Self-Care At Its Finest
Korean sheet masks are pure magic. A couple years ago, my cousin introduced them to me when she brought home a stack of Innisfree sheet masks she bought during a trip to South Korea. I’ve loved them ever since. There’s just something so decadent about a product that can improve your skin while you sit back, zen out, and collect fruit on Pocket Camp (...or just take selfies) for 20 minutes. This accessible luxury is a major reason why sheet masks have amassed so much popularity. You get to feel boujee for (usually) under $10. If that isn’t self-care at its finest, I don’t know what is. Sheet masks’ accessibility doesn’t stop at their price point--they’re so straightforward, a skincare newbie can easily jump on the wave. Not to mention, they work pretty much instantly so there’s no waiting to see results or questioning if it works.
The serums infused into sheet masks yield a variety of benefits that range from brightening your complexion to removing impurities. Sheet masks work so efficiently because they give you a protective layer to prevent the serum from evaporating before your skin is able to properly absorb it. This means your epidermis is able to soak up as much serum as possible. Prep your skin by cleansing then applying toner or essence to really take advantage of these hydration properties. Just a side note--it’s a good rule of thumb though to not overdo it. If the mask is left on too long and begins to dry out, it’ll have the opposite effect.
To the uninitiated, it’s understandable that you might think all sheet masks are the same. I mean, what’s the big difference? Well, different formulas offer different benefits or work better with certain skin types. Also not every sheet mask is fabric. There’s also hydrogel masks which boost cellular function and facilitate absorption. With so many different brands, textures, and formulas available, you may have to sift through a few products before you decide on what you like the best. I mean, you can’t really go wrong with these things, but it’s nice to have a go-to.
Thanks to Peach & Lily, I had the opportunity to try out a bunch of different sheet masks so I can help steer you in the right direction.
Saturday Skin's Spotlight Brightening Mask is definitely one of my favorites. The bio-cellulose sheet they use is super thin, but it holds so much moisture. It's super refreshing and the serum isn't too light or too concentrated so you don't feel weighed down. Once I took it off, my skin was noticeably more glowy. I'd recommend this mask for any skin type, but particularly anyone who has problems with blotchy skin. The licorice extract in their serum works well for sensitive skin while still brightening any sort of dark spot.
Promising a detox for your skin, Ariul's Raspberry & Lentil Juice Cleanse Mask is a solid product. It consists of a thin fabric mask with a milky serum. There's also a slight raspberry smoothie scent to the serum which is a plus for me because it was some indication that real ingredients went into it. This mask wasn't as refreshing as some of the others, but I think I'd need to use it more consistently to get a better impression of how it works. There's no instant gratification, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just like a real juice cleanse, I think you need to give it time to see results.
I've never used a hydrogel sheet mask before so I was really excited to try out Leaders' Insolution Mediu Amino Moisture Mask. Hydrogel masks have a jelly-like texture and help your skin absorb the serum more effectively. I know Leaders is one of the most popular brands available right now and this particular product got a lot of great reviews, but it just wasn't for me. It is definitely refreshing and gentle on skin, but there was just too much serum. It felt heavy on my face for over an hour after removing it and attempting to pat in the excess formula so I eventually just had to wash it off.
Tosowoong's Pure Aloe Mask is great if you want to infuse more moisture into your skin. Aloe is able to impart hydration without leaving behind any residue so it's ideal if you've got oily skin. Aloe can also help with acne or skin inflammation. When I tested it out, the Pure Aloe Mask left my skin feeling soothed and moisturized.
Peach & Lily's Reset Button Soothe + Restore Sheet Mask is awesome. It's another hydrogel mask but it wasn't overwhelming like the other I had tried. The serum is definitely powerful, but not harsh. It's refreshing, soothing, and a quick fix if you're having a bad skin day.
Blueberry as a skincare ingredient is awesome because they bring a lot of great antioxidants to the table to help ward off harmful free radicals. I liked Tosowoong's Pure Blueberry Mask, but it wasn't one that I just *have* to stock up on. It's a solid mask that gets the job done. It's moisturizing and my skin looked more radiant as a result, but I'm just not a fan of the skin whitening component.
Written by Alexa Wilson