Ever since the pandemic began, celebrities have had more time on their hands, and the result is that they post a lot more on social media. That’s how we get information about many of the latest trends in beauty and skincare! One trend we see many is celebrities in ghost-like appearances, their faces covered in an eerie sheet of white. Yes, we’re talking about sheet masks!
The sheet mask trend is not new, although sheet mask-selfies are gaining more traction these days. The trend is believed to have started in South Korea, and as with all things Korean, found a cult following in India as well! Sheet masks are now available from all major beauty brands, with our Indian spin on them, using local ingredients and Ayurvedic formulations.
Sheet masks are thin masks made of materials like cotton, cellulose, bamboo, or gels. The sheet is in the shape of a face, with openings for the eyes, nose, and mouth. The masks are drenched in a solution called ‘essence,’ which gives the mask its power. The essence contains active ingredients in various combinations targeted towards specific skin conditions.
Since the masks are soaked in nutrient-rich essence, they become an instant way to get a mini facial in a single step. The masks are placed directly on the skin, enabling the absorption of all the nutrients from the active ingredients, making them very effective. They are also much more cost and time-efficient than getting a full facial at a salon. Depending upon your skin type and skin problems, you can choose a sheet mask with the right ingredients.
- Dry skin – glycerine, hyaluronic acid
- Oily skin – yogurt, activated charcoal
- Combination skin – sea kelp
- Anti-aging – kiwi extract
- Acne – gel mask, aloe vera
The type of mask also makes a difference. Clear gel masks work better for acne-prone, irritated or sensitive skin, while thick, creamier masks are ideal for nighttime so the nutrients can sink in.
One of the biggest advantages of sheet masks is their convenience. You can easily include them in your daily routine, and you need just about half an hour for the entire process. It can improve the efficacy of other products you apply while fixing any skin problems you may have. However, to get all the benefits from your sheet mask, you need to use it the right way.
Here’s the Right Way to Use Sheet Masks
1. Get everything you need so you’re not getting up and disrupting the process. Have your sheet mask ready, along with a jade roller, if you’re using one. Using a jade roller on top of the mask improves the absorption of ingredients and acts as an extra boost. You might also want a timer or your phone to time the mask’s application.
2. Read the package carefully for instructions to follow. While applying the mask is pretty standard, the time you should leave it on may vary from mask to mask. Most masks are to be left on for 15-20 minutes. If you like, place the mask (and jade roller, if using) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. The chilled mask helps minimize pores and feels more refreshing.
3. Cut open the pack carefully, so you don’t damage the mask. Remove the mask gently and slowly unfold it completely.
4. Carefully place the sheet mask on your face, starting with the portion over the eyes and then smoothening the rest out over the face. The mask should lie flat, clinging to the face, and the openings for the nose and mouth should be in the appropriate places.
5. Take some time to gently pat the mask in place, pressing it lightly into your skin, so it covers as much of your face as possible. Avoid any air bubbles or folds in the mask -it should be as smooth as possible. This is where you can use your roller to smooth the mask into place, getting into all the nooks and crannies.
6. After applying the mask, there is bound to be leftover essence. Apply this all over your neck, chest, arms, and elbows for extra hydration and nutrition. Set the timer for however long you wish to leave the mask on your face. Lie down or relax during this time.
7. When the timer goes off, it’s time to remove the mask. Start peeling off the mask from the bottom of the chin, and pull it upwards. Throw the used mask in the dustbin – do not reuse it.
8. You will still have some residue of the essence on your face. Avoid the tendency to wash or wipe your face. Instead, massage the remaining serum into the skin using small circular motions. You can also use ice cubes wrapped in a face cloth to pat the skin, close any pores, and lock in the moisture.
9. When the serum is fully absorbed into your skin, finish up with a light moisturizer to seal in all the mask’s goodness. If a facial serum is part of your routine, you may apply it before the moisturizer, but generally, you won’t need one after using a sheet mask. If your moisturizer does not have SPF, follow up with sunscreen since sheet masks do not generally offer sun protection.
When using a sheet mask, remember that it is important to stick to the timeline mentioned on the pack. Leaving the sheet mask on for longer than required will cause the sheet to dry up, and it will then reabsorb moisture from your skin. Sheet masks can be used any time during the day, although many people using them at the end of the day when they can truly relax with the mask and let the extra essence soak in through the night. It’s also great to use if you have an event coming up or you’ve just got back from a vacation that involved a lot of outdoor exposure.