Sheet masks aren’t new. Actually, they’re pretty old now, and since coming over from Korea a few years ago just about every brand has their own one. Which makes choosing one pretty confusing.
If you’re not familiar, a sheet mask is basically a sheet of cloth or paper that’s been saturated in things your skin loves (think hyaluronic acid, vitamin E et al). You peel off the wrapping, place it on your face, and sit tight for around 15 minutes.
Of course, sheet masks have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. The first time I tried a sheet mask, I really didn’t get it. I didn’t realise you had to peel the paper backing off, and spent an uncomfortable few minutes trying to angle my neck into such a position that the whole thing wouldn’t just slide straight off, before giving up and flinging it in the bin. Happily, very few now come with an actual rigid piece of paper, so even if you don’t get it quite right it’ll still work. And Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask actually has a series of handle type things that you hook over your ears, so that it absolutely stays in place. Which is an absolute win if you want to be getting on with daily tasks and require not to be on your back for 15 minutes.
S U P E R L U X E
I recently had a facial at 111 Skin on Harley Street which ended in a sheet mask. My therapist, Melissa Nel, told me the individual masks available for retail were ideal for using abroad after a long-haul flight. I suggested wearing one during said flight. Apparently this is Not OK unless you’re travelling first and have your own pod – it can be a little scary to encounter someone mid-sheet-mask without prior warning.
F U N
Of course, there are some sheet masks that’re deliberately designed for showing off. The Face Inc by Nails Inc range all have cute decorations one, sort of like the Snapchat filters. So you can temporarily become things like a unicorn, a panda, or a geisha girl. And they all have different benefits, too – things like collagen for anti-ageing and brightening green tea. If of course you need persuasion for turning into a unicorn..
N A T U R A L
The latest brand I’ve tried is Star Skin, which is a bio-cellulose mask drenched in fermented coconut milk. What’s unique about them is that there’s no chemicals, and the structure of the mask is air permeable so your face can breathe freely when the skin mask is applied. So if you’ve tried sheet masks before and suffered irritation, this is an ideal solution. There’s a whole range of benefits to choose from – things like brightening, plumping, balancing and hydrating. And there’s a men’s one, too.
H E R O
One of my favourite things about seeing a skincare trend grip the beauty industry is watching how existing brands envelop it into their own core ranges. Because sometimes it can be comforting to stick to what you know, rather than reaching for a new brand specialising in the new trend. Does that make sense? Hope so. One such is Jurlique, which I’ve been a fan of for a long time because of their natural products, and sensitive attitude towards skincare. Their Firming Treatment Mask uses concentrated botanicals and aids skin’s own collagen synthesis. I used the mask on slightly weather-beaten skin after a week on a yacht in Croatia, and the combination of honey and aloe vera gel was next level soothing.
D E T O X I F Y I N G
Sheet masks aren’t just for ailments like dry, dehydrated skin or the appearance of fine lines. Brands like Masque B.A.R and Maskorrea have a great selection of detoxifying, brightening masks that help minimise the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation irregularities. Maskorrea‘s sheets also come with a measured dose of night cream and cleanser, which makes them great for travelling.
What are your favourites? Have you turned yourself into a unicorn yet? I’d love to know.
S H O P T H E L O O K