Self-care is one of the most important ways that you can maintain your mental health, especially in the world today. Life has a tendency to wear you down, so taking care of yourself can help to keep you happy, healthy, and safe. Sheet masks are a great, easy way to do that. CHIJI has some tips for making the best of your sheet mask and other ways to make sure that you’re meeting your own needs.
What Are Sheet Masks?
If you haven’t heard of sheet masks before, prepare to have your mind blown. Instead of having to slather messy face masks all over your face, sheet masks are a way to take care of the skin on your face without having to clean up your entire bathroom. Pretty great, right?
Sheet masks come in an easy, pre-packaged form. They are usually made of fabric, although the material may vary (cotton is the most common), and are soaked in a more concentrated form of many of the common active ingredients. They’re also face-shaped, making them much easier to apply and use, even for people who may not have used them before.
The reason that sheet masks are more concentrated is that they are designed to deliver the active ingredient directly to the skin and even potentially be able to penetrate deeper into the skin than traditional masks. They are packed full of amino acids, minerals, and vitamins and will help without drying out the skin.
Keep in mind that sheet masks are not meant to replace more traditional masks; they are meant to be used in rotation with them. Because of the price of most sheet masks, they are best used for special self-care days or before events that you can use just a little extra skin boost. Twice a week is a good goal, at most. Using them more frequently won’t affect their usefulness and just ends up costing you money.
Common Targets Of Sheet Masks
One of the most useful targets of a sheet mask is hydration. Hydration is often one of the factors of skincare that gets overlooked in favor of flashier things like anti-aging and brightening. However, hydration is the biggest factor in both of those things! When your skin is hydrated, it is more resilient, brighter, and less prone to fine lines and wrinkles.
Putting on a sheet mask can help increase the skin’s water content by sealing in the active ingredients and keeping them from being able to evaporate off the skin. That allows them to evaporate deeper and hydrate the skin more thoroughly.
Because of the hydration goal, there are three common active ingredients that are found in the majority of commercial sheet masks - antioxidants, ceramides, and/or hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is incredibly popular because it is an incredibly effective hydrating agent. It creates a barrier that keeps moisture in (and stops it from being able to leave), which leads to improved texture and firmness. It also naturally creates more radiant, beautiful skin! The older we get, the more likely it is that our skin is dehydrated. Hyaluronic acid can help.
Ceramides help in combination with hyaluronic acid, helping block out any negative environmental influences that may disrupt the skin’s lipid layer. The lipid layer is incredibly important because it acts as the skin’s barrier, protecting it from the outside world (things like pollutants and bacteria). With a compromised lipid layer, the skin tends to show signs of age quicker. Ceramides help hold those lipids more tightly together, so that the skin is safer as well as plumper, smoother, and more moisturized.
What Sheet Masks Can’t Do
Because of the way that face masks act on the face and the active ingredients that they’re made of, there are a few things that sheet masks can’t do.
One of those things is exfoliation. Although there are chemical exfoliants out there that are effective, there is usually a physical exfoliation component that is important to being able to get rid of all those dead skin cells. If you’re looking for an exfoliator, it is best to stick with a scrub or an exfoliating mask that you apply to the skin with a brush or your fingers.
Sheet masks are also not meant for cleansing. They are meant to be used after you have cleansed your face so that the active ingredients are able to reach more deeply into your pores. You don’t want to lock the bacteria into the face, and you want your pores to be as open as possible before you apply a mask. Always cleanse first.
Also, sheet masks aren’t the best for people who may struggle with acne-related concerns. With a sheet mask on, especially when it is held in place with a face mask shield, the temperature of the skin naturally increases (possibly up to 10 degrees). While this is no big deal for people who don’t deal with acne, increasing the temperature can also potentially create an environment for the bacteria that causes acne to thrive. If you’re unsure, always do a “patch” test on your skin before going all in.
How Can I Make Sheet Masks More Effective?
As wonderful as sheet masks are, they are also prone to sliding off the face. That can be frustrating, unless you plan on laying completely still while it’s on. CHIJI created a product to help, our reusable face mask shield. The face mask shield is made out of silicone and sits on top of the face mask, holding it in place and reducing slippage and frustration.
It is also easy to clean, meaning that you can use it over and over again. They can also be used with facial serums, holding them in place, tighter to the face, so that they can be even more effective.
Another way to help increase the effectiveness of a sheet mask is to make sure that it fits your face appropriately. One of the only drawbacks of sheet masks is that they are one size fits all, but there is a way to work with the size and shape of your skin instead of just dealing with it as it is. Don’t feel bad about cutting it! A few well-placed snips here and there can help your mask sit even better on your face, increasing its effectiveness.
Let’s Talk Self-Care
There is so much emphasis on self-care, but do you know why that is? The truth of the matter is that we talk about it so much because it is incredibly important. It’s actually fairly impossible to downplay the importance of self-care, because it has such a far-reaching effect into every avenue of your life.
If you haven’t already started a self-care routine, now is the time to start! It’s never too late to focus on yourself. Self-care routines look different for everyone because we’re all beautiful, unique creatures. They should only be filled with things that bring you joy, specifically. Don’t practice any self-care that stems from things you think you should enjoy or do.
In addition to kicking back with a face mask, taking a bath is one of our favorite self-care practices. It’s also easy and doesn’t require having to leave your house (which is especially important if you’re having a stressful day). Consider using a bath bomb or bubble bath (essential oils work great too), light a crystal energy candle, put down your phone, and relax. Not only will your body feel more calm, your brain will as well. You’ll step out of the bath as a totally new person and can carry that feeling into the rest of your day.
Getting out of the house can also be an important form of self-care. We spend so much time, especially in the current world environment, stuck inside the house. Just getting out for a quick walk around the block, or a hike in nature, can reset your attitude, help you get some fresh air, and change your perspective. Many people feel like they even think more clearly when they are out of their usual environment. Plus, anything that you can do to boost your activity level is great for both the body and the mind. Make sure you take your dog too, if you have one!
CHIJI wants you to feel your best, not just look your best. When you are feeling yourself, from the inside out, it really does vibrate out into every aspect of your life… the way you treat yourself, the way you treat others, how confident you are, etc.
Sheet masks are a great, simple way to be able to practice self-care. All you need to do is to place the sheet mask on your face, cover it with one of our reusable face mask shields, kick your feet up, and take some much-needed “me” time. No matter what you may think, you absolutely deserve it.