3 non-slimy sheet masks that actually do something

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Frankie Graddon | The Pool

It was bound to happen. They’ve been all over our social feeds and photographed on the faces of the rich and famous, but after months – nay, years – of sheet masks being the coolest thing in beauty (both figuratively and literally speaking – some of them are freezing), the backlash has begun. In a recent interview, skincare expert and founder of Paula’s Choice Paula Begoun called sheet masks “a waste of time”. Making the valid point that “we barely have enough time to clean our teeth, let alone spend 20 minutes with our faces cold and wet”, Begoun explains that it’s probably more beneficial overall to “get into bed and relax”, rather than faffing with a sheet mask – a logic I can thoroughly get on board with.

For the record, I like sheet masks very much. I appreciate that they aren’t going to give me a supermodel’s face and that they probably don’t contain the secrets to everlasting youth. However, for a quick fix – when you’ve woken up with a stonking hangover or have been dehydrated on a long-haul flight/while sat underneath the air conditioning unit – sheet masks are a winner. What I can’t get on board with, though – and where I am well and truly singing from Begoun’s hymn sheet – are those sloppy, slimy masks that require you to lie horizontal for 40 minutes while they do their stuff. Who really has the time? Even on a Sunday? Which is why my fellow Poolers and I have rounded up three of our favourite sheet masks that happen to be both speedy and decidedly non-gloopy. You’re welcome.  

THE PLUMPING ONE

Over the weekend, sheet-mask refusenik Lucy Dunn discovered No7’s new Protect & Perfect Intense Advanced Serum Boost Sheet Masks (£20 for 4). “I have never seen the point of face masks. I put them on, walk round the house and my boys laugh at me. I clock-watch until I can take them off, as I always find them a bit slimy and uncomfortable. Anyway, this face mask isn't any of this – it's soft and nice on the skin, plus it comes with double ear hooks so you don’t need to sit around – you can walk around and do stuff. But these are just tiny details because this face mask actually did something. It plumped up my forehead wrinkles so much that they almost disappeared (also, let me just say my wrinkles aren't just tiny little marks – they're crevices) and my face felt soft and glowing for the rest of the day. I'm now a serious convert and I never ever thought I'd say that about a face mask.”

THE HYDRATING ONE

“On long days when you feel knackered or just want a quick pick-me-up that feels indulgent, these are the dream,” says Hannah Banks-Walker of Garnier’s Moisture Bomb sheet masks. “Pop it on after cleansing, leave it for 10 mins, then whip it off. A hydration boost for your face, it makes your skin feel fresh and nourished. It’s also light, so you don’t feel like you’ve got loads of product all over your face. The ultimate treat for anyone who lacks the time or energy to faff about with long, complicated beauty treatments, plus it’s cheap and cheerful.”

THE TIRED-EYE ONE

OK, this one is my favourite. If I’ve had too much wine the evening before or had a crappy night’s sleep, then my little trick is to stick an eye mask on while I’m getting dressed. The best I’ve found are Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels. These feel cool and refreshing when on and take down any booze-induced puff. But the real treat is that they are slime-free, so don’t slip and slide around. In fact, I do my make-up with them on, then whip them off just before I leave the house. You can usually get a bag of eight sachets for £25 (you get two gels per sachet, one for each eye), but Feel Unique is currently selling them for £20.

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