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9 best sheet masks to hydrate your skin in 2023

Jul 22, 2023Jul 22, 2023

Skin care routines can feel just that: routine. After a long day, washing your face and slapping on moisturizer doesn’t always feel like self care. They don’t feel special. Face masks, on the other hand, are an every-once-in-a-while treat for your skin. Sheet masks, which are a type of face mask, are popular for good reason — the masks come soaked with skin care ingredients, so all you have to do is lay one on your face.

There are many types of sheet masks on the market, promising to do things like hydrate, brighten, clarify and more. But just because they offer a wide variety of benefits, doesn’t mean they should replace your normal routine. “Sheet masks cannot replace the important steps of a regular skin care routine, such as cleansing, moisturizing and using sunscreen,” says Dr. Brendan Camp, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City. What can they do? Camp says they’re particularly ideal for hydration. “The occlusive properties of a mask traps moisture in the skin, which can help skin stay hydrated and improve the appearance of fine lines,” he says.

To help you determine the sheet masks that are worth your time and money, we spoke with dermatologists about what to keep in mind when shopping and then used their advice to source highly rated options.

SKIP AHEAD Top-rated sheet masks | Top questions about sheet masks answered

To help us find the best sheet masks, we spoke to two board-certified dermatologists about what to look for. When shopping, they recommend considering the following factors:

To help us find the best sheet masks, we spoke to two board-certified dermatologists about what to look for. When shopping, they recommend considering the following factors:

Below, we’ve rounded up highly rated sheet masks based on the important factors dermatologists told us to keep in mind. We also included some masks recommended specifically by our experts.

This sheet mask combines aloe vera to soothe and snow mushroom extract to hydrate, says Garshick. “It’s great for those experiencing sensitivity or itchiness,” she adds. The sheet masks are made from completely biodegradable material, according to the brand.

This set of five face masks has a 4.5-star average from over 4,600 reviews on Amazon. Each mask has a two-step process. First, you use the serum inside to hydrate the skin and then you apply the sheet masks for 15 to 20 minutes. The main ingredients in this sheet mask are niacinamide, which Camp says can soothe irritation, and lotus flower extract, which hydrates, according to the brand.

If brightening is your goal, Camp recommends this option from Dr. Dennis Gross. “It’s packed with vitamin C to brighten and the actual mask is made with biodegradable, gel-like coconut fibers,” he says. The mask also has lactic acid and L-ascorbic acid to plump and hydrate, according to the brand. It’s recommended by the brand to use this mask once a week for maximum results.

This set of four masks has a 4.6-star average from over 1,580 reviews on Amazon. Each mask is soaked in a serum containing hyaluronic acid. “Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar molecule in our body that attracts up to a thousand times its weight in water,” says Garshick. “Because it helps to draw moisture in, it not only helps with skin hydration but can also improve fine lines and wrinkles and leave the skin looking and feeling dewier.” To use this mask, the instructions suggest applying it after you wash your face and leave it on for up to 30 minutes.

Guys can use any of the masks on this list, but these are specifically made for men. “These masks contain niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and peptides and are sized up to fit larger faces and made in two pieces so that people with beards can use half,” Camp says. The combination of ingredients targets dull skin, fine lines and redness, according to the brand. This option comes in a set of four masks and has a 4.3-star average from over 1,200 reviews on Amazon.

This set from popular Korean beauty brand TonyMoly includes 10 sheet masks, all addressing a different concern. There’s a rice water mask to clarify, a tea tree oil mask to soothe, a coconut mask to hydrate and many more. The set has a 4.7-star average from over 1,630 reviews on Amazon. These masks should be applied to a clean face and left on for 20 minutes, according to the brand.

Hyaluronic acid, which is Garshick’s go-to hydrator, is the main active ingredient in this sheet mask. It comes in a set of 10 and has a 4.7-star average from over 3,200 reviews on Amazon. Along with hyaluronic acid, this mask’s serum has five different amino acids to add moisture to the skin, according to the brand. While this mask focuses on hydration, the brand also makes sheet masks that target brightening, toning, illuminating and more.

“This sheet mask works great for those with dry skin as it contains ceramide NP, which works to support the skin’s barrier,” says Garshick. “After you use it, it leaves the skin feeling moisturized for 24 hours.” Along with the ceramide NP, this mask has argan oil and shea butter to infuse extra moisture, according to the brand. This mask should be applied after cleansing and should be worn for 20 minutes. If you have very dry skin, you should apply moisturizer after taking off the mask, according to Dr. Jart+.

Collagen peptides, which Camp says help to keep your skin firm and plump, are the main active ingredient in this sheet mask, which has a 4.5-star average from over 7,400 reviews on Amazon.Each mask also has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and aloe vera to soothe, according to Ebanel. To get extra soothing benefits, you can chill the sheet mask in the fridge for 15 minutes before opening the package and putting it on, according to the brand.

When do you use a sheet mask? When shouldn’t you use one? What are the benefits of using a sheet mask? Understanding these key points is important, according to the dermatologists that we spoke to. Here, common questions about sheet masks were answered by our experts.

Generally speaking, sheet masks do the same thing as other types of face masks — they can address specific skin care concerns depending on their ingredients. While you can find sheet masks that say they are brightening, soothing, clarifying and more, both Garshick and Camp agree that they are most successful at adding hydration to your skin. “They can help your complexion retain and gain moisture and provide a nice pick-me-up,” says Garshick.

The actual sheet mask is usually made up of either cotton, silicone or gel. The material that is best for you will depend on your skin.Cotton masks tend to be less expensive. “Gel and silicone have inherent soothing and hydrating properties,” says Garshick. “So, they can be good if your skin is sensitive or needs extra moisture.”

Both Camp and Garshick stress that sheet masks should be used in addition to your normal routine (cleansing, moisturizing and using SPF), not as a replacement for any of those steps. “They’re intended to be a supplement to what you already do,” says Garshick. “You can use them a few times a week or before a big event when you need some additional hydration.”

In terms of time of day, most sheet masks suggest you use them after cleansing your face. You can do this in the morning, but because they need to sit on your face for up to 30 minutes, it may be easiest to do this at the end of the day after you’ve washed away your makeup.

Sheet masks are considered safe for most people with various skin types. That said, if you have sensitive skin, you should always be careful when trying new products, says Garshick. “If this is you, stick to masks that specifically say they’re formulated for sensitive skin.” Camp adds that those with open sores or wounds on their face should also avoid using a sheet mask until the skin has fully healed.

At Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two board-certified dermatologists to gather their guidance on what to look for when shopping for sheet masks.

Catch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.

Bethany Heitman has spent over fifteen years creating engaging content. She is the former editor-in-chief of People StyleWatch and has held senior leadership positions at Cosmopolitan, Health, and Seventeen.

SKIP AHEADTop-rated sheet masks Top questions about sheet masks answeredBest overall:Best budget:Best for sensitive skin:IngredientsSkin concernMaterialDr. Brendan CampDr. Marisa GarshickCatch up on Select’s in-depth coverage of personal finance, tech and tools, wellness and more, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok to stay up to date.