Sheet Mask Showdown: Which One Is Right For You?
Sheet masks are a skincare lover’s best friend: They’re portable, efficacious, disposable, and most importantly, total Instagram eye candy. And because sheet masks have become beloved so quickly, the category has grown exponentially, with a slew of different formulations, treatments, and now, textures of sheet masks to choose from. As much as we love having so many options, that giant assortment available to us can be overwhelming at times.
In order to find the best one for you, it’s a matter of knowing what your skin type and needs are, but it’s also about identifying which texture mask is best for you. What, you didn’t know there was more than one?
That’s ok because there’s nothing we love more than teaching people about some of our favorite aspects of K-beauty. Below, you’ll find a breakdown of the five main types of sheet masks, what they do, and who they are best for. Keep reading for all the details.
What They Are: Featuring a cotton-fiber fabric, these coarse masks mimic the texture and feel of paper, making them an inexpensive option. There are also pulp masks, which is a woven cotton that’s slightly finer than traditional fiber styles, yet both still have the same limitation. Because of their paper-like feel, these styles of sheet masks don’t adhere quite as well to the skin and can have some gaps and sliding.
How They Work: The serum-drenched paper is smoothed onto skin, but because of the adhesion lost, efficacious ingredients can evaporate more quickly. So make sure you’re laying down in order to maximize that absorption.
Shop It: Leegeehaam Life Hyal B5 Moisture Mask, $5
What They Are: Similar to a cotton mask, these natural fiber sheet masks have a much finer texture than their cotton counterparts.
How They Work: A pulp sheet mask pretty much works in the pretty much the exact same way a cotton sheet mask does, covering your face with whichever serum it may be soaked in. Keep in mind again, though, that the serums on these masks tend to dry out a bit more quickly.
Shop It: Eight Wonders Choc Choc Black Propolis Sheet Mask, $4
What They Are: Typically produced as two-part “systems,” hydrogel masks have a piece for your upper face as well as your bottom one. The moniker of hydrogel itself is derived from the production process of these masks — blending various serums with gelatin to give them their moist, slippery feel.
How They Work: Because they’re quite literally pre-soaked, make sure you handle a hydrogel mask with kid gloves. The cool, thin film is prone to tearing; but if used correctly, helps to increase absorption of ingredients while providing a sensorial experience, too.
Shop It: Whamisa Organic Fruits & Tomato Fermented Hydrogel Sheet Mask, $9
What They Are: Considered to be the gold standard among all sheet masks, biocellulose formulations are woven from the all-natural fiber to create skin-tight adhesion, allowing for maximum absorption of the efficacious ingredients the mask has been soaked in or made with.
How They Work: To the touch, biocellulose masks feel like a cool gel as well — but unlike their hydrogel cousins, they’re far sturdier as the underlying structure is strong and resilient. Unlike all other sheet masks, they’ll never dry out during wear time, either.
Shop It: Leegeehaam Vita Propolis NutriMask, $5
What They Are: We’re not gonna say we created this new category of sheet mask…but we totally did. Our first-of-its-kind jelly mask is made from natto gum (fermented soybeans) and pressed watermelons. It adheres perfectly to the skin to hydrate and soothe inflammation, making it an excellent priming step before makeup application — or just when you need to cool off.
How They Work: Because the jelly has advanced adhesive technology, the clear gel sheets (it comes in two parts, one for the top half of face and one for the bottom) apply to skin seamlessly. And it barely shows while you’re wearing it, meaning you can literally mask anywhere and everywhere. The moisturizing ingredients are oil-free and absorb immediately helping to hydrate skin without coating it, allowing other skincare products to sink in and to not interfere with a makeup primer.
Shop It: Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask, $8