Typically squeezed in between essence and moisturizer, the humble sheet mask is a skincare must. These ghostly masks are hydration bombs. Soaked in serum, they provide a burst of moisture and perk up dull skin. Seems pretty straightforward, right? As it turns out, these stress-relieving staples can get a little complicated. So whether you’re a K-beauty devotee or just someone trying to skirt a bad skin day, here are 5 sheet mask mistakes you might be making.


You’ll need a clean canvas if you want your mask to work its magic. That layer of dead skin and day-old grime you forgot to slough away? That stuff’s going to make it difficult for your skin to take in any nutrients.

THE FIX: Always cleanse and exfoliate prior to masking. This ensures that all those moisture-boosting ingredients actually sink into your skin, leaving it properly nourished.

TRY: Skin Genie Black Mallows Fluffy Scrub for Face and Body, P450


For optimal sheet-masking, you’ll need to get the timing right. If you let your mask completely dry on your face, it will start siphoning moisture from your skin. And that’s a no-no! You might think you’re just milking it for all the serum it’s worth, but you’re actually letting the mask strip you of vital nourishment.

THE FIX: Follow the usage instructions to the letter. Twenty minutes means twenty minutes. Okay, fine, you’re going to get a little greedy once in a while—but just remember to remove the mask before it dries to a husk. If you don’t trust yourself to remember, opt for a sleeping pack instead. This type of mask is just as effective as a typical sheet, and it’s designed for overnight use.

TRY: CosRX Ultimate Honey Overnight Mask, P810


Washing your face after masking will also wash off all the good stuff you were just starting to absorb. What a waste!

THE FIX: Give the essence/serum of the mask some time to settle into your skin. When it no longer feels sticky, follow it up with moisturizer or night cream. The point is to keep building that hydration instead of rinsing it off.

TRY: My Prime Transformative Night Cream, P2,600


Sheet masks tend to come with heaps more serum in the package than you can use in one go. Never dispose of that precious excess. It’s a rookie mistake!

THE FIX: Mask enough times and you’ll eventually realize there’s more than one way to hack it. So instead of chucking that extra serum, decant it into a sealable container for future use. True economists like to keep cotton pads in the same container so that they’re presoaked and ready to swipe whenever you want.

TRY: Dear Klairs Toner Mate 2 in 1 Cotton Pad, P340


Some nights, you’ll want to just plop a mask over your face and call it a day. Don’t! Sheet masks are great for hydration, but you need the rest of your routine to seal that hydration in.

THE FIX: After you’re done with your sheet mask, proceed with the rest of your skincare regimen. If that means eye cream, lotion, and moisturizer, then do what you have to do. Different products target different issues—let them do their job, just like the mask did its!

TRY: Benton Fermentation Eye Cream, P1,200 + Benton Snail Bee High Content Lotion, P900

Credits: Video by Kath Austria. Illustrations by Carli Dagdag. Don’t forget to follow BeautyMNL on Facebook and Instagram!

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