Even though facial sheets (シートマクス/パック) have been a pretty popular skin care item way before I moved to Japan 10 years ago, I’ve finally started to see people in the last several months in the US and Europe talk about them as part of their daily routine rather than some sort of oddity from Asia. I’ve even spotted Kanebo and SKII’s brands pop up on sites like Sephora.
Women (and of course some men!) in Japan use these regularly as part of a beauty routine. There are so many types at all price ranges. They can be as cheap as 10 yen to more 2,000+ yen (10 cents – 20 USD) per sheet. I’m a self-confessed skin care addict, so here is what I actually have on hand as of today:
Anywhere, here is a basic guide of getting the most of these facial sheets:
1. Timing is important. Using it after a bath or shower while your skin is warmed up and your pores are open is ideal for getting the beauty boosting ingredients deep into your skin.
2. Use on a clean face with prepped skin. Take off all makeup and tone(化粧水). Apply eye cream BEFORE putting the mask on. Put on your face lotion/creams AFTER taking off the mask so it will seal everything into your skin.
3. Do not put it on while you are in soaking in the tub. If you are doing a long soak, you are actually sweating and expelling stuff from you skin. Wearing a mask during this time can actually congest your skin, so it is best to do this after the bath and rinsing sweat off your face.
4. Do not leave it on for too long. Longer =/= better. 10-15 minutes is plenty. If you leave it on until it dries, it will actually stark wicking moisture from your skin! This is not what you want!!!
How often should you use these? Most people say about 3 times a week in order to really see the benefit of whatever ingredients are in the mask, but it’s totally fine to use them more than that. I’ve read in several magazines how many makeup artists recommend daily usage since it improves the skin’s texture.
How do you to pick which mask to try out? There are so many varieties it is pretty hard to choose. For example if I’m going to the beach I like to use the vitamin C ones everyday because it helps a bit with UV damage. If my skin is dry in the winter I like to use the hyaluronic acid ones because they do a good job moisturizing. @cosme actually has a good ranking system to see what’s popular.
But what’s really the best part of wearing paper facial masks? You can jump out and scare your significant other while pretending to be Jason.