They may look strange, but sheet masks come with a whole host of benefits that standard face masks simply can't deliver. Don't believe us? Just ask Bella Hadid, Zendaya, Priyanka Chopra, and Chrissy Teigen — all self-confessed sheet mask fans. This begs the question: are sheet masks really as good as everyone says? How do they work, and why do they look so strange?
We paid a visit to theHOUSE, our exclusive skin destination, to chat with Paul Edmonds London expert facialist Sunita. She gave us the lowdown on sheet masks — why they're worth it, how to use them, which brands suit which skin types — so you can integrate them into your skincare routine and start enjoying instant results.
What's a sheet mask?
Sheet masks are a type of face mask. They're individually packaged, face-shaped sheets usually made of coconut fibre, cotton, or cellulose. Each mask is drenched in skin-saving actives — all you need to do is gently place it over your face, matching your eyes, nose, and mouth to the handy holes in the mask.
"The Swedish skincare brand ClinicCare describes their sheet masks as a 'facial in a bag', and I couldn't agree more. This is the very essence of what a good sheet mask is," says Sunita.
What are the benefits of a sheet mask?
This is where the beauty of the 'sheet' comes in! Sheet masks act as an 'occlusive' — they sit on the surface of your skin and prevent any of the nourishing ingredients from evaporating. Your skin is saturated in the ultra hydrating serum for the full duration of the treatment with no chance of any skincare goodies escaping.
"Sheet masks are amazing for intense hydration while calming and soothing because they deliver medical-grade hyaluronic acid directly into dehydrated skin," says Sunita. "They're convenient, easy to use, and good for when you're on the go."
Sheet masks also act as a rest and reset for the skin, allowing it to replenish essential moisture and restore your skin's barrier. Better yet, the hydrating and simple format of sheet masks make them suitable for all skin types, no matter how sensitive, mature, or blemish prone.
How often should I do sheet masks?
"You can do sheet masks as part of your ongoing weekly maintenance or on the occasional pamper day," says Sunita. Some sheet masks are even safe to use every day — just make sure they don't contain strong ingredients like glycolic acid.
"The intensely hydrating properties of sheet masks make them excellent before or after big events, like parties or weddings," she says. The results are almost instant, so you can arrive with a youthful, dewy complexion and top up your skin's barrier afterwards with another mask.
Sheet masks are also excellent for anyone who frequently travels by air or has a long-haul flight coming up. "Flying can dehydrate skin and leave you looking tired. The masks plump, rejuvenate, and drench the skin with hyaluronic acid and moisture."
Using a sheet mask: your how-to guide
Sunita recommends prepping your skin with a cleanse and exfoliation ahead of the mask. Remove any make-up, then clear your pores to allow the serum in your mask to penetrate. Then apply your mask, being careful to keep close contact with your skin.
"I recommend leaving your sheet mask on for 20-30 minutes, taking care to cover the whole face. You'll need to keep the sheet in place for the full recommended time for the serum to penetrate, so you get the benefit," says Sunita.
"Apply your mask, ensuring it's fully touching the face, with the cutouts lined up over your mouth, nose, and eyes," she says. "While you leave your face to soak, you can use up all the excess serum left in the pouch — smooth it into your neck, décolleté, and hands."
Don't wash your face when you're finished. Allow time for the serum to sink into the skin, then moisturise as normal and apply SPF if you're masking as part of your morning routine.
Are sheet masks included in a Paul Edmonds London salon treatment?
"Sheet masks can be added onto your hair or nail services at Paul Edmonds London salons for an additional £30," says Sunita.
"You'll get a gentle cleanse and prep before the mask is applied. I'll cleanse your skin with Eminence Calm Skin Cleanser and tone with Eminence Organics Soothing Chamomile Tonique while you're in your seat at the backwash or at the nail bar.
"It's a wonderful way to maximise your experience at the salon, and it gives instant results, so I really do recommend it."
Best sheet masks: the Paul Edmonds London edit
We carry a carefully curated edit of sheet masks here at Paul Edmonds London, each chosen for its proven ability to deliver results.
ClinicCare EGF Glow Mask
Do you suffer from dull skin or unwanted pigmentation? The EGF Glow Mask from Swedish skin experts ClinicCare might be a great fit for you. As well as giving instant results, these masks are sustainable and made from biodegradable coconut fibre.
"The Glow Mask contains arbutin and white mulberry bark extract to treat pigmentation," says Sunita. "It also has a cooling effect that makes it good for anyone with sensitive skin. The overall effect is radiant."
ClinicCare EGF Pure Mask
When you're looking for fast anti-inflammatory results, the Pure Mask should be your go-to. It contains 1% hyaluronic acid for long-lasting hydration and is ideal for soothing redness and irritation caused by skin conditions and recent aesthetic treatment.
"This is your anti-inflammatory, rejuvenating mask for hydrating problematic and acne-prone skin," says Sunita. "It brings redness down and increases skin hydration, which also makes it a great mask for after a peel or a micro-needling treatment."
ClinicCare EGF Refresh/Tight Mask
Can a sheet mask imitate the effect of Botox injections? This one can. The EGF Refresh/Tight mask contains neuropeptides created from synthetic snake venom, which relaxes the muscles. When combined with the anti-ageing ingredient Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, the overall effect lifts and tightens, similar to getting a Botox 'tweakment'.
"I'd recommend this mask for anyone wanting to reduce the appearance of wrinkles," says Sunita. "It immediately hydrates while tightening and lifting the skin using synthetic snake venom. I also like to recommend this mask to soothe skin after an aesthetic treatment."
Decree SOS Revitalising mask
The Decree mask is perfect for eco-warriors who still want the deep hydration and nourishment of a sheet mask. This vegan mask comes in biodegradable packaging and is infused with rose and hydrating actives.
You can use the SOS Revitalising mask once a week or as part of your Decree skincare protocol — it plays very nicely with all the products in their succinct line-up as well as being a wonderful standalone treatment.
Book a facial at one of our London salons and let Sunita and the team look after you. Want a tailored sheet mask recommendation? No problem — book a consultation with our experts, and we'll match you with the right product for your needs.
If you're ready to treat your skin to a serum soaking, visit the online shop and pick up a sheet mask or two. Youthful hydration is just a mask away!