Common sheet mask mistakes and how to avoid them

Sheet masks are amazing. No one will argue with that. They’re fun, relatively inexpensive, and have the power to transform our skin instantly.

Using a sheet mask might seem like the easiest and the most straightforward thing on earth. And for the most part, it is. But if you really want to make the best of your sheet mask collection, it’s crucial to know common mistakes people make along with some tips that will help to take you masking game to another level.

If you’ve ever felt that sheet masks aren’t doing much for your skin or just generally confused about where they belong in your skincare regime, this post is for you!

Mistake #1. Using the wrong sheet mask.

Similar to serums or ampules, a sheet mask is an extra slot in your skincare routine that you can and should use to address specific skin concerns. Skin feels like the Sahara Desert? Deep Moisturizing masks are your best friends. Pore and texture issues? Look for the masks with clarifying acids and pore-caring ingredients. If you don’t see the effects, that’s likely because your targeting is off.

MOTHER MADE Deep Moisturizing Rich Snail Mask

Mistake #2. Not patch testing a mask before applying.

Sheet masks are essentially a highly concentrated booster for your skin. That’s why some ingredients that don’t bother you in toners or creams can trigger a reaction when used in a sheet mask. Always patch test the essence first on your arm before slapping the sheet on your face. 

Mistake # 3. Not prepping your skin.

By now, everybody knows that freshly cleansed complexion is a non-negotiable prerequisite. But prep work doesn’t end there. If sheet masking is a weekly ritual for you, it’s best to exfoliate before to help the essence to absorb better.  We also recommend to at least prep your skin with toner. Why “at least”? There isn’t clear and cut answer to that, but some savvy skincare enthusiasts recommend finishing your whole night routine, except moisturizer before relaxing with a sheet mask. This will, arguably, help to seal all the layers you’ve applied before and to make your sheet mask to work even harder.

Mistake # 4. Not customizing your mask.

Everyone’s face shape is different, so making a pattern that would fit everyone effortlessly just isn’t possible. Some masks will fit better than the others straight out of the box, but some will require a bit of work – and that’s completely normal. If you feel like the eye or mouth area is a tad bit small, go ahead –  make small rips in the mask to adjust the fit to your liking.

Mistake # 5. Keep the mask on for too long.

It might sound counter-intuitive, but when it comes to sheet masking, longer doesn’t always mean better. As the sheet starts to dry, it can actually strip hydration and nourishment away from your skin. It’s better to always follow the instructions on the packaging the first time you use a mask and see how it behaves on your skin. You might find that it still remains drenched in essence even after 30 mins of wear. Then, by all means, feel free to keep it on longer. But usually, 10-15 mins is more than enough to get all the benefits your skin needs.  If you want to wear the mask longer, flip it over when you’re halfway through and apply the remaining essence to prevent dryness.

Mistake # 6. Skipping moisturizer.

It might seem like overkill, but moisturizing after a mask is super important. Use your favorite light- to medium-weight moisturizer (go easy tho, a thin layer will do) or oil to seal in all the hard work your sheet mask has done. My skin is too hydrated – said no one ever.

Mistake # 7. Washing your face after a mask.

Sure, there must be a good reason why you’d want to wash your face right after a sheet mask, but whatever it is – try not to. The essence takes at least 30 mins to fully absorb and deliver the necessary nutrients to your skin. By rinsing your face even with just water is basically flushing your money and efforts down the drain. Not only you’re undoing all the effects of the sheet mask, but you’re also wasting your toner and serums you’ve applied before.

But wait, what if the mask feels unbearably tacky? That is, of course, not the nicest of feeling. But instead of rushing in the bathroom, apply a moisturizer. It will help with the tacky feel, and all your skincare layers will remain intact.

When it comes to sheet masking, longer doesn’t always mean better.

Mistake # 8. Wasting the extra essence.

There’re so many ways the extra essence can be used. Apply over the sheet once you’ve flipped the mask over (as mentioned earlier) or slather it all over your neck, arms, and legs. You can also transfer the essence in a separate, tight lid container to make a DIY mask with facial cotton pads in the future.

Mistake # 9. Storing the extra essence for too long.

Decanted extra essence shouldn’t be stored for longer than a couple of days. Sheet masks are single-use products, so their formulas aren’t designed to withstand prolonged sun and air exposure. The essence can quickly become a breeding ground for bacteria, and if you’re not careful, you might end up doing more harm than good to your skin. We also don’t recommend using stored essence instead of toner or regular essence. The formula is entirely different, and you won’t get the same benefits by using it without a sheet mask.

And there you have it! Comment below if you have more tips to add!

Happy sheet masking!  


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