The first time I used a sheet mask, I was confused.. It probably didn’t help that I wasn’t ever really blown away when I used them. Others would go gaga over masks, having spiritual awakenings about the process and effects, yet I couldn’t understand what made them so exciting. “Sure masks are fun, but are they that awesome?”
Ehhh, yes and no. Not all sheet masks are equal, and rather than use masks everyone praises, it’s best to figure out what it is you want from a mask and try a bunch out till you find ones you like. Just like other parts of skincare, sheet masks are very YMMV (your mileage may vary). My favourites might be your least favourites.
Sheet Masks Yay!
I personally am not a big fan of lots and lots of essence. I don’t like feeling like I’m drowning in liquid, and as I only wear masks for about 30 minutes I can’t have it last too long. I wear glasses, so it’s really off-putting for me to not be able to see anything. I try not to make it a habit of wearing my glasses while I mask as serum get stuck under the lenses.. so, yeah that’s a gross visual! As for material, cotton, silk, hydrogel, bio-cellulose material doesn’t matter as much as how flexible it is. If it can’t lay flush with my face then I’m not interested.
Truthfully, I don’t really have a lot of expectations for sheet masks, but at a minimum I would like them to be moisturising. Sounds like a silly thing, of course sheet masks are moisturising! You’d be wrong, not all masks are equal remember?
As this mask has been discontinued, honorable mention to Lovemore Snail Mucin Healing & Hydrating Mask. This was one of the first masks that started me on my journey of really exploring sheet masks as a serious skincare tool not just a fun frill.
My favourite masks fall under a few categories (and you all know how much I love product categories), Trouble Care, Moisture Boost and Routine Replacement. Are any of your favourites listed below?
Etude House I Need You Mask – Pomegranate
Etude House is a roadshop (high street/ drugstore) brand that has a range of masks in multiple flavours that I suspect is everyone’s baby’s first sheet mask range.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Panthenol, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Punica Granatum Fruit Extract (20mg), Potassium Hydroxide, Ethylhexylglycerin, Allantoin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
The ingredient list is nothing to write home about lots of fruity extracts with no proven skin care benefit and the mask itself is plain cotton, yet this mask though. It is really quite lovely. The fit is okay everywhere except around the nose, but it lays flush with my face so that’s a win!
If I have any pimples on my face this mask soothes them right away. The essence the mask is soaked in is sufficient and lasts for about 30 minutes for me which is perfect. I repurchase this mask because it is super cheap for what it does. I think I get 3 for around (yay exchange rates) £2.80 inc. shipping.
Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask – Pomegranate
Innisfree is another roadshop brand that have lots of mask flavours and pomegranate is my absolute favourite.
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ethanol, Ethanol, Betaine, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Pomegranate Juice(200mg), PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Adenosine, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Tangerine Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, The green Tea Extract, Camellia Leaf Extract, Prickly Pear Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance
Everything about this mask is superior to the Etude House mask for me, better pimple soothing effect, less ‘filler’ extracts, more of the title ingredient and it fits better. The sheet is also plain cotton, but it’s a bit more firm than the Etude and honestly feels slightly more premium. The only reason I haven’t switched to this exclusively is because too much of one thing is super boring and also this used to be way more expensive. Weirdly, this is now the cheaper one but I’m sure things will change!
Clabiane PGA Intensive Mask
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Carbomer, Polyglutamic acid, Trehalose, Potassium Hydroxide, Disodium EDTA, Methylsilanol Mannuronate, rh-Oligopeptide-1, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Linoleic Acid, Ceramide 3, TEA-Cocoyl Glutamate, Caprylic/capric Triglyceride, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Perfume
Etude House I Need You Mask – Silk Cocoon
While the other Etude House I Need You ‘flavours’ have been out for a while, this is a new addition to the lineup and after my first one, I immediately bought another set.
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Trehalose, Alcohol Denat., Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Water, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol
Looking for a moisture boost? Say hello to Silk Cocoon. The essence is milky, it smells like baby powder and hydrates skin just as well as the Clabiane does on a much tighter budget. The experience of a moisturiser slowly sinking into your skin is what I like best about this mask, like an IV for your skin. It is perfect for long haul flights when you don’t want to carry around small decants of moisturiser. Pop this on, take a quick nap and you’re sorted.
After using maybe six of these masks, I finally took a close look at the ingredient list to see that it has tea tree oil! I guess my reaction to that ingredient earlier on has faded? Neat.
Primark Eye Patches
Primark have their own range of sheet masks, can you believe it? Get it Primark! They’re all made in Korea too and knowing Primark’s style they’re probably repackaging basic ranges from other retailers. Hey, whatever works!
