Sheet masks, face masks - call them what you want but there is no ignoring them.
From top-level cosmetics companies to discount fashion retailers, the sheet mask has become everyone's favourite skin treat.
But what's all the fuss about? How do you tell a sheet mask winner from a face mask failure?
First up, the modern breed of masks we know and love are termed sheet masks to differentiate them from a face mask. A face mask can be loosely applied to any kind of gooey product that you keep on your face for a while. A sheet mask is exactly that - a sheet of fibre that delivers it's ingredients direct to your skin whilst making you look incredibly creepy at the same time.
Under the Sheets
The sheet provides a barrier between your skin and the outside world, giving the ingredients uninterrupted access to your skin without evaporating.
Typically a sheet mask will have mouth, nose and eye holes and comes out of its pack soaking (possibly dripping!) with its ingredients. Cold, wet and soggy - you put it on by lining up the holes and gently pressing onto the skin.
Masks come in a variety of different materials - usually organic fibres - such as cotton, cellulose and coconut pulp.
The Sheet Mask Treatment
Sheet masks work best as a stand-alone treatment, applied to a freshly cleansed face. However, if you do want to incorporate one into your skin care routine occasionally use it towards the end just before moisturising. It's a good habit to apply moisturiser after using a mask to lock in the ingredients.
Applying a sheet mask makes a great addition to your skin care regime, and they can be used daily if you feel the need. Think of them as an extra treat for your skin or use them to solve a particular problem. Different sheet masks are formulated to offer specific results, so search out the right one to target your desired outcome.
It's All About the Ingredients
As with most hydrating and soothing products the main ingredient in a sheet mask's solution is water. After that there is a whole world of ingredients to enjoy and discover. Masks containing Hyaluronic Acid will boost hydration as the acid draws water into the skin. Vitamin C and Kojic Acid are common ingredients in masks designed to brighten.
Organic extracts are also popular ingredients; look out for green tea, aloe vera, rice extract and charcoal.
It is really important to read each mask's individual instructions as different ingredients work over different time periods. As a rule of thumb sheet masks should be left on for no longer than twenty minutes. The beneficial properties of the mask may actually be reversed if you keep it on for longer than needed.
A Portable Boost
The great thing about sheet masks is that they are easy to carry and quick to apply, making them perfect for skin care on the go. While wearing on mid-flight may freak out your fellow passengers, a sheet mask boost on a long journey will perk up your skin in time for you to reach your destination. There's no need to wash off the solution once your 20 minutes is up, just take the mask off and enjoy that refreshed feeling.
If you have any of the essence left in the pack or on the outside of the mask apply it to the neck, arms and hands for some cheeky extra benefits.
As with everything in skin care, the ingredients are key. Do your research and check the ingredients of your chosen mask carefully. Everyone's skin is different and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another. This true for both the type of ingredients and how often your skin is comfortable with having one applied.
Sheet masks are really affordable and come in loads of varieties so grab a selection and test them out. Try different types of fibre, different frequencies and different active ingredients to learn what works for your skin.
New to sheet masks? Browse our range here. All our products are selected based on quality proven ingredients at an affordable price.
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