Sheet masks have been around for a while, but their popularity boomed with the Korean beauty invasion on American shores. Single-use sheet masks are a K-beauty staple, and there are hundreds of options to choose from just from the Korean market alone.
Sheets masks are fun and easy to use. They're also very convenient for travel as you can just put them on during long flights or whenever you need a moisture boost. However, they are also wasteful and hard to recycle. Each disposable mask is encased in plastic, and sometimes, there is another piece of plastic inside to help keep the mask in shape. Those are already three pieces of single-use items that we regularly throw out, multiplied by the number of people that use them. What's a more eco-friendly solution? Reusable silicone masks.
Dermatologist Dr. Shereen Idriss tells Women's Health that silicone masks are more effective than their cloth counterparts. Unlike the cloth version, a silicone mask does not dry out, so they lock in moisture better. She also says that silicone has already been proven to draw moisture from within the skin - a fact that fellow dermatologist Dr. Rita Linker adds is useful for wound healing. She recommends using silicone masks to her patients after laser or surgical procedures as the silicone masks create a sealed environment that locks moisture in. The National Center for Biotechnology Information confirms that wounds and scars heal faster in a moist environment, so if you're prone to blemishes and scarring, switching to a silicone mask will be helpful. Best of all, silicone masks are durable and reusable, and with proper care, can last for up to a year. For increased absorption of your skincare products, apply your favorite eye cream, serum, or moisturizer, then apply a silicone mask over it to lock in the moisture. It's better to use masks at night so you can take your time. Allow at least 10 to 30 minutes for your products to sink in fully.
There are a few brands that launched reusable silicone masks in 2020. Dieux released their Forever Eye Mask last September and instantly sold out. While they still haven't restocked, you can join their waitlist found on their official website. Jessica Alba's Honest Beauty launched their Reusable Magic Silicone Sheet Mask in November and is available on the Honest Beauty website. Women's Health also recommends Experiment Avant Guard Reusable Silicone Sheet Mask (comes in two sizes), SiO Beauty BrowLift Sparkle Patch (comes in blue and silver), and Nurse Jamie Face Wrap Skin Perfecting Silicone Mask.
Charlotte Palermino, CEO and co-founder of Dieux, tells Harper's Bazaar that medical-grade silicone is durable and does not degrade. To avoid breakouts, make sure to clean your silicone mask properly by washing it with soap and warm water. Let it dry then store them in their containers. You can also rewash them before using them as an extra precaution for sensitive and acne-prone skin.
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