Is it time to ditch the clays and creams in favour of a reusable dry sheet mask?
Skincare is always a hot topic at the Sassy office, with the Hong Kong humidity, air conditioning and pollution all playing havoc with our regular routine. We’re always looking for a quick fix and often end up trying numerous products, before settling on our favourites. Recently we began discussing the trend for dry sheet face masks, and have to admit we were all intrigued. There are several on the market, including ones from Trish McEvoy and Nannette de Gaspé, but it was Charlotte Tilbury’s Instant Magic Facial Dry Sheet Mask we decided to put to the test to see what all the fuss is about. A celebrity favourite, it promises to hydrate, lift, reduce wrinkles, smooth and brighten in just 15 minutes (no wonder they call it revolutionary!). At $200 for a single mask, the price point does initially seem high, but it’s worth noting that these masks can be reused up to three times. So we set out to discover whether this trend would lead to us retiring our regular face masks in favour of this less messy alternative!
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Name & Title: Caroline Jones, Managing Editor
Current skincare regime and go-to products: I’m a traditional cleanse, tone and moisturise girl, but am always mixing it up when it comes to products (depending on whether I’m in save or splurge mode). My current favourite cleanser is Sarah Chapman’s Skinesis Ultimate Cleanse. It’s not cheap, but a little goes a long way and it removes every last piece of grime (including even the most stubborn mascara). Then I spritz on Antipodes Resurrect Clarifying Facial Toner (which is available at Watsons), before finishing up with either Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream or Charlotte’s Magic Cream.
Current favourite face mask: I should really use face masks more regularly than I do. It’s more a case of when I remember, rather than a weekly occurrence. But if I see any hint that my skin might be about to breakout, I reach for Eve Lom’s Rescue Mask, which is a miracle worker.
Initial thoughts about a dry face mask: I must say I was very cynical. I like to feel the creaminess of a face mask on my skin, so that I can convince myself the ingredients are soaking in and really getting to work!
Verdict after using: I will fully admit to being very pleasantly surprised after using the Charlotte Tilbury mask. Although it took a little getting used to the fact I was just wearing a dry sheet on my face, after removing it my skin felt very hydrated and certainly looked more dewy. I’m not sure I would commit to solely using dry masks from now on, and will still be using a regular face mask when my skin is in need of some TLC. But I really loved using it just before applying makeup, so I would definitely be tempted to work it into my routine ahead of a big night out. A word of warning, this mask does make you look suspiciously like Hannibal Lecter while wearing it, so make sure you warn your other half or housemates before emerging into public view (I managed to accidentally frighten the life out of my husband!).
Name & Title: Tania Shroff, Sassy Editor
Current skincare regime and go-to products: Speed is always a priority in my skincare regime, with a simple aim to cleanse, hydrate, cleanse, hydrate. To wash off daily make-up, the Fresh Soy Face Cleanser is the best I’ve found. My skin is constantly in need of extra moisture, so I pile on First Aid Beauty’s Ultra Repair Cream every night. It doubles as a body cream (great for sensitive skin) and is super price-friendly. I’ve also recently started using Dr Botanical’s Pomegranate Superfood Brightening Eye Serum, and though it hasn’t made my eye-bags mysteriously disappear overnight (a girl can dream), the combination of sweet almond oil, raspberry oil and pomegranate extract seems to be reducing the appearance of fine lines. In the morning, I use Aēsop’s Lightweight Facial Hydrating Serum (the scent of ylang ylang is a bonus) – a staple product through Hong Kong’s hottest summers.
Current favourite face mask: Face masks have never really made it into part of my routine, but when I do make the time for a mask, Pangea Organics’ Japanese Matcha Tea Face Mask is a favourite. It’s packed with nutrient-dense antioxidants, including organic Goji Berries, hand-harvested seaweed and French clay. It works to deep cleanse, tone, hydrate, protect and balance the skin. Thinking about it, I probably should be masking more often!
Initial thoughts about a dry face mask: I barely make the time for all the existing traditional face masks out there, so I was a bit sceptical that a dry mask would make enough of a difference to be worth the hype.
Verdict after using: I was wrong! Fresh out the shower, and before an event, I popped the mask on as I frantically dried my hair and decided what to wear. By the time I was ready, 15 minutes were up and the mask came off. My skin appeared brighter with a noticeable hydrated glow. My sister’s feedback was that it looked like I’d “been on holiday and downed a gallon of water”. I was actually so pleased (with the result and with her comment), I ended up skipping makeup for the event all together. With nothing to wash off, dry masks really do save time – especially because you can multitask. While the price is more than what you’d expect for a limited use disposable mask, Charlotte Tilbury comes with assured quality and the dry mask doesn’t disappoint. For people who are constantly on the go, dry masks are a game changer.
Name & Title: Annie Simpson, Sassy Editor
Current skincare regime and go-to products: I like to keep my skincare regime pretty simple, mainly as I’m too lazy to follow lots of steps, and also because I don’t like to clog up my skin with too many products! I use a micellar water to remove make up (I’m currently using L’oreal Micellar Cleansing water – which is available at both Mannings and Watsons). To cleanse, I love either Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Cleanser, or Fresh Soy Face Cleanser (which is great as it’s gentle on skin, and can even be used to remove eye makeup!). I finish up with a good helping of Charlotte’s Magic Cream.
