It wasn’t until recent years that sheet masks have become popular here in North America. We can credit the Korean beauty market for starting this skincare trend. The nutrient rich paper thin masks are full of goodness that my skin literally drinks up. Summer is a perfect time to give them a try – I’m always surprised at how “thirsty” my skin really is.

Sheet masks are different from other masks (cleansing, peel, face). Essentially, it’s a skincare product that is made of cotton or other fibreous material, with cut outs for your eyes, mouth and nostrils. When you open the package you’ll find the sheet drenched in liquid. The mask helps retain the nutrients on your skin for a longer more efficient time rather than you applying the concoction with fingers that we tend to not apply enough, or too much, or unevenly to deliver equal amounts of goodies to our skin or it may evaporate or dry too quickly.

Sheet masks can be purchased individually and there are a wide variety of them out there. Or some companies will bundle them for a better deal. But pay attention to what ingredients are involved. A $2 sheet mask, yes, can be found but probably won’t deliver the good stuff.

Not gonna lie, it can be a bit messy to line up on your skin. So, you’ll want to be ready. I tend to apply them when I’m taking my bath. Does it matter what time of day? I don’t believe so. But night seems to work as I wind down for bedtime.  Once you apply the mask to your face you should let it sit for generally 15 to 20 minutes (see individual mask instructions) so your skin can get the full benefits. Just be sure to remove before it dries out.

So, what can they do? Most are looking for the sheet masks to help brighten, calm, rehydrate, or plump up tired skin. I’m always worried about having dull and sun-damaged skin (my skin pigmentation issue is one that I have to maintain all the time). So, I look for ingredients like Vitamin C that helps boost radiance and helps with sunspots as well as calming properties to ease redness.

How often can you use? You can use them daily if you have normal skin. If you have acne prone or sensitive skin like me, I’ve found that twice or three times a week is great.

I like to bring them when I travel as well to help restore my skin after a flight. They are also great after a night of  dancing on the patio.

Here are some of our favourites:

Sulwhasoo First Care Activation Mask: is one of the priciest on the market but for good reason. With proven history in the Asian luxury beauty markets the sheets also includes Korea’s #1 selling facial serum made with precious Korean herbal ingredients to help restore balance in the skin. Customers have raved reporting smoother, more radiant and hydrated skin. The results have also given them a better surface for make up application. Available at Nordstrom ($82 Canadian for 5 sheets)

Consonant Skincare HydraExtreme Charcoal Sheet Mask: new the market is the much loved Canadian brand with a new charcoal infused bamboo sheet mask. Cooling to the face, it’s perfect after a day of being in the heat and humidity. Charcoal is known to purify and anti-aging botanical extracts help hydrate, calm and smooth your skin. While you wait, for your skin to drink up all the nutrients, you might as well meditate. Consonant has created a playlist of meditation programs created with these masks in mind. Link to their site and be ready to zen. 

Image Skincare I MASK Hydrating Hydrogel Sheet Mask: Infused with onsen-sui and jeju water, anti-oxidants, amino acids to help replenish, restore, and quench your thirsty skin. Leaves your skin feeling supple, dewy and fresh. This mask just launched this Summer.

Image Skincare I MASK Anti-Aging Hydrogel Sheet Mask: For a more youthful looking skin, this shet mask is formulated with a blend of botanicals, peptides and antioxidants to rejuvenate and luminate skin. This mask also just launched this Summer.

The Face Shop Clean Face Sebum Control Soothing Mask Sheet: Got sensitive skin or oil prone? This sheet mask is soothing and keeps excess sebum production under control. Soothing Green Tea extracts keeps your skin calm and clean.

Dr. Belmeur Daily Soothing Gauze Sheet Mask: restore moisture and calm to your skin with this low-irritant sheet mask. Includes the ingredient Lanseal to help add an extra layer of moisture and stays on longer.