Sheet masks are not new, yet it has only been of late that they have truly become a staple in many beauty junkies’ skincare routines. Then the inevitable question came along: Is it really okay to use a sheet mask everyday?
Many celebrities swear by doing a sheet mask at least once a day, sometimes twice or even three times daily if they had the time (and money) for it. Chinese actress Fan Bingbing, for example, is well-known for using more than 300 facial masks annually. On the medical side, dermatologists generally agree that using sheet masks daily is fine – there’s a caveat, of course, but we’ll discuss more in-depth later.
Just like many of our readers, this question of whether it is acceptable to use a sheet mask daily has been on my mind for very long – as long as since I started developing this habit about four years ago. I first started out using a sheet mask once a week when I was in my teens, and then went on to increase my usage until it became a habit for me to relax with a sheet mask every evening or night, without fail.
Here’s what I’ve found out about using a sheet mask everyday (yes, every single day) and what it does to your skin:
You may forego certain steps in your skincare routine
Personally, I have sensitive combination-oily skin, so I’ve always struggled to find a moisturiser that won’t clog my pores and cause breakouts. Even certain lightweight serums have constantly clogged my pores, so I would just cut out these steps out of my routine completely. A few years ago, I did a skin analysis and was told that my skin was breaking out even further due to the fact that it was dehydrated, which left me incredibly frustrated.
I reintroduced hydrating sheet masks back into my routine, and slowly started making it a habit again when I noticed that sheet masks were doing wonders for my skin: my pores were visibly less clogged, my complexion started looking much better, and my skin generally felt a lot better than before. Fast forward to today, I’ve slowly started adding serums and essences back into my routine, but sometimes I still forego them because I feel that my daily sheet mask is sufficient.
The truth is, sheet masks are pieces of sheets soaked in serum and/or essence, so you can more or less infer why they are good replacements for quite a few products in your skincare routine.
Some dermatologists argue that skin hydration provided by traditional sheet masks doesn’t last more than one day, which is why they caution against replacing a hydrating serum with a hydrating mask. However, if you are using a hydrating sheet mask once or even twice a day, it can be sufficient hydration for those who have normal to oily skin.
If you have sensitive skin, you will also find that sheet masks are a good option because they use fewer preservatives in the formulas, which means fewer chances of causing irritation on your skin.
You never have to worry about dehydrated skin again
Some of you may firmly believe that sheet masks are no replacement for your serums and essences. Even so, sheet masks are still perfect for boosting hydration levels.
The paper in the mask seals the ingredients to prevent them from evaporating, letting them better penetrate into the skin. The theory is that sheet masks use the material to trap active ingredients on the skin, forcing it to lock in the moisture and receive all the benefits. Hence, when you put a mask on your skin, you are definitely increasing the water content in your skin.
Even the skin experts agree on the amazing hydration that sheet masks can provide you with. For instance, Beverly Hills-based dermatologist Ava Shamban compares daily sheet masking to “using a super-powered moisturiser every day rather than a regular moisturiser.”
My personal experience is that hydrating sheet masks are perfect for people with combination-oily skin in cold and dry climates. I once struggled with dry and flakey skin when I travelled to Korea, notorious for their freezing and drying winters. I made sure to stick to my daily routine of using sheet masks and all it took was just hydrating sheet masks – no serum, no essences, no moisturisers – to replenish the lost moisture in my skin!
That being said, my experience will probably not apply to those with drier skin types. However, using sheet masks everyday can still help to make sure that your hydration levels stay at optimal levels even after you have used your other products, so you can be sure that you’ll never suffer from the problem of dehydrated skin again.
Any skin problems can be resolved with sheet masks first
I’ve often struggled with problems such as skin irritation, breakouts, and the occasional sunburns, thanks to the fact that I have sensitive and acne-prone skin.
If I’m unlucky enough, or when I am travelling, I may even have a whole slew of skin problems to deal with at the same time. The tricky part is also that my pores get clogged easily and I have to steer clear of skincare routines that require me to use too many products, so I avoid using a variety of targeted solutions even though I know that they will work well for me. However, I have found that one particular product has worked very well in helping me to kill more than two birds with one stone: sheet masks.
You can find a variety of sheet masks in the market that are chock full of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals, each with their own set of benefits. The amazing thing about the effective sheet masks is that they really work, and they work fast. All you have to do is pick a sheet mask that suits your skin concerns for the day and plop it on for 10 to 20 minutes – you can expect to wake up to much better skin the next day!
Let’s say you are dealing with a bad breakout: you can use a sheet mask that is targeted at acne, blemishes and/or blemish-prone skin, as this type is usually formulated with ingredients that can unclog and purify your pores. The next day, you should notice that not only is your breakout only under control, but some of your blemishes may have also started healing!
