SHEET MASK

Sheet masks are a brand new thing. If you spend any time at all on Instagram following beauty vloggers, you’ll no doubt have had a good laugh at how ridiculous some of them look, with cut-outs for eyes, nose and mouth. But hey, who cares (except maybe a terrified postman/small child), if the results are impressive? What we will say is: many sheet masks we’ve tried ourselves are badly designed, not even touching the skin in some places – but these all did amazingly well (and there are further entries if you scroll down).

However, these are all single-dose, single-use products. If you’ve an eco-conscience, you might want to opt for a more conventional type of face mask, as these are a real throwaway beauty treat. (But they did score really high marks.)

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GOLD AWARD Seoulista Beauty Super Hydration Instant Facial

Sheet masks originated in Korea – and as you’ll guess from the name, this entire range is a nod to the beauty habits of this country, albeit from a new beauty brand based in Battersea! They ‘hand-pick’ the best of Korean beauty, Seoulista Beauty tell us – and have certainly done well with this ultra-fine sheet mask (designed with ‘Bio-Cellulose’ technology), which clings well to facial contours infusing skin with hyaluronic acid and other skin-plumping ingredients. After 20 minutes, the mask is removed and any remaining serum can be massaged into the skin. Use weekly, they recommend.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘I loved everything about this product, including the very clean coconut fragrance and the serum texture. My skin looked very good after using this. It had been very stressed after too much sun on holiday and this clamed down the redness, but gave it a good glow, and plumped it up. I was able to use less foundation than usual because my face looked so good. I would most definitely buy it’ • ‘After using the first time, I was very impressed. My skin looked hydrated, brighter, more dewy and luminous, and smoother-toned. I have had lots of compliments and would choose this over my usual brand as its much more effective’ • ‘I liked this product, it felt luxurious and I felt very pampered and relaxed after using it. My skin looked hydrated and soft, plumped and fresh and felt very toned. I would definitely buy it again for a treat and enjoy using it.  NB Remember to peel off the outer layer after pressing down’ • ‘My skin looked and felt amazing! It looked brighter more hydrated and I had a fabulous luminosity to my skin, what a fantastic product! This was the favourite of the products I tested. It made my skin feel wonderfully hydrated with an amazing dewy glow. I shall be buying this product; it’s a ‘beauty must have’ for me now’ • ‘I will absolutely buy this to put on the night before my son’s wedding. When I tested it the results in the morning were amazing. My skin was very hydrated and glowing. All the small wrinkles above my upper lip had disappeared. Great that the packaging is travel proof’

£7.99 for one mask - click to buy

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SILVER AWARD (JOINT) Sarah Chapman Skinesis 3D Moisture Infusion Mask

Unlike some of the winners here, which are available as single masks, this comes in a pack of four, from superfacialist Sarah Chapman. Again, it harnesses ‘bio-cellulose’ technology, soothing and plumping with the hyaluronic acid in the serum that the mask is soaked in – and in this case, with a light rosy scent; the mask also features zinc, magnesium and copper to reduce redness and restore even skintone. The ‘3D’ of the name references the fact that it also smooths easily onto facial contours – and even boasts special ‘eye flaps’ so it can get to work on the eye zone.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘The mask felt like skin, with three ayers and also eye covers. The outer protective layers felt like mesh with a gel cellulose mask saturated in serum. After using this mask for the first time, skin felt plump the next day – it looked so smooth and dewy. My make-up looked amazing over my skin and I received lots of compliments • ‘I loved the fact that it was saturated in the serum and was enough to even use on my neck area and décolleté. The only downside was how slippery this product was to put on!’ • ‘This is a single mask with additional protective sheets either side of the sheet. As they were all the same colours I put the whole thing on my face until I realised the error! Once on my face it stayed put and didn't mover around. It was very comfortable and the gel didn't drip down, which I liked. Skin looked firmer, brighter and more hydrated. Fine lines diminished and skin colour more even. My T-zone was less oily and pores looked more refined. Although it's meant to be a single use mask I was able to reuse it twice – loved it and would buy for a special occasion’ • ‘A fab product to use before a special occasion. The relaxing ritual of applying a mask is taken to a new level with this. I felt special and pampered, almost as if I’d had a professional facial – Sarah Chapman has really excelled herself’ • ‘The difference was really noticeable – skin looked plumped and moisturised, felt soft and I looked ‘glow-y’. Bags under eyes looked less noticeable and my face appeared smoother and more even-toned with a rosy glow. I had some serum left over in the foil packet so I used this the next day under my foundation – its brilliant stuff! I can see why this is considered a cult product.’

