Korean sheet masks are a big thing across Instagram and beauty blogs, but as someone who cares about clean beauty, how can you make sure you choose only natural Korean sheet masks?
In this post, I’d like to share some tips for choosing natural Korean sheet masks. How can you choose only natural masks when there are so many to choose from, and often the ingredients are listed in Korean? And exactly how can Korean sheet masks benefit skin, anyway?
To help me answer these questions, I’ve selected and reviewed 4 different sheet masks from Nomad Beauty Collection (since posting, this store is unfortunately no longer with us). If you’re new to Korean sheet masks too, I hope you’ll find this post helpful!
Natural Korean sheet masks
How do I choose natural Korean sheet masks?
The problem with Korean sheet masks is that the ingredients are often only listed in Korean.
Scouring manufacturer or stockist websites for ingredient listings is extremely laborious, and often inaccurate, as I found out the hard way.
Don’t depend on the word “natural” used in branding – it means absolutely nothing!
The simplest way to choose natural Korean face masks is to check ingredients using a trusted source, such as Nomad Beauty Collection. This online store lists all the ingredients of the masks in English – more about Nomad Beauty Collection later down the post.
But why choose sheet masks? Why not just apply the ingredients to your skin?
A sheet mask takes advantage of occlusion, i.e. locking the ingredients on to the skin while the mask is on. The idea is to increase the benefit of the ingredients by holding them against the skin longer than if simply applied to the skin like a serum, gel, or cream.
It has to be worth a try, right? Now, on to the masks!
Etude House 0.2mm Therapy Air Mask Calendula
I bought Etude House 0.2mm Therapy Air Mask in Calendula after seeing it on Nomad Beauty Collection’s Instagram feed. I love calendula so much – it’s such a healing herb.
This mask is claimed to restore radiance, calm, and moisturise the skin. This kind of mask can, and often is, used daily in Korea.
Key ingredients include camellia sinensis leaf extract, sunflower seed oil, and calendula oil.
I used this mask after a day at the beach with Jonah when my skin felt dried out from the sun and wind.
Before applying, first remove makeup, then cleanse and tone the skin.
Most sheet masks take a little adjustment to make sure the whole face is covered, and this mask is no exception. Aside from the usual tweaks, the mask is really easy to apply. It’s saturated in a thick gel which has little scent to it.
It stays on for 10 to 20 minutes, during which time you can relax in the bath (like I did!) and make good use of the downtime, or simply wander around your house, looking quite strange and frightening your spouse and children.
Once the mask is off, massage the remaining solution in to your skin. There’s quite a lot left in the sachet afterwards, which you can use as a serum.
My skin was definitely more radiant after using this mask – it appeared brighter and felt smoother.
I love this mask and would definitely buy it again since it has lovely clean ingredients, and really helped my skin. It’s also good value for money.
There are other Etude masks available from Nomad Beauty Collection including aloe, and collagen. Also, if you look on eBay for Etude House masks, there are some weird and wonderful masks such as pearl, snail, and lotus!
Abib Gummy Sheet Mask Heartleaf Sticker
This mask is said to work wonders when skin is on the edge of a breakout. Its key ingredients include heartleaf, chamomile, chaga mushroom, and peony. With cooling locust bean extract and witch hazel, the mask can help reduce sebum production and soothe inflammation – perfect for acne prone or combination skin.
To use, first remove makeup, then cleanse the skin. The mask is easy to apply and, once on, feels cooling. There’s no tingling and no fragrance. The texture is rather slippery.
This mask stays on for 10 to 20 minutes. Once removed, the remaining liquid can be massaged into the skin, and leaves a slightly sticky residue.
I did find my skin calmed and soothed after using this mask. I’d like to use it again during a worse breakout to see how it fares – definitely one to come back to!
Abib Gummy Sheet Mask Heartleaf Sticker
Jayjun Collagen Skin Fit Mask
I chose this mask because of its ability to increase moisture and improve the resilience of my skin. Applying collagen topically doesn’t have a great effect, but the mask has several interesting ingredients. I’d rather eat hydrolysed collagen powder to see its benefits on my skin.
