Ever wondered what’s the point of putting on masks? Unlike in the past, masks are no longer occasional indulgences; they have become essential steps in many skincare routines. However, for mask beginners, the crazy variety of masks available on the market would surely be nothing short of dizzying. How do you make sense of the different masks and decide which is appropriate for you?

Here, we provide you with just what you need to know: The five main kinds of masks in the market, how to use them, and some recommendations that you can consider (regardless of your skin type, there is bound to be an appropriate mask for you)!

1. (Paper) sheet masks

Sheet masks have long been a staple in Asian skin care. Generally, a sheet mask consists of a thin cotton sheet doused in a liquid-based formula. The different types of sheet masks are designed to help a huge range of skin types  – they range from brightening to pore control to hydrating. All you need to do is to leave the mask over your face for 10-15 minutes for your skin to absorb the goodness of it. After 10-15 minutes, massage/tap the excess product on your skin with the tip of your fingers.

The best thing about sheet masks – they are so portable that some have made them their airplane staple (this is especially because our skin condition worsens on the plane)!

Here are some of our recommendations:

FANCL Moisturizing Mask (SGD64 per box, 6 pieces in a box)

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This mask provides intensive hydration. It strengthens the skin’s natural defence barrier to prevent moisture loss, alleviate dry lines, rough skin texture, and skin peeling. Your skin will be left supple and hydrated!

FANCL Moisture Lock Eye Mask (SGD23, 3 pairs in a box)

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Don’t neglect your eyes! There are sheet eye masks too. The FANCL Moisture Lock Eye Mask effectively prevents dryness and fine lines, helps to reduce eye’s dullness and restores moisture, plumpness, and glow to your skin.

However, if you find the above masks a tad too costly, fret not; there are sheet masks for every skin type and every budget. Popular and more budget-friendly brands include My Beauty Diary, Innisfree, and Tony Moly. For example, My Beauty Diary’s Strawberry Yogurt mask is the paper mask to go to to combat or prevent breakouts, if you have combination to oily skin. It can cost as little as two boxes (of 10) for SGD27 at SaSa and Watsons. It’s even cheaper if you buy it from Taiwan.

strawberry yogurt mask my beauty diary

2. Bio cellulose masks

Bio cellulose masks are distinct from paper sheet masks. We have previously discussed the difference between bio cellulose masks and paper sheet masks – if you’re interested, you can open up the link in a new tab to save for reading later. Bio Cellulose masks are masks made of a natural fibre with a diameter of 20 nanometers (1000 times thinner than human hair). Its key benefit is that it is extremely hydrating because the material is hydrophilic (it simply means “water-loving”). As they can hold large amounts of water within the material itself, it brings large amounts of moisture to your skin. As such, it is perfect for dry and/or dehydrated skin. We recommend:

For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Boi-Cellulose Mask

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This mask is extremely hydrating, and is also a very good whitening mask that helps to reduce and lighten brown spots on your face.

3. Wash-off masks

Wash-off masks are literally masks that you apply on your face for some time and wash them off. Gently apply a thin layer onto skin, avoiding the eye area, then rinse off with lukewarm water.

The most common kind of wash-off mask is the clay mask, which is suitable for oily and acne-prone skin as they help balance out the oils in your skin by regulating excess sebum and tightening pores.

Vichy Puréte Thermal Pore Purifying Clay Mask (SGD39 each)

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This clay masks combines two types of ultra-fine white clay, Kaolin and Bentonite. It helps to eliminate excess sebum and impurities and contracts pores. At the same time, the formula soothes and softens the skin. Unlike some other clay masks, this mask has an ultra-smooth creamy texture that spreads easily on the skin!

Origins RitualiTea Powder Face Mask – Matcha Madness (SGD68)

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Ever heard of powder face masks? This range of Origins RitualiTea Powder Face Masks has a unique application technique: Mix the powder with water and then apply onto your skin. This is done using a dual-ended tool that helps you mix, measure and apply. One side of the tool measures the proper amounts of powder and water. The other side helps mix up your mask and makes application a breeze!

The matcha antioxidant-rich revitalising blend is perfect if you’re looking for a mask that helps you relax after a long day of work. It helps renew, relax and restore your skin’s texture while soothing and nurturing your senses with a herbaceous green tea scent. It can thus relieve stress and improve your focus.

Mask of Magnaminty

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Mask of Magnaminty by Lush is an exfoliating mask that uses China clay and fresh peppermint to reach deep down into your skin to pull the debris from your pores. While the aduki beans exfoliate flaky or dry skin, there is also vanilla absolute to calm redness and honey to soothe. Apply this mask over your clean face, neck and back, leave it on for up to 15 minutes, then wash it off.

4. Peel-off masks

Peel-off masks have a thick consistency and texture. It has a plasticising agent that forms a thin film over the face when it dries after a few minutes. When you peel off the mask, the dead skin and blackheads are removed together with it. Most peel off masks target acne, blackheads, and oily skin, depending on their individual ingredients.

Belif First Aid – Transforming peel off Mask (SGD36)

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Formulated with lemon balm and white willow bark, this peel-off mask is designed dead skin cells while tightening the look of pores and improving skin elasticity. As it comes in contact with water, the creamy mask transforms into a thin gel layer so that you can remove it without irritating your skin.

Himalaya Almond & Cucumber Peel Off Mask (SDG11.50)

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Almond is known for its nourishing and softening properties, while cucumber soothes and heals. This can be applied and allowed to be dry for 10 to 15 minutes, before you gently remove the peel from the side of the face. Use it once or twice a week to reveal brighter looking skin.

5. Overnight/sleeping masks

These masks are applied right before you go to bed, at the last step of your skincare routine – your skin is bound to be moisturised and refreshed when you wake up, since the skin’s metabolism, cell turnover, and renewal increases when the body is in deep sleep. Our recommendation:

Fresh Black Tea Firming Overnight Mask (SGD144)

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This mask is intensely moisturising, and has a corset-like effect on the skin – you will wake up to a visibly more hydrated, defined, and contoured complexion.

Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask (SGD27)

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Don’t neglect your lips. Help dry lips look smoother and moisturised with this overnight lip mask. The subtly scented formula infuses lips with vitamins and moisture, while removing dead skin cells so you can wake up to lips that look supple and smooth.