In case you missed it, I recently wrote about my skincare routine and briefly mentioned sheet masks without going into too much detail. Today, I’m doing a quick round-up of the sheet masks I’ve used most recently, and I’ll also explain why I use sheet masks in my routine at all.

seven sheet masks pictured on top of a faux-sheepskin rug

Top row (L-R): SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask, Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack, Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Manuka Honey

Bottom row (L-R): Lanocreme Soothing Face Mask with Manuka Honey, MediHeal Kiwi Apple Ade mask, My Beauty Diary Red Vine mask, Mediheal Collagen Impact Essential Mask Ex

Quick ‘n Dirty Sheet Mask Reviews

Of the masks above, both the MBD Red Vine (pink packet) and the Benton Snail Bee (brown packet) were repeats. I adore both of these masks and would highly, highly recommend them! I think both of them do an amazing job of calming redness and de-puffing the skin, and they both pack a lot of essence as well. I believe they’re both cheapest on Amazon, but you may be able to get them from Walmart and/or Target if you’re in the US. (The Manuka Honey Innisfree mask was also a repeat, but I cannot seem to ever remember what it’s like, so… I guess I’ll just settle on “underwhelming.”)

I was really, really impressed with both of the MediHeal masks (green and yellow packets), too. I’d heard good things about their masks on the ‘gram, but I didn’t get to try them until I found some in my local TK/TJ Maxx. The Kiwi Apple mask made my skin feel very… firm. There’s no other way to put it. It somehow managed to dry up some zits and plump up my cheeks at the same time. (Probably sorcery, idk.) The Collagen mask was a little less impressive, but it felt great on my face and definitely delivered the promised plump and moisturized results.

Ok, now for the disappointments: First of all, that SNP Gold Collagen Ampoule Mask was not golden. I repeat, it was not golden. It had gold flecks in it, which is fucking useless (but does remind me of Goldschläger, which is kind of whimsical, I guess). While the Lanocreme mask was perfectly decent, it had a somewhat odd fragrance that I just couldn’t get behind, and I felt like the fabric was a little unnecessarily thick.

A note on fit: I never take photos or make much note of sheet mask fit because it seems to vary so, so much, both by mask and by human face. Plus, I usually put a mask on and then lie down to read or listen to a podcast, so it doesn’t really matter if it fits perfectly and adheres well — I’m hardly putting it through the ringer.

Sheet Masks: Why & When?

Why? Because I can. When? Whenever possible.

Ok, no, but for real… Sheet masks are usually a 50/50 combo of legitimate skincare practice and skincaretainment.

On the one hand, I tend to choose masks that are intensely hydrating and soothing. This isn’t going to do as much for me in the long run as my intensive and extensive daily routine, but I can see an immediate effect from a well-formulated sheet mask, and I like that.

On the other hand, it’s pampering. When I put on a sheet mask, I’m blocking out 20-40 minutes to do something chill. For someone with absolutely no inherent chill whatsoever, that’s huge. Call it self-care, call it skincaretainment, call it vanity — I’m gonna keep doing it.

The thing about sheet masks is that, while the ingredients aren’t necessarily earth-shattering, the method of application is what it’s all about. The sheet keeps the essence from evaporating too quickly, trapping it between your skin and the sheet itself. The theory is that more will be absorbed by your skin if it’s not escaping into the air. This is also why I like to apply my masks after most of my other skincare — might as well seal it all in, right? I’ll cleanse, apply my acid actives, pat on my Benton essence followed by my rosehip oil, then apply the mask. Most of the time, I apply a cream moisturizer after my mask to seal in the mask essence. Sometimes, I fall asleep and forget. It is what it is.

Finally, I would be letting you all down if I didn’t mention that sheet masks are exceptionally travel-friendly because they aren’t considered a liquid, much like makeup removing wipes and exfoliating pads. I still wouldn’t suggest using one on a plane — so many people have fragrance allergies and sensitivities, and you don’t want to be responsible for someone’s migraine — but once you’re sequestered in your own hotel room, have at it.

If you’re interested in keeping up with my skincare routine and new discoveries, you can follow me on my beauty & skincare Instagram.