The face mask comes in two parts. A separate sachet containing “essence” of hyaluronic acid, and the mask itself. The essence moisturises and nurtures the skin with ginseng, sodium hyaluronate, and multivitamins.
The “plant stem cell mask”, which contains sodium hyaluronate, betaine and ceramide, moisturises too but also claims to maintain the skin’s moisture levels over time.
I used this mask when my skin was feeling on the dry side from too many exfoliating treatments.
To use, first cleanse the skin, apply the essence, then the mask. The mask stays on for 10 to 20 minutes. After removing the mask, you can massage the essence into the skin, then keep the remaining essence for later use.
The mask feels lovely and refreshing, and smells good – but unfortunately the fragrance is artificial. I was disappointed when I realised this mask contains phenoxyethanol, which is an ingredient I avoid in skincare. Another note to self to check trusted sources of ingredients listings online!
On the plus side, my skin looked more rested. Some scratches on my face appeared soothed, and the mask seemed to kick start their healing. Redness in my face had lessened, and my skin tone was more even.
I’d use this mask again if it didn’t contain parfum and phenoxyethanol.
Jayjun Collagen Skin Fit Mask
So Natural Facial Design Deep Black Clay Mask
I was intrigued by this unusual mask! Clay masks really draw gunk out of my pores and polish my skin. I try to use a clay mask once a week as a matter of routine, so this mask slid nicely into my regime.
So Natural claim this mask will remove waste, impurities, and dead skin cells. The mask is supposed to deep cleanse the pores to improve skin’s texture, along with boosting its elasticity.
It comes in two parts, one for the top half of your face, and one for the bottom. I think this helps give a better fit.
To use, you peel off the layers of plastic to reveal the mask, then press it on to cleansed skin. As this was my first sheet mask since using Montagne Jeunesse as a twenty something, I was all fingers and thumbs – but to a seasoned pro applying this mask would be easy.
The mask stays on for absolutely ages – 40 to 50 minutes, during which time the mask changes from a darker grey to a paler grey as the clay dries. It tingles as it dries, and feels very cooling and refreshing.
It does have a strong fragrance which I later learned isn’t natural.
Jonah thought it was hilarious to watch me wearing the mask. I’m sure you mamas can relate, trying to keep a small child off your face for any period of time is quite a challenge!
After the mask dries, you can crack it off like some kind of phantom of the opera mask. It is so satisfying to peel off. You can see your pore gunk on the mask afterwards.
My skin felt soft and smooth after this mask. I did have some redness which quickly subsided.
My final thoughts on this mask are that although it does contain some beneficial natural ingredients, I wouldn’t call it natural since it contains phenoxyethanol, parfum, and methylparaben – which I later found out when Nomad Beauty Collection launched after I’d used the mask! Whoops! Obviously not everybody avoids these ingredients, but super-cautious me does.
Final thoughts on natural Korean sheet masks
I’ve had such a fun few weeks trying these natural Korean sheet masks! My favourite has to be the Calendula face mask from Etude House, since it really is a natural product and it’s so soothing and relaxing.
Selecting 4 natural Korean sheet masks has shown me how hard it can be to spot ingredients you normally avoid unless you use a trusted source. The mistake I made was to trust random websites online to list the correct ingredients.
I would say if you’re looking for truly natural face masks then Nomad Beauty Collection is a great place to shop as it lists all ingredients and takes so much work out of choosing.
Nomad Beauty Collection is a start up internet beauty shop that promotes niche skincare brands from around the world. The store was founded by 3 ladies with a passion for the unusual and far flung in beauty and skincare – definitely worth checking out. It’s an excellent resource for products you can’t find anywhere else, including natural Korean face masks.
I hope this post has helped you to learn more about natural Korean sheet masks. Have you used them before? Let me know in the comments!
Disclosure: I was sent Abib Gummy Sheet Mask Heartleaf Sticker, Jayjun Collagen Skin Fit Mask, and So Natural Facial Design Deep Black Clay Mask to try by Nomad Beauty Collection. All views are my own.