£43 for 4 masks - click to buy

SILVER AWARD (JOINT) Swiss Clinic Purifying Pink Clay Sheet Mask

Something a little different: there’s clay incorporated in this gauze sheet mask, alongside vitamin B12 and black tea – which we think makes it the one for combination and oily skins as it’s designed to purify pores and smooth skin while plumping the skin in 15-20 minutes. (Although they recommend leaving it on for 25-30 minutes for optimum benefits.) With some sheet masks, you just massage the liquid residue into skin – but this ‘sets’ on skin and the clay should be rinsed away with lukewarm water. Available as a single mask or pack of three.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘This clay mask was hassle free, simple to use and remove. I felt it did wonders for my skin, nourishing it and balancing my skin tone, which seemed smoother and more even so I didn't have to use as much make-up as I normally do. My nose, which is normally my problem area, seemed less oily. Overall, it left my skin looking and feeling amazing and in great condition to apply minimal make-up. It has a wonderful fragrance’ • ‘This thin gauzy mask is super easy to put on and not messy at all. After 25 minutes, my skin looked and felt hydrated, dewy and luminous. It was soft to touch and felt tighter and firmer in tone. My pores seemed smaller. My skin was glowing but not oily at all so it actually helped to minimise my oily patches. Lovely!’ • ‘This sheet mask had the deeply cleansing benefits of a clay mask but in half the time and without the usual mess. I forgot and left it on for 45 minutes and there was still some moisture left in the mask and it hadn’t made my skin dry as clay can do. My pores definitely looked smaller and more refined, my skin was matte but moisturised and the texture and tone were improved’ • ‘My skin looked nice and smooth. The pores were smaller, which lasted for over a day’ • ‘After the first few minutes I could feel a slight sting where spots were present so I assume it was working on those, but there was no skin irritation once the mask was removed. Skin felt hydrated – there was no dryness and it felt plump. It looked dewy and definitely brightened up. It also reduced the redness/flushing on my face from an overly warm room, which evened out my skintone – will remember these for the summer.’

£8 for 1 mask - click to buy

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BRONZE AWARD (JOINT) DHC Cellulose Mask

Japanese brand DHC has done really well in these Awards, tying for Silver here with Sarah Chapman and Swiss Clinic for a cellulose-based mask infused with neem leaf, ginger and fermented coconut water (which smells better than it sounds!), along with antioxidant vitamin C. Gentle enough for all complexions and 20 minutes is all it takes for face-waking and long-lasting hydration, they tell us.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘I loved this product. I put it on and lay down and listened to music. I was totally relaxed and when I removed the mask my skin looked lovely – brighter and dewy, very hydrated. This is a real treat for my skin and I would be happy use it once a week.  I used it yesterday and looking at the packaging the mask is still full of product so I am going to put it all over my hands and décolletage, it’s far too nice to waste! I actually found there was enough for another mask, so my face feels wonderful’ • ‘The instructions were easy to follow and the mask was easy to apply and fitted my face well. My skin felt really smooth and soft after use. It felt slightly tighter but not in an uncomfortable way. It is not something I would usually do but this would encourage me to start’ • ‘The short-term effects are good: skin smoother and plumper, eyes slightly less puffy, a blast of hydration’ • ‘I use sheet masks a lot and this felt more luxurious and was more effective than other products. My skin looked more moisturised and hydrated and appeared brighter and more radiant, refreshed looking’ • ‘I usually apply a cream mask but this was more refreshing and left my face soft smooth and supple. I would buy this as a treat for a special occasion.’

