K-beauty, the affectionate moniker used to describe Korean beauty products, is growing surprisingly popular in the West. Its signature items like egg-based scrubs and sheet face masks started making “Best Of” lists late last year and they haven’t slowed down since. Sheet masks are doing especially well in the European and American beauty markets. The products gained traction because of their distinctly customization-centric characteristics. Usually soaked with an essence or serum, these masks come in dozens of different formulas catered to various skin types and facial concerns. You can base your treatment on very detailed aspects of your skin and some companies will even mix you your own formula based off an online survey. However, the most interesting K-beauty-inspired product is the dry sheet mask. Based on unique new skincare technology, this unusual product is worth a deeper look.
WHAT TO DO
If you think the idea of a dry sheet mask sounds like an oxymoron, you’re not alone. The dry sheet mask is deceptive. Physically, it looks like its damp counterparts. There are cutout slots for your eyes and elastic loops to fasten around your ears. Once your dry sheet mask is on, treat it like a wet facial mask. The only difference is that instead of letting the mask settle and soak in, you gently rub the fabric against your skin. Don’t scrub too vigorously. This isn’t an exfoliation treatment! Just press the material down lightly all across your face. Repeat the sweep three or four times for a thorough treatment and then let the mask rest for a few minutes. Once you’ve applied pressure and let the product sit, take it off and look in the mirror. You’ll be stunned at the transformation.
HOW IT WORKS
The dry sheet mask phenomenon is surprisingly scientific. Though the product can’t be classified as beauty technology, it’s manufactured using some of the most tech-savvy techniques in the industry. To keep each mask dry and simple, beauticians use a dry-printing tool to stamp active ingredients on a sheet of techstile fabric. When you massage the mask and apply pressure with your hand, you activate these substances and cause them to melt into your skin.
Dry sheet masks can be embedded with a host of different ingredients. Though initially all dry sheet masks were infused with solid oils, brands are starting to branch out and create skin-specific products using other fillers and anti-aging creams. If you want to try this new fad, shop for a semi-customized mixture that caters to your skincare needs. Like a virtual design tool, this face mask will simplify your beauty routine by eliminating mess without sacrificing quality.
WHAT IT MEANS
Along with minimizing the goopy mess usually associated with facial treatments, dry face masks last for weeks. Given that most sheet masks contain perishable ingredients, this is a particularly impressive quality. Each dry mask can be used up to three times if properly stored and an opened mask has a shelf life of up to three months. Rather than paying full price for three separate facials, work a few of these into your beauty routine. You’ll be buying one facial per month instead of four. The growing popularity of dry sheet masks has also sparked renewed interest in mask-focused treatments. Companies are already working to develop a mesotherapy facial, a product that will replace risky needles with a powerful dry sheet mask.
Dry sheet masks prove that facials don’t have to be messy. You can apply an entire treatment in 15 minutes or less with no clean-up required. It’s the ideal invention for any quick and busy beauty routine.
— Julie Grossman