By Gretta Monahan
Every time I turn around these days, it seems like I’m looking at another new kind of at-home sheet mask. Whether it’s at the local pharmacy, at the mall, at a friend’s house, or online, there always seems to be some kind of new contribution to this huge D.I.Y. (or, rather, semi-D.I.Y.) trend. But do they actually work well? And what kinds of benefits do they actually have?
The great thing about most of the sheet masks out there is that they’re designed to keep their ingredients active (which is why they come in a sealed envelope), so they can deliver the most helpful elements directly to your skin, and have the most beneficial effect possible on your dermis. And they do all kinds of things, from brightening to moisturizing and exfoliating to soothing and replenishing with vitamins.
One I really love is the Pathology Smartmud “No mess” sheet masque ($30 for four at nordstrom.com). It’s a fantastic detoxifyer—as are most mud-based masks, like this one—except it has none of the icky mess that most do. Just pat the sheet on your face after cleaning, and its mixture of charcoal and clay absorbs excess oil and cleanse out pores.
For huge hydration, I go for Shiseido’s Benefiance Pure Retinol Intensive Revitalizing mask
($65 at sephora.com). That’s a really long name for an incredibly simple-to-use product. In about ten to 15 minutes, it plumps up even the most poached complexions in a jiffy.
Skin in desperate need of repair (thanks to damage from the sun, cold winters, and any other natural elements you can think of) does well with Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Concentrated Recovery Power Mask ($80 for four at saksfifthavenue.com). It comes backed by a tinfoil that keeps the mask lubricated as its serum revitalizes your face, so you walk away with the most infusion possible.
Peter Thomas Roth has been one of my favorite beauty lines for years, and their Gold Intense Wrinkle Sheet Mask ($68 for six at sephora.com) just makes me love them even more. Whenever you feel like your skin needs a big fix—whether it’s from inflammation, too much sun, or even just tiredness—pat this baby on, and watch its gold-infused formula bring you back to life.
Then there are options for the truly mask-obsessed, like factory.com, which you can sign up for a monthly membership to, starting at $5.95. They specialize in masks from Korea (where perfect skin is a culture-wide phenomenon) that include sheets, all wrapped in fun and funky packaging. Subscribe and they’ll mail you a selection of masks that have different missions for different skin—whether that means brightening, feeding it with vitamin C and D, or boosting collagen, and leaving you with a new, dewy glow.