Single-use sheet masks are a huge skin care trend, but are they as effective - or as eco-friendly - as other face masks you can use at home? Are professional, multi-use facial masks better? We share the truth about sheet masks vs. professional masks.
the truth about sheet masks
Depending on the brand you use, sheet masks can have some benefits, such as hydration. However, sheet masks can't replace professional masks. Even the best sheet masks are usually doused in a "one-trick" serum-based formula that can't multi-task with additional exfoliation or deep-purging benefits.
Just because sheet masks usually have serum-based formulas doesn't mean they can replace traditional serums. Sheet masks aren't meant for everyday use, while high quality professional formulas often are. They are also limited in which concerns they can actually tackle.
But... are sheet masks bad for you? The truth is that a majority of sheet masks don't contain high quality ingredients. You should always read the labels on anything you put on your skin. Even if a skin care product says it does not contain negative ingredients like parabens, they can still contain other ingredients that can irritate and damage your skin. Sheet masks are often loaded with artificial fragrances, dyes and other filler ingredients that have no skin benefits.
If the product contains synthetic fragrances, 'parfum', artificial dyes, parabens, phthalates or DEA, it's not a high quality product that can truly help your skin.
sheet masks are terrible for acne prone + oily skin types
Perhaps the biggest negative when it comes to sheet masks is that they are often not designed for oily skin or acne prone skin. Sheet masks for oily skin or for acne prone skin can actually increase bacteria on the surface skin since your skin is trapped under the sheet mask, which can cause breakouts. "If the skin starts to sweat and releases additional moisture, this increases the chances of toxins being forced back into the pores," says Deborah Jones, a licensed esthetician and Bioelements educator. If you suffer from either of these skin concerns, skip sheet masks and opt for professional masks that target your specific concerns.
you can't multi-mask with sheet masks
You can't double or multi-mask with sheet masks like you can with professional masks. This limits how specific you can be with your at-home skin care. Multi-masking is particularly beneficial for those who have different concerns on different areas of their face, like an oily, congested t-zone and dry skin on the outer section of the face.
You can't multi-task either when it comes to sheet masks. Some masks are very slick so they tend to slide off your face, forcing you to lie down or lean back to prevent them from falling off. You also can't use a sheet mask overnight, because they will fall off. Some pro masks like Collagen Rehab and Radiance Rescue can be left on as an overnight intensive hydrating treatment.
Many sheet masks contain around 1 fluid ounce of product - that's an entire bottle's worth of serum!
sheet masks are not cost effective
It may feel like a bargain when you buy sheet masks, but they usually end up being pricier in the long run. A cream, clay or other professional mask can last you many months, as these formulas are so concentrated, and the ingredients are so active that only a small chickpea size of product is needed. When you break down the cost per each mask session, professional masks are almost always more cost effective, giving you anywhere from 15-20 uses per product.
sheet masks are not environmentally friendly
Another reason to avoid sheet masks? If you're trying to reduce your carbon footprint and have a better impact on the world, you should give up one-time use sheet masks for good. Sheet masks might be convenient, but their convenience comes at a cost: sheet masks typically do not deteriorate after being thrown in the trash, and their packaging tends to not be recyclable either. It's best to switch to a multi-use face mask that comes in sustainable packaging and provides a better experience for both you and the earth.
the bottom line
Depending on the brand, sheet masks may have some benefits, but even the best sheet mask can't replace professional masks. Most sheet masks a "one-trick" product that can't give you additional benefits like clay, cream and other types of masks can.
Plus, many sheet masks contain around 1 fluid ounce of product - that's an entire bottle's worth of serum! Using that much product is overkill for your skin and skin barrier, which can cause a cascade of other skin issues.
Sheet masks are trendy because they are fun and different, but they shouldn't replace professional skin care formulas and methods. They have potential to become better, but for now stick with what's proven to work.
our face mask recommendations
Professional masks contain high quality ingredients that work together to benefit your skin. They also come in different forms (clay, cream, etc.) and can tackle more skin concerns than sheet masks do.
Highly trained and licensed estheticians don't use mass market sheet masks because there are professional products that will tackle their clients' concerns more effectively. Here are some of their favorite sheet mask alternatives:
Collagen Rehab: An ingenious fusion of collagen-supporting amino acids, softening mango and moisture-builders that rehabilitates aging, lined and exhausted skin.
Radiance Rescue: A white truffle, caffeine + murumuru butter creme face and eye mask that's a stimulating, instant-radiance treatment to rescue skin worn down by age, stress and lifestyle.
Kerafole: A deep purging facial mask that purges pores and reveals fresh, radiant skin with natural exfoliators.
Restorative Clay: A pore-refining facial mask to vacuum up oil and improve texture with active natural clay.
If you're still asking yourself "do sheet masks work?" or have any questions about sheet masks vs. professional masks, leave a comment below - we're here to help!
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