They’re the craze that’s not only swept the beauty world, but the instagram accounts of the rich and famous – thanks to their slightly scary ‘Phantom of the Opera’ look. Landing on our shores from Korea in a big way in 2015, this year will undoubtedly be the year that sheet masks become a beauty staple amongst women wanting to boost their skin’s hydration while investing in a little ‘me’ time. To the uninitiated, a sheet mask is made from cloth or paper saturated in skin-loving ingredients; with handy cut-outs for your nose, eyes and mouth so you don’t feel as though your suffocating, these masks are left on your face for fifteen minutes so your skin can absorb all the goodness they offer. The beauty regime of Korean women is something that baffles us all (who has time for ten different steps of a morning and evening?) but we can’t deny the results it generates; sheet masks are a key part of that routine that taps into our need for immediate results, without the faffing. Although we were all initially skeptical, it seems our minds are increasingly open to innovation and efficiency in the beauty world – and sheet masks tick all those boxes. They may be definitely here to stay, but why are we so obsessed with these individually wrapped treats?
THEY’RE QUICK, EASY & MESS FREE
Unlike a traditional face mask which can often require a degree in dermatology to apply correctly, sheet masks are individually wrapped and shaped to fit over your face with ease. There’s no instructions to read, quantities to struggle with or areas to focus on – you just rip open the pack, pop it over your face and let it get to work. One of the main reasons I use a sheet mask is when I can’t be bothered with the rigmarole that goes with applying a clay or moisture mask; I love the fact you don’t need to wash the formula off or end up with mask splatter all over the bathroom sink. You simply leave the excess on skin after you remove the sheet mask and let it absorb, even massaging into hands. It unsurprising these have become a firm favourite with travelers who want to step off a plane looking fabulous.
We’re frequently told we should be using a face mask on a weekly basis, or investing in an intensely moisturising treatment during a long-haul flight, but the practicalities often outweighs our need to ‘do the right thing’. Sheet masks make keeping that little promise to ourselves easy. There has never been a more portable beauty treatment, thanks to their individually wrapped and super fresh nature; you can slip them in an overnight bag or into your hand luggage without worrying about excess liquids. If you’re in a hurry you can wack one on and get about your business, or slip into a warm bath and let the steam help the moisture to have even more of a positive impact. You don’t even need a mirror or a basin, meaning they’re the ultimate travelers companion. It’s equally unsurprising that these have been a firm favourite backstage at the fashion weeks, where time, space and water is in short supply!
THEY’RE GREAT FOR HYDRATION
Although there are many different masks to choose from that offer up everything from anti-ageing benefits to spot reduction, essentially these are great little hydration boosters. Moisture retention is the one issue that impacts and concerns us all, so sheet masks provide a fun and appealing way to tackle that problem. Although I wouldn’t recommend completely replacing your regular mask with a sheet alternative, they’re a great way to inject a little added goodness into your routine when you need it most. Perfect for recovering from a heavy weekend, long trip or too long in the sun, sheet masks provide a moisture boost while injecting your skin with vitamins and nutrients it needs to look and feel fabulous. They don’t offer an obtrusive scent or heavy texture either, meaning they’re universally appealing to even those that wouldn’t think to use a face mask.
The market is already becoming a little saturated with sheet masks, but some of my favourites offer an affordable and simple way to dip your toes into the trend. Available in Boots, Masque Bar offer brightening, collagen boosting and dark circle reducing formulas that will only set you back £9.99 for a pack of three. Their ‘brightening’ mask is a personal favourite for when I’m a little run down, while the Starskin ‘After Party’ mask (£8.50 each) offers up a similar result thanks to the fermented coconut juice that infuses skin with hydrating ingredients. Starskin is the ‘celebrity favourite’ and offers specific skin benefits including firming, balancing, smoothing and hydrating, but When have created sheet masks that tackle a very specific need or occasion. Including ‘Travelmate’ (which helps skin recover from sun, wind and dry air,) ‘10.00pm’ (which helps tired skin to find comfort at the end of the day) and ‘Glamour Base (developed for ‘when you want to look beautiful for that special day’,) there’s a product for everybody.
When applied once a week, sheet masks can really boost the complexion and provide an immediate hit of goodness – much like a super smoothie! But the question is, will you be adding them into your skincare regime this year?
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