As dedicated as I am to my (complicated) skin care regime, I can’t deny that there are times that there are times when my skin needs a pick-me-up, but I’m just not up for much of an effort. Fortunately, for times like this, we have a magical, 1-step, zero effort option that we call sheet masks.
A popular staple in Korean skin care, this trend made its way over to North America in the past few years, and has gained a good deal of popularity. The idea behind sheet masks is a means of delivering a high concentration of beneficial ingredients to the face, and allowing them to set on top of the skin for a period of time for maximum absorption. These masks are often very hydrating, and contain ingredients that can do anything from firming, to brightening, to tightening, to simply making skin feel rejuvenated and refreshed, and there is no end to the types of ingredients you’ll find in them. Calming cucumber and aloe vera, 24k gold, snail mucin, and even placenta enzymes are offered in these quick and efficient masks, and there seems to be a myriad of choices for every skin type and concern. Not to mention, the process is a no-brainer!
The down-side? These masks are typically one-use only, making a lot of waste for very little product, not to mention how much you end up paying for something you can only use once. While some are in the more reasonable $2-$4 price range, some are much more; for example, the Sephora-brand sheet masks go for around $8 Canadian. If you used one for every day of the week, that’s easily around $56!
Furthermore, if you’re like me and prefer to buy cruelty-free, your options are even slimmer. The most affordable I’ve been able to find are those put out by Yes To, but even then, I’d have to order them online since I haven’t found any stores that sell them. Add the shipping (and Amazon’s sometimes inflated prices), and suddenly, it’s more money than it’s worth. But then, what does that leave us with? I love and appreciate heavy sleeping masks, but what about the rest of the day, when my skin needs a pick-me-up?
That said, one day after a long hike in the hot sun, I decided to gather the ingredients to make my own sheet masks. Here’s what I used:
- 99% Aloe vera gel
- Unpasteurized honey
- Chamomile tea bag
- Green tea bag
- Cotton make-up removal pads
There is really no magic to the process I used; I steeped the teabags into a little boiling water, then added the honey and aloe vera to the bowl. I used these ingredients to target my skin’s needs at the time (aloe vera and chamomile to calm, honey to retain moisture, and green tea for its antioxidant properties), but there is no end to the possibilities. You could use some of your favourite serums for an extra boost of nourishment (personally my serums are way to expensive, so I chose not to include them!)
To soak up the mixture, I tore the cotton pads apart at the seam, saturated them with my concoction, and applied them to my face! (And yes, you will look like a mummy, but no big deal).
I kept the ‘mask’ on for about fifteen minutes, while I got a few chores done. And when I took it off, my skin felt cooled and soothed from all the sun it had faced earlier. The best part? I still had a significant amount of my mixture left over, at least enough for 4 more masks… and all for the price of a handful of groceries! Since then, I’ve used this technique to target other skin concerns, such as incorporating apple cider vinegar and lemon to target break-outs. If you know what purposes the items in your cupboard can have for your skin, then this is a simple solution to not forking out the $$$ for sheet masks (but of course, if you aren’t sure, always research ingredients first).
Have you tried to DIY your own sheet masks? What did you happen to use? Let me know!