“Sheet masks do have a role, when you know which ones are decent and when to use them”. - Gráinne Callaghan
I am notoriously critical of sheet masks. I am of the opinion they are gimmicky, expensive and ineffective. Not to mention cold, slimy and ill fitting. Some companies boast that one mask contains 30ml(a full bottle) of serum. Eh... your skin doesn't need, nor can it absorb an entire bottle of what has to be cheap serum in one sitting. That's like eating a month's dinners in one go for the extra nutrients. It makes no sense.
Another reason I am not a fan, is that people tend to use them hoping to see results, but they have a poor daily skin routine to begin with.
If you are not washing your face twice per day and wearing an SPF religiously, what's the point of using a sheet mask once per week and spending a tenner on it. A great SPF can be as little as €25, which is 2.5 sheet masks. A bottle of SPF has A LOT more benefits than a single use sheet mask.
Sheet masks do have a role, when you know which ones are decent and when to use them.
Firstly, ensure you have a decent skin routine. Wash your face twice daily with a gentle cleanser and some water, apply a hydrating serum and some form of vitamin A. Use SPF in the morning and a lightweight moisturiser in the evening. Hey presto, a decent skin routine.
Dehydrated and dry skins
Sheet masks can add an extra hydration boost for your skin, used once weekly, or before an event to boost hydration levels for a day or so. The Thalgo Thirst Quenching Shot Mask is a very high quality mask and has soothing and hydrating ingredients including blue ocean sap and hyaluronic acid.
Apply to the skin and leave on for 30 mins or so, remove and apply any spare serum to the neck and hands. Better yet you can apply it to the skin for 20 mins and then throw it on your chest for the last 10. You will look mental with a face shaped mask on your chest, so dont answer the door to the DHL man.
If your skin is dull and in need of a pick me up, using a sheet mask can give you a bit of life again, albeit short lived. Try the Clinicare EGF Glow Mask, which contains hyaluronic acid, morus alba bark extract and aloe vera.
Don't waste your money on sheet masks please. Save up and invest in the Environ Sebu Clear Mask. Pricey, but effective. Use it sparingly and on problematic areas and it will last ages. This is not a luxurious product for a pamper night in front of tubs on a friday. This is hard core, hard working stuff, designed to achieve results.
I wouldn't bother with sheet masks here either. Retinol, Vit C and Glycolic acid are your friends here.
After a treatment
After a treatment in a salon such as a peel, your therapist may apply a sheet mask. This is also for the cooling effect they have, but it can be a nice way to end a treatment. Unless you're me, then you wont like having a slimy cold thing put on you.
When using Cryo Globes
Some people like to use a sheet mask to provide slip on the skin for the ease of using cryo globes. I myself would use an oil but a sheet mask in this instance is a perfect tool. The Goddess Collection has a gorgeous set of cryo globes if you're in the market for a pair.
To conclude, a sheet mask can add something to an already established routine, but they are not groundbreaking. The majority of them are gimmicky, well marketed and ineffective as they do not contain many active ingredients. The Thalgo and Clinicare masks are the best ones I can find. Contact me on instagram if you have found an amazing sheet mask. I'm waiting to be converted.
Gráinne Callaghan from Westmeath is the owner of Bright Skin, an online education and consultation service. Brightskin.ie offers Online Skin Assessments €40 for clients and educational Webinars for people working with skin and skincare. She is a former secondary school teacher with a passion for educating people about skin and skincare and providing fact and science led information to her clients. No BS, no marketing, no sales targets, just honest advice.