By: Hannah Hartz
Hannah Hartz is a Chicago-based esthetician with 7 years’ experience. She currently works at CaTara Med Spa. Here, Hartz lists the best sheet masks for every skin type and need.
Sheet masks are kind of slimy-feeling and creepy-looking while also being absolutely refreshing. But all superficial observations aside, what this skincare staple really boils down to is effectiveness. Do they really work? Are they really worth it? To know whether or not sheet masks are a worthy investment of your time, energy and money, the first important question to ask yourself is what are you looking to achieve?
If you’re looking to rid your complexion of pesky blemishes, a sheet mask is likely not your best bet. While sheet masks are jam-packed with delightful ingredients that may help to target your most stubborn skin issues, eradicating these areas of concern will call for a more intensive, results-driven skincare routine. Another concern with picking up any kind of sheet mask to heal your breakouts is that acne is reactive, and skin may be easily inflamed and sensitive. It is important to be cognizant of which ingredients cause reactivity in your skin as it affects different skin types.
That’s not to say that a sheet mask won’t be beneficial though! One of the most prominent qualities is its intensive hydration. No matter what your main skin concern is, upping your skin’s hydration is always a good idea. Hydration helps to promote general skin health**. When you are battling blemishes, dullness or redness, having healthy skin is key. Many sheet masks will contain additional ingredients to specifically target those issues. Targeting breakouts? Look for a sheet mask that has salicylic acid to help gently break up clogged pores, vitamin C to help lighten residual acne scarring, or niacinamide to help prevent existing blemishes**. Though you will find your real, long-term solution through stronger treatments, sheet masking is an enjoyable way to get a little extra boost throughout the week.
Sheet masking is absolutely a perfect way to get in your self-care! It is recommended to leave on your sheet mask for 15-20 minutes. This makes sheet masking a very easy and convenient way to indulge in a little treat for yourself a few times a week. The best time to use your sheet mask is after you wash your face, so you are clean and ready to absorb all the ingredient goodies your sheet mask has to offer. For an extra treat, try throwing your sheet mask in the fridge for a little bit and bust it out on a particularly hot summer day, or right after a really intense workout to reward yourself! A bonus to adding sheet masking to your self-care routine is that it basically forces you to be minimally active for a set length of time. This is a prime opportunity to treat this as your special, personal time – a brief meditation session in the middle of a busy day. Drink some cool water, apply your mask, sit back and relax, reflect on how awesome you are and the awesomeness that you are doing for your skin in that moment. Peace of mind + dewy skin = the ultimate self-care treats.
The way sheet masks work is by placing a serum-soaked sheet (usually made of cotton, paper, or a gel-like cellulose) directly over your face. This creates a glorious occlusive barrier over your skin that forces all those fun actives into your skin where they can be absorbed. So, does this mean sheet masks are all about boosting that glow? 100%! Glow-inducing ingredients to look for in sheet masks include hyaluronic acid for hydration retention, snail mucin for calming hydration, green tea for antioxidants, yogurt extract for probiotics and skin renewal, and aloe and algae for soothing hydration – the list goes on! And while nothing can replace a solid skincare routine and a healthy diet, sometimes you just need that extra glow boost.
Try sheet masking for a little extra vibrancy when you haven’t been sleeping well and you want to avoid everyone pointing out how tired you look. And if you don't mind looking a little crazy in public, consider applying a sheet masks on your next flight. Sheet masks tend to be a little drippy and don’t require you to rinse afterward, so you can just tap in the remaining serum after you’re finished masking. Negate all the adverse effects of travel on your skin and reach your destination looking beyond fresh. That’s the ultimate glow factor.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.