A couple weeks ago, I took the Path train over to New Jersey to attend the festivities at KCON NY. Between watching teens dancing to BTS‘s “Dope” and sipping on refreshing Korean drinks, I listened to Christine Chang of K-beauty e-retailer Glow Recipe speak. During her panel, she mentioned how some people in Korea do two sheet masks a day. Let me repeat, there are people who have the time to do two sheet masks every single day. Redditors on the Asian Beauty subreddit indulge in the daily skincare habit, too. (This is the same part of the Internet that brought us the heated sheet mask hack.) A user who goes by yasSkin wrote that using a sheet mask every day “is literally the only way [she] can keep [her] skin soft, radiant, and acne free.” I can’t imagine doing one sheet mask every day, let alone two. Getting a facial once a week for a month was exhausting enough.
Time constraints aside, the beauty editor in me wondered what all that sheet masking really does for your skin. Just one every day, seven days a week seemed like it would irritate skin. So I posited a couple of dermatologist with a question: “Should you use a sheet mask every day?” The short answer is sure, go ahead. However, there are a couple catches.
“Yes, itâ€™s fine to use a sheet mask every day as long as itâ€™s not a glycolic acid-containing sheet mask,” Elizabeth Tanzi, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and associate clinical professor, department of dermatology at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., tells Allure. Why? Using sheet masks labelled “anti-aging”, which are usually formulated with exfoliating glycolic acid are too strong for daily use and can cause irritation.
Debra Jaliman, a New York City-based dermatologist, agrees. However, her caveat is those who are acne prone shouldn’t sheet mask every day. “It can sometimes aggravate acne because it is occlusive and can block pores,” she explains. This can cause bacteria to grow on skin. Instead, she recommends using a sheet mask only once a week if you have acne-prone skin. Not acne prone? Using a sheet mask every day can help boost your skin’s hydration levels, Jaliman says. “It helps push the ingredients into the skin,” she explains. Also, if you have sensitive skin, sheet masks are a “good option because they have fewer preservative,” Tanzi adds. That means less chances of causing irritation.
Ready to challenge yourself to using a sheet mask every day? First of all, you probably want to set an alarm on your phone. As for which actual sheet masks to use, look specifically for ones with ceramides, squalene, hyaluronic acid, rice bran oil, and macadamia oil, Jaliman suggests. All help to moisturize skin. If you’re hoping to brighten your skin, though, she recommends daily sheet masking with ones that include niacinamide, vitamin C and licorice root extract.