Well you all must have seen these; for they seem to show up everywhere from fashion magazines to beauty parlours to celebrity posts on instragram. Patterned Sheet mask selfies are the highest trending look among instragram users off late.
This scary looking Korean skincare staple for ages has taken the beauty industry by storm almost similar to what the BB creams did in 2011.
The reason these are making headlines is that these are quite affordable, easy to use, travel friendly and most importantly they offer effective solutions to a number of skincare issues like dry skin, dull skin etc etc.
Have you used these wonder sheets yet? If not ……read further to know all about it…..
WHAT IS A SHEET MASK
A sheet mask is a pre-cut mask (so that it matches the contours of your face) made up of a special fibre; that is soaked in a concentrated easily spreadable serum like solution; with the most beneficial “essences” or active ingredients for the skin. Having a superior ability to; effectively penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin.
They are typically one-time use masks which are individually wrapped; making them convenient, hygienic, and easy to use. Most importantly they don’t require rinsing off, so they can be used pretty much anywhere. They work like an instant fix (just before heading out to the party or big event) by nourishing the skin using its essence and giving the skin an energetic boost.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF SHEET MASKS AVAILABLE
- Based on the skin issues they target:
- Hydrating or Moisturising or Repairing (eg containing hyaluronic acid, ceramides, squalane snail extract etc)
- Calming (eg containing aloe vera, chamomile under eye etc)
- Purifying or Clarifying (eg containing alpha hydroxy acids etc)
- Regenerating (eg containing essential vitamins etc)
- Brightening or lightening (eg containing Vitamin C, licorice extract etc)
- Firming or anti-ageing (eg containing collagen, retinol etc)
2. Based on the material they are composed of-
- Fibre or thin cotton sheets: Fibre masks feature a non-woven fabric; they have a coarse texture that feels and behaves like paper. Fibre masks are very inexpensive and have some capacity to replenish moisture to your skin.
- Pulp: Pulp masks have a finer texture than fibre masks. Rayon cellulose is an example of a mask created from pulp.
- Hydrogel: Hydro-gel masks offer better performance than low-end fibre and pulp masks. They are typically produced as a “mask system”, with top and bottom halves that are applied separately. The hydrogel is made of polymers that are very absorbent and hold water against your skin.
- Bio cellulose (a fruit or vegetable fibre): Bio cellulose mask fabrics provide skin-tight dermal adhesion, allowing them to transfer cosmetic ingredients very efficiently. The texture of a bio cellulose mask feels like a cool, moist gel but its underlying structure is incredibly strong and resilient.
And many more variants must be on their way…..
A step-by-step guide to use sheet face masks:
1.) Wash your face with water and a mild cleanser. If you are a regular toner user; then apply your toner after cleansing.
2.) Cut the packet along the top and carefully pull out the mask. Be mindful of how soaked the mask is and have a towel handy to wipe up the drips.
3.) Unfold the mask and lay the sheet mask carefully across your face aligning the holes with your eyes, nose and mouth.
4.) Press lightly with your fingertips across the sheet mask, making sure the sheet is pressed entirely against your skin.
5.) Use the excess essence in the pouch and the mask to apply on your neck, shoulders and hands. Those essences are good for your skin so don’t let them go waste.
6.) Take a nap, read a book or just zone out for next 10-30 minutes (depending on whatever time is instructed on the mask). It is totally your call if you want to keep it for a longer or shorter time.
7.) After the instructed time; carefully pull the sheet mask off the skin and discard.
8.) There is no reason for you to wash off the essences because it is good for your skin. Just pat the remaining liquid into your face.
9.) Look at your skin in the mirror. It would look brighter and slightly plumper due to the moisture it just absorbed. Also your skin would feel velvety smooth.
Usually on days when you use a sheet mask, you don’t need to moisturize but again evaluate your skin’s own needs. Some people also like to refrigerate their sheet masks before using; for an extra cooling effect.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING SHEET MASKS
- These masks are prepared with exactly the right amount of the active ingredients or essences needed to benefit your skin and your face can do nothing but soak up the goodness while it’s resting under the fabric.
- These masks effectively penetrate into the deepest layers of the skin. The active ingredients in liquid form cool the skin by drawing heat away from its inner layers, this allows the ingredients to penetrate deeper and evenly into the skin.
- They are available in variable forms offering a wide range of skin care benefits in one easy application. Eg hydrating mask, purifying mask, firming mask etc.
- These masks are very helpful in de-stressing and relaxing the skin inside out.
