What’s a sheet mask?
Simply put, it’s a mask in a “sheet” form — made of fiber, cotton, cellulose, or coconut pulp, with holes for your eyes, mouth, and nose. It’s wet, cool, and usually dripping straight out of the package, because it’s infused with a liquid cocktail of hydrating and correcting ingredients. You place it on your face by lining up the holes over your eyes and mouth.
Why should you use them?
Sheet masks work as an occlusive – a physical barrier sealing the ingredients into your skin. Basically, the good stuff is sealed in, and nothing gets out. This makes sheet masks an ideal method for ensuring your ingredients are delivered.
Go get glowing skin with our 12 tips to get the most out of your face masks.
1. Cleanse And Exfoliate Your Face First
Let’s make sure all those amazing mask ingredients are delivered! This means we need to properly cleanse the skin first. Begin by washing your hands! Then wash your face and neck with a milky or gentle cleanser to remove makeup, SPF, excess oil, and moisturizer that can create a barrier for the sheet mask ingredients.
Follow the cleanser with an exfoliating cleanser, enzyme peel, or acid (AHA/BHA). Gently exfoliate your skin to remove any build-up of dead skin cells that might get in the way of your skin soaking up all the goodness the mask has to offer.
Our favorite Medical Grade Cleansers + Exfoliators:
- Epionce Milky Cleanser
- Epionce Gentle Foaming Cleanser
- Epionce Lytic Gel Cleanser
- O-Cosmedics Antioxidant Cleanser
- O-Cosmedics Exfoliating Cleanser
- O-Cosmedics 3in1 Fruit Peel
- Skinbetter Science Alpha Ret Pads
Our favorite Amazon Finds* (paid links):
2. Check The Ingredients
Selecting the right mask for your skin begins with checking the ingredients in your sheet mask. Make sure the ingredients will benefit your skin by addressing your specific concerns (and not aggravating others). If you have sensitive skin and allergies, read carefully!
- Hydrating – Water, Glycerin, Hyaluronic Acid, Sea Water, Lactic Acid
- Calming – Green Tea, Aloe, Artemisia, Mugwort, Centella, Snail Mucin,
- Brightening – Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Niacinamide, Kojic Acid, Rose, Pineapple, Arbutin, Tranexamic Acid, Fruits high in Vitamin C (lemon, blueberry, strawberry), Licorice
- Anti-Aging – Hydrolyzed Collagen, Adenosine, Ginseng, Retinol,
- Acne/Oil Control – Tea tree, charcoal, Witch Hazel, Lotus, Salicylic Acid
- Intense Moisture – Shea Butter, Olive Oil, Avocado, Squalane
Ingredients are a great starting point, but no ingredient list can tell the full story. Factors like formulation, concentration, and extract potency or purity all play roles in determining the effectiveness of any given product. So don’t think of ingredients as promises, think of them more as possibilities.
3. Put The Sheet Mask in The Fridge
Need some extra help reducing puffiness or cooling? Stick your face mask in the fridge before your next masking session for a refreshing sensation that will reduce inflammation.
Have you been looking for the perfect skincare fridge?
Here are our favorite Amazon finds*:
4. Be a Multi-Masker
Sheet masks have cutouts for your eyes, nose, and mouth. The skin on your eyelids and lips are different from your face so they need different ingredients and dosing. Since you are taking a 20-minute self-care break why not make the most of your time by incorporating an eye and lip gel into your at-home treatment. Why stop there though? You have a neck and chest too. Layer in a neck and decolletage mask!
Mask with some of our tried-and-true favorites*:
5. Longer Isn’t Better
We don’t recommend leaving it on for more than 20 minutes and we never recommend sleeping in sheet masks. Why? Because once the mask is dry, it can actually absorb moisture back out of your skin. Let’s not undo your hard work.
6. Sit Back and Relax
Life is a whirlwind and roller coaster of events and emotions. Take this 20-minutes to check out and check in with yourself. Watch your favorite series, listen to a podcast, audiobook, or guided meditation.
My favorite listens*:
7. Use A Jade Roller to Boost Absorption
We recommend using a jade roller on top of your sheet mask – not only can it help push all the ingredients in, but it feels amazing and is a great way to de-stress and boost blood circulation for some extra glow. And remember tip 3? You can put your roller in the fridge too for some extra help reducing inflammation.
We like these kits* because trust me you are going to want both the Jade Roller and the Gua Sha. Rose Quartz is great for inflamed skin. Jade is perfect for dispersing heat; it adapts to your skin temperature.
8. Don’t Waste a Drop
Flip your sheet mask and wring it out. Sheet masks are pretty much double-sided, so flip the mask and reapply to maximize the serum application. You can also “wring out” your sheet mask to get every drop, remember you have skin everywhere. Apply the extra to your neck, chest, hands, etc.
And most importantly, don’t forget the package! Those packages have a TON of extra serums just sitting inside waiting to be used. So, squeeze the packet, don’t waste a drop.
9. Check Your Work
Scan your face after removing the face mask. It’s like reading tea leaves, you’ll learn what your skin needs. If there is product hanging out it can be a sign that the area needs more exfoliating or is dry. Tailor your skincare to properly target the areas of concern.
10. Add Red Light Therapy
Post mask application is a perfect time to incorporate your red-light therapy for anti-aging, wound healing, and reduction in inflammation. Just 10 minutes of red-light therapy will do the trick. We love the Face-Lite because you can keep moving while taking care of yourself. After 20-minutes of downtime, you can continue your treatment while doing a load of laundry, or not!
faceLITE uses two clinically proven wavelengths of light, 633nm red and 830nm near infra-red to stimulate collagen and elastin production, while improving blood flow and tissue oxygenation. The result? The treatment leaves your skin looking rejuvenated, plumper, and helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Available in spa or by mail for purchase $450. Message us to purchase.
11. Do Some Contour Work
Gua Sha is a skincare wellness technique originating from Traditional Chinese medicine. If you’ve been watching TikTok, I’m sure you’ve seen approximately 2,000 videos of people gliding a smooth stone across their faces. While you should always be a bit skeptical of skincare routines you see on TikTok, I can tell you from personal experience that Gua Sha actually works. In fact, we incorporate the technique into some of our facials at Lifted. Gua Sha has been proven to help relieve tension in the face as well as reduce puffiness and inflammation. It can increase circulation and improve lymphatic function, resulting in a naturally dewy, glowing complexion. But my favorite part is the lifting and contour effect it leaves behind.
Before rinsing the sheet mask residue from your skin give yourself a quick Gua Sha treatment. The remaining mask ingredients will provide the perfect glide. Not sure how… well, there are about 20 billion videos online you can watch to learn more or come visit us in spa for a quick tutorial.
Ready to take your sheet mask to the next level?
Here are some of our favorite Gua Sha tools on Amazon*:
12. Fall In Line, There Is a Process
Not sure where your sheet mask fits into your skincare routine? We recommend doing an exfoliation and mask weekly as part of your at-home skincare. Personally, Sunday mornings are my favorite time for a little self-care. Not only is the frequency of your masking important, but when you layer it into your skincare process is important. Exfoliating prior to masking is the key to success!
Here is an order that I personally use and recommend:
- Boost with a serum (optional)
- Mask or Multi-Mask
- Use Jade Roller while the mask is on
- Remove Mask after 10-20 minutes
- Gua Sha
- Red Light Therapy
- Boost with a Serum
- Protect, don’t forget your SPF if you are doing a daytime masking session
*As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.