Oh Sheet!

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I've said repeatedly how I'm very selective about the products I use on my face because I've tried too many that have caused my skin to transform into a dry, pimply, red-angry mess. Even the ultra-expensive triple-phase serums that well-intended beauty advisers have insisted to use on my skin when I only came in because I needed something quite basic like eyeshadow or foundation! 

So no matter how much I found the East-Asian, and especially Korean skincare approach and products lust-worthy, I thought I'd have to stick to my tried and true two-ingredient skincare regimen consisting of lavender essential oil and organic virgin coconut oil. 

This changed about three months ago, when I went to lie down in the sauna one day after a particularly intense gym session.

There already was a gorgeous Brazilian woman there, who was busy applying various creams and oils on her body. Everything smelled just delicious. I was a little curious so I asked her about it, and she showed me an oil for cellulite (not that she had any!), another for firmness, one for wrinkles and yet another one that keeps skin supple. 

And then, after slathering herself with all these miracle potions, she took out a sheet mask from its package, and applied it on her face. Without me asking, she explained to me that they are extremely popular in East-Asia. Sheet masks, she said, which are thin cotton face-shaped masks (with cut-outs for the eyes, nose and mouth) are soaked in essence. Essence (another Korea-specific term) is a clear formula with either a liquid or gel consistency, that delivers concentrated active ingredients into the skin. This makes sheet masks extremely practical because they’re virtually mess-free and great for travel. In fact, after doing my research later, I found out that some celebrities have posted photos on social media of themselves using a sheet mask on the plane. 

So when I got home, I immediately went online, did some research and ordered a set of pearl-infused sheet masks from a California vendor who specializes in Korean beauty products (I wanted something original and not an westernized (understand overpriced) version of everyday Asian beauty products). To tell you the truth, I felt as if I was taking a huge risk. But two days later, when my masks were delivered, I couldn’t wait for the evening to come so I could apply one, sit back, relax, and see how my skin would react to it.

And I just loved it! The cooling feeling, the whole notion of a sheet mask as a moment dedicated to relaxation and beauty (okay, maybe not so much this one; I’ll confess that I am currently writing this post with a sheet mask on). And I felt my skin had gotten brighter, more even, and much less prone to break-outs, even around my oh-so-dreaded periods. In the following days I tried a sheet mask as I took a bubble bath, and another in the sauna, where I had first discovered them. I felt as if the ingredients did penetrate better when my pores were opened by the steam, but sheet masks are already very effective enough on their own. 

After using sheet masks regularly (understand, almost once a day!) for three months, I can say they’ve become an indispensable part of my beauty routine, and one that I really, really look forward to. 

I’m even considering the idea of doing two sheet masks a day, like Zhang Ziyi does. It may sound a little diva-like, but I mean, she does has gorgeous skin, doesn’t she?

Have you tried sheet masks? Do you have any favourite brands? Let me know in the comments below!




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