are the kind you want to use sparingly. Too much can exasperate the problem instead of helping.
Fine lines, crows feet, smile lines…call them what you want, they’re wrinkles. Some people show signs of aging more than others, especially those with pale skin. In addition to being rigorous with your skin care routine, eating well, caring for yourself inside and out, and protecting your face from the sun as much as possible, using a sheet mask with anti-aging ingredients like green tea or other caffeine sources will help temporarily reduce the appearance of those fine lines and wrinkles. They’re great to use before a big event where you want to look your best or, you know, if you’re just having one of those weeks where you need a little ego boost.