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Skin care routines can feel just that: routine. After a long day, washing your face and slapping on moisturizer doesn’t always feel like self care. They don’t feel special. Face masks, on the other hand, are an every-once-in-a-while treat for your skin. Sheet masks, which are a type of face mask, are popular for good reason — the masks come soaked with skin care ingredients, so all you have to do is lay one on your face.
There are many types of sheet masks on the market, promising to do things like hydrate, brighten and clarify the skin. But just because they offer a variety of benefits, does not mean they should replace other key skin care products. “Sheet masks cannot replace the important steps of a regular skin care routine, such as cleansing, moisturizing and using sunscreen,” says Dr. Brendan Camp, a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City. What can they do, then? Camp says they’re particularly ideal for hydration. “The occlusive properties of a mask traps moisture in the skin, which can help skin stay hydrated and improve the appearance of fine lines,” he says.
To help you determine the sheet masks that are worth your time and money, we spoke with dermatologists about what to keep in mind when shopping and then used their advice to source highly rated options.
SKIP AHEAD How we picked the top-rated sheet masks | Top-rated sheet masks
How we picked highly rated sheet masks
To help us find which sheet masks are worth investing in, we spoke to two board-certified dermatologists about what to look for. When shopping, they recommend considering the following factors:
- Ingredients: Sheet masks are best used to hydrate skin, says Camp. So, look for options infused with moisturizing ingredients. Camp recommends sheet masks that include the following:
- Hyaluronic acid, which helps attract and retain moisture
- Niacinamide, a vitamin B complex that soothes and reduces redness
- Peptides, which encourage firmness and elasticity
- Skin concern: While sheet masks are best for hydrating, you can find masks that address other skin concerns, too. “Along with boosting moisture, there are a number of sheet masks on the market that brighten or soothe,” says Dr. Marisa Garshick, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell.
- Material: Most sheet masks are made from a paper material, but there are also options made from gel or silicone. “Paper masks tend to be more affordable because they are made from a single sheet of paper or cotton,” says Camp. “Silicone masks offer effective occlusion of the skin, which improves the absorption of ingredients in the skin. Gel masks conform well to the contours of the skin and often contain serums or active ingredients.” We included all three types, so you can choose what is best for your skin.
Highly rated sheet masks in 2024
Below, we’ve rounded up highly rated sheet masks based on the important factors dermatologists told us to keep in mind. We also included some masks recommended specifically by our experts along with some that are NBC Select-staff favorites.
This sheet mask combines aloe vera to soothe and snow mushroom extract to hydrate, says Garshick. “It’s great for those experiencing sensitivity or itchiness,” she adds. The sheet masks are made from completely biodegradable material and each pack comes with three masks, according to the brand.
This set of five has a 4.5-star average from more than 4,600 reviews on Amazon. Each mask has a two-step process. First, you use the serum packet to hydrate the skin and then you apply the sheet masks for 15 to 20 minutes to help the formula sink in. The main ingredients in the serum are niacinamide, which Camp says can soothe irritation, and lotus flower extract, which hydrates, according to the brand.
If brightening is your goal, Camp recommends this option from Dr. Dennis Gross. “It’s packed with vitamin C to brighten and the actual mask is made with biodegradable, gel-like coconut fibers,” he says. The mask also has lactic acid and L-ascorbic acid to plump and hydrate, according to the brand. The brand recommends using this once a week for maximum results.
This set of four masks has a 4.6-star average from over 1,600 reviews on Amazon. Each mask is soaked in a serum with hyaluronic acid. “Hyaluronic acid is a natural sugar molecule in our body that attracts up to a thousand times its weight in water,” says Garshick. “Because it helps to draw moisture in, it not only helps with skin hydration but can also improve fine lines and wrinkles and leave the skin looking and feeling dewier.” To use this mask, apply it after you wash your face and leave it on for up to 30 minutes.
Men can use any of the masks on this list, but these are specifically made for men. “These masks contain niacinamide, hyaluronic acid and peptides and are sized up to fit larger faces and made in two pieces so that people with beards can use half,” says Camp. The combination of ingredients targets dull skin, fine lines and redness, according to the brand. It comes in a set of four and has a 4.3-star average from more than 1,200 reviews on Amazon.
This set from popular Korean beauty brand TonyMoly includes 10 sheet masks, all of which address a different concern. There’s a rice water mask to clarify, a tea tree oil mask to soothe, a coconut mask to hydrate and more. “TonyMoly masks are so refreshing and soothing and they just do the trick after a long day,” says Kelsey Fredricks, a production coordinator at NBC Select. “I’ve tried aloe, lavender, rice and hemp and love them all — there’s a mask for every skin concern you could have.” You can apply them to a clean face and leave on for 20 minutes.
MediHeal The N.M.F. Ampoule Mask
Hyaluronic acid, which is Garshick’s go-to hydrator, is the main active ingredient in this sheet mask. It comes in a set of 10 and has a 4.7-star average from over 800 reviews on Amazon. Along with hyaluronic acid, this mask’s serum has five different amino acids to add moisture to the skin, according to the brand. While this mask focuses on hydration, the brand also makes sheet masks that target brightening, toning, illuminating and more.
“This sheet mask works great for those with dry skin as it contains ceramide NP, which works to support the skin’s barrier,” says Garshick. “After you use it, it leaves the skin feeling moisturized for 24 hours.” Along with the ceramide NP, it has argan oil and shea butter to infuse extra moisture, according to the brand. Like others on our list, you should apply this mask after cleansing and leave it on for 20 minutes. If you have very dry skin, you should apply moisturizer after taking off the mask, according to Dr. Jart+.
Collagen peptides, which Camp says help to keep your skin firm and plump, are the main active ingredient in this sheet mask, which has a 4.5-star average from over 7,600 reviews on Amazon. Each mask also has hyaluronic acid to hydrate and aloe vera to soothe, according to Ebanel. To get extra soothing benefits, you can chill the sheet mask in the fridge for 15 minutes before opening the package and putting it on, according to the brand.
These sheet masks come soaked in a serum that combines centella asiatica extract to combat redness and hyaluronic acid for hydration, according to the brand. You get 30 masks in one pack and the idea is to use one per day for a month. “My skin feels super hydrated after using it,” says NBC Select page Hannah Fuechtman. “I also notice my complexion has a glow for a few days after using one.”
Meet our experts
At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and without undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.
- Dr. Brendan Camp is a board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City.
- Dr. Marisa Garshick is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City and clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Cornell.
Why trust NBC Select?
Bethany Heitman is a contributor at NBC Select and a journalist who regularly covers topics like beauty, home and lifestyle. For this story, she interviewed two board-certified dermatologists to gather their guidance on what to look for when shopping for sheet masks.