Q&A – All your Questions about Korean Facial Sheet Masks Answered

Your guide to choosing sheet masks

Wait.. You don’t know what sheet masks are? It’s okay, we got you covered. It’s a really big k-beauty trend that is paving its way across the world thanks to runway models like Miranda Kerr posting pictures on Instagram of them using facial sheet masks. Here’s a brief introduction to some of the best skincare sheet masks that might become your life savior. Also, the below guide will help you to know more about your skin type and what kind of sheet masks you should be using!

Sheet Mask QA

Ampoule containing sheet masks:

  1. Mamonde Double Effect Ampoule Mask – Brightening effect (1pc. 3,500 KRW)
  2. CNP Propolis Energy Ampule Mask – Moisturizing effect (1x 4,000 KRW)

Q1 Does sheet masks have to be used separately with basic skin care?

The most important role of a sheet mask is to prevent active ingredients in cosmetics from touching air and being destroyed or evaporated. Sheet masks glide onto the skin having no gaps and increase the level of active ingredients absorbed by the skin. We call this the ‘occlusive effect’, and it’s much better than just applying makeup on bare skin. For that reason, creating a sheet mask with water soluble ingredients and molecular weight will help increase the rate at which substances are absorbed.

Q2 Is it more effective to apply serum and then a sheet mask?

The occlusive effect in masks can decrease the rate at which masks come in contact with air and increase the absorption rate. However, every situation may differ, and you should be careful with the ingredients inside both serum and the mask that could possibly collide and irritate the skin. Keep in mind that some brightening serums which contains vitamin C and anti-aging serums that includes the usage of ingredient retinol can itself cause irritations. So if you are worried about any skin irritations, try using just the ampoule and sheet mask to find a dramatic change on the skin.

Q3 How do common ingredient in sheet masks such as hydrogel and biocellulose differ here?

The jelly-like hydrogel substance produces a lot of moisture from its seaweed and carrageenan extracts and glides perfectly on the skin. It also has a cooling effect on the skin and reduces heat and redness. Biocellulose, on the other hand, is a popular ingredient that is made from fermenting coconut water and contains absolutely no preservatives but 100% natural ingredients. It has great absorbing abilities, and delivers many more nutrients and ingredients to the skin. There are many competitions between sheet masks, and we have more varieties such as ampoule dressing mask, foil mask, and charcoal mask, etc.

Sheet Mask QA

Innovative Sheet masks (Top to bottom):

1 Guerisson 9 Complex Horse Oil Hydrogel Gold Mask (1pc. 6,500 KRW).

2 Mira Clinic Ampoule Dressing Mask (1 pc. 19,500 KRW).

3 Mediheal WHP White Hydrating Charcoal Mineral Mask. (1pc. 3,000 KRW).

4 Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair Concentrate Recovery PowerFoil Mask (4pc. 110,000 KRW).

Q4 I know that a lot of people buy sheet masks in large quantities and use them on a daily basis, but is it okay to use it this often?

It’s good knowing that more people are using sheet masks to take care of their skin, but it’s not desirable to use them every day. Compared to some of your skincare and makeup, sheet masks contain a lot more condensed ingredients that may irritate the skin. Your balance of face-oil might break down and skin may become severely dry, There is a difference between sheet masks that may work with some skin and not with others, but it’s advised that you use sheet masks only 1 to 2 times a week.

Q5 How do you increase sheet mask effects?

If your skin is piled with dead skin cells, it might not work well with any skincare even with magnificent features. So make sure to cleanse your face thoroughly and remove all dead skin cells before applying the sheet mask. Then supplying nutrients to your skin won’t become a problem. But be careful of sensitive skin that might already be irritated, because it might make the irritations become even worse!

Q6 There are times when I fall asleep with the sheet mask on my face, but is it okay to leave it on longer?

When sheet mask begins to dry up, that means it’s taking the moisture from your face, so it’s actually better to take it off before it becomes dry. If the sheet masks is cotton material, leave it on for 15-20 minutes max., and hydrogel masks can be left on the face at the most 30 minutes. Tip: You can apply the leftover essence on the mask on your arms and legs!

Q7 Is it better to apply a moisturizer on the skin after using a sheet mask?

Since sheet masks already contain a lot of moisturizing ingredients, you don’t really need to put on anything afterwards. But if your skin still remains dry, it’s okay to put on more skincare that moisturizes the skin.

Q8 We have masks that are specifically designed for our eyes, T-one, neck, decollete, and more, but how are those masks different from face sheet masks?

Sheet masks that are designed for specific body parts uses different ingredients that can supplement the right nutrients to enhance the skin condition. For example, eye masks will contain ingredients that will help circulate blood pressure to reduce dark circles under the eyes and brighten the skin tone, and T-zone masks will help release bodily waste through your pores and clarify your skin. There are many different kinds of masks designated for certain areas that you should look at them more carefully to see what works best with your skin.


This article is translated by K-Beauty Now and originally published from Allure Korea.

Jihee Park

Jihee Park is the Lead Beauty Editor of K-Beauty Now. Based in the heart of Seoul, her professional expertise and approach in academic, social media, and lifestyle coverage provide compelling articles the community can trust. Translated from Korean to English, bringing you the latest k-beauty news straight from South Korea.

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