This post may contain affiliate links, to find out more information please see our disclosure policy.
Improve Your Skin with Sheet Masks
Sheet masks are all the rage thanks to America’s new obsession with Korean skincare and beauty products. While you can certainly take amusing selfies with them, the great thing is that sheet masks actually work.
Many Americans have started using them to reap the skincare benefits they offer. If you are unsure exactly what the benefits of sheet masks for skincare are, you are not alone.
As they are a new concept for many Americans, a little introduction is needed.
My Experience with Sheet Masks
I became a sheet mask fanatic over a year ago, after reaching a breaking point in my skin care struggles. Truthfully, I have lovely combination skin. The problem, is that my skin is ultra-sensitive to environmental factors. Just the slightest hint of heat or a brush of biting winter wind, and my face is a red, dry mess. At my worst, I was waking up with great skin, and coming home with a flushed, dry, oily, bumpy mess. I hated it.
I started using masks to try and treat my inflamed pores–because I thought that was my main issue—and then realized I should start with moisturizing and work my way up from there. My skin still acts up when conditions are rough, but on most days, I finally get to show off the skin I know and love. The skin that was waiting underneath all of that irritation.
Benefits of Sheet Masks for Skincare Problem Areas
The thing I love most about sheet masks is that they are targeted treatments for whatever issues your skin is having. It’s not a one stop shop for all your problems. I realize that sounds less convenient, but it’s actually beneficial. You can pick a mask with specific ingredients, for a specific problem, and then it’s taken care of. This allows you to personalize your routine. I have a set of favorite masks that I know work for my skin issues, and I rotate these out as needed.
Here are some common issues that sheet masks can help you with:
This was one of my main issues when I first started out. It just seems unfair that both summer and winter weather can be drying for skin. Surely one bad skin season is enough. Of course, outside of extreme weather, dryness can still be a problem. The good news is, sheet masks for skin dryness work, and they work well. I use at least one as a weekly part of my weekly rotation.
If you need to treat your skin dryness, here are some ingredients to look out for: aloe vera, rice, bamboo, avocado, coconut, cucumber, and hyaluronic acid (It sounds scary, but it’s actually a really great humectant, which means it draws moisture from the environment into your skin).
I wouldn’t recommend treating enlarged or irritated pores on their own, because usually they are a symptom of a larger issue like too much oil production. That said, when you feel that your skin is in a good place, you can help minimize your pores.
Ingredients to look for: egg white, rose, strawberry, clay.
I wouldn’t recommend using face masks to treat serious acne issues, but for all those minor, annoying breakouts, they work great. Masks that say they clear out impurities are also really good at maintaining clear skin.
Ingredients to look for: lavender, charcoal, mung bean, tea tree, witch hazel, kelp, clay.
Skin dullness is really just when you have a lot of buildup of dead skin on your face. This can give you bad skin texture and a dull appearance. Treating those issues makes you look more vibrant and glowy.
Ingredients to look for: peony, tomato and citrus, citrus, citrus. (Citrus masks are just amazing. Every time I use one, I wake up with a noticeable improvement in my skin’s overall appearance).
Wrinkles & Firmness
Respect to everyone out there trying to maintain their youthful firmness! Even if you don’t have a lot of wrinkles, keeping your skin firm will help with your skin’s overall appearance. A lot of skin firming and wrinkle minimizing ingredients also have a lot of other benefits, so they’re worth checking out even if you don’t have wrinkles.
Ingredients to look for: honey, black tea, collagen, lotus, and snail! (I know, I know, snail sounds so gross, but it firms skin and feels surprisingly good).
Irritation & Redness
This issue was my most prominent. I feel like skin irritation is the worst, because when it gets really bad, there’s no hiding it. Plus, it just feels so uncomfortable.
Ingredients to look for: green tea, kale, witch hazel, and potato. (I swear by green tea and kale. Kale masks have helped me so much.)
This list is pretty long, but safe to say, most of us have dealt with all of these issues at some point. If you’ve got a couple going on already—I certainly did when I started—my advice is to start with a moisturizing mask for your first few applications. (When I notice that my skin is particularly bad, I start with aloe vera in particular, because it can heal any damage dryness has already caused your skin.) From there, it’s easy to target whatever problems still remain.
Where to Start
Masks are actually part of the popular and effective ten-step Korean Beauty routine. While following the routine is the best way to get results, you certainly don’t have to follow it to use face masks. That said, here are some basic steps for what to do when you purchase one. (Note: These are just some general instructions for mask usage. Make sure you follow the actual instructions on the packaging.)
Clean your face! You are free to follow whatever face cleaning routine you already use, just make sure that you remove any makeup. (Optional: put the mask in the refrigerator for a cool, relaxing experience. It’s amazing in the summer.)
- If you have it, apply toner and serum and wait a few minutes for your skin to absorb it.
- Take out the mask and unfold it. Place it carefully over your face. (Note: some masks come with plastic on one side. This is just meant to help you put it on your face. Keep the plastic on the outside and peel it off when the mask is situated.)
- Keep the mask on for however long the package tells you.
- Optional: surprise unsuspecting family members and take a few selfies.
- When you’re done, take the mask off and throw it away. Your face might feel a bit slimy or sticky, which is good!
- Pat your face with your fingertips to help absorb the rest of the mask’s mixture.
- Apply whatever moisturizing cream or lotion you use.
If you’ve decided to buy your first face mask, a word of advice: don’t spend more than you have to. A lot of places will charge upwards of three dollars a mask. That price can add up when you’re purchasing more than one. If you can wait, search online for the best deals. Just try searching for a Korean beauty store online.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a K-Beauty or Asian Beauty store, it’s worth the trip. Most have sale bins or promotional offers. And when you find a mask you like, buy them in bulk. They usually come in boxes of 5 or 6 and are a decent deal, especially when they are on sale.
You don’t have to be a skincare buff to use sheet masks. They’re just as easy and fun for beginners, and most importantly, they’re effective. But aside from the fact that they’ve worked for me and my skin issues, my favorite thing about sheet masks is that they give me an excuse to unwind. Putting one on is like my body’s cue to slow down and take a few minutes for myself. I like to listen to music, or check out a good show, or even just close my eyes and do some deep breathing. After a long day that’s stressful for both me and my skin, it’s nice to treat myself to a little self-care.
My Favorite Masks