The fact that sheet masks are taking the world by storm is something that I am immensely happy with. Especially when the love is dished out to the OG Korean brands that made this whole thing possible, or just the Korean brands in general.
(Seriously, there are far too many roundups and lists of anything korean-inspired, or that uses Korean technology in some aspect, in the beauty industry that legitimately contain zero Korean brands. Or zero everyday affordable Korean brands.)
If sheet masks are a new thing for you, or you’re interested in learn a little bit about why they even happened, then I have a Korean Beauty: Sheet masks Explained post that you might want to check out. (There is also a video.)
Being in Korea means that I have access to basically every Korean brand known to man; from super high end to roadshop, with the extra option of dollar store/diaso’s finest. I can pick up anything anytime, pretty much anywhere. It’s pretty darn liberating when you’re an addict to skincare. It also means that I get to try a lot of brands. Sheet masks over here are relatively inexpensive; they range from 900W-3000W if you’re not going somewhere high-end, and even then they are generally the most affordable products produced by companies. Basically, there are way, way more than the TonyMoly ‘I’m Real’ line. Way more. I like TonyMoly as a brand, but there are better masks out there if you’re wanting to sample some Korean skincare. So I thought I’d share my current collection with you.
I keep all of my sheet masks in a basket by my bed, and I try and keep them as organised as possible with brands together. It’s pretty easy to flick through them and find what I want to use on a given day. At the moment, I have a decent variety of brands in my possession (none of them are TonyMoly), some of them I have tried, some of them I am still yet to, but all of them are brands I know are good, have heard are good, or just intrigued me in some way. There are also a few that were free given with purchases, but that is really only a few.
Innisfree is a very solid ‘all rounder’ of a brand; it does decent makeup, is pretty ace at skincare, and is affordable to boot. I’ve loved the ‘it’s real squeeze‘ line of sheet masks for a while, as they’re around 1000W per sheet and a have a range of different types. My go-to’s are honey, rice, and tea tree, as I have blemish-prone skin and these three are the best for me to clear anything up – I’ll generally start with one of them if I’m testing a new brand – but I’ve been loving the addition of bija to their lineup. I currently have six of these left in blackberry, shea butter, rice, honey, cucumber, and green tea. They are also a line I would definitely recommend.
A’pieu is one of those brands that make me really happy. They have a lot of really interesting products that work really well for the price. The little-sister brand of Missha, their focus is products infused with skincare, so a lot of their ranges will have additional benefits for your skin. They have quite a range of masks available to buy, but the ones that I have picked up the most often are ‘my skin-fit sheet mask‘. They have a lot of really interesting types in this range, and Sea Buckthorn has actually been my favourite so far. (It’s an infusion of Sea Buckthorn Water and Golden Kiwi Fruit.) The skin-fit line are billed as ‘Skin-friendly‘ so are good for sensitive or easily irritated complexions, contain 6000ppm in the serum, and you have to peel the mask from a backing before you put it on.
A’pieu also have a load of other types of masks, and I’m really intrigued by the ‘milk’ line. Mostly because dairy is never good for my skin if ingested, but I’ve been pretty OK with the natural yoghurt type remedies in the past.
Currently, I have the Sea Buckthorn and Lime variety of Skin-Fit Sheet Masks in my collection.
I was first introduced to these masks by Hannah, as she s w e a r s by them. Well, specifically, she really loves boH: Calamine Calming Solution. This mask is pretty cool though, as it’s a sheet clay mask, which you do actually wash off once you’re done. It took me ages to find some of these though, as they were tucked behind the other boH: masks in the range. The calamine mask helps with sebum absorption and soothes the skin. You keep them on for longer than the serum sheet masks – 30-40 minutes rather than the 10-20 minutes – but if you’re a fan of clay masks and have been interested in trying sheet masks, this could be a fun kind of fusion for you~. They are a little more expensive than your average serum masks, but they’re worth it, in my opinion.
There are a few other masks in this line that I want to try, but I have 3 of these Calamine Calming Solution mud masks in my collection.
16 Brand is the younger line of products created by Chosungah Beauty. The whole company is a newer brand to me. I haven’t tried all that much from it, but I find myself drawn to the stores and the concession stands to swatch a lot of the products. Cho Sung-ah is one of Korea’s OG makeup artists (she was the first Korean makeup artist to have a collaboration lipstick with MAC), and has a philosophy that makeup should be fun, and that’s really well reflected in the stores aesthetics. We all know I’m a sucker for aesthetics.
There are two lines from Chosungah beauty, 16Brand and Chosungah22. 16Brand is marginally less expensive, and I feel is also a little more comprehensive in it’s product range right now, but I’m here to talk about the sheet masks, aren’t I. The two I have were gifts with purchase, and both of them are the same type: the 16 Ocean Toks Mask Pack in Spirulina. The ingredient lists spirulina platensis extract, snail secretion filtrate (still a favourite ingredient in Korean skincare), sea water, and pearl extract. The effect is supposed to be an intensively nourishing mask.
Ok so these are super cute. I saw them in the LOHB in the Lotte department store in Jamsil and was sufficiently intrigued. The company is iM1ne Labs, and the line is ‘I’m Sorry For My Skin’. The packaging is pretty much what sold me on adding one to my basket, they basically have pictures of things that are Not Good For Your Skin on the front. They’re jelly masks, which I also found interesting, I haven’t tried one before. I picked up the pore care version (ice cream on the front), and there are three or four others in the range that all do different things for your skin. I’m looking forward to trying this one and maybe the others by I’m Sorry For My Skin if I like this one!
Another ‘you can get this in Olive Young’ brand that I haven’t had many encounters with. I adopted this mask when one of the teaching staff left and couldn’t take it with her, so it wasn’t one that I’ve bought myself, but it’s in Aloe which is a pretty safe bet when it comes to new brands and new masks. There are 7 in the 7 Days line – one for each day – with the full set giving you pretty comprehensive cover for a lot of skin grievances: bamboo water (hydrating and moisturising) , aloe (calming and soothing), green tea (sebum control and purifying), tea tree (great for blemish prone skin), pomegranate (firming and improving radiance), avocado (nutrition and repairing), and lemon.
I still have one of these left from a korean skincare haul a while back. I’ve enjoyed using them, though they didn’t have the cute character face I was expecting on the sheet mask. Not entirely sure if I’d purchase again, as I think the only store I’ve found that sells them in Korea is mask story and I don’t really go in there all that often, but the 10 I had were nice to use.
This mask. I’ve spent an actual frantic amount of time trying to find the real version of this in A’pieu stores and not a tester, but TO NO AVAIL. Then I get given a sample with another purchase and yes I want this mask. It feels really light on the skin and I’m sad I only had two testers. Need. To. Find. Full. Size.
Etude House has loads of different masks – I’m quite partial to their A-Z range, but the ones I have at the moment are two of their Therapy Air Mask in blueberry, and three of their laugh lines care patch, which I picked up in my huge Etude House one brand haul. Even though the laugh lines care patch isn’t strictly a sheet mask, I thought I’d include it since the concept is pretty much the same.
After the acne/blemish fighting mask types, my next favourites are the berry types due to the antioxidants packed into the serums and the skin brightening effects that they have. As I’ve said before, brightening and whitening are not synonymous terms, brightening is about improving the appearance (relieving the ‘duller’ areas of your skin) and whitening is about lightening skin tones. The berry types, such as blueberry and pomegranate (which is technically a berry), do wonders for my skin on days when I think I look waaaay more tired than I have any right being.
Alongside full face sheet masks, there are a variety of area specific patches (such as the Etude laugh lines care pack). You might have seen the lip patches floating around the internet, as they have quite a distinctive look. Regardless of how different the concept of area targeting patches is, they’re pretty popular; products that are inexpensive and don’t take up a lot of storage space? Yes. All of the yes.
