Sheet masks are everywhere, there is no escaping them. They might not make for the most flattering selfies but then your skin is surely hitting the like button on that one. With the entrance of Korean Beauty brands like Innisfree & The Face Shop in India we also have ready access to these thin sheets drenched in the magic liquid.
If you are a sheet mask pro or not here are 10 things you need to know about them.
1: One size doesn’t fit all.
I know the size of each mask is universal; they are mass manufactured..duh! However, the ingredients are not going to be universally suitable. Sheet masks are great for hydrating your skin, especially the ones with hyaluronic acid are especially effective. However, folks with oily or acne-prone skin may break out further after using what essentially is a sticky liquid formula. As I often say, always ….I repeat… always read the ingredients list.
- Calming/Soothing masks will contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like Camellia, Green tea leaf extract, Snail bee, and Aloe vera leaf extract.
- Brightening masks are enriched with vitamin C, niacinamide, and/or botanical ingredients.
- The anti-aging masks will help even out fine lines and wrinkles with ingredients like grapefruit extracts etc.
- Hydrating masks will contain HA, glycerin, Snail Slime extract or other humectants.
- Definitely avoid ones that have parabens and mineral oil.
2: All sheet masks are not the same.
In India things reach us late, but slowly and surely we will be privy to sheet mask technologies, ranging anywhere from paper, fabric, cotton, hydro-gel, bio-cellulose to sheets made of completely natural ingredients like sea weed. With the inexpensive sheets, it’s important to check that the sheet is made of high- quality-cotton and is not bleached. While the serum in the sheet mask is important – so is the delivery system that is adhering to the skin.
Different masks have varying levels of adherence to the skin. Adherence is key for good results. Sheet masks with newer textures I mentioned earlier hold more serum and adhere more closely to the skin and therefore give better results and are obviously priced higher.
3: Prepare your skin before you Sheet-mask.
Sheet masks are like a facial at home, and just as your parlour lady would, you should cleanse and tone before so that your skin is ready to receive all that good stuff. Skin naturally renews every 4 weeks, but this process gets slower as we age, which creates an excess of dead skin cells that prevent skincare ingredients from getting absorbed. Regularly exfoliating not just increase the efficacy of sheet masks but also other skincare products.
4: Keep it on as long as you like.
No No No!
(Nahi – nahi – nahi – K serial style echo!!)
Sheet masks create a barrier to intensively infuse the skin with good ingredients. But if the sheet mask itself dries out, it will start sucking moisture out from your skin. Ideally a sheet masks can be kept on for 15 -20 minutes. This is sufficient time to deliver key ingredients. And never- never- never sleep with them on – you’ll wake up with really dry skin.
5: Make your mask work harder.
Indian Summers show no mercy, so if you are using it on a super hot day, store the mask in the fridge (not the freezer) for a supercharged cooling effect. And don’t forget to flip the mask midway and enjoy the cooling effect once again!
6: It cannot replace your skin care routine.
Like I mentioned above Sheet masks are meant to deliver a high dose of ingredients one’s skin needs, so many include serums in the formula. This doesn’t mean you can replace your expensive Estee Lauder serum with a sheet masks. Similarly it cannot work like a clay mask because it doesn’t cleanse or exfoliate.
7: Post Mask
Some products suggest that we don’t need to wash off the residue. It often feels sticky afterward, but the leftover stuff, especially from those masks with built-in serums. These are meant to be absorbed into the skin. Of course, if you are uncomfortable with that or have someplace to be, feel free to rinse. Also, don’t forget to follow with your usual skin care routine post rinse: eye cream, moisturizer ( it helps to lock in the good stuff), and of course sunscreen.
8: Don’t re-use the same mask.
You should definitely not reintroduce the dirt and bacteria from your face by re-soaking and using the same mask. But then there are other ways to make the most of the remaining stuff. Read ahead.
9: Get more use from a Mask
Some masks have cut outs in place of eyes and mouth, so instead of folding it or letting them hang, cut it and use it as an under eye mask later.
10: Get the most out of the serum
Most packs will have excess Serum left over, so why let a good thing go to waste. Squeeze it out and use it over your neck and hands or if you don’t want to use it right away pour it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. The excess can be soaked up by cotton pads or you could also use dry sheet masks. I got some from Daiso and Muji also sells them.
I hope these tips help you use your Sheet Masks correctly and get the most benefits out of them. They are a quick and easy and your skin will thank you for it. Let me know what has your experience been like with sheet masks in the comments.