K-Beauty is all the rage these days, but if I were to pick one thing that set it apart from the crowd it would have to be sheet masks. For the past few years the catch phrase ‘1 day 1 pack’ has been an ongoing trend in Korea. Basically it means that you do a face mask everyday. Now if you’ve ever been to Korea before you’ll know that there are literally hundreds of sheet masks to choose from! So in case you’ve been eyeing Korean sheet masks online or plan to take a trip to Korea, here are some tips on how to pick Korean sheet masks.
#. Start With The Basics: If you’re completely new or completely at loss for choosing a sheet mask, I would start with the basics: tea tree and green tea. I always like to have 3~5 tea tree masks and green tea masks on hand. Tea tree is great for spot treatment so whenever I feel a little nervous after eating pizza or see acne on the horizon I pull out a tea tree mask. If my face feels swollen in the morning I’ll opt for a quick green tea mask. It’s much easier to use a green tea sheet mask than to fuss with tea bags. I like both Innisfree sheet masks and Nature Republic sheet masks. If you like plain sheet masks with absolutely no fuss, go with Innisfree. If you like a little more substance and gritty texture to your masks, go with Nature Republic. Of course, most if not all the other road shops will have some sort of tea tree or green tea mask!
#. Aloe, Rice, and Honey are great if your skin is feeling dry. I remember seeing a Korean Beauty show where they tested how much moisture the skin retained after using aloe masks regularly and the result was a 65% increase. Innisfree claims that the aloe and manuka honey sheet masks raise moisture by 119% and the rice mask by 125% immediately after use. Whether the numbers are true is anybody’s guess, but I like how fresh and dewy my skin feels after using sheet masks so it makes me happy. If I have more time or during the hot summer, I prefer to use hydrogel masks more than sheet masks. They are shaped like the sheet masks only in a thick gel that doesn’t dry out as quickly as the sheet masks. It also has a lovely cooling effect that’s always a plus in the summer! This one is by Etude House and it stood out to me because it uses glacial water and aloe, but other road shops have hydrogel masks as well.
#. Explore Unique Options: Once you’ve stocked up on the basics, you can try whatever takes your fancy. Whether you’d like to try fruit, herbal tea, aroma therapy, eggs, wine or 24k gold there are so many different types of masks to choose from. To keep things in perspective though, I find that I mostly reach for the tea tree, green tea, and aloe masks more than I ever reach for anything else. The reason being is that I like something I can quickly slap on without having to worry about it. If you’ve ever had your skin break out or get irritated by a new product you’ll know what I mean. Most of these fun masks I’ve had in my mask basket (yes I have a basket full of sheet masks) for weeks as I’m slow on getting around to them, because you always want to be careful when you’re introducing a new product to your skin.
#. Eye & Lip Patches: The Innisfree eye & lip mask weren’t very special as they were made from the same material as sheet masks. I would much rather just use a sheet mask that covers my entire face than just under my eyes. The hydrogel lip patches were amusing and I actually went and got one from each brand to see which one is better. The answer is they are all pretty much the same although the scent may very. The Face Shop and Etude House have cherry, Tonymoly has a strawberry scent, Skinfood has a pomegranate scent, and the Nature Republic one didn’t have a fruit scent. To be honest, I didn’t find the lip patches to have a lasting effect. They are also a pain to use because you pretty much have to stay lying down to keep it from falling off your face. I much rather prefer the lip conditioner by MAC. I would say if you really want to try one, I would just grab one for fun.
#. Extras: Etude House has four different hair packs that come in little packets like this. The left side is the hair pack you use in the shower, and the right side is a serum that you can use over a few days. I found that the avocado was a bit too rich for my hair so I much prefer the argan seed. While the packaging doesn’t make it practical for daily use, it’s perfect for travel! I will definitely be throwing one of these into my luggage the next time I’m traveling somewhere!
#. Before you jump on board with Korean sheet masks, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
1. Some people have experienced skin trouble by applying masks daily. So it may be better to do 3~5 per week depending on your skin condition.
2. Most Koreans know which masks and brands work for their skin. Even within the same brand some masks may work, others may not.
3. If you’re eating pizza, burgers, fried chicken, ramen, and generally unhealthy you can’t really blame the sheet mask for skin trouble.
4. Some masks such as the hydrogel masks or the egg mask have a support sheet to either retain moisture or consistency, so be sure to check the instructions beforehand.
5. As a rule of thumb, I like to wash my face with warm/cold water to remove any excess after using a mask. The idea is to moisturize your skin, not suffocate it!
Your turn ♥ What is your favorite type of face mask? Have you tried sheet masks before?