Completely sheet faced

by Shereen M.

Shereen is a 30-something sheet mask addict who works for a book publisher in London, UK. She has two cats and a lot of foil packets. In her spare time, she can be found patch testing new products all over her face or on her phone, sharing her passion for skincare over at @thewayofthesnail.


Hi, everyone. I’m Shereen, and I’m a sheet mask-aholic. I hear admitting it is the first step (to something. I forget what exactly).

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I fell down the sheet mask rabbit hole in early 2016, when I first started exploring Korean skincare in search of more effective solutions to my skin concerns. I own more than I’d like to admit (ok I’ll admit it, my last mask count came up to 185), and I try to mask daily if I have the time. I might even mask twice in a day if I have a really special occasion ahead. I use sheet masks for a hydration boost, to soothe/treat angry breakouts, to plump up fine (and not so fine) lines, and to brighten up my complexion.

But one of the main reasons I enjoy this step of my routine so much is really just the simple ritual of putting on a sheet mask and relaxing for 20-30 minutes - it’s an indulgent treat at the end of a sometimes stressful day. Some people like to unwind at the gym, I like to watch Game of Thrones with a piece of soaked cloth on my face. Everyone has their thing.

But not all sheet masks are created equal. I’ve tried high end, low end, and somewhere in between. Expensive definitely isn’t always better, though sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Even so, I’d need a mask to be really damn special to spend more than a few pounds on it. Keep reading for a selection of my current favourites, in no particular order!

As a point of reference, I have combination/oily skin and my main concerns are aging skin, dehydration, and hormonal acne (and its lovely after effects, i.e. pigmentation). These masks fit the bill for me:

Naruko Tea Tree Shine Control & Blemish Clear Mask

My Holy Grail mask for treating and calming down active breakouts. A black mask featuring salicylic acid (clears out pores), tranexamic acid (lightens discolouration), tea tree oil (disinfectant) and a formula of plant extracts to calm and brighten skin, this is the ideal ‘skin emergency’ mask.

Farmacy Soothing Coconut Gel Mask

These masks are usually £21 for a box of 3, so when I saw them on sale in TK Maxx here in the UK for £9.99 I had to snap them up! This is a great pick for inflamed or irritated skin, featuring vitamin-rich kale extract. The coconut gel mask (similar to the Leaders ones, though I haven’t tried those yet) is a perfect fit on me, and my skin feels hydrated and looks calmer after taking it off.

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Everyone has their thing.

Some people like to unwind at the gym, I like to watch Game of Thrones with a piece of soaked cloth on my face.

Whamisa Organic Seeds and Rice Hydrogel Mask

This is one of the more luxurious masks in my stash, and my favourite of all the Whamisa varieties I’ve tried. It’s a hydrogel mask which comes in two parts and packs a punch with the fermented organic ingredients the brand is known for. It also smells really good. Every time I wear this I end up with that sought-after glow, plumped up lines and refreshed, hydrated skin. Definitely my pick to wear before a special occasion, if I ever had one of those…

Papa Recipe Bombee Whitening Honey Mask

One of my favourite picks for instant brightening and moisturising, and my winner for the softest, stretchiest mask material ever. This face-hugging mask smells delicious and includes skin repairing, antibacterial and brightening ingredients such as honey extract, propolis, niacinamide, licorice root extract and diamond powder (fancy!).

PACKage Korea Don't Worry Healing Mask

I just love this mask for calming down redness and angry blemishes. The essence it comes soaked in includes Centella Asiatica Extract and Madecassoside for healing and soothing skin, and the lack of alcohol and fragrance makes it a great option for sensitive skin types. I personally find the packaging and writing on the mask really sweet too - it would make a thoughtful gift for someone in need of a small boost (and some self care, which we all need to take time to practice).