To Sheet or Not To Sheet

Sheet masks have been taking over beauty sphere via a massive wave. What used to be a rarity, has become an abundance and you can pretty much find a sheet mask anywhere you go.

Originally hailing from Korea, sheet masks are a “lazy facial” that personally I cannot get enough of. Not only do they come in many varieties, targeting skin’s many faults and shortcomings, but they are also convenient, small enough for travel avoiding the always annoying TSA,  mess free and very affordable. If before you can only purchase these in specialized Asian skin care stores, now you can easily obtain a mask at Sephora, Forever21, RickysNYC and believe it or not at your local pharmacies. And I am not talking about having one mask to choose from, the aforementioned stores carry these in many varieties, brands and formulations. Not to mention that the cost can range from $1-$6 a pop, it’s hard not to give these a try!

So what is a sheet mask? It is a piece of cloth that has been drenched in liquid formula, be it anti-wrinkle, hydrating or brightening. It is applied directly on the face and left for about 15-20 minutes. I like to leave it on for longer for maximum absorption. When you remove the mask, there will be some formula still left on your face, so do gently massage it in. Why let it go to waste? Sometimes I go as far as squeezing the leftover product from the packaging and applying it at the end of my routine.

Even though a sheet mask is nowhere near a replacement for a facial, and they are also not as effective as traditional cream or gel face masks,  they still prove to be a very convenient, a quick and effective method of keeping your skin in its best shape. Some of the benefits include instant results, variety based on skin type, and there is no limit as to how often you can use them. There are also eye masks that can be used to rid yourself of those pesky under eye circles, puffiness and fine lines. I have purchased many, from many different places and so far I do not see a reason to remove these from my regular skincare routine.

So far my favorite ones are from Forever21. It’s no surprise that Forever21 would carry these, since this conglomerate was founded by a couple from South Korea. The masks are actually made in Korea and the “most” expensive one that the store carries has a whopping $3.90 price tag! There are many different brands of masks at Forever21, and so far I have managed to try three, but my experience with all of them has been positive.

IMG_3348The Skin Energizing Facial Sheet Mask with Pomegranate Extract of Love & Beauty by Forever21, was my first mask in this series and I have to say that I was instantly impressed. This mask is easy to apply, gives you enough eye, nose and mouth opening so you can function comfortably with the mask on, none sticky (always a plus in my book) and due to formula being clear this mask is mess free and does not get all over your hair as some of the traditional masks would. Add the fact that this mask is paraben free and costs $2.90 – um hell yeah I’m in! The mask features a unique formula made up of pomegranate extract which promises to refresh and recharge skin with its anti-oxidants, sea buckthorn tree extracts for skin brightening and glow and lotus and white rose complex to protect skin from everyday environmental harm. As mentioned earlier, this mask is free of parabens, as well as alcohol (bonus) and any synthetic dye. Absence of alcohol is always a very important factor for me as it means that there is a much lesser chance that this IMG_3355product will dry out my skin. Upon application, this mask will be a nice cool shock to your face with some tingling and even a bit of a warming sensation. I found this combination very interesting and honestly a little worrisome at first, as I thought that this tingling sensation was my skin reacting to the mask. But fear none, this is how it is supposed to feel. I left this mask on longer than I was supposed to and after removal my face felt warm and soothed. Whatever formula that was left on my face, I diligently massaged into my skin and after about a minute my face was dry. At first I did not notice much difference except for smaller pores, however the next morning my complexion was clearer and brighter, with a more even skin tone than I have ever seen before! With that said, I will definitely be trying more mask from this series, specifically the Collagen and Aloe mask.

IMG_3350Next mask that I tried was specifically for the eye area. Again from Forever21, made by Milatte and yes you guessed it – made in Korea. From my research, I have discovered that Milatte only makes eye masks and some blackhead removal clear nose masks. The latter was not of interest to me, so I do not have much to say about it. Back to the eye masks though! These, once again, come in many varieties to target various eye “issues”, such as wrinkles, puffiness and those annoying under eye IMG_3397circles. You can find these for $1.90 at Forever21, so do not get ripped off, as some online stores sell them for as much as $7.50. They come one per package, and when I say that these are very generously loaded with product, I am being humble. I almost felt bad throwing this mask out after use as it still had enough product left for another application. You can definitely try and save it for another go round as the package contains enough formula left over to reload your mask for another go. I will be trying that with my next mask.

Millate is cool when applied, stays perfectly on and feels very soothing around the under eyes. What I really like about this mask is that it covers a way larger area than just under your eyes. It spreads below and over, hydrating and brightening up your skin. I only left this mask on for about 15 minutes as it does have alcohol in it and I am very careful careful about that, but after removal my under eye area was definitely brighter and tighter. Bonus points – it makes you look like a superhero!

Last mask from Forever21 that I have tried so far is the Collagen Mask Sheet by Baroness and once again Made in Korea. This highly concentrated mask promises to restore moisture, reduce fine lines, promote elasticity and diminish signs of aging. With a price tag of $1.90, who am I not to give this a try? Infused with collagen and apple extracts for nourishment, this mask leaves your skin feeling refreshed and bright. Soaked in enough formula to apply to your neck area, this product left my face with a fresh complexion, looking more youthful and definitely with a more even tone. This mask does contain alcohol, so use it as directed.

IMG_3380I have yet to try the E Choice Ampoule Mask and other Love & Beauty sheet masks sold at Forever21. With all of the varieties and an almost close to nothing prices, I have bought so many, that I did not have the time to try them all out! However, will I repurchase these from Forever21? Absolutely! Even more than that, these are going to be my stocking stuffers this holiday season for sure!

Last, but never the least is the Sephora Green Tea Mask. I purchased this IMG_3533mask for its mattifying and anti-blemish properties. This mask promised to absorb any excess oil and reduce any blemishes. Having oily skin, it was no question for me as to whether or not I should get this. Good thing about this mask is that it does not contain any alcohol, but citric acid instead. Generously covered in formula, you can probably use this mask twice if you wanted to as there is plenty of residue left in the package. However, I kept it simple and adhered to the instructions. I did leave it on for longer than intended only because it does not have any alcohol in it and I will gladly report that my skin did not have any reaction! The mask itself is very soothing and very cool upon application, and I couldn’t help but imagine how good this would feel on a hot and humid summer day. Dramatics aside, I would say that this mask does what it promises to do. Since I used it before bed, the following morning and throughout the day my face felt less greasy. As for blemishes, I did not really have any so I cannot report on that. I did have a more even skin tone, so I will go ahead and credit the mask with that. Would I repurchase this? YES! I will also give a go to the other formulas that Sephora offers as there are plenty! But I will gladly stock up on the Green Tea one as it almost did wonders for my oily skin. On a side note, Sephora also carries eye masks that I am looking forward to trying out, so stay tuned!

I hope this post sparks your curiosity to give this latest sensation in skin care a try! I promise, you won’t regret it. These masks provide instant results, target a wide range of different skin types, there is no limit as to how often you can use them and at a such affordable price, it is almost a crime not to have these with you at all times. Keep in mind, these masks are not replacements for the usual serums and facials, however they are a great addition to your already established skin routine.

What are your favorite sheet masks?

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