All you need to know about sheet masks
Here at kO:Skins, we believe everyone should incorporate face masks into their skin routine. No, we aren’t talking about the face coverings that have become an indispensable part of our wardrobe now. If you’re a skincare junkie, you've most likely come across sheet masks. If you’re a newbie who just enters the fascinating world of skincare (welcome! There’s no turning back now!), you’re probably wondering what a sheet mask is and what it does and why everyone is raving about it so much (besides that it makes for a cute instagram pic). Since sharing is caring, we’ll be dishing everything we know about face masks now!
History of face mask
You’ll be surprised to find that face masks have actually been around for thousands of years, and the origins can be traced all the way back to Egypt. The ancient Egyptian civilisation was innovative in many aspects and one of them was beauty. Archaeologists not only discovered Cleopatra’s cosmetics factories and baths near the Dead Sea, but reliefs also depicted people covering their faces with sea mud while taking a mud bath because the mud of the Dead Sea contains minerals that could brighten complexion and aid in anti-ageing.
On the other side of the Earth, Yang Guifei, a consort of Emperor Xuanzhong during the Tang Dynasty, who was considered to be one of the great beauties in ancient China, would ground almonds and talc into a fine powder and mixed with borneol, musk and egg white. After washing her face, she would apply this concoction to her face every day and night to maintain youth and beauty.
In the 18th century, a woman known as Madam Rowley in England came up with an invention called “Toilet Mask” to help people to whiten, purify, and improve skin conditions. It can be seen as the predecessor of sheet masks. Fast forward to the 21st century, the sheet masks we know today were first developed by the Japanese skincare brand SKII using non-woven fabrics drenched in serum.
Benefits of sheet masks
While the West is more familiar with wash-off masks and peel-off masks, sheet masks have taken Asia by storm due to the effectiveness and convenience, particularly in Korea. Sheet masks are the secret to dewy glass skin for Koreans. Because of the widespread K-Beauty influence, sheet masks are also becoming increasingly popular all over the world in recent years.
So what makes sheet masks more effective than serums when it comes to nourishing your skin? The ingredient penetration is far superior to that of a few drops of serum or any topical moisturiser. As mentioned before, depending on the mask, the sheet is infused with serum consisting of ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, collagen, or vitamins to address skin concerns. When you lay the sheet mask on your clean face for 10-20 minutes, the airtight sealing effect prevents evaporation and allows your skin to absorb these nutrients deeper.
Different types of sheet mask for skin concerns
Today, sheet masks can be made out of different materials such as fibre, cotton, biocellulose, hydrogel, foil, rubber, charcoal, and more. Among these, fibre and cotton are perhaps the most common ones you can find.
Sheet masks can usually help with hydrating, brightening, firming, or oil control. There are so many options available, it’s important to pick the right sheet mask by looking at the ingredients based on your skin goals. For example, if you have dry skin, hyaluronic acid, squalene, ceramides, and shea butter can provide intense moisture; for dull skin, vitamin c, niacinamide, and rice do wonder to brighten the complexion; and charcoal can absorb excess sebum for acne-prone skin.
Here are our recommendations from the wide selection of sheet masks available on our site.
For hydrating: TIMELESS TRUTH Shark Delicate Hydrating Squalene Fiber Cloth
This sheet mask is packed with moisturising ingredients such as shea butter, olive oil, hyaluronic acid, and squalene to give your skin a boost of hydration.
For skin-brightening: MAMONDE Magnolia
With Magnolia extract, this mask not only smells wickedly good but also can brighten your face. The mask is super adhesive and fits perfectly to the face, so ingredients can be absorbed better.
For firming: INNISFREE Ginseng
Ginseng is an effective ingredient known to prevent the ageing of skin. Apply this nourishing mask to improve fine lines and wrinkles while moisturising your skin.
For oil/acne control: TIMELESS TRUTH Anti Imperfection Black Charcoal
If you have acne-prone skin, you can never go wrong with a charcoal mask. This one from Timeless Truth can unclog pores and clear impurities. It’s vegan-friendly as well.