The word “self-care” immediately conjures up the image of a woman wrapped up in a cozy bath gown, a sheet mask on her face, sipping on a hot cup of coffee, as she flips through the pages of her favorite magazine. While this image may be slightly different in your mind, I can bet there’s always a sheet mask. Always.
With K-beauty taking over the world by storm, sheet masks have become increasingly popular, and have become almost synonymous with self-care. Everybody has great things to say about them and just can’t get enough of them. But are they worth all the hype and deserve a place in your everyday skincare ritual? Let’s find out!
What are sheet masks?
Also known as Korean face masks, sheet masks are single use cotton pads soaked in the “goodness” of skin rejuvenating ingredients. They are drenched in hydrating and nourishing ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, ceramides and collagen, and vow to leave your skin feeling supple, plump, hydrated and visibly youthful.
However, in reality, sheet masks produce only a limited and temporary number of surface benefits and results. They don’t have the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and at best only give superficial results.
What are the cons of sheet masks?
- They don’t penetrate deep: As mentioned above, while sheet masks can work their magic on the upper surface of the skin, leaving it feeling visibly soft, smooth and hydrated, they don’t do much good for the deeper layers. Collagen and elastin, two proteins that are extremely important for the maintenance of a firm and youthful appearance of the skin are found in these deeper layers of the skin, and since the ingredients found in the sheet masks are unable to reach or alter them, they don’t do much good in giving any lasting benefit to the skin.
- The results are temporary: Sure your skin feels baby smooth and soft after doing a sheet mask ritual, but it probably hasn’t gone unnoticed that the skin doesn’t stay that way for long. At best, your skin will stay supple and hydrated for a few hours before returning to its regular moisture levels. Sheet masks don’t have the ability to change the skin’s structure and formation, and the results are only ephemeral. For example, the collagen infused sheet mask that you use in hope of boosting your skin’s collagen levels can't actually increase your skin’s overall collagen levels and at best only gives a temporary youthful and radiant look.
- Have minimal effect on wrinkles: As mentioned above, since sheet masks can’t boost the production of the building blocks of the skin’s structure including collagen and elastin, they can’t fight off wrinkles and fine lines, and are not a fool proof way of keeping these early signs of aging at bay.
- Not much different from other skincare products: Much of the ingredients found in sheet masks are already present in your everyday skin care products, and hence a consistent skin care routine, followed religiously, will be sufficient to add all the hydration and goodness that your skin needs. This means you don’t need to add a sheet mask to your daily routine for transformational results and should instead stick to a routine such the Leovard Daily Seven Step Minimalist Skincare routine, that is sure to keep your skin healthy, fresh and youthful.
- Not cost effective: The amount you spend on a sheet mask is probably not much different from how much a serum or moisturizer would cost. And while the latter can be used over and over again, sheet masks can only be used once, making them less than cost-effective. So instead of splurging on expensive sheet masks, invest in a few good skincare products that will not only be worth the money but will also give lasting results.
- May contain harmful ingredients: All that is contained in sheet masks is not full of goodness. Infact, it’s very likely that sheet masks contain harmful ingredients such as alcohol, polyethylene glycol (PEG), and phenoxyethanol or ethylhexylglycerin (preservatives) which can mess up your skin’s moisture and pH levels. Sometimes, they even contain artificial fragrances that can irritate the skin, leading to skin inflammation and redness.
- Are not environmentally friendly: Another con of using a sheet mask is that it isn’t great for the environment. Much like disposable wipes, sheet masks are hardly biodegradable, which means they end up in landfills, aggravating the already messed up environmental crisis.
While doing a sheet mask ritual sounds extremely therapeutic, calming and the perfect way to unwind after a long day at work, it isn’t as amazing as it’s made out to be. With the list of cons mentioned above, we hope you’ll be able to make better and more informed choices regarding sheet masks and do what is absolutely best for you and your skin!