South Korean sheet masks aren’t a fad any more. This K-beauty staple – a fabric mask infused with a liquid or cream essence designed to do a particular job, such as moisturising the skin – is here to stay. However, South Korea has an almost overwhelming range of the masks on offer. Read on to discover the best Korean sheet mask for you, so you can stock up next time you’re here.
This supercharged Korean face mask contains two ingredients that boost the vitality of your skin and can make it feel firmer and look more youthful. The first is red ginseng, a plant prized in Korea for its natural antioxidant and health-boosting properties, including improved circulation and increased energy. The second ingredient is gold, which firms up your skin and improves tone in luxurious style. It’s made by the affordable brand Etude House, so there’s no excuse not to give yourself a bit of 24-karat magic here.
This Korean mask contains graphene, a pure form of carbon that acts to tighten and revitalise the skin, as well as removing deep impurities and controlling sebum production. This mask also claims to minimise the appearance of wrinkles. For best results, leave it on overnight and wake in the morning with deeply rejuvenated skin.
This sheet mask focusses on two areas: wrinkle reduction and brightening. It’s designed to be left on your face for a number of hours, and doesn’t dry out as fast as conventional sheet masks, due to its innovative fabric. The mask contains a high concentration of essence, so it’s great for giving your skin a last-minute boost before a big event.
Designed for daily use, the Therapy Air Mask range by Etude House is soothing and moisturising, as well as quick-absorbing – although you can leave them on for longer to get a more intense mask effect, the recommended leave-on time is only 10 minutes to 20 minutes. The lemon variant is light and refreshing, leaving your skin soft and supple. It’s also naturally brightening and mildly exfoliating, thanks to the mask’s lemon extract.
A big sheet-mask trend in South Korea is for the mask itself to be cute, letting you stick the face of a cartoon creature or animal over your own. If you’re up for that kind of fun, try this mask by Holika Holika, which gives you a cute panda face for the duration of your treatment. It’s great for those who are prone to (less cute) panda eyes in real life – it contains natural silica, which stimulates collagen and works to reduce dark under-eye circles. Other extracts improve skin vitality and increase radiance.
This mask, by skin-nutrition specialists Skinfood, is light enough for daily wear but rich enough to noticeably soften and moisturise your skin in just one treatment. It contains a double whammy of olive oil and olive extract, which work together to nourish your skin and leave it feeling silky. It’s good for hydrating tired skin and controlling sebum production.
Too Cool for School have three egg cream masks – hydrating, firming and pore tightening – which all use eggy goodness to target specific skin needs. The pore tightening version contains egg yolk, which hydrates and nourishes your skin; vinegar extract to minimise the visibility of your pores; and egg white extract, which tightens pores and reduces the look of shine on your face. The essence is thick and creamy, giving you long-lasting hydration.
The magic ingredient in this mask (another from Etude House) is oak tree charcoal which has been cooked in an ultra-high-temperature kiln. The charcoal draws out ingrained dirt and sebum from the skin and deeply cleanses pores, leaving skin fresh and super cleansed. Peppermint vinegar works to control sebum production and gently exfoliate the skin.
This sheet mask from cult beauty brand Dr.Jart+ is made from cellulose fibres, which help the active ingredients penetrate your skin more deeply for increased nourishment. Ingredients such as aquaxyl promote natural collagen synthesis and strengthen your skin’s barrier function, reducing water loss throughout the day; seaweed extract moisturises and removes impurities. It’s great for combating dry skin or supercharging your skin’s hydration for a radiant, youthful glow.
Innisfree is known for using natural, organic ingredients. This mask is packed full of antioxidants, hydration and a touch of grapefruit essence. With this mask, you’re tapping into centuries-old traditional beauty routines, as Koreans have long used rice water as a face wash to tone and gently nourish their skin.