Aqua, Glycerin, Sorbitol, Sodium Polyacrylate, Polyacrylic Acid, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Triethylhexanoin, Cellulose Gum, Kaolin, Tartaric Acid, Aluminum glycinate, Disodium EDTA, Natto Gum, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Allantoin, Tocopheryl Acetate, Retinyl Palmitate, Titanium Dioxide, Methylparaben.
I’m as surprised as you are to see this on the list. Are you just as surprised as me to see all these kick ass ingredients? Because, holy wow there are some real stunners there. It’s £1 for two sets, and feels lovely. Big fan, I’ll keep buying these for as long as they make it.
It’s a gel mask with a cotton top so I can wear my glasses and be goop free. Yay! I like to use these when I’ve had a tired night, or I’m working a project. It sticks well to the skin with a nice cooling sensation and removes cleanly with no sticky residue. I don’t see a dramatic dark circle removal from it, but I do notice some reduction and it is soothing af.
Freeset Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Pack Aqua
I first heard about these masks a year ago, through Jude from fiftyshadesofsnail, and I was obsessed through her review. Once I got a chance to buy a set of three I jumped at the opportunity and as I suspected fell head over heels in love.
Water, Glycerin, Dipropylene Glycol, Donkey Milk, Honey Extract, Pyrus Pyrifolia (Pear) Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Triethylhexanoin, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Panthenol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Butylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Dimethicone, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceramide 3, Potassium Carbomer, Cholesterol, Potassium C11-15 Alkyl Phosphate, Ceramide 2, Phytosphingosine, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, Polyglutamic Acid, Hydrolyzed Collagen, PEG-32, Betaine, Allantoin, Carbomer, Arginine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance, Methylparaben, Disodium EDTA
Sweet mother of all that is holy this mask is a face glove. Of all the masks in my stash this fits my face the best. It is the most pliable hydrogel I’ve ever used that still manages to have some firmness to it. The results were pretty shocking, mentally and visually. As it’s so thin, it felt like nothing was on my face, so I felt really really relaxed, then when I took it off my skin was so soft and so soothed. This is a mask to relax with in the tub for sure.
Mediheal I.P.I LightMax Ampoule Mask ( & LINE Friends version)
Fun fact, this is not a straight repackage. This is a slightly different product. Whaaat? I’m pretty sure they’re all different because I remember in the store picking this one because it was the only one without niacinamide but reading the ingredients for the other LINE versions, that ingredient is missing. Yay more for me!
I feel like such a fangirl for having these masks in my line (ha!) up, however in my defence I liked them before they were LINE Friended. Actually, I’m super thankful for collaborations like these because they become hot items for retailers who sell internationally.
I bought a single Mediheal I.P.I masks for £3 in Korea Town and when I learned there were LINE Friends versions, I bought a box, and that’s when I realised they have two different ingredient lists. Still all is not lost.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Propylene Glycol, Arbutin, Morus Alba Bark Effect, Rosa Damascena Flower Water, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Betaine, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Allantoin, Astaxanthin, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Alcohol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Carbomer, Triethanolamine, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Caster Oil, Adenosine, Methyl-paraben, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Propylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Parfum, Wine Extract, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extact, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Bacillus/Glutamic Acid Ferment Filtrate
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Arbutin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Xanthan Gum, Carnomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Disodium EDTA, Panthenol, Terhalose, Betaine, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extact, Pear Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Water, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Beta-Glucan, Methyl-paraben, Allantoin, Triethanolamine, Polysorbate 80, Fragrance
The non-LINE friend version has way more exciting ingredients, I guess the licensing rights to LINE characters meant they felt they could use less fancy ingredients. But honestly, the results were relatively the same which might be due to keeping the ‘main’ ingredients the same.
The fit is awesome, partly because it has slits by the jaw which make it easier to mould it to your face. I’m not actually sure what the material is, it feels like silk but isn’t. It’s like a bio-cellulose-cotton feel? I’m not sure what it is and the box is not very helpful but it feels really soft on my skin.
After use my skin feels a lot softer and way more luminous, like there’s an inner glow. The amount of serum is super generous, I could sit for an hour with these on and it wouldn’t completely dry out. The amount of essence makes it perfect as a routine replacement, so I use this when I really do not want to go through the steps of my routine, but have lots of time to do a routine. I slap this on, read a book or watch a movie, pat in and then go to bed. Easy as pie.
The world of sheet masks is huge, if you’re in the same position I was a few months ago, liking sheet masks but not getting what all the hype is all about, I highly recommend you stray from the usual roadshop suspects. Try something new! Taiwanese silk masks are a hot issue right now, but there are so many brands doing so many different things that I’m sure that there will be a mask out there for you that makes you go, “WOW”.
If not? Oh well, there are lots of other skincare things out there that are fun too!
I already asked this on Twitter and got some amazing responses, but what are your favourite masks, what kind do you think I should try next and why?