When sheet masks first made their way to North America, we were all obsessed (even to the point of documenting them with sheet mask selfies—remember those?!). After all, there’s nothing like the instant gratification of popping on a cool, wet mask and letting it flood your skin with moisture.
But hydration isn’t the only reason to love this skincare category. These masks—which are typically made of bamboo, cotton or cellulose, and soaked in juicy serum—have gotten a lot more sophisticated in recent years.
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Now, we can choose from formulas that help with brightening, clearing, calming and plumping, thanks to key ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, peptides, vitamin C and more. It’s also easier to avoid the stuff we don’t want, like fragrance and alcohol, which used to be commonplace when these products initially landed on the market. There are biodegradable options, too, which is especially important if you’re using sheet masks regularly.
To help you pick your next sheet mask, I created this guide. Keep scrolling for the best sheet masks, why I chose them, and what you need to know about each one.
What to Look for in a Sheet Mask
Since a sheet mask is all about pumping beneficial ingredients into your skin, you want to make sure you’re avoiding anything that could clog pores or cause irritation. This is what I look for:
- High in humectants: These ingredients attract and bind water to hydrate your skin. Examples include aloe, glycerin, provitamin B5 (panthenol) and hyaluronic acid.
- Low in fragrance: Since it’s a common skin irritant, fragrance should be at the end of an ingredients list, or better yet, not present at all.
- Low in alcohol: Although alcohol can enhance the penetration of other ingredients, it can be drying (defeating the purpose of a sheet mask).
- Low in silicone: As a synthetic film-former, silicone does not actually moisturize your skin, but can trap debris in pores and slow down turnover. Another reason to avoid silicone-coated sheet masks is that it renders them non-biodegradable.
- Low in mineral oil: Similar to silicone, this ingredient is non-biodegradable and creates an occlusive seal over your skin.
- Low in PUFAs: Oils high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are unstable and oxidize quickly, generating free radicals that can age your skin.
- Biodegradable materials: Instead of plastic textiles, sheet masks should be made from biodegradable materials such as cellulose, bamboo, cotton, wood pulp or viscose rayon.
The Best Sheet Masks of 2022
As an editor, I’ve tested and evaluated sheet masks from a range of brands. These are my top picks for every preference:
Best Clean Beauty
Go-To Transformazing Mask
Go-To Transformazing Mask is a juicy, serum-drenched sheet mask that restores hydration and luminosity to all skin types. It’s made from bamboo, and quenches dryness with humectants like betaine and Hyadisine (a marine alternative to hyaluronic acid). There’s also vitamin C, niacinamide and a trio of Australian botanicals to help reverse dullness.
Farmacy Brightening Coconut Gel Sheet Mask
Farmacy Brightening Coconut Gel Sheet Mask is a cooling, dewy sheet mask that gets you glowing with clean ingredients (or as the brand calls them, “farm-to-face skincare”). It’s made from plant cellulose, with a slightly thicker gel texture, and is high in niacinamide, one of the most proven brighteners. You’re also getting plenty of hydration, thanks to coconut water, collagen and hyaluronic acid.
Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack
Benton Aloe Soothing Mask Pack is a sheet mask with an instant calming and cooling effect. Each Tencel (rayon) mask is saturated in an essence composed of over 48% aloe vera, which makes it ideal for sensitive types, or anyone whose skin needs soothing from sun exposure, inflamed breakouts or product irritation. It’s also fragrance-free and oil-free.
COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Power Sheet Mask
COSRX Advanced Snail Mucin Power Sheet Mask is a moisturizing sheet mask that hydrates, plumps and smooths your skin. It’s made from plant cellulose, and drenched with the same 96% snail mucin essence that’s in the brand’s beloved Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. Since it hugs your skin, the sheet helps to push the ingredient even deeper into your skin. Besides its humectant and emollient properties (which give it a gooey texture), snail mucin also repairs the skin barrier and even lightens acne scars.
Dewytree Cica 100 Mask
Dewytree Cica 100 Mask is a soothing sheet mask that delivers just one ingredient: cica. Also known as Centella Asiatica extract, it’s one of the most popular botanicals in Korean skincare. Besides moisturizing—the brand’s called Dewytree, after all!—it’s great for reducing inflammation, calming irritation and strengthening the skin barrier. The mask itself is all-natural, too; it’s made from cotton, seaweed and eucalyptus extract. All skin types will benefit from this simple treatment, especially sensitive and acne-prone skin.
