Sheet masks are the new gift mugs. It’s what everybody who has recently visited Korea brings home to their family and friends.
Reason is, the masks are a purchase urged by tempting discounts—buy 10 masks and get 10 free. Hell, yeah, I’ll
buy 20—rather than thoughtful recall.
I guess even skincare manufacturers have gotten bored (and uncreative) with their sheet mask concoctions.
There are only so many ingredients brands can mix, match and market as the next moisturizing miracle before they eventually have to change their tactics.
Today, sheet masks come in many reinvented forms that hope to hydrate better than before.
I love refrigerating my sheet masks for the simple reason that a chilled pack fools me into thinking that I’m getting pampered with fancy, cooling gels in my dermatologist’s clinic. This is exactly the effect of April Skin’s revolutionary Mermaid Hydrogel Mask, a translucent and slimy sheet that soothes and cools, sans time in the fridge.
But don’t just buy it for the sensation. Packed with sheet-mask regulars glycerin (an ingredient that helps lock in moisture) and niacinamide (a brightening ingredient that promotes collagen production and lightens hyperpigmentation), this jelly-like mask clings to your face like wet plastic, and is best left on for 30 minutes to absorb its benefits.
Sheet masks have also been reincarnated into the less-messy version of mudpacks. Bid goodbye to the blob-like residue your Glamglow masks leave in the sink and embrace the hygienic technology of clay-infused masks like the Ultru I’m Sorry For My Skin Black Mud Mask.
This is great for traditional sheet mask fans, as the difference is hardly felt and mostly seen. These clay sheet masks often use kaolin, the gentlest purifying clay out there, to cleanse pores and not dry the skin.
Fabric to rubber
I’ve also recently caught wind of rubber masks, thanks to a cameo of my favorite YouTuber, Gothamista, on a viral video that reached my feed.
This opaque and dense material supposedly seals in active ingredients better than most masks.
You can try it on yourself via the Dr. Jart+ Rubber Mask series, a range of colored masks tailored to different needs. This two-step ampoule pack requires layering a thick serum on the skin first before slapping and leaving on the mask.
The coolest version of the mask—for me, so far—is Neogen’s Pink Cactus Liftmax Knit Mask. Known for its exfoliating peel pads and emphasis on applying “dermaceutical” research, this brand employs plush, knit material that snugly blankets the skin with plant extracts, fruit oils and other ingredients that help in firming and tightening the skin.
Unlike rubber, this thin fabric still lets the skin breathe.
Masks, in whatever form they come, all aim to hydrate. It boils down to what you’re most comfortable in.
Stick with the sheet masks if you don’t mind them being slippery but try these new ones when you’re feeling daring.—CONTRIBUTED