Sheet masks. I’ve been dimly aware of them for a long time but never really cared. I mean, sure my skin gets a little dry sometimes, but it’s not Sahara desert and it seem so….spa-y and too pricey. Well, if normal masks/moisturizer is like a shower, a sheet mask is like a bath. Of course you don’t need it, but after a day out in the freezing sharp wind and super dry indoor heat, a sheet mask feels SO good. They provide intense hydration and some brightening as well as making you feel pampered. My first experience was when I bought When Snow Angel on a whim and loved it. But of COURSE Sephora discontinued carrying it right after, leaving me stranded with an unsatisfied craving and I’ve been testing a couple sheet masks since.
The three sheet masks I happen to have in my posession are Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening mask, Wei Gingko Leaf face treatment pad, and SK-II facial treatment mask. Sheet mask are one use only, but most of them are so drippy that there’s plenty of serum for you to massage onto your neck during, and on the face/neck after the sheet mask has dried. With that said, if you slather on too much of the liquid (layers after layers instead of using it like a serum), I’ve noticed that it tends to flake off.
Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening mask
One somewhat thick/sturdy cloth folded and drippy with white serum. It have a mild floral/perfume scent. There is a slight cooling sensation when applied and there is one cut on the edge of the mask to help it conform to face shape. The skin feel hydrated, refreshed and plump when the mask is peeled off. The serum is nice, but when I overapply (I mean use half sample jar all on my face in one setting) it have a slightly greasy after feel. The thin-cotton-pad-ish cloth is very sturdy and probably good for a couple more application when rehydrated.
Wei Gingko Leaf face treatment pad
It is folded in four and comes in a plastic tray. You are suppose to discard the blue and use the white. It’s a very thin and flimsy clothe sheet. It’s not very drippy since the liquid have a slightly gel-ish consistency instead of a serum, which makes it feel a bit slimey. There’s immediate tingle/cooling sensation when put onto face, a bit more noticeable than Shiseido. The scent was kind of mild, clean, clinical. Because it’s so thin and have so many cuts, it’s easy to get it to conform to the face shape. However, because of that, if the edge curls or fold the wrong way it’s kind of hard to pick it/unfold it. They do not recommend letting it dry completely on the face and I can see why. It dries to a lose woven, slightly rough clothe and don’t feel quite as great if you peel it off when it’s completely dry. It does leave the skin hydrated and smooth, altho I can’t speak for the anti-aging aspect.
SK-II facial treatment mask
It is one of the more expensive mask that supposedly perform miracles. The liquid is more like a toner/essence rather than serum and it have a mild clinical scent. The sheet is not the super fuzzy soft cotton one like Shiseido, but the texture is smooth and a bit stiff. There isn’t much of a cooling sensation when on, but it feels pretty great. The serum is thinner, but the sheet is stiffer/don’t feel as absorbent, so there’s a lot of serum left after using the sheet, more than Wei and Shiseido. While none of the three masks irritated my acne, this one actually calms the skin and the acne bumps feel less red/painful/angry the second day! Since the solution is more liquidy like a toner instead of a serum like the others, it infuse moisture deeper into the skin….but doesn’t prevent moisture loss from dry air as well as the others, so it might be a good idea to apply a light moisturizer afterward to seal the good stuff in.
When Snow Angel: this is discontinued but all When mask differs by only a couple ingredients and are probably similar. This is best for brightening, tingling/cooling. There are 3 layers, the middle is the actual mask while the other two layers are plastic and thin fiber sheet. The middle layer feels slightly gel-y and squishy. It’s made of a coconut fiber instead of cloth and while it conforms to the face pretty well, there’s no cuts on the edge so it’s a bit awkward around the cheek bones. It feels refreshing and hydrating even after it completely dries and is taken off and there is plenty of serum left for one or two more applications.
Overall: The cloth from shiseido and the fiber from When feel the nicest, but as for the serum/liquid I do love how well SK-II sink into the skin and it does make slightly more difference in my skin than the others. Do I love it enough to go for it despite the price? mmmm….let me think about that. My skin is usually not dry enough to NEED need a sheet mask, so $15 per mask is not too bad if I only need to use 2 or 3 of them every winter. But without the discount, I’d probably go for When. I suppose there is a slight brightening effect from Shiseido and Wei, but I’ve only tried those twice and it probably require continuous use over months to tell the effect.
So that’s that. Whether you have dehydrated oily skin, or just really really dry dry skin, sheet mask will definitely help. If you do have very dry skin or live in a low humidity environment, then you might want to put on a light moisturizer afterward for the SK-II. If the idea of lying down with a wet/slimey sheet of clothe over your face is incredibly unappealing, then this is not for you. Sheet masks, like baths, are not a necessity, but if you want to quench the skin or pamper yourself, it’s cheaper than going to the spa at least and you get to do it at comfort of your own home. Enjoy!