When it comes to controversial beauty products, sheet masks are pretty high up on the list. They're expensive, usually one-use and are viewed as more of a quick-fix approach to skincare by skin experts who recommend sticking to consistent, ingredients-led routines for the best results. However, as a face mask fanatic I just can't give up the joys they bring me. They're indulgent, fun to use and feel like a treat—particularly during a time when, let's face it, we should all be finding pleasure in the little things. And I know I'm not alone. A quick search on Instagram results in over 950,000 images with the sheet mask hashtag. After all, an undeniable allure of this skincare product has to be its selfie appeal.
Putting the fun factor aside for a moment though, do sheet masks actually work? When it comes to testing skincare, I firmly believe that it should always do something for your skin for it to take up space in your bathroom cabinet. A product might be cheap, contain trending ingredients, or be celebrity-approved—trust me, I'll try them all—but you should always be able to see results. I've been using sheet masks for years and, having tried hundreds at this point, I can definitely say that there are some on the market that won't make one bit of difference to your skin. But there are also a handful that are genuinely worth your money, have visible results and that I repurchase over and over again.
The equivalent of a professional facialist in sheet mask form, this bio-cellulose invention contains a whole host of hi-tech ingredients—I'm talking things like N-Acetyl Cysteine—to replenish and recharge tired skin.
Fans of Estée Lauder's iconic Advanced Night Repair serum will adore this unique foil mask which comes fortified with a restorative dose of hyaluronic acid and the brand's potent ChronoluxCB technology to firm and brighten in just 10 minutes.
Not only is this sheet mask completely dry—making it the easiest to use of the bunch—but you can use it three times. I don't know how it works but it really does. Pop it in for 15 minutes and even the dullest of complexions will look brighter and rejuvenated.
Basically every celebrity is obsessed with this sheet mask and once you try it you'll understand why. It harnesses the traditional skin benefits of rose—soothing, hydrating, calming—and combines it with 24 carat gold for an A-list-worthy glow.
A jelly-like, two-piece sheet mask that is saturated in exfoliating acids (salicylic, glycolic and lactic) as well as skin-soothing niacinamide to unclog pores, refine skin texture and calm spot-prone skin.
I'm a huge fan of Sarah Chapman skincare anyway—after all she's the go-to facialist for the likes of VB and Meghan Markle—but it was this product that converted me to the joys of sheet masks. It's a hyaluronic acid-based formula that smooths fine lines and intensely hydrates for plump, juicy skin when you remove it.
Since having a baby, there have been some mornings that I look seriously shattered. When I do, there is no better problem solver than this ascorbic acid-infused treatment. It instantly brightens and boosts radiance and I love way it helps to even skin tone too.
I was lucky enough to be gifted these tissue masks previously and, with a three-figure price tag, I didn't want to love them. However, this luxurious tissue masks are lovely. Each one contains the equivalent of a bottle of serum and they genuinely do an amazing job at lifting and firming the skin. Of course, they're not a necessity but they're a great way to elevate pamper night at home.
I'll be honest, I never have high hopes when makeup brands turn their attention to skincare so I wasn't sure what to think when the legendary Huda Kattan, founder of Huda Beauty, launched Wishful. I shouldn't have worried. This is an indulgent, serum-soaked mask that I adore using on mornings that I want seriously dewy skin. Trust me—it works.
While there might not be much post-party recovery happening right now, this is still one of my favourite sheet masks for brightening skin on particularly lacklustre days. The dose of vitamin C also works to correct uneven skin tone and improve any areas of darkness and pigmentation.
Although you might opt for a brightening sheet mask at the start of the day, I love using this foil one in the evening. It heats up on contact with your skin and feels so relaxing that I don't really care what it leaves my skin looking like. However, the added bonus is that it leaves skin glowy and hydrated—so it's a win-win.
Containing trending ingredient cica, also known as tiger grass, this is a sheet mask that's all about comfort. Ideal for sensitive skin types, stressed complexions or if you're like me and have overdone it with the beauty products then this calms redness and soothes irritation wonderfully.
It can be hard to find sheet masks tailored towards blemish-prone skin—a lot of them are all about the glow—but I always recommend this one from Garnier. Not only is it really cheap but it contains ingredients like black algae and charcoal to really draw out excess oil and leave congested skin feeling refreshed.
I swear by Patchology for under-eye masks but their full face sheet masks are really good too—and brilliant if you're after an affordable option. This one contains solid spot-fighting ingredients like tea tree, willow bark and peppermint to combat blemish-inducing bacteria without causing irritation.
When my skin is feeling sensitised or like I haven't been taking care of it, I reach for this natural microfibre mask. It contains prebiotics and probiotics to really care for your skin barrier and deeply hydrate parched skin. Plus, the packaging is super cute which doesn't hurt.