You’ve seen ‘em all over Instagram and you may have even considered buying one on a whim, but have you ever actually used a sheet mask?
I’ll be the first to admit that when sheet masks hit the skincare scene, I was intimidated. You see, I knew how — and why — to use the skincare masks that came in jars, the ones I had to dig my fingers into, then slather all over my skin, then clean up the inevitable mess it left behind in my sink, then pick it out of my hair after washing it off…totally worth it! And the idea of a single-use mask that came pre-packaged and was easy to apply and remove just didn’t compute.
But then I was on a flight with a very chic woman who also had gorgeous skin and as I watched her pull out a sheet mask out of her carry on and apply it as the seatbelt sign clicked off, I decided to stop living in the dark. And let me tell you, I should not have waited so long. Here’s what you need to know about the glory of the sheet mask.
What is a sheet mask?
Glad you asked! It’s quite literally a mask in sheet form, with the sheet being made of fiber, cellulose, cotton or coconut pulp. Said sheet is then soaked in a mix of skin-friendly serums and essences (the combo depends on the function of the individual mask) inside the packaging so that it’s fully saturated and ready for your face. It also features fun — or scary — cutouts for your eyes, nostrils and mouth, so you can, you know, breathe while wearing it.
Why should I use a sheet mask?
If you find standard masks-in-jars too messy, a sheet mask is a good option. But aside from the cleanup factor, sheet masks also do a wonderful job of actually making sure those aforementioned serums and essences get into your skin. A lot of skincare products evaporate when you apply them — it takes time for them to really penetrate — but a sheet masks acts as a barrier that locks ingredients in, prevents evaporation, and ensures they have ample time to make their way deep into your skin to do their jobs.
When and how should I use a sheet mask?
While every sheet mask contains a different cocktail of ingredients for different results, they mainly work to hydrate, soothe and plump up skin. So if you’re feeling dry or oily — that’s right, oily skin is often oily because it’s dehydrated — consider a sheet mask to moisturize your skin.
Otherwise, feel free to rock that mask day, night, mid-afternoon…whenever. There’s no downtime after using a sheet mask and, as that chic lady on a plane demonstrated, they can be used virtually anywhere. Just make sure you’re starting with a clean face so your skin is better prepped to absorb all the goodness contained in the sheet mask.
When you’re ready, simply rip open the packaging, gently remove the mask (sometimes you need to unfold it) and drape it over your face, making sure to line up the cutouts with your anatomy. Then sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes, but no longer. If you keep it on too long, the sheet will dry out and start pulling moisture out of your skin to rehydrate itself — the opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. When the time is up, just toss the mask and get on with your day. If you have excess serum or essence on your skin, gently rub it in for added benefits. (Some people like to save the excess serum/essence that’s left in the foil package to apply post-mask, but that’s your call.)
What Lapcos mask is right for me?
For irritated skin…look for a mask that contains soothing ingredients to reduce inflammation. Lapcos’ Aloe sheet mask contains a gorgeous mixture of aloe and cucumber extract to calm and de-stress skin.
For dehydrated skin…your sheet mask should be packed with ingredients like those found in the Aqua mask: seaweed and algae extracts to moisturize and hydrated dry skin.
For congested skin…reach for the Honey sheet mask. True to its name, Honey contains a nourishing blend of honey extracts that work to detox and clarify.
For dull skin…look for sheet mask that will gently exfoliate to remove dead skin while brightening your complexion. Lapcos’ Milk and Pearl masks both fit the bill here.
For aging skin…stock up on collagen and other plumping ingredients to provide nutrition to and smooth skin. The Collagen sheet mask builds serious elasticity and will make your face look like a baby’s butt.
+ All of our sheet masks here.
The first step to introducing your skin to this cooler weather? A weekly detox mask to make sure you’re getting as much leftover summer out of your pores as possible.
So long sweet summer, we barely knew ya.
While it may seem like the long, languid, carefree days of summer are far behind us (adios, Labor Day), it’s a surefire bet that your skin isn’t ready, willing or able to forget about the season’s weather quite as quickly.
You see, your skin just spent the last four months adjusting to warmer temperatures, more time outside, harsher sun, and higher humidity. Sure, you spent all of May and June hoping your face would figure it out and swapped in lighter, summer-specific products to help the cause. But the great cosmic joke of it all is that, just as your skin is finally coming to terms with summer weather and maybe even learning to love it—hydrating! That dewy glow! Barely any makeup! — the weather goes and changes again and your skin has to figure it all out again for a different season.
