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?

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!

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?

Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  




  1. Joanne Mallon
    January 13, 2016 / 10:38 am

    I love sheet masks, especially the ones with animal face prints on them, they're really fun to share on Instagram. But I'm kind of shocked at how much Western stores seem to charge for them – seems like they're cashing in on a trend, when part of the popularity is because this is an affordable treat. If you buy direct from Korean retailers (a lot of them have big eBay stores) you can pick up plenty of bargains.

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 8:47 pm

      That's a really good tip – I'm going to check that out myself and see what I can find. They are expensive over here; the fact that 3 for £9.99 is the cheapest I can find!

  2. Tavi
    January 13, 2016 / 11:56 am

    I've surprisingly yet to try a sheet mask, but I might pack a few for long haul flights coming up to give my skin some extra moisture! Tavi

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 8:51 pm

      They're perfect for that! I'm taking some with me when I fly to New York : )

  3. Pam Scalfi
    January 13, 2016 / 12:20 pm

    Ive recevived a few of these in recent glossyboxes as well as from japanese friends. I LOVE the hydration and result they give :)Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  4. Amy Elizabeth
    January 13, 2016 / 1:25 pm

    I've seen so much about sheet masks online but never given them a go – looks like the Masque Bar ones are on offer so I think it's finally time for me to take the plunge!

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 9:04 pm

      Do it! And let me know how you get on… A great place to start.

  5. C Leiper
    January 13, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    I have WEI sheet masks and When masks, the When ones are my favourites. I got a Travelmate mask in a Birchbox last year and loved it so much I bought a mixed multipack!

    • Hayley Carr
      January 14, 2016 / 9:08 pm

      Their multipacks are such good value!

  6. Leanne Page
    January 13, 2016 / 6:58 pm

    These sound brilliant! I hate trying to remove really drying clay mask. I will be definitely adding them to my skin care routine! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Val
    January 13, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    love WHEN sheet masks. I reviewed them on my blog and I've never found any other brand to be better!

  8. Lena
    January 14, 2016 / 6:48 am

    I like sheet masks a lot! i've been using the neutrogena hydro boost ones lately and they are so good for my dry skin.

  9. Becky Smith
    January 16, 2016 / 2:08 pm

    I've only ever tried one sheet mask (in fact it was the one you sent me when I won one of your Twitter competitions a while ago, thank you!) but as is the way with my skin sometimes it managed to react to it! (I managed to react to Sisley's most sensitive mask while sat on their counter having a treatment as part of a blogger event!). I left the sheet mask on for the full time, not realising anything bad was happening, and when I took it off my skin was a little red where the mask had been sat (you could see the line around my face) and it didn't clear completely for a couple of days x Becky @ The Little Blog of Beauty

  10. Quennie James
    January 21, 2016 / 12:40 pm

    I'm obsessed with sheet masks both microfibre or hydrogel! Especially Korean and Japanese masks! They're amazing! My favourite way to pamper myself everyday lol!xxwww.mrsjamesrecommends

  11. danielle wood
    January 22, 2016 / 10:55 pm

    I love these the are so quick and easy and great for when travelling xx

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