When it comes to sheet masks, if you’ve found yourself questioning their effectiveness, you’re not alone. Some beauty products just seem like they’re, well, superfluous.
After all, how much can you really accomplish with 20 minutes of concentrated sheet mask soaking? As it turns out, a lot. WWD spoke to New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Kavita Mariwalla to find out what people should look for when it comes to sheet masks, how they help and what concerns they address. First off, she says that they should be thought of as a “little boost” to your regular skincare routine.
“Depending on what the material is that the mask is made of, it can calm the skin or it can help drive ingredients into the skin,” explains Mariwalla. “Moisture and occlusion always help make ingredients absorb into the skin better and that is essentially what all sheet masks do.”
Mariwalla also explained that they can definitely help with moisture, especially when used regularly. That said, many of the benefits are temporary — similar to the effects of a facial. The best part about them is that they are a great, less expensive alternative to a facial that you can do right in the comfort of your own home.
The Benefits of Sheet Masks
With so many options on the market, there’s really a sheet mask that can help with just about any skin care concern you’re currently facing off against. “You can target them for specific skin concerns like dryness or acne, or if you have been out in the sun a lot and need something to give you after-sun care,” says Mariwalla.
The Different Types of Sheet Masks
While traditional sheet masks have been around now for a while, under eye and lip-specific masks have grown in popularity on social media. Especially when it comes to masks that target puffy and dark under eyes, Mariwalla is on board. “I am a big fan of under-eye masks because the skin there is so delicate anyway and it is easy to get ingredients to penetrate that skin in order to make a big improvement,” she says.
If you’re looking for the best under-eye masks and patches that target darkness or puffiness, Mariwalla says to look for masks that contain caffeine or vitamin K. She also says that lip masks can be especially helpful when your lips are feeling really dry since the mask holds in concentrated moisture to give damaged skin a moisture-infused advantage. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid and antioxidants to hydrate and nourish.
Best Sheet Masks for Sun Damaged or Irritated Skin
1. SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative Masque 6-Pack
Mariwalla loves this SkinCeuticals mask and finds it super effective. It contains biocellulose fibers that distribute water, which reduces heat from damaged skin and then acts as an occlusive to make sure it stays put. This is a great option if you’re looking for some relief for sun-damaged skin or skin that’s suffering from redness or irritation.
2. Pacifica Sea & C After Sun Cool & Glow Facial Sheet Mask
Not only does this Pacifica sheet mask smell like refreshing citrus, it contains aloe, banana, ginseng and lemon peel extracts to soothe sun damaged skin. It feels super cooling and it will immediately work to reduce redness.
3. TonyMoly I’m Real Aloe Mask Sheet
This TonyMoly sheet mask is packed full of aloe, which will leave your lobster-red skin feeling much cooler. You can also leave it on for up to 20 minutes, and the relief will continue for hours after you take it off. Don’t worry, it’s free of parabens, sulfates and all other bad-for-you ingredients.
Best Sheet Masks for Dry Skin
4. Charlotte Tilbury Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask
This Charlotte Tilbury sheet mask contains niacinamide and peptides so that your skin receives moisture and nourishment. Each one can be used up to three times since it’s made of a textile fabric that has been infused with little pockets of effective ingredients. Leave it on for 15 minutes and get ready for facial-quality results.
5. Wishful Thirst Trap Rose & Aloe Vera Soothing Sheet Mask
Wishful‘s sheet mask contains hollyhock rose extract, sodium hyaluronate and aloe vera, all of which work to pump moisture into the skin. It will leave your face feeling much more plump and hydrated. The aloe vera is also great for soothing any irritation or redness.
6. Farmacy Coconut Gel Sheet Mask
No ingredient is quite as hydrating or soothing as coconut water, and this Farmacy mask is chock-full of it. It also contains hyaluronic acid and cucumber extract, which work to add in moisture and leave the skin feeling calm and relaxed.
7. Burt’s Bees Hydrating Facial Sheet Mask
Burt’s Bees facial sheet mask contains watermelon extract, which not only smells amazing, but provides a heavy dose of hydration for your skin. And thanks to botanicals, your skin will look more radiant than ever before.
Best Sheet Masks for Sensitive Skin
8. Tatcha Luminous Dewy Skin Sheet Mask
Tatcha‘s sheet mask is super gentle and will give your skin with a luminous, red-carpet ready glow. It’s made of super thin (100-times thinner than a human hair, to be exact) microfiber, and works to deliver 20-milliliters of serum into the skin. It’s packed full of vitamin E, fatty acids and botanical oils.
9. Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Foil Sheet Mask
If you have sensitive skin that reacts to just about everything, this Bliss sheet mask is for you. It contains colloidal gold, which is known to be very soothing, as well as rose flower extract, which will toss in some antioxidants for good measure. It’s also vegan and cruelty-free, so you can trust that you’re not hurting the environment while helping your skin.
10. Avène Soothing Sheet Masks 5-Pack
If you’re familiar with Avène‘s soothing thermal water spray, you’ll love this mask. It’s super gentle, and contains lots of the thermal spring water, which will soften and calm your skin. It also contains sorbitol, which adds in moisture, as well as super-fine cellulose, which will help the nourishing ingredients to deeply penetrate the skin.
11. Loops Sheet Mask Variety Pack
These Loops masks are made of a hydrogel material that feels super high-quality and really works to hold the ingredients in. This pack comes with five different masks: sunrise service, night shift, clean slate, double take and weekly reset. Each mask prioritizes a different skin care concern so that you’re prepared for whatever the week ahead holds.
12. Joanna Vargas Euphoria Sheet Mask 5-Pack
Joanna Vargas‘ sheet mask includes aloe vera in powder form, which is much more concentrated and soothing. It also contains chamomile to soothe skin and sodium hyaluronate to hydrate the skin. In addition to these skin-loving ingredients, it also contains vitamin D, which adds in some much-needed nourishment.
Skin-Clearing Sheet Masks
13. Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Clearing Solution Masks
This Dr. Jart+ mask is the perfect solution if you have a breakout that you’re looking to get rid of fast. It has glutathione and niacinamide, which contain antioxidants and brightening solutions so that your skin can take back the nourishment it’s been lacking. It also contains salicylic acid and tea tree oil to zap away excess oil.
14. GlamGlow Bubblesheet Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask
Think of this GlamGlow mask as a really cool face wash — you apply it to damp skin and allow it to stay on for just three minutes. It contains bamboo, charcoal and green tea — all of which help to cleanse the skin by removing impurities. It also bubbles up, which helps to oxygenate the skin.
Best Firming Sheet Masks
15. SK-II Pitera Facial Treatment Mask 10-Pack
SK-II is known for their proprietary ingredient called Pitera, which is in their super popular and effective facial essence, and contains a heavy dose of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. This sheet mask will infuse your skin with 30-milliliters of the stuff, which is equivalent to a third of a smaller bottle of the essence, in just one sitting.
16. Soon Skincare Biocellulose Firming Face Mask
This Soon Skincare mask pulls from the tenets of Korean beauty to bring a mask packed with ingredients like purslane, which contains antioxidants, fatty acids and vitamins A, B, C and E. It also has niacinamide, and pomegranate, which work to moisturize and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
Best Eye Mask
17. Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Sheet Mask 6-Pack
These Wander Beauty eye masks may concentrate on one specific area of the face, but Mariwalla thinks that it’s totally worth the investment. While the gold foil may look pretty, it also helps hold in the heat and ingredients in the mask so that they can really get to work underneath. They contain hyaluronic acid, peptides and amino acids, all of which will moisturize and plump your dry under eyes so that wrinkles are less visible.