Thanks to the K-beauty surge, sheet masks are everywhere. Want to try snail slime? There’s a mask for that. Want to get a dewy glow, fast? There’s a mask for that. Want to give your butt some TLC? There’s a mask for that, too.
For the uninitiated, a sheet mask is made of a thin sheet usually drenched with serum and active ingredients meant to be applied as a 15- or 20-minute facial treatment. Lately, sheet-masking has become Insta-trendy: People are sharing their sheet mask selfies on the way to the grocery store, on planes, and of course from the comfort of the couch. If sheet masks seem too good to be true, it’s because they are—for the most part. They can be wasteful and chock-full of questionable ingredients.
“Sheet masks do require stronger preservatives because they are mostly water, so it is often easier and cheaper to source [potentially] toxic preservative systems instead of natural versions,” said founder and CEO of cocokind, an organic skincare line, Priscilla Tsai, who is looking to develop a natural and eco-friendly sheet mask for her own brand. “Because people care about speed to market, using natural preservatives is a risk and potential cost many companies do not take. The water-based formula and need for stronger preservatives is the downside to most sheet masks.”
The other issue is that a single-use sheet mask comes with fabric, a clear film, and an individual packet all to deliver a mixture of serum and active ingredients, which is an excessive amount of packaging. Some brands mentioned below have created multi-use sheet masks, biodegradable fabric, or even DIY sheet masks that don’t require as much packaging. Here are the best natural, organic, and sustainability-forward sheet masks on the market right now: