Sheet Masks: Creepy, Yet Wildly Effective Skin Care

By now we're sure you're familiar with sheet masks, so we'll spare you the Silence of the Lambs jokes everyone feels the need to make about them. But while you may have seen them, chances are you probably haven't tried them yet — maybe they looked complicated or just didn't make sense to you. We beg you to reconsider, because these awkward-looking treatments have all kinds of benefits for your skin.
For those of you who are still a little fuzzy on the details, sheet masks are full-face pieces cloth or paper that have holes cut out of them for your eyes, nose, and mouth. They are infused with a potent treatment formula — simply unfold the mask, lay it on your face, aligning the holes with the corresponding part of your face (which can be trickier than it sounds) and relax for 10-15 minutes. The cooling liquid formula will refresh your complexion as it is absorbed into the face. What makes these really different from the wash-off masks you are used to is the sheet masks trap the formula on top of your skin, forcing it to absorb and sealing in moisture.
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While they are super-popular in Asian countries, for some reason cloth masks took a little longer to catch on in the Western world. Thankfully, it looks like that's about to change with the recent launch of a spate of new masks by well-known brands. Here, we've rounded up the most notable ones hitting shelves right now. Check them out, find the formula that's right for you and give them a go — we don't think you'll be disappointed.
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The latest addition to Lancôme's popular Génifique anti-aging line is this skin-smoothing, radiance-boosting mask. Instead of slippery paper, which has a tendency to fall off, this one is made using bio-cellulose, meaning it adheres snugly to the face and won't slide off or leave gaps. Skin is left plumped, soft, and glowing after one 20-minute session.

Lancôme Génifique Youth Activating Second Skin Mask, £59, available at Lancome.
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Add a luminous glow to your complexion with this sheet mask from HiGlow. Enriched with golden light-reflecting particles, it'll leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We'd recommend applying it before your next big night out to achieve a dewy base.

HIGlow High Intensity Radiance & Glow Luxe Gold Foil Mask, £5.99, available at Superdrug
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Infused with collagen to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and smooth skin, this cotton mask is a budget-friendly option and a great pick for a newbie. Plus, if it turns out you don't like sheet masks, at least you didn't spend a fortune to find that out.

Masque Bar by Look Beauty Wrinkle Reducing Sheet Mask Pack of 3, £9.99, available at Boots.
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The perfect pick for those with problem skin, this mask — made from bio-degradable wood pulp natural cloth— uses citric acid from lemon, salicylic acid, and pineapple extract to deep clean pores, exfoliate dead skin, and reveal an overall brighter complexion.

Karuna Exfoliating Treatment Masks, £2o.70, available at SkinStore.
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Another bio-cellulose entry, Skinceuticals' first sheet mask was created specifically for super-sensitive, compromised skin — e.g. those people recovering from chemical peels or laser treatments. It creates a protective barrier that helps to expedite the healing process, plus it uses unique fibers that help cool the skin and provide immediate relief from heat, redness, and sensitivity.

Skinceuticals Biocellulose Restorative Masque, £79.43, available at Amazon.
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Brighten dark marks and spots with this radiance-enhancing mask. Inspired by iontophoresis — a non-invasive method of propelling high concentrations of a charged substance into the skin — it uses proprietary Ion Force Technology to allow the skin to absorb the formula deep into the skin, resulting in a fresh, radiant, more even complexion.

Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask, £88.12, available at Amazon.

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