Sheet masks have been getting a bad rap. So here I've come in their defence.
My teammates in Beaut HQ are constantly amused by my love of face masks. If one gets sent it, it comes my way immediately. It doesn't matter what type it is; I love them all. But, thanks to all my intensive research, I've discovered that not all face masks are created equally.
Sheet masks exploded onto the Western beauty scene a couple of years ago after beginning life in (where else?) Korea. Because I lived in the country (yes, the South) for a couple of years, I was well aware of their existence and I tried them loads of times, mostly because they were often given as free gifts when you bought other stuff. As you know, beauty is BIG in Korea. Beauty stores there are as common as bars and pubs here, maybe even more so. When there, I tried snail serum, essences, eye mask patches way before they arrived here - but I didn't appreciate it. Before I joined the Beaut team, my skincare routine was minimal at best. I only tried the Korean goods because they were free gifts when I bought my generic face cleansers and extremely thick foundation, or as they called it... BB cream.
But back to face masks
Because I had 'bad skin' I didn't think such a thing could make a difference. Nothing else had. But my obsession didn't come from nothing. I can't quite remember what did it but I think it could have been a clay mask from BareMinerals. It definitely made a difference to my complexion and I was hooked. 'Traditional' face masks are known to help skin, though. It's the sheet mask that's faced the backlash.
They've become standard in beauty halls and pharmacies and the criticism has begun. Most feedback generally goes something like this, "eh, they don't actually do anything." Well, I'm here to counterargue.
Why they're cool
The first thing to know is that sheet masks exist to be a quick boost. There are some out there that say you should use one three times a week as part of your skincare regimen, but that's just a waste of money. And that's another point. There are some SUPER expensive masks out there - some I've tried - and let me tell you, they are only worth getting for a very special occasion.
However, it might just be worth it.
I think of sheet masks as mini facials, because that's the effect they can give. Instead of using them at night as part of my bedtime routine, I now only use sheet masks for skin prep in the morning. So does Sarah Hyland.
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While Sarah can afford to arrive at work with a sheet mask on every day (in both the financial and time sense - and she will be getting her makeup professionally applied, hmph), I can't. I save my sheet masking for occasions and nights out.
Sheet masks are essentially a super dose of serum. I generally leave mine on for about half an hour, even if the instructions say 15 - 20 mins and let it all soak in. After I bin the mask, I massage the excess product in with my fingers and then I go over it with a jade roller, to give a more treat yo-self vibe. If it's an occasion day, I skip other skincare steps like eye cream and moisturiser and - when my face is completely dry - I apply primer where it's needed (around my nose) and then on goes the makeup.
What to use
I used the Penneys and Soap and Glory brightening masks all through Christmas. After using, I looked like I hadn't been up past midnight every night drinking wine and eating all the mince pies.
Seoulista Beauty's masks are beautiful for creating a moisturised and primed base before a night out, too. I've used masks by Filorga, too, that actually made my face glow. The Penneys, Soap and Glory, Seoulista and Filorga masks aren't at all expensive, which is the best thing about them, and they'll give your skin a boost before a wedding or hen party or whatever event you're attending.
The type of sheet mask you use will depend on your skin type, as usual. But, my oily skin loves brightening masks (because it's also grey and dull thanks to all the staying up late and the wine). If you're unsure, grab a few from Penneys - they're about €2 each. And have fun deciding.
Are you a sheet mask fan? Or do you think they're total gimmicky trash?