Korean sheet masks have been around for quite a long term but I haven’t tried one until recently and I have to say I have become obsessed. They make such a big difference to my skin in terms of pure hydration and I’ve noticed that my skin is flaking a lot less since I started incorporating sheet masks.
|Face Mask Brands||Rating|
|Innisfree It’s Real||Great variety, popular Korean brand, thinner sheets||A-|
|MyBeautyDiary||Taiwanese brand, super hydrating, high quality||A+|
|Tony Moly I’m Real||Lots of different essences to try, cute packaging||B+|
|Benton Snail Bee||Great for acne and reducing scars & hyperpigmentation||A|
What makes Korean sheet masks different from typical “Western masks” is that they are sheets soaked in “essence” designed be placed on the face whereas Western mask tend to be applied to the face directly. The sheet itself aids with absorption and of the product helps it penetrate deeper into your skin compared to regular masks.
I recommend purchasing a sample pack from various brands in order to find out which ones you like best. If you have a specific skin issue that you would like addressed you can also pick specific masks which address your concern. Those with dry, aging skin will want to look for masks with Propolis, manuka honey, aloe vera and My BeautyDiary’s line of masks which tend to be super hydrating. If you have oily skin or acne you may want to opt for a tea tree mask.
It’s important to note not to wash your face after you take the mask off. I like to let the essence fully absorb in my face, follow up with moisturizer and my Too Cool For School Pumpkin Sleeping Pack ( I use this as an occlusive to seal moisture in) and go to bed and wake up in the morning with softer and hydrated skin. Another tip is to refrigerate the masks for a nice cooling effect.
Sheet masks can be used once a week as a treat while others may use them several times a week. They are also excellent when your skin feels particularly dry or stressed (for example if you are flying) and you need a bit of extra pampering. Here are our top picks of the best Korean (and a non-Korean) sheet masks for 2018 and our favorite Korean face mask brands.
Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask
I was also super excited to try an Innisfree Squeeze mask and bought a variety pack (with my own money) so I could try multiple varieties. Innisfree is a korean brand owned by AmorePacific, a premium luxury brand which happens to be one of Korea’s most popular skin care brands. AmorePacific is quite pricey while Innisfree is more on the affordable side. The Innisfree Squeeze masks are some of the more popular Korean sheet masks on the market.
I have very dry skin and the first Korean face mask I tried was the Innisfree Manuka Honey mask since honey is known to be soothing and hydrating. The first thing I noticed about this particular sheet mask is that the sheet was thinner and more fragile compared to the My Beauty Diary mask I tried. I accidentally ripped the mask a teeny bit around the nose area when trying to peel it out.
At first glance there appeared to be less essence compared to the MBD mask (meaning there’s not a huge amount of essence left inside the package once you take the mask out) but don’t let that fool you because it took a long time for the essence to dry out. After an hour it was still wet and I took it off and left it on my desk. To my surprise it was still moist/damp the next morning!
One thing I noticed about the Innisfree mask is that the smell of alcohol is slightly more noticeable compared to My Beauty Diary but it’s very faint. Btw, almost all sheet masks contain butylene glycol as it helps to deliver the ingredients deep into your skin.
Innisfree Manuka Honey sheet mask left my skin super smooth, glowing and refreshed. My skin felt very hydrated afterwards and it remained feeling moisturized the next day. I highly recommend this mask if you want to try out a large number of Korean sheet masks and want something affordable.
The variety pack comes with the following masks; Green Tea, Cucumber, Bamboo, Aloe, Manuka Honey, Kiwi, Shea Butter, Mugwort, Pomegranate, Black Cherry, Tea Tree, Bija, Lime, Strawberry and Rose.
My Beauty Diary
My Beauty Diary isn’t a Korean but a Taiwanese brand but I’ve decided to include them in this roundup because they are a favorite among those who are interested in all things related to Asian Beauty and Korean sheet masks. I was super interested in trying on the My Beauty Diary sheet masks after reading all of the raving reviews online plus the fact that many of their masks are at the top of many favorite lists.
I ordered a variety pack from Amazon and was able to try various sheet masks. I highly recommend this option if you just want to sample out the brand. The first mask I ever tried from this brand was the Imperial Bird’s Nest mask. The first thing I noticed when I opened up the mask that it was completely dripping in essence. This sheet mask probably hard more essence than any other I’ve used. I would suggest taking the excess essence and placing it on your face so that it can be absorbed once you put the mask on and if you still have any left over you can use it on your neck and hands. The generosity of the amount of essence included is a huge pro.
The material of the mask itself was quite sturdy and it did not feel flimsy or like it could be easily ripped on accident. The mask itself was extremely hydrating and moisturizing. It took over an hour for the essence to be finally absorbed. I followed up with a moisturizer and sleeping pack and woke up with incredible soft skin which lasted for several days. Some all time favorite MBD masks to try include Imperial Bird’s Nest Mask which is excellent for hydrating skin and calming irritated skin, Black Pearl which is great for brightening and evening out skin and also one of the most popular masks in the My Beauty Diary mask lineup.
Benton Snail Bee High Content Sheet Mask
Snail is super popular ingredient in many Korean skin care products and Benton’s Steam Cream is a favorite. It may sound a bit strange but snail has numerous benefits including the ability to reduce and fade acne scars, minimize hyperpigmentation and hydrate skin. Snail slime contains a large amount of hyaluronic acid and peptides which are often found in anti-aging products. Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Masks gives you a super concentrated amount of essence so you can really reap the rewards.
I refrigerated the face mask before use for a cooling effect and it felt wonderful and refreshing when I placed the mask on my face. It did feel a bit slimy and “wet” but no more than the other sheet masks I’ve tried.
My skin looked a bit brighter and my pores more refined afterwards. I can’t comment on if it really reduces acne as I don’t have any but my skin felt a lot more refreshed and hydrated after I took the mask off. A pack comes with 10 masks so you’ll get enough to last for awhile.
Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Masks
Tony Moly is a Korean brand that is well known for making excellent Korean face masks. They have a physical store in Little Tokyo (in Los Angeles) that I plan on visiting soon. I was also surprised that they are also carried at Ulta & Sephora. Oviously Korean Beauty is huge now and mainstream.
Tony Moly’s Rose Mask is super soothing and recommended if you have irritated skin that’s in need of calming and hydration. The Avocado mask is recommended for those who’s skin needs an extra dose of care and moisture while the Luminating Pearl Mask is great for brightening skin.
The variety pack contains 11 masks at a price that is significantly cheaper than what you would pay at Sephora or Ulta. Masks that are included are; Lemon, Tea Tree, Aloe, Pomegranate, Red Wine, Seaweed, Broccoli, Rice and Makkoli.