Magicstripes Hyaluronic Intensive Treatment Mask
Magicstripes Hyaluronic Intensive Treatment Mask is a concentrated hydrogel sheet mask that intensively hydrates parched and dehydrated skin. Made of cotton, it’s soaked in a rich serum that gives it a gel-like texture. Not only is it packed with ingredients that bind and lock in moisture (like hyaluronic acid and collagen), it also has a firming, line-softening effect. You need to leave this on for a longer duration than most masks, up to 30 minutes, to allow all the goodness to fully penetrate.
Consonant HydrExtreme Charcoal Sheet Mask
Consonant HydrExtreme Charcoal Sheet Mask is a clean and compostable sheet mask that leaves your skin soft, plump and deeply hydrated. Made of charcoal-infused bamboo, it’s soaked in my all-time favourite hydrating serum, HydrExtreme, along with botanical extracts that soothe and strengthen your skin barrier. Not only is it 100% natural, it’s clinically proven to outperform hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration (even after 24 hours!).
Avène Soothing Sheet Mask
Avène Soothing Sheet Mask is the sheet mask version of the brand’s famously soothing Eau Thermale Thermal Spring Water. It’s a plant cellulose mask soaked in the prized mineral-rich water, offering an even more concentrated treatment to reduce inflammation, irritation, dryness and redness. With few other ingredients (and no fragrance), it is especially suitable for sensitive skin, and has an immediate cooling effect.
111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask
111Skin Rose Gold Brightening Facial Treatment Mask is a gold-infused sheet mask that instantly brightens and tightens—so it’s perfect for special occasions when you need to get glowing, fast. You get clinical-grade ingredients (including colloidal gold, rose extract, peptides, niacinamide and amino acids) selected by a renowned cosmetic surgeon, all delivered via a plant cellulose mask. It also deposits synthetic mica to subtly reflect the light. No wonder so many celebrities rave about this mask!
Joanna Vargas Eden Instant Lift Mask
Joanna Vargas Eden Instant Lift Mask is a concentrated, spa-quality sheet mask that firms, brightens and smooths the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Think of it as the next best thing to a treatment with celebrity facialist Joanna Vargas herself. She infuses the bamboo material with a long list of humectants (including rose water, provitamin B5 and hyaluronic acid) to plump and hydrate. Plus, you’re getting anti-aging apple stem cells and the super-antioxidant CoQ10 to counteract free radical damage.
Best for Oily and Acne-Prone Skin
Rael Tea Tree Purify + Soothe Facial Sheet Mask
Rael Tea Tree Purify + Soothe Facial Sheet Mask is a sheet mask that helps to treat and prevent the oily skin and clogged pores that many women get before their periods (although you could certainly use it any time of the month!). Made of bamboo material, the star ingredient is tea tree oil, which is antibacterial. It’s combined with plenty of hydrators and soothing Centella Asiatica—so it’s not harsh, irritating or drying.
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask is a cult-favourite Japanese sheet mask that gives intensive hydration with a “glass skin” effect. It’s a cotton mask, which the brand saturates in the star ingredient, Pitera: a mix of amino acids, vitamins and minerals that help to boost radiance and even tone. (Fun fact: Pitera was discovered when scientists noticed that the brewers in a sake factory had remarkably youthful-looking hands!). Each mask contains as much as one third of a small bottle of Facial Treatment Essence.
Sweet Chef Celery + Hyaluronic Acid Fresh Pressed Sheet Mask
Sweet Chef Celery + Hyaluronic Acid Fresh Pressed Sheet Mask is a hydrating sheet mask from Glow Recipe’s more budget-friendly sister brand. Made of plant fibers, it floods your skin with hyaluronic acid and other humectants, plus Centella Asiatica and provitamin B5 to soothe, and niacinamide to brighten. It’s also free of oil, alcohol, fragrance, essential oils and silicones, which is a rarity for masks at this price point!
- Sethi, Anisha, Kaur, Tejinder, Malhotra, S.K. & Gambhir, M.L. (2016). Moisturizers: The Slippery Road. Indian Journal of Dermatology. 2016 May-Jun; 61(3): 279–287.
- Johansen, Jeanne D. (2003). Fragrance contact allergy: a clinical review. American Journal of Clinical Dermatology. 2003; 4(11): 789-98.
- Löffler, H., Kampf, G., Schmermund, D. & Maibach, H. I. (2007). How irritant is alcohol? The British Journal of Dermatology. 2007 Jul; 157(1): 74-81.
- De Paepe, K., Sieg, A., Le Meur, M. & Rogiers, V. (2014). Silicones as nonocclusive topical agents. Skin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2014; 27(3): 164-71.
- Gardner, H. W. (1989). Oxygen radical chemistry of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Free Radical Biology & Medicine. 1989; 7(1): 65-86.
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