We recently created a list of what we consider to be the best face masks for all skin types and budgets but wanted to give a special shoutout to the best sheet masks as well.
Like gel, cream and clay face masks, the best sheet mask offers an array of skin benefits, yet unlike their somewhat messy counterparts, sheet masks are a lot easier to fit into your daily routine. Mainly because you don’t need to wash them off afterwards.
We quite often will put on a sheet mask while we’re drying our hair or making breakfast. Or we’ll do our eye makeup while one is working its magic, remove it, massage any remaining serum into our skin and finish with our foundation. This is a great way to get your skin primed and ready for makeup, too. You can read more about this in our guide on how to get a flawless base.
Sheet masks originated in Japan and South Korea and became a mainstream product in the UK in around 2016. Each sheet mask is soaked in concentrated serum that is full of skin-boosting properties, such as hyaluronic acid and vitamins. Because this serum is so concentrated, it gets to work super fast and, with the best sheet mask, will have visible results almost immediately.
Depending on your skin concern, there will undoubtedly be a sheet mask to meet your needs. Whether you’re after a boost of hydration, need to detox and purify your complexion or are tackling an acne breakout.
The concentrated nature of the serum means that for most sheet masks, you need just 15- 20 minutes for your skin to soak in all the goodness. Once you’ve removed the sheet mask just gently pat the remaining serum on your skin. You don’t have to moisturise after, nor do you have to wash your face.
Unless you’ve bought a mask that states its reusable – such as Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial dry sheet mask – then you can’t reuse sheet masks. Not only will they be less effective the second time around because your skin has already absorbed most of the goodness, there’s a danger that bacteria and dirt can form on the mask in between uses and this could transfer to your skin causing breakouts or irritation.
WANT TO KNOW MORE? Best BB cream | Best moisturiser | Best tinted moisturiser | Best toner | Best primer | Best cleanser| Best eye cream| Best anti-ageing cream | Best hand cream| Best foot cream | Best face mask | Best face exfoliator
Why we love it: Unlike other sheet masks, this version from Charlotte Tilbury is dry. It has holes at the back so that you can hook this mask behind your ears, to give it a snug fit, and it means the mask covers your whole face as well as under your chin.
Don’t let it put you off that it’s dry, the magic happens when you rub the mask with your fingers, a mixture of peptides, sea fern extract, niacinamide and shea butter is released to give you soft, hydrated, plump, and most of all glowing skin after 15 minutes.
The best thing about this? You can use it up to three times, which goes some way towards justifying its price. Although, that said, £18 is relatively cheap for Charlotte Tilbury so it’s worth the investment.
READ NEXT: Charlotte Tilbury sale UK
£2.99 | Buy now from Superdrug
Why we love it: Infused with half a bottle of serum, yes – half – this super cheap sheet mask punches well above its weight. As its name suggests, it leaves your skin well and truly hydrated and is the kind of mask that’s best for sorting out dry patches or when your skin is looking a little dull.
Why we love it: Okay, this may not be technically a traditional sheet mask, it’s more of a hydro gel type, but we couldn’t leave it off the list. It’s a great pick me up if you have a big event or party to go to, albeit virtually during lockdown. And given the price, it’s definitely a “special occasion” type facial treatment.
Although it has a high initial outlay, you get eight masks in a box and each one lifts, tones, hydrates and brightens your complexion. With Vitamin C from the pink grapefruit it will even out your skin tone and that added glow. You will feel radiant, even if you’re stuck at home in your PJs and a glass of wine.
£16.99 | Buy from Vitamasques
This mask is absolutely packed with a host of great vitamins including B3, B5, B6, C and E. After 20 minutes, our skin was nourished, plumped and most of all radiant. The reviews are endless on how great this mask is, not surprising because K-beauty has this right when it comes to sheet masks. Definitely a firm favourite of ours, this sheet mask will be great for the no makeup days. It just gives you that inner glow that you naturally have.
