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Korean Sheet Mask 101

Korean face sheet masks are the gateway item into the world of Korean beauty and skincare. Acting as inexpensive mini facials, sheet masks give the skin intense hydration, suppleness, and brightening effects in less than half an hour! Sheet masks can range in functions, materials, and ingredients. However, the majority of sheet masks are typically made for brightening, moisturizing, acne control, pore care or anti-aging effects. Most cotton sheets are soaked in essences containing nourishing active ingredients ranging from tea tree for acne control and ceramide for moisture retention. The essence is kept from evaporating by the sheet mask which locks in all the moisture and protects it from being exposed to the air. With such close contact to the skin, the essence forces the antioxidants and vitamins to penetrate into the skin’s top layer more effectively than if the essence was applied without a protective barrier such as a sheet mask.

What are the different materials of sheet masks?

Masks are most commonly made out of either cotton fiber sheets or man-made cellulose fibers such as cupra, tencel, or microfiber. There are other special materials, such as a jelly-like material called hydrogels. The hydrogels themselves are made up of essence, making the mask 100 percent water-soluble! Because of this unique characteristic, hydrogels will begin to melt slightly when it comes in contact with the heat of your skin. 

In addition to hydrogels and cellulose sheet masks, there are also bubble masks that usually help cleanse and unclog pores, foil masks that help trap moisture and nutrients for best absorption, and occasional mud/clay masks that help purify and nourish.

For more info on sheet mask materials, read our blog posts: 
5 Different Types of Sheet Mask Materials
What are Bubble Masks?

How many times a week should I sheet mask?

All of the FaceTory Team actually sheet masks every single day! You'll often see us wearing sheet masks while we work at our desks. But in order to make the best sheet mask schedule for you, here are our tips:

  1. Look at your skin: Every face is different! So always pay attention to the condition of your skin and how it is feeling.
  2. Look at the product: It may not be the frequency of masking that's affecting your skin, but the actual mask you are putting on. We recommend trying our subscription plans!  It is the easiest way to try different masks and find the best ones for you.
  3. Look at the environment: Depending on your location, climate, and travel schedule, you may need to decrease or increase your sheet mask frequency.

And if you want to copy our 1 mask a day habit, here is our recommended schedule:

optimal sheet mask schedule


Function masks refers to a mask that perform a specific such as anti-aging, brightening, detoxing, soothing, acne-control, etc. Always listen to your skin when using these! 

Still unsure on how often you should be sheet masking? Read more here:
How Often Should I Sheet Mask?
Should you use 1 Mask a Day?
Can I Sheet Mask Twice a Day?

How does it fit into my routine?

With all of the different toners, serums, and essences, where do sheet masks fit into the picture? There is no set golden rule because every skin type is different and what works for one skin type may not fit another skin type. But in general, the recommended routine is to cleanse, tone, sheet mask and then moisturize afterwards. 

For more info, read our post: The Korean Skin Care Routine 101

How long do I leave a sheet mask?

A common mistake beginner sheet mask users make is leaving the mask on for too long. Remember: do not leave a sheet mask on overnight! Sheet masking should be kept between 15-25 minutes and should not exceed 30 minutes. Leaving sheet masks on until they dry will actually cause a reversal effect because the sheet will begin to reabsorb the moisture from the skin.

There’s extra essence in the bag, should I throw it away?

No, don’t throw it away! The leftover essence can be used all over the arms, neck, elbows, and knees for extra moisture and nutrition.

For more info, read our blog post: What to do with Leftover Essence

Can I reuse a sheet mask?

Sheet masks are for one time use only.

When should I sheet mask?

Sheet masks are great to use at night or during the morning before applying make up. We recommend using sheet masks that are creamier and richer in essence at night so all of the nutrients can really sink in while you are sleeping.

sheet mask day and night

Quick How-To on Sheet masking

  1. Remove mask from the package.
  2. Unfold the sheet mask and place it on your face aligning the holes to your eyes, nose, and mouth. If there is any remaining essence left in the bag, pat the extra essence all over your neck, arms, elbows, knees, etc.
  3. Sit back and relax for 15-25 minutes.
  4. Peel off the mask and discard the sheet mask.
  5. Gently pat the essence into your face for maximum absorption.
  6. Moisturize afterwards to seal in all of the nutrients.

For more info on how you should sheet mask, check out our post:
How to Sheet Mask Properly

For more of our Sheet Mask 101 series, click here