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Korean sheet masks aren’t a fad any more. No, ladies (and discerning gentlemen), the sheet mask is here to stay. However, Korea has an almost-overwhelming range of sheet masks — which one is best for you? Read our guide to 11 of the best Korean sheet masks to stock up on next time you’re here.
This super-charged sheet mask contains two ingredients which boost your skin’s vitality and can make it feel firmer and look more youthful. The first is red ginseng, a plant which is prized in Korea for its natural health-boosting properties, including improved circulation, increased energy and antioxidant qualities. The second ingredient is gold, which firms up your skin and improves tone in luxe style. It’s made by the very-affordable Etude House, so there’s no excuse not to give yourself a little bit of 24-carat magic here.
The ‘magic’ in this mask comes from graphene, a pure carbon which acts to tighten and revitalise the skin, as well as remove deep impurities and control sebum production. This mask also claims to minimise the appearance of wrinkles. For best results, leave it on overnight and wake up in the morning with deeply rejuvenated skin.
This sheet mask focuses on two areas: wrinkle reduction and brightening the skin. 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 innovative two-part fabric technology. The mask contains a whopping 30 grams of high concentration 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 are 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 10-20 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.
Full disclosure — Daiso is a Japanese brand. Their beauty products, however, are all Korean-made, and at 500 won ($0.46/£0.35) per mask, they’re an absolute steal. Their masks come in a range of flavours, including avocado, olive oil and lemon. These are all great, but make sure to try the ultra-brightening kiwi version, which promises to revitalise your complexion and pep you up for the day.
One of the cutest sheet mask trends in Korea is for the mask itself to be cute, letting you stick the face of a cartoon creature or animal over your own. This mask by Holika Holika ticks all the boxes, giving you a cute panda face for the duration of your mask 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 work to 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-smooth. It’s good for hydrating tired skin and controlling sebum production.
Too Cool For School have three different egg cream masks — hydration, 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 which minimises 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 one from Etude House!) is oak tree charcoal which has been cooked in an ultra-high temperature kiln. The charcoal works to draw out ingrained dirt and sebum from the skin, and deeply cleanse your pores, leaving your 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, and seaweed extract moisturises, adds algeinicacids, and removes impurities. It’s great for combating dry skin, or super-charging your skin’s hydration for a radiant, youthful glow.
Innisfree is famous for using natural, organic ingredients. This mask is packed full of antioxidants, hydration and a touch of grapefruit essence to brighten your complexion and give you a natural glow. The gentle formula moisturises and soothes, so this is a great mask to get if you’re prone to redness or have sensitive skin. You’re also tapping into centuries-old traditional beauty routines — Koreans historically used rice water as a face wash to improve skin tone and gently nourish their skin.