The first step to introducing your skin to this cooler weather? A weekly detox mask to make sure you’re getting as much leftover summer out of your pores as possible. Yeah, you’ve diligently double cleansed after every day at the beach to make sure you’re getting all the sunscreen and sweat out of your pores, but give your skin a helping hand with something like Goldfaden MD’s Facial Detox mask to really draw out dirt and pore-clogging debris. The combination of zinc oxide, sulfur and camphor work to deep-clean skin while also soothing it.
If you’re feeling inflamed from too much sun, double up on masks and make sure the second one is nourishing, hydrating, and soothing. Sheet masks are a great — and easy — way to get enough moisture into your skin because you just slap ‘em on and continue about your day. (Inside, though…maybe don’t leave your house with one on?) The whole line of sheet masks from Lapcos is amazing, but I’m partial to their aloe version for soothing and hydrating between seasons. Think of it like a gentle hand to hold during a transition.
Once you’ve got your mask game under control, it’s time to exfoliate. The trees shed their dead leaves during fall, and so too should you be shedding the dead skin that’s likely built up on your face as a result of summer damage. If you don’t get rid of those dead skin cells, your face is going to look rough and dull…and will likely lead to some gnarly clogged pores. That said, make sure you’re getting rid of the dead skin in a gentle way that won’t irritate or strip your skin of much-needed moisture. If you’re a scrub gal, look for one that’s very gentle with hydrating ingredients, like Pai Skincare’s Kukui & Jojoba Bead Skin Brightening Exfoliator. For a bit more oomph — and for something you can also use on the scaly parts of your body — consider a tool like the Spin for Perfect Skin cleansing brush.
You will, of course, want to follow up all this masking and exfoliating with a great moisturizer, but know that the one you used during the summer when you were likely a bit oilier and exposed to more natural moisture thanks to humidity likely won’t cut it as temperatures continue to drop. Depending on your skin type and climate, consider switching to a creamier daytime moisturizer, like Pai’s Geranium & Thistle Rebalancing Day Cream, and a richer night cream for an extra boost. (I like the Hydrating Cream from Joanna Vargas, layered with a lightweight serum that targets dark spots and hyperpigmentation — whoops, summer sun — for overnight use.)
If the transition is all too much for your summer-loving skin to bear and you find yourself breaking out, don’t panic. Your skin needs to get used to 1) these new temperatures and 2) your new skincare routine. I promise that in a week or two, things will settle down as the weather forecast gets its act together. In the meantime, you want to steer clear of any blemish-targeting masks or cleansers as they’re likely too drying to use right now and will further mess with your skin.
Alright, now go pick some apples or eat a pumpkin baked good. You deserve it.
From a crystal gua sha tool that fends off puffiness to fruit-infused sheet masks that tighten pores and bring down your body temperature, this is your survival kit.
Doing anything that requires movement on a hot summer day can be a challenge — whether it’s an early-morning workout or exploring steep, twisty streets on foot during your vacation. Either way, you’re drenched in sweat and in need of an instant refresh. When sitting in a portable cryotherapy chamber isn’t an option (yet!), consider this assortment of skin-chilling products and body-calming hacks the next best thing.
Medicate Your Bath:
Fill your tub with warm water and pour in a quarter cup of Milk + Honey’s Sore Muscle Soak — the blend of potent herbs (arnica, eucalyptus, rosemary) relaxes stressed-out muscles and injects energy back into weary limbs. But don’t hop in when the water is hot (that would only make you sweat more). Instead, let this brew steep for a few minutes, and when the water is cool (about 5 minutes), then sink in.
Don’t Suffocate Your Pores:
Slathering on a thick deodorant on hot skin is actually not a great idea. Not only will it just slide right off, but you don’t want to block your pores from releasing sweat — this is how your body cools off. A better option: Spritz on a spray like Honestly pHresh’s floral-infused mixture, which balances your body odor without forming an occlusive layer or destroying healthy (good) bacteria on your skin.
Sheet Mask on the Go:
If you can store your sheet masks in the fridge or a cooler bag, do it. The icy sensation will help minimize puffiness and inflammation while also bringing down your internal body temperature. Our favorite picks: Kokostar’s new Slice Sheet Masks and Tropical Eye Patch set includes fruit-spiked options to replenish parched skin quickly while Lapcos aloe-spiked sheet instantly cools redness.
Tone Your Skin with the Right Tool:
Skin Gym’s Gua Sha crystal beauty tool is designed to glide over specific points of your face to stimulate your lymphatic system — this helps flush unwanted toxins, banish puffiness and lift your skin. Give this workout some time for the effects to set in and you’ll look radiant, not red and blotchy.
Help Your Body Recover:
When you’re totally wiped out, blend a little of Moon Juice’s Ashwagandha into your smoothie or juice. You’ll get an instant hit of the energizing herb to bring your tired body back to life. Bonus: it also reduces irritability — always a good thing during a heat wave, no?