I’ve posted about my love for the Etude House collagen eye packs before – they don’t do a lot for dark circles, but they are seriously hydrating. I especially love them after I’ve had a night out just to make me look a little bit less tired, and help my makeup for the day sit a little better.
I’ve also really been loving the A’pieu steam eye mask – these are little masks you pop over your eyes and they heat up gradually. It’s super relaxing when you’re stressed out, and is generally just really quite nice if you’re looking for a little bit of ‘me’ time. Since the weather has been the Most Gross, extra heat on or around my eyeballs isn’t something I’m exactly looking for right now, but boy do I love these when the weather gets colder. I also have a Japanese branded one that does the same thing, but sits around the eyes so you can actually see.
Last in eye-related masks is the Skinfood yuja water vita eye mask. Intensely hydrating, with both brightening and (annoyingly) whitening ingredients, it targets the appearance of dark circles, and is the most effective when used in sequence with the rest of the range. I don’t tend to reach for them all that much – I’ve used one of the three I had – and I don’t think I’d necessarily pick them up in a pack or individually, but they do smell amazing.
There are loads of nose related patches, strips, and masks to get your teeth into from Korean brands. Most of them are pretty decent; I’d happily say that around 98% of those I’ve tried have pulled the gunk out of the pores on my nose really effectively. At the moment, I only have the Tosowoong black head nose pack and Piggymom soak soak nose pack (created by mediheal), but I’m planning to pick up a couple of other brands soon.
The Tosowoong black head nose pack is a pretty standard charcoal blackhead nose pore strip – it’s effective, and I like that they come individually packaged so that you can shove them in your bag if you’re travelling, or just really need to clean the gunk off your nose. They take 15 minutes to do after cleansing the area, so are pretty decent timewise to really pull all the grimness from your pores.
The Piggymom soak soak nose pack is a three step pore clearing process. Each step comes in the shape of a nose strip, but each strip does something different. The first loosens the blackheads and gunk that is clogging your pores, and you keep it on for 15-20 minutes; the second lifts all that dirt from the pores, and takes 10-15 minutes; and the third is a jelly pack that helps to stop your pores from getting blocked in the first place, taking 10 minutes of your time. So while this process is definitely not as fast and easy breezy as the tosowoong packs, it’s nice if you have a bit of time laid out to pamper yourself. Which, if you have a stressful lifestyle, you definitely deserve.
I have two sheet masks produced by non-Korean brands in my current stash… and let me tell you that one will probably be staying there for a while? I don’t really rate non-Asian sheet mask brands, if I’m being brutally honest. The technology, quality for price, and general feel of them just doesn’t match up to Korean or Japanese products. Even if they’re stamped with ‘using Korean technology’, I still find they fall short. B u t, I am all for being proved wrong if anyone has any recommendations – just not the garnier moisture bomb set please.
So, I have the Starskin hydrating bio-cellulose second skin face mask: red carpet ready, which is an absolute mouthful, and also has a ‘top best natural Korean leading ingredients’ stamp on the front. I’m only rolling my eyes slightly, I promise. Starskin seem like an OK brand if you’re in a pinch, absolutely need something in the way of sheet masks and don’t want to wait for shipping from Korea. At £8.50 a mask though… why bother? You can pick up the same thing in Korea, or from Korean shopping services/sites for way less.
The other brand is Timeless Truth, and I have their Orchid extract Replenishing Mask. It’s one of the masks with lots of bits that hook to your ears to ensure a secure fit on the face. They’re a Taiwanese brand as far as I can tell, so the mask I have isn’t relegated to the same shadowy depths as the Starskin mask, but again for the price, I might as well pick up a couple of Laneige masks and be on my way? I have tried other TT masks in the past and did quite like them, but it wasn’t a completely life-changing experience. They’re nice masks, but for price and ease of purchasing, I’d rather drop that money on Laneige or AHC.
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And that concludes this absolutely mammoth roundup of the sheet masks I currently have. Watch me add another three completely different brands or lines almost immediately after I post this. WATCH ME.
If you’ve tried any of these, or others, let me know which were your favourites in the comments!