These sheet masks make for a lovely ritual. But do they actually work? We investigate for the latest installment of “Wellness Workbook.”As both an incessant skeptic of all things, all the time, and a Korean American, my relationship with the Korean beauty product craze has been complicated.My logical brain realizes that the purported miracle products coming out of Korea aren’t necessarily game-changers any more than products coming out of any other country with a developed beauty product culture. The less-logical part of my brain, however, is ALL ABOUT IT, and the more strange-seeming, the better.Give me all the snail mucus and snake venom, because this is what my people do.
In an effort to gain more clarity on the subject (and to obtain a complexion as glow-y and supple as a K pop star,) I set out to try as many different varieties of Korean sheet masks as I could. Thus, figuring out which ones put in the most work.
Contained therein are masks created around somewhat dubious themes such as “pearl” and “white,” but also key ingredients: Aloe, herb, “syn-ake,” green tea, gold, vitamin, royal jelly, hyaluronate, cucumber, Q10, aqua, charcoal, platinum, and snail.
I applied each mask for 20 minutes, as the little timer graphic on the packaging indicated, and I did this for 16 days straight, which the instructions may or may not have indicated. I can’t read Korean, but I figured it’s only my face, so might as well go with my gut.Sixteen days after kicking things off with some snail mucus all up on my pores, I am happy to report that my skin feels super duper supple. And beyond that, the ritual of applying the mask every night was a wholly pleasant experience, aside from looking like Jason Voorhees if he never made it out of seventh-grade art class.The masks cool and refresh your skin, and their floral scents, which differ only mildly, are likewise soothing. But here’s the thing: They all seemed to yield pretty much the same results, which is understandable, considering they all utilize hydrolyzed collagen as a main ingredient.
It is, of course, unfair to expect dramatic differences in your skin after a single use of pretty much any product, so the fact that these masks hydrate your skin as well as they do is worth it.Plus, it’s fun to know you’re slathering your skin with pearl dust and snake venom—some serious Charmed vibes.But perhaps most of all, my favorite part of the whole experience was repeating the ritual—taking 20 minutes every evening for 16 consecutive days to do something for myself that is totally simple, yet wholly pleasant.For that mental benefit alone, this $10 mask-spree is worth it; the hydrated skin is just an extra bonus.