As the ongoing coronavirus has confined us within the four walls of our homes, there has been a renewed focus on looking after oneself, both — physically and mentally.
Lately, with the despondency brought upon by the current uncertain times, the self-care has again come into the fore. Thus, every now and then, one can find people posting their photos using sheet masks in the name of self-care. These serum-dipped facemasks, which have amassed massive popularity with beauty trend-setters and their followers, have become a must for one’s Saturday-night self-care routine. But it’s only reasonable to question how efficient they really are.
Feel good product
The trendy sheet masks are face-shaped masks that are soaked in nutrition-packed serums. Usually made out of paper or fabrics, these individually packed masks require the users to cover their faces for a couple of minutes with it to get the instant glow.
Fast, convenient, and economically viable, these masks have become a preferred option for millennials.
However, according to dermatologists, these facemasks have less to do with skincare but more with mental care.
“It is just a feel-good product. We get patients coming to us asking for recommendations because in their mind applying a mask is like a ritual to get a benefit,” says Dr Rinky Kapoor, cosmetic dermatologist and the director of The Esthetic Clinics.
The reason why it’s safest to categorise these masks into the classification of feel-good products is that the instant gratification provided by the masks is its biggest selling point. In other words, the effect of the mask is temporary as opposed to the desired long-lasting results.
“The effects are temporary, and you cannot put it every day. It cannot replace your medical regime or your regular cleansing, toning, moisturising creams,” says Dr Kapoor.
Adding further, she says, “Masks are essentially for people who have some function to attend because it gives you an instant effect of skin brightening. Masks are just supplementary and they are not part of the medical treatment,” adds Dr. Kapoor.
Not a medical treatment
With so many beauty bloggers and vloggers touting sheet-face-masks, it is commonly mistaken that the serum-dipped masks will be the solution to all the skin’s problems.
Today, the cosmetics and the beauty markets are full of beauty companies selling sheet-masks for hydration, acne, anti-aging, skin lightening, and brightening and almost every skin problem under the sky. Hence, one needs to be extremely cautious to not assume these masks to solve all the issues of the skin.
“For instance, if someone has a problem of acne, they have to have anti-acne therapy. Dermatologists will have to give them anti-acne and anti-bacterial creams because they have active ingredients that work over some time. One will have to use medical-grade products,” insist the dermatologist.
Be wary of ingredients
“A lot of people come to us with damaged skin because they have been excessively using such ubiquitous over the counter (OTC) products,” reveals Mumbai-based dermatologist Dr. Manohar Sobhani. Since the skin types vary, one needs to be careful as to what ingredients are there in the serum.
Always read the contents before selecting the sheet-masks. “Serum is something that will give nutrition to the skin. But ‘nutrition’ is a very vague term.
These facemasks with ‘nutritious-serums’ can cost you anywhere between Rs 10 to Rs 5,000. So how can one know what natural ingredient is actually used in the product,” he questions. “The most important thing is to look into the products to see if they have any damaging agents such as skin lightening and brightening ones,” he adds. Further, always prefer fragrance-free and hypoallergic sheet-masks to avoid irritable skin.