The Great Sheet Mask Explosion of 2016


The good news about Korean sheet masks is that they look kind of horrifying when they’re on your face, which makes them very on trend for October. The bad news is they are typically expensive in the States. Or at least they used to be.

In case you’re unaware, sheet marks are those moisturizing pieces of paper with the eyes and mouth cut out of them for breathing — very Hanibal Lector-eseqe, very haunting — that beauty-inclined women and men have been sticking to their faces with feverish commitment. Sites have been writing them up for a while now, particularly as Korean skincare has become trendy AF.

“I used Korean face masks for four days in a row, and it was a total game changer,” wrote Hello Giggles.

“Face Masks: The One-Night Stands Of Skin Care,” wrote Refinery29.

“Best sheet masks: The ones to know for your skin type,” wrote Marie Clare.

“The 5 Best Korean Sheet Masks in the Game,” wrote Papermag.

Those are the tip of the Google iceberg; they took me about 12 seconds to find. Everyone’s on that sheet mask tip! And now everyone actually can be, because this morning Women’s Wear Daily reported that Masqueology, the Korean skincare company you probably recognize, is going mainstream. Like super mainstream. “After originally launching five years ago with prestige positioning at Sephora and Macy’s, the brand has pivoted to the mass market by entering Wal-Mart.” (Did you know Wal-Mart had a dash in it? We’re all learning a lot today.)

If Wal-Mart makes you think of that little yellow smiley slashing prices (same) (also, don’t remind me that was like a decade ago) then that’s apropos, because in order to cater to the masses, Masqueology had to drastically reduce its prices. “At prestige retailers, it’s masks were $8 to $12 per sheet and, today, the masks are available for $2.50 to $4 per sheet.”

In case you missed that: $2.50!!! That’s basically cheaper than everything.

Masqueology claims this isn’t undermining the quality, just that broader distribution has enabled them to manufacture the masks for cheaper. I hope that’s true. Question: Are you into sheet masks? Although I feel like I am via Instagram-osmosis, I’ve never actually tried one. But now I want to! Beauty queens, please bestow your best recs upon me in the comments, and tell me what you think about a mainstream sheet mask.

Collage by Emily Zirimis.

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive