Surely you've seen the craze on Instagram—celebrities posting selfie photos wearing a facial sheet mask. Lady Gaga did it, so did Christy Teigen. But what's all this obsession over facial sheet masks anyways? How are they good for the skin? And, for the uninitiated, what ingredients should one look for when buying a sheet mask?
Before celebrities started taking "mummy-like" selfies of their favorite facial sheet mask, this in-demand skin-care product was long before part of the Asian beauty routine. Facial sheet masks originated from South Korea, widely known to first popularize many beauty trends, including the BB creams.
In the U.S., facial sheet masks are quickly gaining popularity. In fact, a study by NPD Group indicates that the sale of masks overwhelm other skin-care categories in terms of growth, seeing an estimated increase of about 60 percent.
What Exactly is a Facial Sheet Mask?
Designed to have cut-outs to conveniently fit the face, sheet masks are packed with "good for your skin" serum that penetrates to the skin once applied and left on for 15 minutes or more. They may come in different materials, including paper, fiber or gel.
Perhaps the biggest reason why a facial sheet mask is fast becoming a beauty lover's favorite is because it is far more convenient and less messy to use than a traditional facial mask that often come in a powder or paste.
No mixing powders to form into a paste, no need for a brush to apply and more importantly, no washing and cleaning off the paste after application. Simply apply the sheet, leave it on for the instructed period of time, take off, pat—and viola!—beauty routine accomplished.
Are All Facial Sheet Masks the Same?
Not all facial sheet masks are cut the same. When looking for your first sheet mask, carefully research each ingredient and see if this particular formulation addresses your specific skin concern.
Of the many facial sheet masks I've personally tried and tested, I love the many options provided by WHEN Facial Sheet Masks. Made in Korea, WHEN masks are packed with Bio-Craft Serum, a proprietary blend of plant extract, gentle exfoliating hyaluronic acid and hydrating ginseng extract.
WHEN facial sheet masks are made of 100 percent coconut bio cellulose fibers. Why does this make a difference? This type of fiber holds serum 10 times more than fabric or paper sheet masks, which means it prevents quick evaporation and allows longer timeframe for ingredients to deeply penetrate the skin, giving you the full hydrating benefits of ingredients.
What Should I Look For in a Facial Sheet Mask?
Different brands have different formulations, but when addressing specific skin concerns, there are certain ingredients that are great to know when buying a facial sheet mask.
WHEN, for instance, offer five different facial sheet masks to address various skin needs:
Skin Concern: Anti-Aging
Your Best Bet: WHEN 10:00 PM
If your main concern is to target fine lines and wrinkles, WHEN 10:00 PM makes for a great addition to your nighttime beauty routine. It is enriched with hydrolyzed collagen that reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It also contains hyaluronic acid to protect and aid hydration, and ginseng extracts to keep skin looking healthy and glowing.
Skin Concern: Sagging Skin
Your Best Bet: WHEN GLAMOUR BASE
This Firming Mask is packed with Adenosine and peptide-rich serum to help collagen production, in the process improving skin elasticity. Personally, I love using it as a makeup primer because my skin feels so tight after using this facial sheet mask.
Skin Concern: Stressed-Looking Skin
Your Best Bet: WHEN TRAVELMATE
If you happen to be always on the go, your skin is more likely to get exposed to the elements. This skin repair and rejuvenating mask serum is enriched with Swiss alpine herb extract, which helps to rejuvenate, repair and soothe the skin. It also contains chamomile flower water which refreshes the skin from exposure to UV rays and dry air.
Skin Concern: Dark Spots and Discoloration
Your Best Bet: WHEN SNOW MAGIC
There's no denying the sad truth: the older you are, the more age spots show. This skin brightening mask is packed with Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) to reduce hyperpigmentation and help brighten the skin. For an added layer of protection, it contains aloe vera leaf extract which helps replenish skin moisture.
Skin Concern: Dry Skin
Your Best Bet: WHEN THE LAST CHOICE
A super hydrating facial sheet mask that penetrates deeply into the skin, this mask contains hyaluronic acid and saccharide isomerate which are proven to give skin an extra boost of hydration.
Apart from the fact that this facial sheet mask is free of harmful ingredients like parabens, sulfates and phthalates, they also make spa day less expensive and super convenient at home. And for this savvy-spending mama who doesn't have a ton of time for spa days, I'll take any chance I can get when it comes to a budget-friendly pampering at home!
Have you ever tried a facial sheet mask before? How was that experience like for you? I'm curious to know. Let's chat in the comment box below!