This is a new entry on the sheet mask scene and, like Rodial’s version, it’s a little thicker than traditional sheet masks. Huda Kattan, the brains behind Huda Beauty and Wishful skin, describes the Thirst Trap Cocoon Mask as “a saviour for dehydrated, thirsty skin”. Its thickness comes from the fact it has two layers. This is designed to make it capable of holding more of its ingredients, including aloe vera and sodium hyaluronate – to soothe and hydrate skin, and allantoin and niacinamide, to brighten and protect.
READ NEXT: Wishful Chin Lift review
It also contains caffeine. In tests, Huda Beauty claims that this mask boosted hydration by 76%, with the skin being 1.8x more hydrated 30 minutes after removal. In our own tests, hydration levels rose from 52% to 62%. Pigmentation dropped from 38% to 27% as well. Not quite as large as the claims suggest but it proves that it definitely works!
£3.95 | Buy now from Feelunique
Why we love it: Holika Holika is a Korean cosmetic brand that was created in 2010. Famous for its eye-changing packaging, the brand provides fun, practical cosmetic products designed to “enhance every person’s natural beauty”. Its colourful design is meant to be unisex – why should women always get the best skincare products?
We love the skin rescuer range of sheet masks with five to choose from to match your skin. Each sheet mask in this range contains 20ml of serum that delivers what your skin needs.
We particularly like the Hyaluronic Acid sheet mask, classed as a tsunami for the skin, which brightens, soothes, moisturises, refreshes and contains anti-wrinkle and anti-inflammatory ingredients.
After cleansing and toning, apply to your face and wait for 10-20 minutes. We recommend the full 20 minutes to feel the full “tsunami for your skin”. Once you’ve removed the sheet mask just gently pat the remaining essence.
Why we love it: If you’re a lover of the Advanced Night Repair serum, we can guarantee you will be stocking your beauty cabinet with this pack of sheet masks. Each mask is perfect for dry/dehydrated skin and comes split in two, which will be easier to fit to the contours of your face.
The mask has a foiled back so that it can penetrate hydration deeper into your skin. Each packet contains a double dose of Estee Lauder’s much-loved Advanced Night Repair, and we recommend that you wear this before bedtime for 10 minutes. You will notice the immediate effect of how powerful this is when you awake, we promise.
£6 | Buy now from Oh K!
Why we love it: You may have seen this sheet mask on a fair few social media profiles. The ever-so-cute hydrogel mask not long makes you feel a million dollars, due to the iridescent ingredients, it feels super luxurious.
Another Korean brand that was born in 2014, Oh K! has made big waves here in the UK. What we love about Korean brands is the quality that you get at an affordable price. Oh K! Has a motto to bring happiness in everyday moments and looking at this packaging how can you not smile?
This may not be a sheet mask in the traditional sense but it sets like a sheet mask – meaning it can be removed as one – and it gives you all the hydration you need due to the hyaluronic acid it contains making your skin hydrated and looking plump.
Meanwhile, skin-loving amino acids, Vitamin B3 and sea kelp extracts help skin look brighter and more youthful. We like the fact that this is a two-part mask, often you find having one whole sheet mask can be tricky to put on but the upside of this being in two parts it’s so easy to put on.
£24 | Buy now from Boots
Why we love it: No7 Protect & Perfect has been a firm favourite for UK users for years and now the brand has injected its hugely popular Advanced serum into sheets mask.
No7’s Advance serum can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, this isn’t like a serum you’d normally use. With these sheet masks, you get seven-times concentrated serum in each one meaning it can penetrate deeper into your skin.
The powerful Matrixyl 3000 found in the serum helps restore a more youthful appearance and having hyaluronic acid in the ingredients will make your skin feel super plump and hydrated. You can read more about these ingredients in our guide to the acids in your skincare.
The best thing about this mask is that it can hook over your ears for a more secure fit.
We have seen and read dramatic improvements with one mask use. No7 does recommend to use this for a week, which means you’d have to buy two boxes which can be expensive. However, Boots often offers 3 for 2 deals on its own range of skincare and makeup. You can find out more in our Boots sale roundup.