Face masks have been around for years with many people viewing them as an indulgent treat that you turn to after a rough day or when your skin is in dire need of some TLC. There are all sorts of varieties on the market, from clay masks to overnight masks, but the growing trend over the last year has seen a rise in the fabric sheet mask.
Sheet masks are completely flipping the face mask stereotype on its head by challenging the ‘occasional use’ idea and offering a more accessible solution that can be integrated regularly into your skincare routine. Truth be told, your skin needs more attention than the once in a blue moon romanticised scenario of pampering you had earmarked for the 20th of never. Due to increased environmental toxins, your skin needs (and deserves) to be regularly enriched with nutrients that are going to keep it looking its best– and it needs these nutrients today.
So, if you want to transform your complexion this year you’d better keep reading; we’ll be sharing how the properties of sheet masks can benefit skin and deliver glowing results.
WHAT IS A SHEET MASK?
Sheet masks are individually packaged face-shaped pieces of fabric that have been soaked in a skin-loving serum consisting of nutrients and enriching ingredients. The fabric has holes cut out for eyes, lips and nostrils so that it can fit over your face and deliver goodness to the layers of skin that are widely exposed to the environment.
The fabric mask and its sought-after serum is usually protected on each side by another layer of woven fabric or paper that can be peeled off. Peel off one layer and press the mask serum-side down onto your face, then remove the outside layer. Leave on for around 20 minutes, peel off and discard the sheet mask. Any residue remaining on your skin can be left to soak in.
Quality sheet masks are growing in popularity and you may have even seen a few celebs or friends on Instagram posting slightly ghoulish selfies as they pose wearing one of these hydrating skin masks. Once you try one, you’ll understand their eagerness to share!
HOW DOES A SHEET MASK WORK?
The best fabric face masks on the market work because the fabric fibres fit easily to every contour of your face to ensure the serum penetrates deep into the layers of the skin. There are various different materials that can be used to make these fibre sheet masks, including non-woven fibre, cotton and hydrogel, but if you are looking for a mask that fits seamlessly to the skin for maximum delivery and absorption, you want to look for bio-cellulose.
Bio-cellulose is an all-natural fibre that’s made by a special microorganism. These fibres are 1,000 times finer than human hair, incredibly moisture retentive and extremely pliable. Active substances are then weaved into the space between the interlacing bio-cellulose fibres which means the goodness is only accessible to the user during application.
Bio-cellulose masks are far more effective than non-woven masks thanks to the high penetration rate it can achieve. The masks offer a dual delivery process, firstly saturating the epidermis before focused dermal delivery. The average pore size of the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) is 50nm; non-woven fibre molecules are 1000nm, while bio-cellulose fibres are 30nm. This means the serum captured within the bio-cellulose can seep deep into pores to penetrate the deeper layers of the dermis – 8.7-14.5 times deeper to be precise!
WHY ARE SHEET MASKS BENEFICIAL?
So now you know what sheet masks are and how they work, but what exactly are the benefits?
They are nourishing
A bio-cellulose fabric face mask is extremely nourishing thanks to its ability to deliver highly concentrated ingredients down to the dermis. The serum is usually packed with vitamins, minerals and natural ingredients which means it won’t dry out skin like traditional clay or paste masks, and the tightly laced fibres guide the goodness into your skin instead of losing it through evaporation. When you go to the spa for a facial, you expect a nourishing experience, but a high-quality sheet mask can deliver all the nourishment you need at just a fraction of the cost!
They are hydrating
If you’re after a hydrating face mask, bio-cellulose sheet masks are definitely the way forward. Choose one with hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and sea grass to soothe and condition skin. You should also look for rejuvenating ingredients like horse chestnut to lift dull skin and give you a glowing complexion. Well-hydrated skin will appear soft, supple and plump, and this will give a more youthful-looking complexion.
They are relaxing
You may only need to wear them for 20 minutes, but that’s 20 minutes of ‘me time’ that you’ve probably been craving since you uttered ‘Happy New Year’! Give yourself the pampering experience you deserve. Draw yourself a warm bubble bath, pop on a high-quality and hydrating sheet mask, lie back and benefit from the therapeutic properties infused in the fibres as your troubles and skin woes fade away.
They deliver targeted results
If you have a specific skincare concern, you want to choose a face mask where the ingredients encased within the fibres deliver the results you’re after. You may hope to even skin tone, to firm your skin or to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. If ageing skin is your concern, choose a mask drenched in anti-ageing properties and antioxidants. Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin C and zinc contribute to the protection of cells from oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by the damaging effects of the environment or poor nutrition, and cells that aren’t protected can diminish which is when fine lines form. Green tea is just one ingredient that’s rich in such antioxidant nutrients.
They are convenient
The beauty of a sheet mask is that it’s so much more convenient compared to a mask that requires self-mixing, careful application or delicate removal. A good sheet mask is individually wrapped and simply needs unfolding and applying directly to the face. Application literally takes a few seconds as you peel off the outer layers and pat into place. Such convenience means less hassle if you wish to integrate a face mask into your regular skincare routine.
They are environmentally-friendly
Removal is just as easy as the application and you don’t have to worry about causing unnecessary environmental damage in the process. If you choose a sheet mask made from bio-cellulose, the natural fibres are biodegradable so simply toss the used mask on the compost heap or in the food waste after application. The best face masks will also be LEED certified which means they have been produced in an eco-friendly manner.
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR SHEET MASK
While applying your sheet mask to your face is fairly simple, there are a few tips and tricks that should be considered if you want to make the most out of your face mask:
- Always apply sheet masks to clean skin
- Don’t waste the serum left in the packet; massage it into your neck and décolleté
- Don’t wash your face after you have used the mask; this will undo the good work
- Only apply moisturiser afterwards if needed
- Don’t leave the outer layer on the mask once you’ve applied it to your face
- Don’t leave it on too long – the mask shouldn’t have fully dried out when you come to remove it
- Join the social conversation by snapping a sheet mask selfie and using the hashtag #MaskMonday
Have you ever tried a fabric sheet face mask? Let us know how you got on in the comments below.