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What's Up Magazine

Your Best Skin Revealed! At-Home Sheet Masks

Oct 11, 2017 02:00PM ● Published by Becca Newell

By Becca Newell

You’ve probably noticed an influx of white-masked selfies in your Instagram feed. Though the resemblance to those Silver Screen serial killers, à la Friday the 13th’s Jason, is undeniable, the reality is way less frightening. Sheet masks are convenient and quick skincare treatments. Born in Korea, the trend first trickled into the United States in 2014, and has continued to grow ever since. Here’s everything you need to know about this odd-looking beauty ritual that’s destined to be a mainstay in your weekly skincare routine.

How it Works?

The face-shaped sheet—complete with openings for the eyes and mouth—is saturated in a serum, consisting of various complexion-enhancing ingredients. When applied to the face, the sheet’s active ingredients are forced to penetrate the skin while its delivery system acts as a barrier, protecting against the evaporation of those concentrated ingredients. Though these convenient, single-use sheets are a welcome addition to your typical skincare routine, they shouldn’t be considered as a replacement to daily moisturizers or serums.

The Routine

With minimal prep and little cleanup, sheet masks make it easier than ever to treat yourself to a quick, at-home facial. Simply remove the mask from its individual packet and place over a cleansed face for the specified amount of time, generally 15-20 minutes. (Any excess serum can be rubbed into the neck and hands!). Once the treatment time has been reached, remove the mask and pat any remaining serum into face—there’s no need to wash or wipe off the skin. For extremely dry skin, follow sheet masking with a ultra-hydrating moisturizer.

Gently exfoliate skin before applying the mask to remove any dead skin cells and enhance the serum’s effectiveness.

Do not leave the mask on for more than 30 minutes.

Prolonged exposure can draw moisture from the skin, leaving it dry and flaky.

Like any cosmetic or skincare product, sheet masks have a shelf life. Some brands print the expiration date directly on the packet, whereas others print the manufacturing date. The general rule of thumb is to toss products two years after the manufacturing date.

For Korean-manufactured products, look out for either of these symbols, which will be preceded or followed by a date:


The Ingredients

Got a specific skin concern?

Here are some of our favorite skin-enhancing ingredients!

Hyaluronic acid
Sodium hyaluronate

Vitamin C
Rosa Damascena
(Rose) Oil

Aloe Barbadensis
Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Extract

Spearmint Extract

Tea Tree Oil
Salicylic Acid

Retinol/Vitamin A
Niacinamide/Vitamin B3


The Fabrics

Almost as extensive as the range of ingredients in sheet masks is the fabric with which they’re made. While the industry regularly welcomes new materials, these are a few of the most popular varieties.


The most common material in sheet masks, made out of non-woven fibers. With its paper-like texture, these masks don’t always adhere well to the face.

If you opt for a cotton sheet mask, make sure it’s crafted from 100 percent cotton for better quality and efficacy!


Produced by adding serums to gelatin, these gel masks boast a cooling sensation when applied to skin. Be sure to handle with care, since the fabric is delicate and may tear.


An all-natural fiber created from bacteria—the “good” kind—that adheres well to skin and does not dry out. The fabric is strong, despite its moist and gel-like texture.


Made out of aluminum foil, these masks are said to lock in moisture and enhance the penetration of ingredients into the skin.

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