One of the best superpowers you’ll develop as you become a formulator is the ability to abstract a formulation—to think about it beyond what you are told it is and think about all the things it could be. Shampoo can be hand wash, conditioner can also be a creamy face wash, and you can try using your latest body butter as a massage oil. So many products are needlessly pigeonholed by their name and marketing, and today we are un-pigeonholing ten of them to transform them into sheet mask essences!
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Sheet masks are a rather terrifying (in appearance) and trendy skincare experience that have exploded in popularity thanks to K (Korean) beauty. They come in a sort of mushy foil bag containing a thin face-ish shaped bit of fabric-y sheet mask (the material can vary quite a lot!) soaking in a fragrant semi-viscous goo, typically called a serum or essence, that’s loaded with actives. You extract the sopping mask from the bag, spread it over your face, attempt to align the assorted holes in it with the holes in your face, and then lounge about hoping nobody rings your doorbell for the next twenty minutes or so 😂 When you remove the mask you are left with ultra-soft, hydrated skin. It’s like a jumbo-sized dose of an awesome serum that is held to the skin by the sheet mask, helping slow evaporation so it has lots of time to work its magic.
I’ve shared a couple of sheet mask formulations over the years, and I’ve had a few requests for more of them, but something that has always struck me about sheet mask essences is that they are basically just a regular face serum. So, rather than create something new that will get pigeonholed as a sheet mask, I want to share ten different skincare formulations that will work wonderfully with sheet masks—you can use these formulations for their original purposes, and then when you want a sheet mask self-care session you can re-purpose a few pumps of them with a blank sheet mask!
For anything with a bit of viscosity you’ll want to thin it out with a bit of water and use it up straight away; please watch the video for details!
For a super-easy hydration-focussed sheet mask, try mixing a 1% hyaluronic acid solution with a hydrosol of choice.
Try my Lavender Aloe Hydrating Facial Toner for an amped-up version of suggestion #1; it features hyaluronic acid, lavender hydrosol, and several other great humectants and skin-soothing actives.
Want some added soothing? Try my Hyaluronic Acid B5 Facial Serum—it’s got hyaluronic acid plus soothing panthenol & allantoin.
For a full-on suite of skin-loving goodies, check out my Winter Solstice Facial Gel Cream. It includes ingredients that will hydrate, soothe, brighten, and moisturize. Swoon!
If juiciness is what you’re looking for, try me Strawberry Rose Body Glow Serum. Made with strawberry and rose hydrosols + a surprisingly large dose of vegetable glycerin, this body serum will leave your skin glowing when you soak a sheet mask in it.
My Brightening Gel Serum is basically all of my favourite actives in one formulation—it brightens, boosts healing, and supports our skin barrier. Swoon!
I created my Rose Ceramide Facial Gel as a “get to know you” formulation for a new jar of ceramide complex. It smells softly of roses and helps support your barrier + moisturize.
My Soothing Hyaluronic Acid Facial Serum is part of a larger “soothing” series I shared back at the start of 2019, and this serum lives up to its name. Featuring hyaluronic acid, cucumber and chamomile hydrosols, and some of my favourite skin-soothing actives, it’s a lovely formulation to transform into a sheet mask essence.