Whilst life in lockdown and the harsh reality of seeing ourselves staring back at us on a Zoom call has made us scrutinise our looks more than ever, none of us has been within ten feet of a facility for the past three months. So what to do as life goes back to ‘normal’ and you suddenly need to look presentable fast? Thankfully, however, help is at hand thanks to a host of intensive, hydration-packing, nutrient-rich sheet masks which are the quickest, handiest way we’ve found to revive the skin when it needs resuscitating fast.
Founder of 35Thousand Misty Reich says that the 5 things she looks for in a sheet mask are: effectiveness (specifically Misty is looking for glow, hydration and plumping); multi-usage and cost per use (Misty says they don’t advertise it but you can re-use most of them and whilst a pack can seem expensive they normally contain 3-5 masks); fit (she says her face is larger than most); their ability to stay on, and finally their gloop factor since you don’t want a mask dripping slime into your lap.
Here are our favourites…
SK-II Facial Treatment Mask, $144.21 for 10
Effectiveness: The original sheet face mask, this is still one of the best for hydration, glow and skin plumping
Multi-usage: It’s an expensive product, but the effect is worth it and Misty’s hack is to buy 20 when she’s at Duty Free which works out cheaper. She also uses each mask 2-3 times since there is so much serum in one sachet. She folds it back up afterwards and replaces it back in the sachet, into an airtight container or bag and keeps it in the fridge for a few days. Disclaimer – do not keep for a month.
Fit: Fits well even for a larger face
Gloop and stay factor: There is a lot of gloop, but Misty wrings the mask out into the sachet before applying
Anything Else? Misty says to ignore the instructions and leave on for up to an hour for maximum glow factor.
Effectiveness: Again one of Misty’s favourites, this skincare set contains six 3-step treatments that are perfect for reviving tired or jetlagged skin leaving it smooth and glowing.
Multi-usage: ‘I would say that this is my ‘event mask’ ‘says Misty, ‘Given the cost and effectiveness.’ A proper treatment, there is a toner and an essence that you apply before each mask. Misty gets 2 uses out of the liquids and mask, if not 3. ‘If you get 3 uses per mask you are at a more reasonable price,” she says.
Fit: The fit is great and adaptable because it comes in two separate pieces.
Gloop and stay factor: Stays well and is not drippy messy.
Anything Else? Misty leaves it on for an hour.
Trish McEvoy Correct and Brighten Weekly Peel, $126 for 12
Effectiveness: ‘This is such a great product’ says Misty, “It has been in my skincare arsenal and mask drawer for years and I’m never without it.’ It is a single cotton pad that you swipe all over your face, neck and décolletage , and it is a gentle yet effective overnight exfoliator and glow treatment, and I’m always amazed that I wake up and my skin looks good. It is the perfect non-liquid travel companion.’
Multi-usage: It is not cheap at £8 per use but it is for weekly or occasional use.’
Gloop factor: This product is mess free
Anything else? Misty also uses any excess on elbows and heels. Great for use in flight.
Dr Jart + Dermask Cheek and Eye Lift, $21.64 for 2
Effectiveness: A set of two individually packaged hydrogel patches, they are brightening, plumping and diminish the look of fine lines around the eyes.
Multi-use: They are not terribly expensive and Misty replaces the patches back on their paper backing to reuse a second time.
Fit: A second skin
Gloop and stay factor: Absolutely no mess and non-budging until peeled off.
Anything else? ‘I can blow dry my hair with this on and that is key for me’ says Misty.
Sarah Chapman 3D Moisture Infusion Mask, $56.87 for 4
Effectiveness: Seriously skin quenching for particularly parched skin. This bio-cellulose mask, created by one of London’s top facialists, envelops the face like a second skin, instantly hydrating, plumping and soothing.
Multi-usage: 100% The mask is coated in a serum and we would definitely reuse it (although we would advise disposing of it after a few days)
Fit: It uses bio cellulose technology – different to fabric masks – it is made of tiny fibres that fall into every fold and pore of the skin
Gloop and stay factor: Like a second skin, and non-drip.
Anything else? There are clever flaps that can be pulled over eyelids if you plan to lie back and relax for a while, or they can be folded down if that’s not your thing. We also leave this on for an hour for maximum benefits.
Effectiveness: This is a super-fast, super-charged mask pad that delivers fresh, dewy skin in seconds. Ideal if you’re super busy or have no time for any other beautification. Massage the toner-soaked beaded side gently over clean skin to gently exfoliate and brighten the skin and then use the other ‘serum’ side to hydrate and smooth.
Multi-use: No because you are probably picking up skin debris with the exfoliating side, but at this price they are affordable.
Gloop factor: Skin feels quite wet when initially applied but this soon dries into the skin.
Anything else? Perfect weekly treatment for those who don’t have time for lengthy mask applications
The Maskologist Rose Glowing potion, $115 for 4 masks
Effectiveness: A great, luxurious mask for parched, travelled-out skin. This hydrogel mask is much like a facial in a sachet and packs nutrients, hydration, minerals and antibacterial properties into the skin leaving it radiant.
Multi-use: No. You only get one and being of clear gel-like texture, it sticks to itself when pulled off but that’s because it is biodegradable. Is it worth the price? If you’re feeling flush then yes.
Fit: In two parts (one for the forehead and the other for the lower face), it locks onto the skin like second skin
Stay and Gloop factor: It does slip slightly and requires some readjusting, but contains just the right amount of product that is absorbed well into skin afterwards
Anything else? It smells of a divine rose garden and ends up with a cooling sensation on the skin.
Image credits: Beats Solo Pro Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones, turquoise notebook from Noble Macmillan, and Hip Water Bottle