- Sheet masks are excellent add-on’s to the beauty regime but they are not a substitute for your basic skincare regime.
- Always remember not all masks are created equal. As in not all are equally effective hence it becomes paramount to choose a mask which actually delivers its claims.
- No matter how tempting they might be; restrict their use to no more than 2-3 times a week.
COMMON QUERIES RESOLVED
Q1.) How often can sheet masks be used?
ANS. Preferably sheet masks should be used once or twice a week; but it is entirely an individual’s personal choice depending upon his/her skin type. Our dermatologists’ claim to have seen people experiencing rashes and problems with excessive use of these masks. Therefore irrespective of your skin type; these masks should not be used more than 2-3 times a week.
If you have oily skin; it might be best to switch between the hydration of a sheet mask and a deep-cleansing clay mask.
Q2.) Can sheet masks be combined with regular skincare regime and conventional paste masks?
ANS. You very much can. In fact it is always a great idea to first do an exfoliating treatment to remove dead skin cells that can impair absorption and then follow it up with a sheet mask; this way you can get the maximum hydrating aspects of the sheet mask.You can also combine a clay mask alternately with sheet masks.
Q3.) If I am using sheet masks on a regular basis then do I require my skincare creams, serums, moisturisers?
ANS. Well sheet masks cannot take the place of a regular skincare regimen; nor can they replace traditional masks. They are adjuncts or enhanced aids for moisturizing or anti-aging but definitely not replacements.
The cotton sheets are actually doused in a serum-based formula, so they won’t exfoliate or cleanse deeply. However, most are packed full of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals—so they do come with their own set of benefits. They also won’t dry out the skin like a clay mask formula.
It is recommended to use a face sheet mask once or twice a week. And since the hydration won’t last more than one day, they won’t completely replace a hydrating serum—so use your serum like you normally would, and think of the mask as a special treatment for added glow.
Q4.) What to look for while choosing a sheet mask?
ANS. When choosing a sheet mask you should consider the following:
- The concerns you want to target eg pigmentation, hydration etc.
- The quality of the material used to make the sheet mask. Low quality sheet masks evaporate quickly even before it gets soaked into the deeper layer of your skin.
- The quality of the active ingredients in which the mask is soaked.
- The form (liquid, aqueous etc) in which the active ingredients are provided in the masks. Efficacy of the masks is dependent on the penetration power of the active ingredients therefore the form becomes paramount. Eg anaqueous serum with hyaluronic acid as one of its primary ingredients has a higher absorption rate than a heavier or creamy serum.
But with a number of Korean sheet mask brands flooding the market and new ones emerging every other day; it becomes very difficult to identify which mask is true to its claims and of superior quality.
We have therefore listed a few established brands in the sheet mask market for your convenience-
- Tony Moly
- Dr. Jart+
- Amore Pacific
- Bio Republic
- Sarah Chapman
- Celderma Clinic 3
- Masque Bar by look beauty
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF SHEET MASKS
- Easy to use: You don’t have to worry about layering the right products on top of each other or doing anything fancy-just cut, apply, wait and peel off and you are done. These sheet masks are one of the easiest and quickest ways to give your skin a big boost.
- Portable: They’re super slim and come in individual packs; hence one doesn’t need to worry about them taking up too much space. Just put it in your handbag and you are on the go. You can use them just about anywhere be it in a car, train, plane, heading for a party, heading to office etc etc.
- Hygienic: These are so neat and tidy. You don’t have to fish clumps of hardened mask out of your hair, or wash your hands after you apply them, in fact you don’t even have to rinse your face after you take the sheet off. After you remove the sheet, you can even leave the serum on as your moisturizer for the day.
DOWNSIDES OF THE SHEET MASKS
- The efficacy of the sheet masks depends entirely on the quality of material it is made up of. Low quality sheet masks evaporate quickly even before it gets soaked into the deeper layer of your skin.
- Compared to the paste-type mask; sheet masks are not as effective for exfoliating or cleaning the skin.
- Sheet masks are not very effective in lifting sagging skin because that requires sustained application or a facelift surgery (depending upon the extent of sagged skin). Though they can definitely soften the appearance of fine lines by hydrating, calm down inflammation, refresh tired skin and give more luminosity to the skin.
Do not leave a mask with AHAs on for longer than recommended. AHAs, like glycolic, lactic acids, generally are formulated with water-soluble components that will dissolve faster. So it is important to always follow the instructions on the label. Otherwise, you can do more harm than good.