beauty

ROAD TEST: "I tried 7 sheet masks in 7 days. Here's exactly what they did for my skin."

I have a theory that everybody has a sheet mask lurking somewhere in their skincare reserves.

Personally, I have a section in my fridge that’s bursting with foil-wrapped masks of every kind. The growing collection has long since displaced the tomato sauce and condiments that once lived there.

Since we’re spending a lot more time in our homes, it’s the perfect opportunity to go deep into the crevices of your bathroom cabinet, vanity, drawers, or fridge. It won’t cure the very real anxieties of the world right now but if you find comfort in popping on a sheet mask, now is the time to exercise any form of self-care that might bring you a spark of joy.

If you need some inspiration, I put my face to the test and tried seven sheet masks in seven days. The result was a glowier and more hydrated complexion, courtesy of a much-needed distraction.

Watch: This is what astrological signs are like in social isolation. Cancers, please put down those scissors. You do not need a fringe. Post continues below.

Video by Mamamia

Day 1: The Body Shop, Vitamin C Glow Sheet Mask, $7.

First things first, this mask smells like oranges but despite the sweet orange scent, don’t fret, it’s not sticky at all. This purse-friendly option is packed with a generous dose of Vitamin C infused essence that feels lush and cooling on the skin.

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Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.
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The formula is also infused with organic aloe vera and feels very moisturising and hydrating on the face. It did leave my skin feeling supple with a lovely glow and radiance.

Also, bonus points for The Body Shop's environmentally responsibly packaging. The mask is biodegradable and the foil packaging is recyclable too.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

Day 2: Cremorlab, Aqua Tank Water-Full Mask, $59 for a pack of five.

For those unfamiliar with Cremorlab, it's one of Korea's cult-favourite skincare brands. I loved the cushy gel-texture of the Aqua Tank Water-Full Mask and it's unscented, too.

The two-piece mask fit snugly on my face and the marine collagen and hyaluronic acid formula are great for thirsty skins, especially if you haven't been diligent with your water consumption.

For an added boost, do yourself a favour and pop this mask in the fridge for a few hours before use. It'll amp up its cooling and de-puffing abilities.

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Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.
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Day 3: Jj Young By Caolion Lab Pore Charcoal Mud Sheet Mask, $6.95.

You've probably noticed that most sheet masks focus on the hydrating, moisturising and nourishing aspects of skincare. That's why I was so curious about this charcoal mud-infused option from the best-selling Korean beauty brand, Jj Young By Caolion Lab.

It’s literally a sheet mask that’s been saturated with a mud mask. Just make sure you apply the mask by removing the clear film side first - otherwise the product will be facing the wrong way. You simply leave it on until it dries. For me, this was about 28 minutes.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

The mask felt cooling on my face and I liked that there was no slippage. It felt like I could do an online yoga class while wearing the mask and not worry about it falling off mid downward dog.

After washing off the product my skin felt super cleansed and refreshed. I'd say it's perfect for sensitive skins as it didn't feel stripping at all.

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Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

Day 4: Cremorlab, Herb Tea Pure Calming Mask, $59 for 10 masks.

At the moment my skincare buzzwords are 'calming' and 'soothing' and this aloe vera and black tea extract option ticks all the boxes.

The scent of these masks is lovely. It's a subtle herbal aroma that smells like a fancy spa.

Price-wise they only come in a pack of 10 and retail for $59, meaning they're not the cheapest investment to make upfront. They will, however, last you a fair while and would make a lovely gift for a housemate or friend.

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Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.
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I will say this however, it does leave the skin quite sheeny and ever so slightly sticky. Although this would make a great primer for makeup, it's not overly useful when you're self-isolating at home. It's definitely something to consider once we're allowed to freely go outside again.

Since you get a lot of essence in each pack I simply patted the excess liquid goodness down my neck and across my décolletage. After removing the mask, I also used my Kora Organics, Rose Quartz Heart Facial Sculptor, $76 (a gua sha, cold spoon or even your hands will also work) to give my face an extra massage - I used outward strokes beginning from the centre of my face.

(You can read all about the technique in Mamamia lifestyle writer Amy Clark's tried and tested article here.)

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

Day 5: Sukin, Intensive Firming Biodegradable Sheet Mask, $8.95.

I've tried Sukin's Super Greens Biodegradable Sheet Mask before and this 'intensive firming' option is just as great.

The smell of this mask is pure comfort. It's subtle - which is great when it's literally on your face - and smells like a mug of sugary tea. Oddly specific? Maybe, but the key ingredient is also Pure Ribose, which is a kind of sugar derived from corn seed.

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Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.
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The mask feels super hydrating and plumping and it doesn't cause any irritation at all. I don't know if it 'firms' my skin per se, as a 25-year-old it's not exactly one of my skin concerns, but I do think my skin looked more radiant, glowy and moisturised after using it.

Even better, all of Sukin's sheet masks are also made from biodegradable materials and the outside packaging is recyclable, too.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

Day 6: Neutrogena, Hydro Boost 100% Hydrogel Mask, $5.99.

There's something about gel masks versus a traditional cloth or cotton 'sheet mask' that feels extra squishy and comforting. I love that this Neutrogena hydrogel came with an optional tab for your eyes and lips, therefore forcing you to relax and lie down. Also, despite being so close to my eyes, the formula didn't sting or cause any irritation at all.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.
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I will say, however, make sure you read the instructions before applying the mask. I didn't and ended up having to reapply.

The hyaluronic acid rich essence noticeably moisturised my skin (see below) and you can easily pick one up at the supermarket while you're doing your next responsible, calm and ordered weekly shop.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

Day 7: Aceology, Aceology Green T. Infusion Gel Mask, $64 for a pack of four.

This was the 'exxy mask' that I had been saving up for a 'special event,' but given our new world order, an ordinary weekday would do just as well.

The first thing you notice is that the mask smells great. It's a mix of fresh green tea and green apple. The cooling gel mask also boosts hydration, reduces redness and 'aids recovery from environmental stressors'.

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best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

On my face, the mask felt nourishing, cooling and refreshing and I experienced no sensitivity or irritation at all. I also massaged in the remaining essence into my skin for the extra glow-giving benefits. Later in the day, a friend even pointed out how radiant my skin looked while we were on a video call together - a compliment which speaks for itself.

best sheet masks
Image: Supplied/Jess Wang.

What's your favourite sheet mask? Tell us in a comment below.

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