I wore a sheet mask every day for a week — and here’s what happened

I wore a sheet mask every day for a week — and here’s what happened

Consistency is key

Text: Emily Heng

Image: Instagram | @starskinbeauty

Is there anything quite as irksome than a celebrity attributing their glowing complexion to nothing, nothing but good ol'... water? At least, that's my thought process on many an occasion emerging from a press conference, simultaneously stymied and stupefied by their lacklustre response. Look, I'm not expecting a full itemized run-down of what goes in their skincare routine — but perhaps a tip? A throwaway mention of whichever brand they happen to be the face of? Anything that doesn't require the assistance of an on-call dermatologist, nutritionist, or facial therapist?

Perhaps it's why I find Fan Bingbing's admittance to her sheet mask addiction so refreshing. The actress, model, and television producer masks twice daily, and has even been photographed donning one while she's out and about. Talk about dedication. Supposedly, it's the secret behind her — and a slew of K-pop stars' — poreless, airbrushed complexion. Say no more. Environmental concerns aside (I'll atone over the next few months, I swear), I decided that there's no better time to attempt this. Without further ado, a log of my masking journey, below.

Day 1: Spot the difference

First day observations: this is probably a feasible idea for someone who's actually a morning person. I barely remembered to slap on my hydrating mask of choice before face planting into a cavernous mug of coffee. I also nearly forgot to remove it before my next Zoom meeting which — while hilarious — doesn't exactly scream of professionality. No hitches while masking at night. Instead of my usual hydrating variant, I opted for one with potent glycolic acid to restore skin radiance. Indeed, results were discernable minutes after I peeled off this serum-soaked sheet. Thank you, Pixi.

Day 2: You look... moist

Not to brag, but I've received multiple compliments from people living in my household. No word yet from my friends, extended family, or co-workers seeing me exclusively through Zoom teleconferences, but it's likely they think I have the beauty filter on. BRB, googling how to bring up my skin in conversations casually without sounding obnoxious.

Day 3: What now?

Disaster. Okay, I'm being dramatic, but I did notice that my complexion looked a little aggravated in certain areas. Namely, my chin and around my nose, where the skin looked reddened. Small bumps were forming, too. After some research, I discovered that this had to do with using sheet masks formulated with exfoliating acids twice in a row. Eep. Those are reportedly too strong for daily use. Consider me schooled. I swapped out my selection for soothing, calming types instead.

Day 4: Back to normal

The redness has mostly subsided to my relief. I am, however, growing annoyed the lingering stickiness some of these masks leave behind. It's not cheating if I use my Foreo UFO Smart Masking Device instead, right? Technically it's still a sheet mask — just one that sinks into my skin in just 90 seconds.

Day 5: Glo' up

My complexion has gained a dewy, moist sheen just in time for the weekend. Not that I have any momentous plans, considering how we're all still self-isolating. Still, it's nice enough that I've taken a couple of selfies so I can brag about it on Instagram. The trick, it seems, is to use mild hydrating options. Anti-ageing or exfoliating options tend to contain harsher ingredients that aren't suitable for everyday use.

Day 6: On the brink of a breakout

This has to do more with my hormones, though. With Aunt Flo on her way, I decided to mask up with relatively more intense mask variants with acne-fighting properties. That's centella asiatica and tomato extract — which is known to promote healing and decrease the effects of inflammation.

Day 7: Done and dusted

My period is here — along with some spots along the chin area, though it's definitely not at its typical amount where it actually begins resembling the moon's craterous surface. Result! In the spirit of honesty though — despite its effectiveness, masking twice daily is a bit more trouble than it's worth. Perfect in the time of quarantine, not so much practical once life resumes its frantic pace. In the meantime, I'll be doing it to reap up all the skin benefits I can get.