For those who suffer from skin irritation caused by unsuitable skincare products or even, say, the recent haze, using a sheet mask can also instantly soothe and calm your skin.
With so many different benefits that sheet masks can offer, it’s easy to see why doing a sheet mask can become extremely addictive and lead to a daily habit that you find difficult to quit over time!
Sheet masks for daily use
While sheet masks can be used everyday, here’s something you have to take note: not all types of sheet masks are suitable for daily use.
According to Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and associate clinical professor, department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center, you should not use a glycolic acid-containing sheet mask everyday. Sheet masks labeled “anti-ageing”, which are usually formulated with exfoliating glycolic acid, are too strong for daily use and can cause irritation.
Some people also argue that using one sheet mask everyday is expensive. Fortunately, there are cheap and good options out there in the market that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. Korean brands, for example, can cost only SGD0.50 if you are buying them straight from Korea, or even on Shopee. If you use, say, SGD1 sheet masks to replace your expensive serums and essences, you are paying about SGD365 for an entire year’s worth of skincare, which actually works out to be a pretty good deal!
Below are five sheet masks that I highly recommend for daily use. Most of them are rather affordable – the more expensive ones that can be used more frequently if you have the spending power.
Mediheal N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask
Anyone who loves using Korean sheet masks would surely have heard of Mediheal before. The brand sells one of the best-fitting cellulose sheet masks on the market, and the N.M.F Aquaring is one of the most popular variants.
If you are looking for a sheet mask that can provide instant moisture for the skin, this is the one you should definitely use. Besides replenishing moisture in your skin, the N.M.F Aquarinig Ampoule Mask also helps to tighten your pores, regulate sebum, and even solve any allergies caused by dry skin – truly an all-in-one skincare product!
The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Sheet – Cucumber
The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Sheet – Cucumber has received a 4.5 rating from over 1500 customers, so you know that this is definitely a mask that will win your heart.
Cucumbers have long been used in skincare for its soothing properties – it contains Vitamin C and caffeic acid, both of which reduce skin inflammation and irritation. Its high water content also makes it an ideal ingredient for dehydrated skin and plumping out fine lines.
This sheet mask is soaked with cucumber essence and works supremely well to cool dull and dry skin without clogging your pores at all. I strongly recommend using this sheet mask when you are travelling, especially to places where you are unsure of the climate and how your skin may react to the environment. This has been a life saviour when I was travelling: it drastically reduced acne when used daily for two weeks!
The Face Shop Real Nature Mask Sheet – Cucumber retails at SGD0.90 per sheet on Shopee.
Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mask Sheet
Most beauty junkies worth their salt would know about Nature Republic’s Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel. For those who love the aloe vera gel but want a fuss-free application, the Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mask is a sheet mask that you definitely need to include in your arsenal.
This sheet mask contains the same 92% aloe vera leaf extract that made the original holy grail so popular, which has excellent water-holding properties that create a film of moisture on your skin for long-lasting hydration. It feels less thick and viscous than the gel itself, making this perfect even for people with oily skin and easily-clogged pores!
Nature Republic Aloe Vera 92% Soothing Gel Mask Sheet retails at SGD5.40 per sheet on Shopee.
Innisfree My Real Squeeze Mask – Green Tea
Green tea is a common sheet mask variant, thanks to the natural ingredient’s moisturising and soothing properties. Innisfree’s My Real Squeeze Mask is well-known for being formulated with real essences and extracts, and one of the most popular ingredients (which go out of stock very often in Korea!) is definitely the Green Tea sheet mask.
Although it looks like an ordinary cotton mask, it is actually made with a Jeju green complex, consisting of green tea, tangerine, white lotus, camelia, and orchid. The three-layered cotton sheet also ensures long-lasting hydration and better adherence, so you’ll love pampering yourself with this every night.
Innisfree My Real Squeeze Mask – Green Tea retails at SGD2 per sheet in Innisfree stores and Shopee.
TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Sheet Mask
This sheet mask from TONYMOLY features a special fermented Korean green tea called ‘ChungTaeJeon’ with over a thousand years of history. The green tea is naturally fermented through sunlight for over 365 days and provides soothing hydration that lasts.
Many users have reported seeing fresh and luminous skin after using this sheet mask, especially after consistent usage over a period of time. I personally enjoy using this as well on days that my skin feels like it’s on the verge of a breakout as it comes with a very lightweight essence that is easily absorbed by the skin, so I can rest easy knowing that this won’t clog my pores at all even if I use it everyday.
TONYMOLY The Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Sheet Mask retails at SGD3.39 per sheet on YesStyle.