Do Korean sheet masks work?

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Editorial Team
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Editorial Team
We review Korean and Japanese beauty products, so you don't have to do it! With years of experience studying and trying various products, this team has honed its skills in identifying the most useful, reliable, and high-quality Asian beauty products.

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Korean skincare sheet masks are a real trend: they’re easy to find nowadays, and even if in some cases the cost is high and it seems to be disproportionate to the product it’s not hard to find good offers and take advantage of them. The real questions here are: do Korean sheet masks work? And are they really necessary for your beauty routine?

These are two legitimate questions, and, spoiler alert, let me tell you there’s not just one single answer and in reality, no answer is possible. So, let me just guide you through the fantastic world of the Korean skin care masks and let’s see together how do they work and how efficient they are.

What are the famous Korean skin care sheet masks?

Korea skin care masks, also called sheet masks, are pieces of cotton (or other soft and gentle materials like Hydrogel, Bio-cellulose, etc) typically soaked in serums, creams, toners and so on; the product used, together with the woven material used are meant to increase product absorption. There are thousands of different Korean skin care masks, to help women (and men!) in choosing the best ones in relation to their skin’s needs.
The reasons why they’re crazily famous are easy to understand: sheet masks are easy to use, allow to pamper yourself without spending too much… and they also work if linked to a good beauty routine!

How often can you use a sheet mask?

Sheet masks can be used as many times as you want (some Koreans use it twice a day!) but taking into consideration two things:

  1. Our skin gets used to stuff we put on, so it’s best to vary;
  2. Using too many products can harm your skin if you don’t plan everything carefully.

So said, it’s recommended to apply one sheet mask three to four times a week to keep skin glowing 24/7; if your skin doesn’t need it, just use sheet masks as many times as you want (also 1/week is fine!), ’cause there’s no rule when it comes to this routine.

How to apply a Korean skincare sheet mask?

A Korean skincare mask always comes out of a single packet, which is full of liquids so to keep the mask moisturized. Once you’ve found your perfect sheet mask, that’s how to apply it, step-by-step:

  • Step 1:
    Wash your hands and your face. Open the package!
  • Step 2:
    Unfold mask and position over clean, dry skin.
  • Step 3:
    Adjust the mask to fit the curves of your face. Leave the mask for 10-20 minutes (or according to the instructions on the label).
  • Step 4:
    The packet will be full of liquid, so don’t waste it. While your face is soaking, squeeze out the remaining liquid from the package and massage it into your neck, chest, the back of your hands and elbows.
  • Step 5:
    Remove your mask and discard. Do not wash your face but massage any remaining liquids into the skin.

WARNING: leaving a skin care mask on for too long can dry out your skin! At some point, the moisture will evaporate from the fabric and it will start absorbing it from your skin so you’ll end up with a dry skin and no benefits at all from the sheet mask.

Korean Sheet Masks

Can I use my sheet mask again?

No, not at all. Once applied onto your skin, the mask is full of bacteria extracted from your skin. This means you can’t reuse it if you don’t want your skin to be filled with bacteria again.

Do Korean sheet masks work?

Unfortunately, there are no independent scientific studies that test the benefits of sheet masks. But we know almost for sure that they enhance the effect of a cream or a serum: think of Korean skincare masks as a fast juice for your skin. When we are thirsty, we need to drink and as soon as we drink even just a glass of water, our body and our mind gets instantly better. Same for our skin, when it comes to masks: in case of dehydrated skin, for example, sheet masks effectively and immediately get moisture back into the skin and you can easily feel the difference. So, they may not be needed but they certainly are a great addition to a skincare routine.

Warning: Korean sheet masks only work their “magic” on the top layer of skin (the epidermis), leaving the deeper layers of skin untouched. It’s here that that collagen and the elastin live, but they’re not touched by the sheet masks. Even if you buy collagen-rich sheet masks, their effect will only be on the surface of your skin: they may smooth out fine lines just a bit, but for sure they won’t repair in-depth damages.

How to choose the perfect Korean face mask?

Every single face mask can be used to address a specific skin problem or a specific skin type. Think of a skin mask exactly as a cream or a serum: you need to choose the one suitable with your skin and your needs.

The majority of sheet masks are meant to be hydrating or soothing, and this means it’s hard to have problems; they’re usually made with hyaluronic acid or another humectant, and this means they’re highly tolerated by everyone’s skin. Clearly, the more specific the masks are, the more careful we’ve to be: masks with lemon as one of the ingredients can dry out the skin and also irritate it, and on the other side masks with Camellia oil can leave oily skin even oilier.

I always recommend using a pure mask, with hyaluronic acid or collagen, for a safe choice.

Some Korean sheet masks favorites

With so many sheet masks on the market, how do you know which is best for your particular needs? The followings are a few recommendations for buying Korean sheet masks and get the most out of them:

The Face Shop Facial Mask Sheets (15 Treatments): A pack of 15 sheet masks for all occasions, for all skin types and for every skin need. All from natural ingredients.

faceshop masks

Elixir Cosmetics Gold Korean Face Mask: a high-end sheet mask with active ingredients such as gold, hydrolyzed collagen, coenzyme Q-10, adenosine and soybean extracts.

Elixir Mask

CEL MD Nanotech Stem Cell Korean Sheet Masks: a high-end sheet mask formulated with nutrient-rich ingredients to support our skin’s ability to produce a glowing and vibrant skin.


SKEDERM Snail Jelly Face Mask: hydrogel coated facial mask with snail secretion for deep moisturizing.

Snail Jelly

DERMAL Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet: 16 different types of sheet masks with vitamin E and collagen.


Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Sheet: 16 different types of face masks.


Mediheal DNA Proatin Face Mask Pack: 1 creamy sheet mask with a moisturizing, whitening, wrinkle care effect.


Etude House 0.2mm Air Mask: 15 different types of face masks.


Brief Recap: Do Korean sheet masks work?

  • They help in hydrating our skin and make sure it’s glowing;
  • They don’t work on a deeper level, so our skin’s inner structure won’t be touched by them;
  • They’re a great addition to our beauty routine, but we can’t always use the same masks since our skin will get used to them.

Quantifying any skin products effectiveness has been proven to be difficult, but if something doesn’t bother us why not giving it a try?

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