When your skin needs a pick me up, there’s literally nothing your skin will love more than a sheet mask. These moisturizing, brightening, skin illuminating miracle masks are quite literally our skin’s savior, especially during the summer when your skin can get dry and irritated! While they’ve been popping up in the western world in recent years, world-renowned skincare connoisseurs in Korea have been using them for decades. If you’re yet to try a sheet mask or you want to make your own, here’s our definitive guide to making the perfect tailor-made, DIY version.
What they are: A soft cotton/ fiber cloth soaked in skin loving essences and oils. Conveniently, they’re designed with eye, nose and lip holes so you can breathe and see – they do look pretty creepy on, so enjoy freaking out your Snapchat fam. They’re super easy to use (if a little slippery), and there’s no need to wash away any product afterward – you just peel it off and pat the leftover ingredients into your skin. You can do them as often as you like; many women in Korea use them as part of a daily beauty routine.
Why they work: The sheet acts as a barrier to help the serum stay on your skin longer, enhancing absorption, so the product penetrates deep into the epidermis.
Where to get them: There’re hundreds of sheet masks for a ton of skin issues; whether you need major hydration, a collagen-rich formula to plump, a calming fix for acne, or a whitening and brightening mask. My absolute favorite for hydration, has to be the Tony Moly Snail Mask, which is so reasonable priced and hydrates like crazy (trust me it’s awesome), and the revolutionary new Charlotte Tilbury Dry Sheet Mask (check out my review).
Your Ultimate DIY Guide To Sheet Masks
For an even cheaper alternative to shop-bought sheet masks, you can create your own custom-made mix – it’s unbelievably easy! The cotton sheets can be found online at Amazon and will cost you less than $10 for a pack.
HOW TO: Just mix up a concoction of your choice (avoid mixing in a metal bowl), then lay the sheet mask in it and allow it to absorb fully for around a minute. If you don’t have the sheet mask, you can even soak cotton pads in the product and lay them on your skin. Place the sheet on your face and let the beautifying begin! You can leave the mask on for twenty minutes, or for a couple of episodes of your favorite series – it’s all natural goodness so leaving it on for a long time shouldn’t irritate your skin. With any leftover mix, rub it down your neck and chest. If you have loads of mix leftover, soak another face mask in it, and store it in a zip-lock bag in the fridge for the next day.
INGREDIENTS WE LOVE:
Rice paper: You can also buy rice paper sheets, which you can simply soak in warm milk, tea tree or your favorite DIY mix. It turns into a mouldable, jelly-like mask which you can cut (beforehand!) to custom fit your face. Rice has a load of beauty benefits that are ideal for acne-prone skin, like sebum control, reducing redness and swelling, and mattifying oily skin.
The perfect base: If you can get your hands on glycerin – totally not essential – it helps to draw moisture into the skin as well as any other oils or ingredients dissolved in it. Just make sure you maintain a 50:50 ratio with other ingredients, as it needs to be diluted.
For Acne: Tea Tree – it’s anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial. Argan Oil – reduces inflammation and sebum in oily skin, and repairs damaged skin cells. Rose Water – heals acne scarring, regenerates skin tissue, and is anti-inflammatory. Green Tea – full of antioxidants, vitamins, and reduces sebum by 50% (brew two tea bags). Honey – kills the bacteria that causes acne.
For Anti-Ageing: Rose Water or rose oils – penetrates the dermis level, and contains a ton of Vitamin A, which aids in skin cell turnover, keeps wrinkles at bay, and tightens pores. Avocado oil – rich in Vitamin E, which reduces dark skin spots, protects skin, and aids in healing damaged skin. Glycerin – a miracle moisturizer which helps to improve skin’s elasticity, fill lines and creases, promote skin regeneration, and reduces the look of dark circles. Egg whites – shrinks pores and maintains the skin’s elasticity to reduce the appearance of fine lines.
For Brightening and Tightening: Vitamin C – contains ascorbic acid (the A-list of the beauty world), which helps to brighten skin, hydrate, even skin tone, and decrease dark circles. Turmeric – perfect for brightening the skin. Yogurt – contains lactic acid that dissolves dead skin cells and gives you glowing skin. Lemon – high in vitamin C, and contains amino acids that aid your skin’s collagen production, while also brightening your skin.
For Dry Skin Hydration: Bananas (blend with your other ingredients) – rich in potassium and vitamins, which are amazing at moisturizing dehydrated skin. Avocados – packed with Vitamin A, which helps to remove dead skin cells, while the oil is quickly absorbed and also increases blood circulation. Cucumber – high in vitamins which are a godsend for dry skin, and contains silica, which is essential for repairing collagen and elastin.
Play around with quantities, typically you might use a tablespoon of glycerin and two tablespoons of rose water, with a teaspoon of honey and a few drops of your favorite essential oils. Other ingredients we love are Turmeric, Lavender Oil, Papaya, Essential Oils (use sparingly), Aloe Vera, and Coconut Oil. Sheet masks are a firm favorite in our beauty regime but don’t forget your other face masks or scrubs, as they do a totally different job.