Half-Casper, half-Hannibal Lecter—that's how you’ll feel when wearing a white sheet mask. The veiled, slightly creepy-looking treatments have been an Asian market must-have for decades, but North Americans are gradually getting hooked on the Eastern beauty secret. "I think we're becoming more global in the way we think about beauty," says Laura Goodman, senior scientist at popular Japanese skin care brand SK-II. "Asian women have seen the benefit of cloth masks for decades, so it's a natural progression to the west." Why do we love cloth face masks so much? They’re relaxing, inexpensive, and effective. And they're gradually launching at a counter near you.
"The masks have the potential to reach a wide demographic," explains Masqueology chief marketing office Lonnie Roy. The new Korean-American brand, launching in Sephora stores on March 23rd, is releasing 10 cloth masks into the North American market. "Younger women are now looking at skin care from a preventative—not corrective—perspective," he adds. The masks are designed to target a wide variety of skin concerns from fine lines, wrinkles, and aging to dryness, uneven texture, and large pores.
Unlike gloppy creams and clays, the technology-backed delivery system of sheet masks are what really make them stand out. "A cloth mask easily soaks up the skin care ingredients its packaged with, but it still allows the skin to absorb the product without any evaporation or external influences," explains Laura. SK-II formulates their masks with Pitera, an active comprised of vitamins, amino acids, and minerals derived from fermented saké. Masqueology worked with top Korean dermatologists to develop a rayon-cellulose fabric that best delivers product into the skin, and paired it with a patented pro-vitamin D3 gel that fights UV photo-damage. If we can attain Cate Blanchett’s skin, we’re on board!
When most women don't have the funds to support a monthly spa visit, these masks—priced at $8 to $20 a sheet—are an amazing deal for a DIY spa day. Compared to other treatments, we found the sheet has an soothing, calming effect on our complexion and our mind. Perhaps it's the weight of the mask itself or the immediate cooling sensation, but one can't help but relax for at least 20 minutes. Some of our editors have even fallen asleep with these suckers on! "Your facial muscles loosen up, the stress lifts off your face—it's like you went on a mini vacation!" says Lonnie. Could you unplug three times a week for a pre-packaged DIY facial?