£8.25 for 1 mask – click to buy

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BRONZE AWARD (JOINT) Decorté Slim & Firm Concentrate Face Mask

So: you drive a Mercedes. Holiday in the Caribbean. Dress in Gucci and Chanel. Well, THIS is the sheet mask for you (at a cool jaw-on-the-floor £170 for six masks). Japanese cult brand Decorté – which was founded in 1970 and purports to have developed the very first serum – have Kate Moss as their cheerleader, and among her must-haves are these sheet masks, as a favourite in-flight treatment. Decorté tell us these 'high-performance, flexible tri-layer mask with radically targeted benefits plumps and firms the appearance of the upper zone of the face while the lower zone restores the softly contoured silhouette of youth.' More important to us, however, are the raves from our own valiant, non-supermodel testers.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘This is comfy once you get the mask in place. It feels nice and cool on. My skin definitely looked hydrated and smooth and felt really nice. The pores seemed finer. Skin had a clearer and more refined texture with an overall glow. I normally use gel or cream masks. This may persuade me to use a sheet mask more regularly’ • ‘Pure luxury. I strongly recommend keeping it in the fridge during a hot summer. It was a strange sensation getting it in place, as initially it hung over my nostrils, and my children found it hysterically funny. After using this, my skin has been much less oily and my open pores less obvious’ • ‘It is the strangest thing but it works really well, skin looked hydrated and moisturised, much brighter and with a dewy look - I didn't want to put any make-up on afterwards. I think that it lived up to the claims, skin felt younger, plumper and firmer. It was amazing to use – skin felt great and it was good for this hot weather. But not sure I could justify buying ANYTHING this price!’ • ‘Skin definitely looked more hydrated, moisturised, brighter, dewy, luminous and smoother-toned – so revitalised, and also calm. I couldn't stop touching my face!’ 

£170 for 6 masks – click to buy

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BRONZE AWARD (JOINT) and BEST NATURAL AWARD Elemental Herbology Nutrition Infusion Sheet Mask

From the British 'clean beauty' brand that's eternally popular with Beauty Bible testers, these deeply hydrating masks scoop our Best Natural Award, brightening and infusing the complexion with deeply hydrating ingredients including glycerine, aloe vera, Damask rose flower water, hibiscus fruit extract, calendula and more. Vitamins and enzymes work to revive lacklustre skins, and these are ideal after sun exposure, too, they suggest. (Try keeping them in the fridge or mini-bar!) Elemental Herbology also advise gently exfoliating before use – a good way to get the most out of any mask, frankly, so that the ingredients are soaked up by fresh cells.

OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:

‘I hadn’t been aware of this brand before but now I love it and have bought other products. The sheet mask is easy to put on and feels soothing. After 20 minutes, my skin looked very moisturised and radiant. It felt toned. Definitely nourished my skin’ • ‘My skin looks more rested and feels less dry and itchy. The mask felt cooling when it was on. It was relaxing as you are forced to lie down while it’s on’ • ‘This promised to be hydrating, nourishing and promote healthy skin and I think it lived up to these claims. It made my skin more radiant too’ • ‘My skin looks hydrated and brighter with smaller pores’ • ‘This would be great for anyone with dehydrated skin as it is quite rich. It’s also very useful to take away on holiday in the sun or snow to give relief if your face has been over exposed to the elements. Or I would use it after a course of antibiotics, say, when the skin can feel in need of comfort’ • ‘At end of 20 minutes, my skin looked more plump, smooth and radiant with smaller pores. I rubbed leftover serum onto my neck, which then also looked smoother. Very useful to take on holiday or travelling for any reason.’

£35 for 4 masks – click to buy