What is a Sheet Mask and Why You Need It

All the facts you need to know about sheet masks

Facial masks have been around for a long time and there are quite a few different types. The most sought after and raved about in the last couple of years is hands down, sheet masks. 

Sheet masks are easy and simple go-to, pick-me-up kind of routine that is the perfect relaxation after a tiring day. Almost like mini-facials at the comfort of your own home. There are loads of different types of sheet masks available today with a variety of ingredients and selling factors.

So what are these famous sheet masks all about?

Sheet Masks are physical occlusives that trap moisture in the skin with an actual sheet. The sheet masks are typically drenched in a serum-like formula, which varies depending on what active ingredients they have.

They encourage better absorption for other ingredients as well as keeping all the beneficial nutrients locked in into your skin. They also help stop the ingredients from evaporating off your skin.

Originating from South Korea, sheet masks slowly gained popularity in the US market over the last few years. Now, American and European brands have also developed sheet masks. No-one wants to miss out on creating some awesome skincare products.

The Versatility of Sheet Masks

With a variety of face masks from clay, cream to overnight masks – sheet masks are the most versatile of these categories. Unlike other masks that are designed for a specific skincare need, sheet masks have a wider selection that allows oily, dry, sensitive and acne-prone to all benefit.

The Affordability of Sheet Masks 

From as low as $1 to $20, sheet masks are one of the cheapest skincare products that you can purchase. The price range also allows us, consumers, to be able to try these masks without the worry of overspending.

The Most Common Types of Sheet Masks – Cotton, Microfibre, Cupra & Tencel

All the different sheet masks have the same fundamental functions.

Cotton – a white fabric that fits well on the face. It is soft and absorbs the serum well. Cotton is very breathable for the skin and it allows moisture and air to circulate freely.

Tencel – a fibre that is naturally derived from trees. In a light cream colour, this feels a lot like silk on the skin. Plus, it is eco-friendly and biodegradable. This is considered as a high-quality type of lyocell fibre.

Cupra – I would describe this as “advanced cotton”, using the innermost fibres of a cotton plant that are a lot shorter and softer than regular cotton. It also holds 10x more essence compared to cotton.

Other Types of Sheet Masks

Charcoal – these black coloured sheet masks are the closest thing to a ‘detox’. Charcoal is known to attract and suck the oil, dirt and gunk from our pores.

Hydrogel – these are jelly-like sheets that are able to lock in moisture really well. The sheet itself is made of skin-beneficial ingredients such as aloe and kiwi. This type of sheet masks feels the most luxurious. 

Bio-Cellulose – one of the most advanced technologies of fabric. This type can retain 100 times its dry weight in fluid and it fits like a glove on the skin.

If you’re wondering, is it really essential to my current skincare routine?

Well to be honest, yes and no. 

The main job of a sheet mask is to hydrate and moisturise. It does not cleanse, nor exfoliate.

Don’t mix up the benefits of traditional at-home facial masks with sheet masks. For clay, mud and exfoliating masks, they do deep cleansing and exfoliating of the skin. They remove the dead skin cells off of your face. 

Sheet masks are more for brightening, hydrating, moisturising and balancing the skin. Sheet masks are not as harsh as other face masks, you can even opt for a daily sheet mask (as most Koreans do!)

A dermatologist from New York, Debra Jaliman, has stated that acne-prone skin should try not to use sheet masks every day.  Stating that “It can sometimes aggravate acne because it is occlusive and can block pores,” Her recommendation is to use sheet masks at least once a week for acne-prone skin. 

Which ingredients for which skin types

Oily Skin and Acne-Control – Tea Tree, Charcoal, Witch Hazel and Lotus

Dry Skin – Aloe Vera, Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Avocado Shea Butter

Inflammation and Redness – Oatmeal, Aloe Vera, Centella, Mugwort, Salicylic Acid, Yogurt

Brightening – Niacinamide, Vitamin C, Lemon, Pineapple, Strawberry, Pearl

Anti-Ageing – Vitamin E, Collagen, Honey, Ginseng

Tips to improve your sheet mask routine

  • Keep Your Sheet Mask in the Fridge

Keeping your sheet mask in the fridge will give you that cooling effect and will ultimately reduce any swelling.

