Everything You Need to Know About Sheet Masks

The 411.

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The latest trend in facial masks is what are called sheet masks, which is a type of face mask you use once and then toss. It's also a lot of fun to take a selfie while wearing it.

Just as the name implies, a sheet mask is a cloth sheet with holes for your eyes, nose, and mouth. You lay the mask on your face, remove after about 20 minutes, and then toss. There is a sheet mask for every skin type and skin condition. Sheet masks can brighten dull skin, clear up acne, and moisturize dry skin—it all depends on what mask you choose and the ingredients it contains. Sheet masks range in price from a few dollars to over $50, but you definitely do not need to shell out a lot of money to jump on this trend.

How Do I Use A Sheet Mask?

The sheet mask trend stems from South Korea. Korean women (and men) spend a lot of time and effort caring for their skin and using a sheet mask is a regular part of their elaborate skin care routine. Many people use sheet masks just once a week, but there is a growing trend to use sheet masks once a day or even twice a day. Using a sheet mask even once a week can have great benefits for the skin. Think of it as a targeted skin care treatment and ask yourself: what does your skin need now? Then choose a sheet mask that has ingredients that will address that skin care issue. It also does not matter what time of day you use the mask—morning, afternoon, evening—whenever is most convenient for you will work. 

Sheet Mask Hacks

In order to get the best results from your sheet mask experience you need to do the following things:

  • Wash your face before applying your sheet mask. Applying a mask with a serum to dirty skin is a no-no. You will not get any benefits from applying a mask to unwashed skin.
  • Less is more. Do not leave the mask on your face for longer than 20 minutes. If you leave the mask on for longer it may cause skin irritation. If the mask says to leave it on for less than 20 minutes, do that. It is important to read all of the instructions that come with the mask before applying it to your face and never go to sleep with a sheet mask on your face.
  • If you used your sheet mask while it is still light outside you need to apply sunscreen after removing the mask.

Do not wash your face after using a sheet mask. If there is serum left on your skin after using the mask, gently pat the serum into your skin until it is fully absorbed. You can also apply a moisturizer to your skin after using a sheet mask.

Which Mask Is Best For My Skin?

There are sheet masks made from microfiber, hydrogel, biocellulose, foil, knit, and charcoal, not to mention the different ingredients in each mask. With all the variety of sheet masks to choose from how do you know which one is best for your skin? 

Here are a few suggestions to clear up any confusion:

Key Ingredients

Activated charcoal is created from carbon-rich materials burned at high temperatures, like coal, coconut shells, and wood. In skincare, there are claims that it binds to and removes impurites from the skin, but more research is needed.

Make Your Own Sheet Masks

It is actually super easy to make your own sheet mask. This way you can customize the mask for exactly what your skin needs at that moment. It is also very cost effective to make your own sheet masks. The one thing that you do need no matter which type of mask you are creating is a cotton facial mask. These are easy to purchase and do not cost very much money.

Here's a recipe for a moisturizing DIY sheet mask.

Hydrating DIY Sheet Mask:

  • Choose your favorite facial oil like jojoba oil, pomegranate oil, or argan oil.
  • Place a few drops of your favorite oil in a bowl or plate.
  • Add 1/2 a tablespoon of glycerin to the oil.
  • Add 1/2 a tablespoon of rose water.
  • Add your sheet mask to the mix and soak for a minute or so.
  • Apply to your face for 20 minutes. 
  • If there is any liquid left on your face after removing the mask pat into your skin until absorbed.

Key Ingredients

Glycerin is a natural occurring compound in the body; in topical skincare, it is derived from plants. It functions to draw water to the skin and continue hydrating it, making it a great ingredient for extreme dryness.

Enjoy smooth, hydrated skin!

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Lu J, Cong T, Wen X, et al. Salicylic acid treats acne vulgaris by suppressing AMPK/SREBP1 pathway in sebocytesExp Dermatol. 2019;28(7):786-794. doi:10.1111/exd.13934

  2. Dawid-Pać R. Medicinal plants used in treatment of inflammatory skin diseasesPostepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013;30(3):170-177. doi:10.5114/pdia.2013.35620

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