Sheet masks are everywhere these days. It’s almost impossible to open up Instagram stories and not see at least one person wearing one. They’re fun, usually pretty cheap, and they leave your skin looking and feeling amazing. But what exactly makes them great? And how do you pick one? Aren’t there like a million different types?
This trend, popularized by skincare focused Korean beauty culture, aka “K-beauty,” can be a little trickier than it seems on the gram. Different products do different stuff! Luckily, Beauty Dummy’s BFF Danielle Barrio lives in Seongnam, Korea, and has tried pretty much every mask on the sun. She gave us the rundown on the different types of sheet masks and how to use them.
How to Sheet Mask:
Types of Sheet Masks
(for Danielle’s most favorite, look for the ones with the hearts)
Holds the essence well (“essence” is the gooey stuff that treats your skin)
Usually made out of the essence instead of a cloth soaked in the essence
Feels gooey, and a bit like jello
Can be a bit slippery and slide off the face, so it’s best if you don’t move around
All natural fibers made from “good” bacteria
Used to treat medical burn victims
Fibers less chemically processed than cotton
Fits better than microfiber
Evaporates slower than microfiber
Usually quite expensive
Creates a warming sensation, K-beauty gurus believe this allows the essence to absorb better
Clay and Charcoal
Character sheet mask
Great for selfies and freaking out your pets
Perfect for ladies night
Good for sensitive skin
Covers face and neck
Heavier and thicker for slower evaporation
Go All Night
Use masks at night before you go to bed so they have all night to soak in
Avoid the Agua
After removing mask, don’t rinse! Let all that juicy goodness soak in.
Danielle used to detest leaving her face feeling sticky and was sure it would lead to a break out. After she began to let it fully absorb overnight, it really made a huge impact and she rarely woke up feeling any residue.
If you don’t have time to let it soak overnight and need to apply makeup soon, rinse gently with lukewarm water and pat dry with a cotton poof.
Pat extra essence into your skin after removing mask
Danielle never really saw the point of this until she sat and did it for almost 5 full minutes. It really did help the excess moisture soak in faster and her skin felt plump and elastic - but get comfortable because it still takes a while.
Take Your Time
Most face masks recommend 10-20 minutes, but there really is no harm on leaving them on longer. Danielle often pops one on for the duration of a movie and peels them off once they have started to dry out.
Don’t Waste the Juice
Use excess essence from the package to massage into your neck, chest, elbows and knees.
Play it Cool
On hot days, pop one of these bad boys in the fridge for a few minutes before use to feel extra refreshed and help with swollen eye-bags.
Lookin’ Like Trouble
In Korea, “Troubled” is synonymous with blemish-prone, sensitive, or generally just high maintenance skin. Use masks with this in the name both preventatively (read: after a night of eating tons of sugar or when you can sense your cycle is fucking with your face) and reactively (read: when you’ve already begun to break out or have a red spot from an attempted pimple eviction). These masks do wonders even when you’re NOT breaking out. This is why many of Danielle’s favorite masks are for “troubled” skin - A look into the ingredients reveals that they have stuff in there for all sorts of issues - from preventing skin cancer to signs of aging.
Mask for Masc
Dudes who don’t usually put much thought into their skincare routine might be game for sheet masks since they are much lower maintenance than traditional masks, which can be messy and hard to clean off.
If they have a beard, be sure to get one that comes in top-and-bottom half sections, and just have them use the top half. There’s little chance a sheet mask will stick to stubble, and it’ll just pull the top half off if they are connected. You can use the bottom half on your neck or discard it.