A sheet mask is a face-shaped fabric that is soaked in nutritious solutions known as setup. There isn’t only one type of sheet mask either. The sheets can be made up of paper, fibers, gels or even foil. Sheet masks come individually packaged so they can be used once and then thrown away. They are one of the fastest, most convenient ways for your skin to get an overload of great products all at once without having to pay for an actual facial.
Sheet masks are pretty bomb. They come packed full of skin-loving ingredients, are easy to travel with, and don’t take much effort to use, making it the perfect skin treatment for those of us busy (and lazy) people. But as easy as the process might seem, there are still some steps you should take to get the most out of your sheet mask.
1. START OFF WITH A CLEAN FACE
Always cleanse your face before applying sheet masks. Or do what the Koreans do, double-cleanse! Wash away all the makeup, oil, dead skin and sebum, because you want to make sure your pores are clean so your skin can effectively absorb all nutrients from the sheet mask. Hey, we pay good money for these face masks, you need to make sure your skin can actually take it!
2. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS & INGREDIENTS LIST
It doesn’t matter if you’ve applied a zillion masks before, every sheet mask is different so be sure to read the instructions and ingredients list before you put that baby on. It's always good to know what you are putting on your face, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you are unsure, testing a small amount of the serum on your skin before use is highly recommended. Certain ingredients target certain skin issues, if you know what skin problems you want to target, you can buy masks that contain certain ingredients accordingly.
3. DOUBLE IT UP
Sheet masks are technically double sided so there’s no reason why you shouldn’t make full use of both sides. Simply flip your mask over halfway through your relaxing at-home facial treatment to enjoy the cooling dose of hydration once again, while gaining extra nourishment for your skin.
4. LONGER DOES NOT MEAN BETTER
I for one am surprised to learn this because I’ve always thought the longer you left a sheet mask on, the more goodness will be absorbed. I learned however, that when a mask starts to dry out after the stated 10-20 minutes, it will actually begin to suck out the moisture from your skin, thus doing the exact opposite of what we want. Also, leaving it on longer than the intended time will actually increase the temperature of the skin, making the mask a perfect breeding spot for bacteria, which in turn can lead to acne and other skin problems. Who knew!? As a general rule, do not leave your mask on for more than 30 minutes. It’s easy to get caught up watching TV, surfing the Net or you simply just fall asleep (happens to me all the time!) so set a timer on to be on the safe side.
5. FULL-BODY TREAT
On average each sheet mask sachet contains around 15ml to 30ml of serum, more than your face could possibly absorb at any one time. You will often find excess serum in the packet, don't throw it away just yet. Give your neck and body some TLC by slathering the leftovers on. This is especially useful during wintertime, your dry arms and legs will appreciate the extra hydration! You can also use cotton pads to soak up the remaining serum for spot hydration.
6. DON'T FORGET THE EYES
You might think you've got it all covered. The face, neck and body are now absorbing all the goodness from the serum, but you might want to add a pair of eye masks underneath your sheet mask for more intensive hydration. The eye area is the most delicate and thinnest, but often the sheet mask does not cover the eye area properly as they need to be designed to cater for eyes of all sizes.
7. STORAGE MATTERS
Last but not least, make sure you’re storing your face masks properly. Most sheet masks do fine in room temperature, but some active ingredients might not do so well in a warm bathroom cabinet that’s not well ventilated. My favourite place to store my sheet masks is in the fridge because the cold temperature will further stimulate the blood circulation in your face, improving the overall absorption of nutrients. Also, it makes the mask experience extra refreshing, and helps reduce facial and under-eye puffiness, too.