The main point of a sheet mask is to help hydrate the skin. While we recommend taking the sheet mask off after 20 minutes of usage, this doesn’t mean you have to wash your skin, as the ingredients can carry on taking effect afterwards, as the serum sinks into the skin.
Just like if you were to add moisturiser to the skin, you wouldn’t wash it off straight afterwards. The ingredients have a long lasting effect and take time to completely sink into the skin and to take full effect. On the other hand, if it’s the evening, you could still apply a night cream.
This is a regularly spoken about topic and the main reason for this is because a traditional mask, using ingredients like mud, must be washed off completely after use. However, sheet masks are very much a different kettle of fish, meaning it is absolutely fine to leave on the skin, in order to reap all the benefits.
Just like sheet masks, you also don’t need to wash off eye masks, as these contain a large amount of serum, which will work like a moisturiser on the skin.
Regardless, we still recommend reading the individual pack to ensure you gain optimal results, as all products are different and have different ingredients included.
What About Before I Apply The Sheet Mask?
Before you apply the mask, you need to use an exfoliator, to clean any pollutants and excess oil from the top layer of the skin, as well as opening the pores. To understand the importance, you need to look at the three layers of the skin...
- The Epidermis - This is the outer layer of skin that you need to clean through exfoliation. This is what creates our skin tone.
- The Dermis - This is what the sheet mask will clear, as it contains hair follicles and sweat glands, as well as connective tissue.
- The Hypodermis - Made up largely of fat and connective tissue, this is the deeper layer of subcutaneous tissue.
With this in mind, we need to ensure the sheet mask will work by clearing any oil and dirt from the epidermis and opening up the pores. The sheet mask simply can't get through to take effect if you haven't cleared off all the dead skin cells trapped on the surface level, therefore if you really want to see the benefits of applying a sheet mask, you need to take the preparation seriously.
So which exfoliation technique do I use?
There are an incredible amount of exfoliation techniques available to you, such as chemical exfoliation, which is largely utilising AHA's or BHA's. alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), sourced from fruits, nuts and sugars (e.g. citric acid, mandelic acid or glycolic acid). Beta Hydroxy Acid are great at penetrating the oils that collect on the skin, as well as clearing follicles of dead skin cells. An example of one is salicylic acid.
You can also try mechanical exfoliation, using some form of tool. If you do decide to use this, be cautious of which one you opt for, as you do not want one that is too abrasive and can cause skin irritation, such as crushed fruit pits.
You will now find that microbeads, which used to be commonly used, are now banned in the UK and most of Europe. This is because the incredible damage they do to the environment, as they filled the ocean. This is a huge positive and something people campaigned for over a significant period of time.
At the end of the day, whether you use a sharp grain or a deep pore machine, you should most definitely utilise this in your beauty regime.
There is one final step before you apply the sheet mask. You need to heat your face to open up the pores. You can either do this by splashing on some warm water, or you could consider steaming.
To do a steam facial, the most common method involves boiling some water and then pour the boiled water into a bowl, drop your head over the bowl and wrap a towel over your head. This will create a sort of tent, so that the steam stays in and helps to perfectly open the pores. I would recommend keeping your eyes closed, as otherwise it can be quite uncomfortable. I'd also recommend breathing deeply.
Make sure to keep a gap between your face and the water and be careful of splashing.