Friday 1 May 2020


  ***This post contains gifted and non-gifted items. Also gifted mentions present. All links used are affiliate***

Simple titles. We’re changing it up. I love a sheet mask, we know this, but I rarely buy one more than once. Why? Because finding a sheet that’s not shit is harder than you think.

I have a very specific approach to my skincare, makeup and life in general. I want my products to be a 5* experience whatever its nature or its price. I mean sure you can spend a £1 or a £20 on a sheet mask that barely does anything more than a decent serum, or you can choose products that offer a luxurious experience with a banging end result. I think the answer is pretty obvious here.

Have Western skincare culture 'ruined' the sheet masks?

I think the issue with the sheet masks as with anything these days, is that everyone seems to be doing them. Sheet masks originally came to us from Asia, but have since been adapted to the western approach to skincare which by the way differs hugely from that of eastern descent. Skincare culture and values differ from market to market. Our current ‘in’ treatments or ingredients may not be the ones most sought after in other parts of Europe, or America, or South Korea, or Japan for example. Yes trends move around and we are all heavily influenced by trends coming from abroad, but what differs is the basic look at skincare. Let’s look at most searched beauty key words from across the globe. Where American consumer would search for bath salts (although not sure how much of it is skincare related - alright I made a drug joke, come at me), mud masks, apple cider vinegar and Korean skincare, French are mostly interested in organic oils, organic aloe vera and derma rollers, and Japanese skincare enthusiast often searches for cleansing, face rollers, all-in-one products and makeup removers. Now think about an average consumer, makeup and beauty trends from the above countries and you can see why they differ so much. Far east culture heavily promotes a natural-looking skin so masking, gentle face rollers and cleansing will be the top priority of a beauty enthusiast from Japan, whereas American consumer may rely on hyped-up trends, magic beauty solutions, and French skin lovers may want organically sourced ingredients and very clean cut skincare with a treatment or two that you can take from beauty salon to home. You may think I went a little off the subject, but what I mean is that, because a lot of sheet masks have almost been adapted to what the trends in our market place are, then perhaps they’ve lost something very special along the way? 

'Real' mask vs sheet mask

I often hear that sheet masks simply can’t replace ‘a real’ mask, but I call bullshit. Yes, a sheet mask has a different texture, is mainly serum/gel-based but it’s definitely not ‘just a serum or essence’ because of the method of application. A well-made sheet mask should adhere to your face almost like a second skin and it should be soaking with the product. The difference between using a sheet or hydrogel mask and simply applying your serum is that you wouldn’t apply 20ml of product in one go. That would be a little costly exercise seeing that a 30ml bottle of serum can range from a fiver to hundreds of pounds. The material that masks are made from makes sure that you get the most out of the experience, your skin soaks as much product as it can absorb. The best tip for application and I’m sorry I can’t credit whoever told me this many moons ago, as I simply don’t remember, but how you should use your sheet is not allowing it to dry out when it’s on. You want it to be soaked, and when it starts to feel like it starts to dry, or even before that, it’s time to take it off. The reason for that is pretty simple when a material dries it will start absorbing moisture which means it can then be counterproductive and start drawing moisture from your skin. I don’t know how much of this is actually correct, or is simpleton in me believing it as it ‘makes sense’ so please don’t take my word as gospel. I am not a professional, but I try different techniques to test and figure out what works best for me and my skin. 

5* skincare and my faves

Alright, let’s chat sheet masks that aren’t shit now, shall we? I’d give these 3 products 5* rating as they truly work on my skin and give it an instant pick me up, there are no buts here, just produces that worked fabulously for me time and time again. It’s not something I can say for sure works when it comes to long terms results as I don’t reach for masks (sheet or otherwise) for that reason, but more of a pick me up, an instant solution to the problem.

So what is that I’m personally looking for in a sheet mask? Hydration and healthy glowing finish to the skin are all that I need my sheet or hydrogel soaked in lots of lush serum to do. I personally use wash off mask formulas for my more problematic areas when I’m feeling congested, or came out in breakouts because I’m due that time of the month. What you should expect from a hydrating sheet mask is that you really don’t need an elaborate routine afterwards. Just make sure you cleanse before, apply the mask which will replace your mist, essence and/or serum steps, so you can simply finish with the moisturiser if you have a dry or dry to combo skin, and oily skin may actually be okay to not follow with any additional skincare if the formula delivers enough hydration.

A budget-friendly  Beautymory Real Glow Royal Jelly Mask** is an absolute gem. At £3.50 it offers intense hydration instantly and after a few mins with this one (approx. 15 mins for me, although you can go up to 25 as this one stays very wet for a long time). This particular mask is made from cotton sheet rich in the royal jelly, trehalose, betaine and panthenol which help to boost skin’s hydration instantly but also for a few days afterwards, as well as Niacinamide, a beautiful brightening agent. I love the ingredients list on this one, as it doesn’t depend on drying agents but instead concentrates on deeply calming and hydrating stuff. Personally, I skip toner, essence and/or serum when using this, and only finish with cream and/or oil depending on if my skin is more dry or more combo that day. 

A mid-range (£7.99) Seoulista Super Hydration Instant Facial* has also stolen my heart from the first use and I’ve gone through quite a few already. It’s a hydrogel-based material infused hyaluronic acid, coconut extract and maple leaf. It works to soothe, protect and deeply hydrate in as little as 20 mins. The mask is soaked in the serum and stays wet for the entirety of the application. It always leaves my skin calm, soft to touch and glowing. If I’m feeling dehydrated, it’s the first thing  I reach for. It definitely works for a bit longer than just instantly and it’s a great one to use a night before the big day, as it’s not as temporary as some masks which should really be used in the morning, as the effects won’t last that long. It’s a little on a pricier side seeing that one treatment costs almost £8, but if you think of it in terms of getting a facial, and to some degree, this feels like one, then it’s working out alright, doesn’t it? Available from Look Fantastic & Superdrug.

And another mid-range, although slightly cheaper, especially if purchased in the pack of 3 (£7 each or £20 for 3) the Huxley Secret of Sahara Oil & Extract Mask* delivers an ultimate pamper experience from the comfort of your home. The sheet itself is infused with Huxley’s star ingredient: cactus extract known for its moisture retention qualities and kept separately in a pouch (you’ll need to break the seal and allow the sheet to soak in the oil), rich in anti-oxidant properties and slowly becoming one of my favourite natural oils, the Prickly Pear Oil. It’s designed to increase hydration levels, protect skin from environmental stressors, and provide a calm and relaxing experience thanks to the faint fragrance that I can only describe as ‘that Huxley signature scent’. Afterwards, your skin will feel taken care off, have that healthy glow,  feel less tight and just generally look like you’ve just had a facial. I love doing a quick peel beforehand to really experience that facial at home feel. Click here for the individual mask (£7)

Last few words

There you have it, 3 sheet masks that actually work and will give you a truly wonderful experience without breaking the bank or a need of visiting your favourite facialist and don’t we all miss him or her right now? For the best experience and almost mimicking a facial, make sure you double cleanse with some lush products, let your skin recover for a couple of minutes, then go with a peel - I prefer a peeling toner right now, read about my faves here, let it work, and again, wait for a while. I find that waiting 5 mins really allows the ingredients in your peel to work before you go in with skincare barrier repairing and deeply hydrating ingredients, for a healthy glow that will last you a few days. Try and find some me-time once or twice a week and you’ll notice a difference, it’s a promise.

Please note I referenced the article from when talking about beauty trends based on keywords and most searched beauty-related phrases. 

Thank You For Reading.

With love,

Full disclaimer:

In line with an updated CMA/ASA Non-broadcast Code, all products marked with * have been gifted to Beauty Drama Queen for review consideration, therefore are considered sponsored and displayed as a form of an unpaid advertisement.

All articles sponsored by a brand, a retailer or via a PR agency where specific product placement has been paid for on top of product gifting will be distinctly branded as AD.

Products I've bought myself, but there's a current or past (up to 12 months) relationship with the brand present will be marked with **.

Products unmarked have been purchased by Beauty Drama Queen, gifted by family and friends or won in a giveaway and therefore not in the scope of the legislation.

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