We’ve all got that friend with glowing skin. She makes it seem effortless, and she even looks amazing without makeup. Aside from good genes, proper nutrition and adequate sleep, what else is she doing to get that glow? (Not counting the new romance!) A great sheet mask might just be her go-to beauty secret.

What Are The Benefits of Sheet Masks?

Sheet masks deliver big hydration in a small package. No matter what your complexion, feeding your skin with moisture-rich nutrients is essential if you want a dewy, healthy-looking face.

Acne-prone or oily complexions, your skin needs moisture, too. This may seem counter-intuitive. You may wonder, why should I use a hydrating sheet mask when I want to reduce the oil on my face? Here’s why: Excessively drying cleansing and beauty products make oily skin worse and they can exacerbate acne as well.

Hydration is not the only benefit of using a sheet mask. Though they contain powerful hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, masks are full of plant-based antioxidants, vitamins and other vital nutrients as well. Not only that, but each sheet mask is designed with a particular skin care need in mind.

There are calming masks for sensitive skin and charcoal or clay masks for purifying. Other masks are designed to brighten a dull complexion, or give a boost to dry skin. Some sheet masks, though, are great for all skin types.

Sheet Mask Fabrics

The least expensive masks are made with a paper-like fiber. It can be hard to get them to stay in place, and the serum evaporates more quickly than it does in higher-end masks. That being said, they’re a great way to give sheet masks a try, and they won’t break the bank!

Better quality sheet masks are made with materials that provide greater adhesion to your face, allowing your skin to absorb more of the serum. Luxury brands make their sheet masks with high-performance materials like hydro-gel, bio-cellulose and rubber. Premium quality sheet mask fabrics can definitely make a difference in the end result: the way your face feels when you take it off. Just think of the material in your favorite pair of jeans. The fit and feel is everything, right?

Which Sheet Mask Ingredients Are Important?

Like other beauty innovations, sheet masks have their skeptics. But there’s nothing trendy about sheet mask ingredients. The serums in sheet masks vary widely, but they include ingredients like fruit extracts, antioxidants, oatmeal or other similarly beneficial plant-based contents. We won’t talk about the snail goo masks right now…

According to Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the University of Washington Medical Center, Dr. Brenda Newman, MD, PhD, “There are very few clinical studies specifically related to sheet masks. However, many of the ingredients used in masks are well studied. Vitamin C and Vitamin A both have proven anti-aging properties, for example.”

Hyaluronic Acid

A naturally-occurring substance produced by the human body, hyaluronic acid is found in our joints, eye sockets, skin and other tissues. Doctors inject this lubricating substance into joints to ease pain, and it’s also used in eye drops. Collagen and hyaluronic acid work together to help our skin retain moisture and elasticity, and to maintain its supple tone.

Want to learn more about hyaluronic acid? Read more here

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has been used for its medicinal properties for centuries. It draws impurities from the skin, and then binds to them so they are not reabsorbed. Charcoal’s ability to detoxify makes it an ideal ingredient for acne-prone complexions.

Want to learn more about sheet mask ingredients? Pibuu has an extensive ingredient glossary.

Vitamin C and Tea Extracts

Citrus extracts and high mountain Oolong tea make a powerful combination in the BeautyGARDE Babyface No-Rinse Sheet Masks serum. It’s thought that the Vitamin C in citrus helps other nutrients absorb more easily. That means when Vitamin C is combined with Oolong tea in the sheet mask serum, your skin can absorb more of the tea’s beneficial antioxidants. Learn more about the health benefits of Oolong tea here:

Vitamin C has other beneficial properties, too, like its involvement in the production of collagen. Formula sheet masks infuse the skin with these moisture-boosting and age-fighting elements.

While we’re at it: Sheet masks aren’t just for girls and women. They’re for everyone who wants great skin.