  •  Prep Your Skin

To have better results from sheet masks, do your regular skincare routine first. Cleanse, tone and apply your favourite serum before applying your sheet mask. When your skin has a clean surface, your skin will absorb the serum better.

  • Massage The Mask Pack

If you stored your mask vertically, the serum will settle on the bottom of the pack. Before opening the pack, massage the pack between your hands for the serum to absorb back into the mask.

  • Don’t apply heavy moisturisers and creams

Always apply your skincare in the order of light to heavy textures. Moisturiser is heavy and if you apply it before the sheet mask, the mask may not be able to penetrate into your skin.

  • Follow The Given Time 

On the back of the pack, there will be directions on how long the mask should be on your face. If you exceed the recommended time, it may dry on your skin and it will pull the moisture back out of your skin instead.

  • Pat The Excess

After your mask, your skin will be left moist which is wonderful! But remember to pat the serum on your face so it gets fully absorbed into your skin. This way, you get the maximum benefits of the sheet mask.

What have sheet masks done for me?

Plump Skin

Over the course of my sheet mask journey, I have noticed my skin looking plumper and firmer. When I’m tired and my skin has been overworked, I just pop out a sheet mask to lift my skin. Instantly, my skin gets that boost that it needs.


My skin, like everyone’s, tends to get dull and tired looking (probably because it is tired!). But fortunately,  another thing that sheet masks have contributed to is brightening my skin. I also notice it brightening any dark spots and pigmentation.


Sheet masks are also great for fighting off ageing. Having pale skin, there is a tendency for ageing to be more visible. Sheet masks have helped a great deal in keeping ageing at bay.

Overall, I have seen some really impressive improvements in my skin with the use of sheet masks. With every sheet mask session, it leaves my skin well-hydrated and balanced. Plus, the radiant glow that I get after 10-20 minutes is all worth it. 

Product Recommendations 

Tony Moly Master Lab Sheet Mask Collagen

Tony Moly is one of the top Korean brands and it is rightly so. Their Master Lab has 8 variants from Snail Mucin, Vitamin C and Ceramides. The Collagen is one of my favourites and my skin always looks amazing after using it.

Tony Moly can be bought from Beauty Bay

Dr Jart+ Dermask Water Jet Soothing Hydra Solution

Another excellent brand from Korea, Dr Jart+ also has a range of incredible sheet masks. With extreme hydrating properties, this sheet mask is my go-to when my skin needs a little pick-me-up.

Dr Jart+ can be bought from Beauty Bay

Oh K! Gold Foil Sheet Mask

Easily one of the most affordable brands, the Oh K! Gold Foil Sheet Mask is definitely golden including its price point. It helps to calm any redness on my face plus it feels totally luxurious. What do you expect from gold?!

Oh! K can be bought from Beauty Bay

Final Thoughts

Sheet masks have been a fun addition to skincare! They are a fun and affordable way to give your skin that hydration and moisture that it needs. 

I doubt that this craze of sheet masks will be over any time soon. The market seems to still be going strong and to be honest, so am I!

What are your favourite sheet masks?

Hollie xx

Anastasia Beverly Hills Benefit Cosmetics Bobbi Brown Chantecaille Charlotte Tilbury Clarins ColourPop Dermalogica Dior Dyson ELEMIS Elf Cosmetics Estée Lauder Fenty Beauty First Aid Beauty Fresh Hourglass Huda Beauty Jane Iredale L'Oreal lancome La Roche-Posay Laura Mercier LORAC MAC Makeup Revolution Mario Badescu Maybelline Molton Brown Morphe Nars Natasha Denona Neutrogena NYX Origins Peter Thomas Roth Revlon Sigma Beauty Smashbox Stila Tarte Cosmetics The Ordinary Too Faced Urban Decay YSL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *