Kate Hudson and Stella McCartney prepare for the 2017 Met Gala with gilt sheet masks. Photo / @katehudson Instagram

Party Prep, One Step: Get Glowing Skin At Home With These Simple Sheet Masks

Brightening, clarifying, moisturising, and more — sheet masks are a lovely skincare treat and act as a perfect pre-party glow up

Call it a novelty or a necessity, there are few things as hotly contested in beauty land as sheet masks. But what are these selfie-worthy sheets, and do they actually work?

Sheet masks are a single-use, serum-soaked cloth sheet that come in a variety of formats (think microfibre, hydrogel, cellulose, foil, knit and charcoal) with holes for eyes, nose and mouth. Each sheet is loaded with ingredients to cater to skincare needs at every end of the spectrum, offering skin something extra than what your current skincare routine provides.

Sure, they’re not for everyone — slapping on a cold, damp cellulose cloth may not sound a relaxing experience to some — but for others, they’re a skincare treat ahead of a big event.

Hollywood’s finest are all reported fans — Kate Hudson, Stella McCartney, Drew Barrymore, Karlie Kloss, Chrissy Teigen, Bella Hadid and Brie Larson are not immune to the sheet mask selfie.

READ: What Is Anti-Stress Skincare And How Does It Work?

Ask skincare gurus Caroline Hirons or Paula Begoun, and they’ll tell you that sheet masks are nothing more than a gimmick.

In 2018, Caroline responded to a Tweet asking for users to share their unpopular skincare opinions, saying: “Sheet masks are just wipes with holes for eyes” (anyone who’s familiar with the British aesthetician will know her longstanding aversion to face wipes).

“They’re wet, sticky, and don’t give you anything you can’t get from applying a couple of rounds of hyaluronic acid/anti-ageing serum to your face before your moisturiser,” she elaborated in a blog post on Carolinehirons.com.

But according to Haley Asbridge, the founder of boutique skin clinic Mooi Skin, sheet masks are an excellent way to give skin a much-needed pep up before heading out.

“I am a massive fan of sheet masks for many reasons, including their hydration factor and the cooling, calming and brightening effects they can have,” Haley says. “Sheet masks are my top pick before a party as your skin has never looked better than straight after a sheet mask.”

READ: The Best Facial Oils For Your Skin Type 

K-beauty enthusiasts can attest to their glow-inducing benefits, said to deliver high concentrations of active ingredients directly to skin in one five-to-30-minute application.

Not only this, but sheet masks are easier to use than their wash-off counterparts, and help to soothe post-treatment or post-peel skin.

Below, our picks of pre-party, single-use sheet masks for just about every skin type and concern — from quenching parched skin to delivering a youthful glow.

Best For Sensitive Skin: La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Masque, $15
The 411: Gentle enough for use on even the most sensitised skin types, this soothing sheet mask features La Roche-Posay's signature thermal spring water and vitamin B5 to nourish and hydrate. It’s an excellent option for use following any aesthetic procedures or peels.
The Format: A 100 per cent biodegradable cotton sheet mask.
The Duration: 15 minutes.

La Roche-Posay Cicaplast B5 Masque, $15. Photo / Supplied

Best For Brightening: SugarBaby Express Glow Skin Brightening Mask, $11
The 411: A coconut-based concoction is the hero ingredient behind this brightly-hued sheet mask, which helps to ramp up radiance and achieve a soothed and smoothed complexion. Other hero ingredients include Superox C (derived from Kakadu plum), hydrating sodium hyaluronate, allantoin, and plant botanicals.
The Format: A 100 per cent biodegradable cotton sheet mask.
The Duration: 15 minutes.

SugarBaby Express Glow Skin Brightening Mask, $11. Photo / Supplied

Best For Tired Eyes: Dr LeWinn’s Line Smoothing Complex Hyaluronic Acid & Caffeine Under Eye Recovery Mask 3pk, $12
The 411: Fake a full night’s sleep with these line-smoothing under-eye masks, which harness polysaccharide sheet mask technology to melt seamlessly into skin upon contact, allowing the highly concentrated ingredients to infuse gently into skin, offering relief for lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness.
The Format: A 100 per cent biodegradable sheet mask.
The Duration: 20 minutes.

Dr LeWinn’s Line Smoothing Complex Hyaluronic Acid & Caffeine Under Eye Recovery Mask 3pk, $12. Photo / Supplied

Best For Hydration: Aspect Dr Intense Hydration Sheet Mask 5pk, $65
The 411: This luxurious new sheet mask cocktails vitamins, minerals and botanical actives with hyaluronic acid to leave skin butter soft. “It’s perfect to cool and calm after a day of Zoom calls, soothe after wearing a face mask for long periods, and is my top pick before a party,” Haley says.
The Format: An eco-friendly bamboo and cellulose sheet mask.
The Duration: 20 minutes.

Aspect Dr Intense Hydration Sheet Mask 5pk, $65. Photo / Supplied

Best For A Quick Fix: Garnier Hyaluronic Acid Firming Ampoule Face Sheet Mask, $5
The 411: Short on time? This five-minute skin fix contains a one per cent concentration of hyaluronic acid alongside watermelon extract to firm and smooth skin, while infusing it with moisture. An ideal option for revitalising and plumping skin before applying makeup.
The Format: An alginate sheet mask.
The Duration: Five minutes.

Garnier Hyaluronic Acid Firming Ampoule Face Sheet Mask, $5. Photo / Supplied

Best For Dullness: Lemon & Beaker Galvanic Brightening Sheet Mask 5pk, $100
The 411: Designed in New Zealand, made in Korea, this microcurrent charged sheet mask can be used with or without a galvanic device and envelops skin in a botanical elixir which includes harakeke extract and manuka essential oil to help brighten skin and restore luminosity.
The Format: A semi-gel, cellulose sheet mask which features microcurrent prints to help the skin absorb the serum up to 20 times faster than a regular sheet mask.
The Duration: 10 to 20 minutes.

Lemon & Beaker Galvanic Brightening Sheet Mask 5pk, $100. Photo / Supplied

STOCKISTS: Aspect Dr from Mooi Skin or online at Mooiskin.co.nz; Dr LeWinn’s from Chemist Warehouse or online at Chemistwarehouse.co.nz; Garnier from selected department stores, pharmacies and supermarkets or online at Themarket.com; La Roche-Posay from selected online stockists, including Adorebeauty.co.nz; Lemon & Beaker from Healthpost.co.nz or Lemonandbeaker.com; SugarBaby from Farmers or online at Sugarbabybeauty.co.nz.

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