A tribute to sheet masks

I have been using face masks for years. I guess I was 9 years old when I put on my first face masks. It was one of those you had to make yourself with prefabricated powder and water.

I always felt super grown up when I had one on my face. I think that was due to 90s movies, where women always watch TV with a face mask on and a bowl of Ben and Jerry ice cream. Self care in the nineties.

I continued to use face masks, until my mother came home with a sheet mask for me and my sisters. I remember it was a gold one and according to the seller it was a hype in Asia. We were sold by the ease and speed of the sheet masks. Since then I use it more often.

Actually I always buy a sheet mask when I get beauty products or usually there is one for free. I try to use one a week, but according to the strict Korean skincare routine, you should use one per day. For me that goes a bit too far, mainly because good sheet masks aren’t very cheap.

Nevertheless, I now want to pay tribute to the sheet masks. A beauty product where you always see immediate results and because it’s always fun to try new ones!

What are sheet masks?

Photo: Leung Po Chan

A sheet mask is a face-shaped fabric soaked in one or more active ingredients. Because they are serum-based, your skin is nourished more deeply. The sheet is made of papers, gel types or fibers.

Funny detail: they are called sheet masks, because of their resemblance to the Phantom of the opera accessory.

Sheet masks differ from face masks, because you only need to apply and take off. With face masks you have to wash off the paste afterwards.

The sheet masks are individually wrapped and can be used once. This makes them easy and quick to use.

The origin of sheet masks

Sheet masks were already used by Parisian women in 1857. They covered their face with slices of beef to avoid signs of aging. Later they used ready made masks cut from cloth in which they incorporated moisturizers and oil. These were the forerunners of the sheet masks we know today.

Sheet masks have been used in Asia for years. It was already part of the J-beauty skincare routine, but K-beauty made its use really big. K-beauty has developed hundreds of sheet masks for different purposes. So if you are a K-beauty fan, you have probably tried quite a few.

Sheet masks are also starting to gain popularity in the Western beauty industrie. For a while it was a trend among celebrities on Instagram, in which they took selfies with their sheet masks.

Sheet masks has also become popular in the Western Beauty industrie
Photo: YakobchukOlena via Getty Images

The benefits of sheet masks

Although there are sheet masks for different purposes, all sheet masks are best used to moisturize your face. The paper ensures that the ingredients don’t evaporate, so that they can better penetrate into your skin.

Photo: Leung Po Chan

In addition, most of the sheet masks consists of the following 3 ingredients: antioxidants, ceramides and hyaluronic acid.

  • Antioxidants protect the skin against free radicals in the air, causing cell damage and aging.
  • Ceramide blocks environmental factors, like pollution and bacteria.
  • Hyaluronic acid is a hydrator. It creates a barrier for the skin, locks in moisture and improves the texture.

But beware if you suffer from acne. A sheet mask increases the temperature of your skin. This allows the bacteria to multiply on your face. This can cause acne. And certain sheet mask oils, such as egg oil and coconut oil, can clog your pores.

Populair Korean sheet masks

Front Photo by Aiony Haust on Unsplash


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