You’ve seen them plastered on the faces of celebrities, models and pretty much everyone else on Instagram. So what is this slightly terrifying, Facekini-resembling beauty trend, exactly? They’re called sheet masks, and we’ve got the answers to all your hard-hitting questions.
So tell me: What is a “sheet mask”?
Hailing from Korea (the beauty trendsetter du jour), sheet masks are basically the lazy girl’s facial. They’re individually wrapped and consist of a thin sheet (made of cotton or even sea kelp) with cutouts for eyes, nose and mouth. Each mask is soaked in highly concentrated serums and liquid botanicals, designed to treat a variety of skin needs from anti-aging to mega-hydrating to brightening.
Cool. What do I do?
Simply unwrap, unfold, place on your face (smoothing out the edges so it lies flush against your skin), lie back and rest for 10 to 20 minutes. After you remove it, gently rub in the leftover serums and boom: a luminous, dewy complexion. You don’t even have to wash up afterward.
How often should I do it?
Whenever you want to pamper yourself. Once or twice a week seems to be popular with the beauty blogger crowd, but amping it up to three to four times in the winter maximizes the moisturizing benefits.
Do they work for all skin types?
Yep. Sheet masks are no-brainers for those with dry skin and for anyone concerned with fine lines and loss of firmness. For improving skin’s elasticity, try one with aloe vera and fermented chrysanthemum. For sensitive skin, look to ones concentrated with ultra-soothing starfish (yes, starfish) extract. For oily skin, consider ginseng-based formulas.
How much do they cost? And where can I buy them?
They vary greatly, from single sheets sold at around $6, to a 10-pack for $170. Online beauty retailers like Sephora sell a solid variety. For those hard-to-find cult brands (from Korea), check out Glow Recipe.
OK, got it. But do you recommend it?
Absolutely. We usually feel the glowy aftereffects for days. And the best part: They’re travel-friendly, so you can step off the airplane as fresh as an off-duty model.