Embrace Your Face: Sheet Mask Reviews

Echoes Staff

Whether you’re putting your best face forward for school pictures, the family Christmas photo, or you just want to relax after a long day of learning (or if you’re a teacher, grading!), face and sheet masks promise a range of benefits for your skin. As with many beauty trends, the sheet mask has long been a staple in the South Korean beauty regimen, though it has only gained popularity in the United States in the last few years. In South Korea, however, the mask is merely one step in an elaborate skin care ritual which can contain as many as ten or fifteen steps! Regardless of how elaborate or simple you prefer your beauty regimen, taking some self-care time for yourself to put on a mask and relax can be good for both body and spirit.

Not all masks are created equal, however. Echoes asked three teachers to test drive a range of face masks; here’s what they had to say!


Shea Moisture African Black Soap Clarifying Mud Mask
Scent: like clay, but pleasantly sweet
For: supposed to draw out dirt and pore congestion, absorb excess oil
My skin type: oily & blemish-prone
Time: ten minutes maximum
Comments: It is organic, natural, and fair trade, so that’s a bonus. This is a regular face mask, not a sheet mask; there is probably enough in the package for two uses, but I put it all on extra thick. Around three minutes it started burning a little bit, which is a little worrisome. I did not much like wearing it because of the light burning. However, my skin feels very soft and clean afterwards. The tingle of the mask plus the cold water when I washed it off felt great. Sometimes in the past I’ve used masks that burned a little and they left me red in the face, but this one did not. I think I would use this mask again.

Epielle Snail Moisturizing Mask
Scent: light and clean like face wash
For: supposed to firm and moisturize with its extra special ingredient, snail secretion filtrate! (Ew.)
My skin type: normal
Time: 20-30 minutes
Comments: I look terrifying with the sheet mask on, but it feels very pleasantly cool on my skin! The forehead and cheek portion adhere well, but the chin part just won’t stay stuck down and I’m constantly pressing it down. I don’t really mind, though. After taking it off, my skin definitely feels soft; it’s a little sticky, but it feels very moisturized. The day after, however, I didn’t much notice any difference. Not sure if the results were particularly great. I was a little ambivalent about this mask, but I would use it again.

Epielle Honey and Oat Moisturizing Mask
Scent: a soothing, light scent, rather like soap. I didn’t smell the honey, but I could smell the oats.
For: supposed to hydrate and renew skin, lock in moisture
Time: 20-30 minutes
Comments: This mask stuck a lot better than the previous one (the snail mask). I found it very relaxing to wear and didn’t have to constantly hold it down like the other one. Afterwards I felt like my skin was cool and soft.

Epielle Honey and Oat Moisturizing Mask, second review
For (what does it claim to do?): hydrate and renew tired skin
Scent: very light/soapy smell
My skin type: oily
Comments: I used this on a day when my allergies were bad, which means the face on my skin was super itchy. It felt very cool and soothing on. I could almost feel my skin calming down while I was wearing it. Afterwards, my complexion looked really nice: a definite glow, very smooth, a lot less redness, which is always a concern for me. Really liked this one!

Miss Spa Detoxify Mask
Scent: light, faintly botanical (like most of these masks)
For: purifying & cleansing
My skin type: normal
Time: 20 minutes
Comments: This mask is supposed to be “like a magnet to draw out pore-clogging dirt, oil and toxins,” which sounds pretty great to me. It was fine while I was wearing it—fairly soothing and nice feeling on my skin, but just a few hours after my skin looked terrible. Maybe it was all the dirt and toxins coming out, but my skin broke out terribly. I guess I’d rather have dirt deep down but no pimples, so I’m going to give this one a pass.

Epielle Facial Essence Mask Activated Charcoal
For: Pore minimizer/moisturize, purify, and clarify your skin
Scent: Not specifically scented, but has a strong botanical odor. Actually a little too strong for me.
My skin type: Oily
Comments: Initially, I was a little grossed out by the black color and slimy texture of the mask, but the serum feels very nice on the skin: quite soothing. There is a TON of product on the mask though. I would recommend it on a day when you had maybe gotten too much sun. The scent is nice, but gave me a headache after a while. Afterwards, my skin felt very soft and had a nice glow, although my cheeks and nose were slightly red. I can’t say as my pores were minimized, and my blemishes were super red, but my cheeks had a nice, natural glow. I probably would not use this one again.

Yes to Cucumbers
For: Soothing/calming
Scent: Botanical, but with a sharp rubbing alcohol scent as well
Skin type: oily
Comments: I could only use this one for about ten minutes because the tingle was real. As in, really kind of burning. The smell was also a little sharp for me. However, I really liked the way my skin looked when I took it off: no redness, definite glow, very pretty. So I do think it did what it was supposed to do, which was calm my skin down. The formula was a little heavy; I have a few whiteheads today. I would recommend it for people with dry/red skin, but not oily skin.

Alba Botanica Hawaiian Detox Sheet Mask
For: Detoxing the skin
Scent: Botanical and earthy (very natural smelling)
Skin type: oily
Comments: Of all the masks, this is the one I was most excited to try, and it didn’t disappoint at all. The sheet itself was not as wet or slimy as some of the other brands, and it was easy to apply. There was a definite tingle when I was wearing it, which the directions recommend doing for 15 minutes or less, so this is a good option if you don’t have a lot of time. When I removed it, I was shocked to see how red my skin was, but that went down quickly, and I was left with much smoother skin. It brought a lot of impurities up to the surface, so I washed my face really well, and I was very happy with how clear my complexion was afterwards. This has been my favorite of the four I’ve tried so far.