First off, why should my sheet masks be seasonal?
Seasonal skincare is one of my all-time favourite beauty topics. When I mention it, I’m often met with Kardashian-level eye rolls. I get it. It sounds like a marketing gimmick. But think about it this way — you swap your clothes and alter your diet as the seasons change, so why not your cosmetics?
Sure, those sheet masks you used in winter may be fine for summer, but are you seriously paying $5 a pop for ‘fine‘? If you want to get more bang for buck out of that fancy axe-murderer mask this summer, this is what you should do:
Lighten up: Your skin’s sebum production ramps up in heat and that can cause nasty breakouts, so it’s better to stay away from sheet masks that are too rich or creamy. Instead, get that moisture boost from more watery ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which a is a gel-like humectant. My other personal favourite is bamboo.
Block melanin: The sun promotes hyperpigmentation and patchy darkening of our skin. To prevent that from happening, incorporating sheet masks that have melanin-inhibiting ingredients like arbutin, kojic acid, mulberry, and niacinamide is a necessity.
Calm down: The increased heat can inflame and irritate our skin. I love to use masks that contain ingredients scientifically proven to soothe skin such as allantoin, aloe vera, centella asiatica, green tea and propolis.
Even more antioxidants: I know I am always railing on about antioxidants but they’re even more important during summer. Why? Because those UV rays generate more free radicals in your skin so you need more antioxidants to fight them! One of my favourite antioxidants for summer is Vitamin C because it also helps with sun protection. My other preferred antioxidant is green tea. It’s just a godsend.
Great, so what are some of these Summer blockbusters?
Let’s face it – sheet masks are the kale of the beauty world – trendy, healthy and everywhere (although, people actually enjoy sheet masks). Because competition in the sheet mask industry is fierce the quality keeps getting better, and it was honestly hard to pick standouts. Nonetheless, here are a couple that wowed beauty bloggers in 2017, garnering overwhelmingly positive reviews in both the West and their homeland, Korea.
For Dry skin
Dr Jart Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution
About the brand: When you buy Dr Jart, you can be sure it’s been dermatologist-tested because it was started by one. The founder Dr Sung-Jae Jung wanted to make dermatology more accessible by making the medicated treatments look more accessible to the average consumer. Fun fact: the name Dr Jart comes from an abbreviation of doctor joins art.
How it works: Aside from giivng you a headache with its longwinded name, the hyaluronic acid and aquaxyl in this mask makes it a moisture bomb for dry skinned girls who need intense hydration. Panthenol is another star hydrating ingredient that is used famously by French drugstore brands like La-Roche Posay. This mask has a great rating on the popular Korean beauty app Hwahae, which is a feat because the app tends to be harsh in its critique.
For Oily skin
CNP Propolis Ampule Energy Mask
About the brand: CNP was also founded by a dermatologist, which is a running theme among Korean beauty brands, and perhaps a reason why they’re so well-regarded. This one is unique in that it was created by a female dermatologist, so I would like to think that she can also empathise with some of the pressures of female skincare! Seriously, CNP is going from strength to strength with their sheet masks and this one is a standout.
How it works: Propolis is antibacterial and anti-inflammatory, so it’s the perfect product for oil-skinned girls who also perhaps get acne flare-ups. Other key ingredients include niacinamide and allantoin, so it’s truly the ultimate summer mask. I chose this for oily-skinned girls because the essence is very watery rather than heavy, although the sheet itself is so luxuriously thick. Again, another highly-rated mask on the Korean beauty app Hwahae.
For Combination Skin
Holika Holika Dualizm Mask Sheet
About the brand: Holika Holika is known for its super cute packaging and has an emphasis on ‘skintertainment’. It was founded by Samsung and CJ (Korean media conglomerate), so it’s always on the money when it comes to upcoming trends, which are often influenced by Korean celebrities.
How it works: Combination skin is one of the trickiest types to get right given the oily T zone and dryer outer area. Enter Holika Holika with their ingenious Dualizm Mask that has two parts to the mask – an upper part that focuses on clarifying pores with ingredients like amazonian clay and a bottom part that will lift and tighten skin in the lower half of your face with ingredients like sesame protein. A dream right?
For Normal skin
Faith in Face Black & White Film Star Mask
About the brand: Faith in Face is one the most fun, irreverent Korean beauty brands I have come across recently. It was founded by Korean, British and Canadian beauty industry insiders who wanted to build a brand harking back to the days before marketing saturation. Its vintage aesthetic reflects this vision. Although most Korean brands emphasis natural ingredients, this brand focuses on finding a balance in order to produce the most effective products.
How it works: Packed full of niacinamide, green tea (contains vitamin c) and citrus unshiu, this is a melanin-blocking powerhouse. This is the perfect mask for keeping your skin nice and free of sun-induced DNA damage this summer!
Which skin type are you and do you have a favourite summer sheet mask? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Don’t forget, if you would like to keep receiving more K-beauty goodness, subscribe to the mailing list below (mobile)/ above (desktop).