Current favourite face mask: When I have a little more time to dedicate to my skincare routine, I love using the Fresh Sugar Face Polish, followed by the Fresh Black Tea Instant Perfecting Mask. These don’t come cheap, but last forever (as a little goes a long way!) and the deep exfoliation, followed by the cooling and hydrating mask, leaves my skin feeling super soft and well looked after.
Initial thoughts about a dry face mask: I’ve never been the biggest fan of the traditional wet face masks, so was all for trying out this new take on a skin care favourite. When reading more about the product, I was impressed that a single mask can be used up to three times (as it isn’t wet, it doesn’t harbour bacteria like other masks!), so although the price tag is higher than something you may pick up at your local Mannings, this made it more justifiable to me.
Verdict after using: I know some people may be sceptical, but I am a total convert to dry sheet masks! I love that you can use them without any mess, so you don’t have to worry about getting your hair out of the way, or dripping product everywhere whilst you were trying to watch TV. As mentioned, I don’t usually go for the wet face masks, so I loved that you aren’t left with any residual product on your face. Aside from the face mask being much more enjoyable to use than a traditional wet face mask, I also found the effects to be more apparent than other masks I have tried. After 15 minutes I noticed an obvious difference in my skin, with a subtle glow and some fine lines being less visible. So all in all, I would definitely try the product again, but due to the price tag I would probably save it for special occasions, or use it before a big event to make it worthwhile.
Name & Title: Elle Noble, Partnerships Manager
Current skincare regime and go-to products: I don’t really have a strict skincare regime and always like to try out new products. For an everyday cleanser I’m currently loving the John Masters Linden Blossom Face Cream Cleanser, followed by the Innisfree Jeju Lava Sea Water toner, both are gentle on the skin. And for something more exfoliating I’m using (Malin+Goetz) jojoba exfoliating cleanser a few times a week. I have quite dry and sensitive skin, so I finish with L’Oréal Revitalift night cream.
Current favourite face mask: I try to make time each week for a face mask, and always feel my skin is thankful for it, and more radiant after using the Élévatione Time Stops brightening mask. You only need to apply a small layer each time, so it really lasts for a long time.
Initial thoughts about a dry face mask: I was a little sceptical of the dry face mask at first. If I’m using a sheet mask it’s usually for the extra moisture and although they can seem a little messy, I enjoy the cool feeling that you get from the wet mask. I was definitely intrigued to find out if the dry mask could offer the same moisture and fresh feeling!
Verdict after using: The first thing that stood out for me was that the dry mask stays in place as it hooks over your ears, allowing you to move around without worrying it’s slipping off your face. Although it felt a bit stretched over my face and wasn’t in full contact with my skin around my eyes and nose. With a wet face sheet you’re really able to mould it to suit your face shape. The instructions direct you to massage the mask to activate it, but as the mask felt so dry I really didn’t like the feeling and so used my jade facial roller to roll over the mask which felt much nicer! After 15 minutes I removed the mask and I was totally surprised at how bright and glowing my skin appeared. It definitely left my skin feeling moisturised, although I (sadly) didn’t notice any extra lift, smoothness or less wrinkles. I would say this mask is great for girls on the go, although for the price I’m not sure it’s one that I will be adding to my usual skincare regime.
Name & Title: Daisy Dudley, Art Director
Current skincare regime and go-to products: I have combination skin with my fair share of blackheads so my skincare routine is all about tackling those and keeping moisturised enough to ward off fine lines and dark eye circles. I start with Garnier Skin Naturals Micellar Cleansing Water, then I wash my face using Innisfree Jeju volcanic pore cleansing foam which tackles my blocked pores without being too drying. In the morning I use an anti-pollution serum, The Ordinary EUK 134 0.1% , followed by its moisturiser. If it’s a sunny day I also use Innisfree UV protection cream SPF50, but I know I really should be using it every day. In the evening I have also started using Innisfree perfect 9 repair eye cream.
Current favourite face mask: My current favourite face mask is The Body Shop Warming Mineral facemask. I like the way it heats up on contact with your skin and gives the feeling it is really getting into your pores.
Initial thoughts about a dry face mask: Woah this is not your normal facemask! It attaches by hooking over your ears which made me giggle, plus the small mouth hole really does give off serious Hannibal Lecter vibes. I was sceptical about what it would actually “do” given that the sheet was dry, but was pleasantly surprised.
Verdict after using: When I removed the sheet mask my skin was left with a smooth, plump texture. My skin had a glow but wasn’t too shiny. I liked the fact you could then apply your make-up without having to wash off the mask like you would with a wet sheet mask. I also think the fact you can use it three times is great. I don’t know if it will replace my other masks entirely (as I think clay, cleansing masks serve a different purpose), but I definitely look forward to using this again before an event or night out!