There's been a fair amount of mask-talk around these parts for the last, oh let's say, three to five years. Our approach tends to be pretty equal opportunity in scope—detoxifying, toning, and moisturizing all have their time and place. But nothing quite says “epitome of serious relaxation and renewal' like sticking some paper (albeit high-quality paper, and quite often it's actually fabric or cellulose) to your face. Of course, sheet masking requires an extra level of commitment—don't just marinate for 20 minutes; marinate and be very still because you don't want that sheet falling off your face and onto the floor.
The field of options here is vast, so here's a list of some of Glossier HQ's most trusted packets:
Sandra Sou, Senior Copywriter: Arsainte Eco-Therapy Extreme Moisture Sheet Mask
'Before I moved to NYC, I used to visit my grandma in South Korea for months at a time and come back with the most amazing skin. Most of it can be attributed to the fact that I would sleep in a sheet mask every single night. Over there, they cost about 50 cents to a dollar each so I would buy them in bulk. The Arsainte is my favorite because the sheet itself is 100 percent organic cotton and feels like it breathes. Whatever slime it's soaked in is super gentle on my sensitive skin and it's incredibly moisturizing. Before I put one on, I refrigerate it—something about the coldness on my face makes me doze off within minutes. Also, it's fun to wake up and play 'Find the Mask.''
Emily Ferber, Editor: Sephora Sheet Masks
'An oft-overlooked problem when it comes to masks is mask beard. It’s that thing where the mask is cut too large for your face and then the excess, because of gravity, just hangs off your chin, like a cold, wet rag. However, Sephora’s house brand of sheet mask—which come in a bunch of flavors, but my favorite is Honey—cost a grand total of $6 and fit my face like a glove. The simple genius is that they’re wider than they are long (yes, ha) and vaguely texturized to hold on tight.”
Brennan Kilbane, Editorial Assistant: TonyMoly Wonder Water Sheet Mask
'The three dollar TonyMoly masks that you can buy in the checkout line at Urban Outfitters were my first foray into sheet treatment territory, and I consider these Wonder Water Sheet Masks to be the wisened, grown-up version to those. They're thin but very hydrating, and I wear them way past the 20 minute window, basically until they're dry. Also, I have a beard, so I'll cut off the bottom part of my mask and use it on my neck wipe-style—no harm, no foul, because they're pretty inexpensive.”
Eva Alt, Social Media Editor: Cremorlab Perfection Hydrating Mask
'Whenever we get Cremorlab in the office I kind of hoard it because it’s so pretty to look at—plus, the products are extremely effective. The Perfection Hydrating Mask rings true to its name. Hydrating perfection. It's $15 for one, so I try and be savvy and use up every last drop of the hydrating goop. Muji sells dry cotton sheet masks, so I'll use one of those to soak up the remaining liquid and do the mask two nights in a row.”
Claire Knebl, Managing Editor: BioRepublic Sheet Masks
'I'm a pretty regular sheet masker, and I'll try most anything. That said, one brand that I keep coming back to over and over again is BioRepublic. The masks are a single sheet, so there's no piecing together separate top and bottom sections (a way of doing things that's always been a nice thought but ends up not working out for me). Lately I've been using their green tea mask, which is good for those who deal with oily skin. When it's warm out, I like the aloe one. It leaves my skin feeling plumper and soothes any inflammation.”
Amelia Sabra, Editorial Intern: Lululun Sheet Masks
“Being a broke college student, I’m constantly on the search for skincare with maximum benefits at a minimum price point. One day a few years ago, I was wasting time in Ricky’s and found the Lululun sheet masks. I was wary, as I am with putting anything other than CeraVe on my face, that these would break me out, but they were cute and $8 for seven masks, so I bought them. They leave me dewy and moisturized, plus now I have an excuse to stay in every night of the week during what I can only assume will be another hellish winter.”
Tom Newton, Photographer & New Media Editor: Boscia Charcoal Pore-Minimizing Hydrogel Mask
'I'm usually against sheet masks, as a rule almost. From what I initially understood, they're for people with dry skin...so, not me. But during my charcoal phase this summer—charcoal juice, charcoal masks, charcoal cleanser—I tried the Boscia Charcoal Hydrogel Mask. It left me feeling cleansed like a traditional charcoal mask would, but took out the step of having to abrasively scrub it off. It's also got a cooling, gel feel. Would definitely use again.”
Casey Zhang, Social Media Manager: TonyMoly Aloe Mask
'What I like most about sheet masks is that I don't have to wash off extra residue or gunk that gets into my hair, especially because I have thick bangs that try to sneak out of whatever pin or headband I'm using. I don't know if the Tony Moly Aloe Mask is really that different from their other masks, but the reason why I like it is largely because I like the idea of putting aloe water on my face. I like to rub the extra into my face and neck, and I also don't mind if gets in my hair...”
Pauline Maynard, Market Editor: Nature Republic Marine Aqua Collagen Mask
'This one is a hydrogel mask, which means it's cooler to the touch and doesn't really drip the way usual cotton sheet masks do. Another perk: It comes in two pieces so you can perfectly fit it to your face. I leave it on for about 15 minutes and because it fits so well, I can just walk around and keep on doing whatever I was doing. I massage in some of the essence left on my skin once I take it off—but after another 10 minutes, it's soaked in enough and I wipe off the excess.”
Jessica Sheft-Ason, Digital Product Manager: Dr. Jart Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution
'I love this mask because it is ridiculously creamy and has a soft, form-fitting texture. While it's not a hydrogel, the microfiber texture is pretty unique and it contours nicely to my face. The goo (serum? idk tbh) is so creamy that even after wearing the mask for an hour while watching TV, the mask still hadn't dried out. Since my skin is super dry, I feel like I need all the goo I can get.”
Photographed by Olivia Richards.