At one point during my tenure as an MSA reviewer, I was getting at least 15 sheet masks a month (thanks to Sooni Pouch, Pink Seoul, and other boxes). Now that I am entering my fifth year as a writer here at MSA (can you believe I have been lucky enough to be a reviewer for the past four years?), I thought it would be fun to look back at the sheet masks I've tried and pick out the most memorable ones. I won't lie- many of them have been forgettable. Not because they were inherently a bad product, but because of the nature of the sheet mask: you wear it for 20 minutes and then you're done. Something has to happen for a mask to stand out once you've tried as many as I have- so let's take a look.
The Best Sheet Masks I've Ever Tried From a Subscription Box
1. Innisfree Jeju Root Energy Masks - Retail Value $2
Sheet masks are a product where I really pay attention to price- it is a lot easier to find a product that can do the same thing for cheaper unless the mask is particularly special, so it needs to really knock my socks off in order for me to think it's worth more than a few dollars. The Jeju Root Energy masks are some of the most affordable masks on my list, but they are fantastic. Thanks to subscription boxes I've tried the burdock, beet, kohlrabi, and potato variations, and I enjoyed every single one. All of the masks in the collection are made with a blend of five different hyaluronic acids, and they each feature the extract of a root vegetable grown on the Korean island of Jeju. I've found all of the masks to be absolutely soaked with essence (which is what I prefer), and while the sheet mask material isn't groundbreaking it's comfortable to wear. I usually can wear these longer than the prescribed 15-20 minutes (which is also what I prefer), and my skin is always happily hydrated when I remove the masks. If you're looking for a budget-friendly sheet mask and have been considering the My Real Squeeze Mask Line from Innisfree that is $1.80 per mask, I've tried a bunch and these ones are absolutely worth the extra twenty cents.
2. SkinRX Lab Madecera Masks - Retail Value $4.99
I have sensitive skin, so I love the Madecera mask line from SkinRX because I can always count on them to be soothing and calming if my skin is irritated or stressed. The masks are made with madecassoside (a derivative of one of my favorite skincare ingredients, Centella Asiatica) and ceramides, and they work to heal your skin's moisture barrier, calm inflammation, and lock in moisture. These masks are on this list because they're so reliable- I can always count on them if I am dealing with a painful cystic acne breakout or if my skin is unhappy because I over-exfoliated.
3. Etude House 0.2 mm Masks - Retail Value $1.95
These are another great budget option for sheet masks. If you couldn't tell by the name, the sheet mask material is extra thin which allows the material to hug the contours and curves of your face better (at least in my experience). If you're looking for bells and whistles this isn't the sheet mask line I would recommend for you, but they cracked my best of the best list because they're mega-hydrating, easy to wear, and very, very affordable.
4. I’m Sorry For My Skin Jelly Masks - Retail Value $4
I love hydrogel masks, but those masks are more expensive to make and thus more expensive to buy (and less likely to appear in sheet mask subscription boxes). These masks aren't made of a hydrogel mask material, but they are made with a thicker jelly essence that felt awesome on my skin. The mask material is well-saturated, so when I reach for these masks I am able to wear them for at least 30 minutes while I relax in bed or on the couch while my skin soaks up all of the nourishment these masks have to offer. Once I remove them, my skin is hydrated and not sticky- I really enjoy them.
5. Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Masks - Retail Value $3
I adore honey in skincare, and the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey masks are the best honey sheet masks I have ever tried. I've tried a few of the variations through subscription boxes, and I also went through an entire box of 10 that I purchased myself at the beginning of the pandemic. No matter which variation you try, all of the masks are made with honey and propolis, which are great ingredients for sensitive or acne-prone skin. The mask material is thin and stretches across the face easily, and if I am dealing with any redness or irritation I always feel like my skin is calmed down when I am done wearing one of these masks.
6. Tony Moly Layering Masks - Retail Value $5.50
Honestly, these layering masks are a joy. I received a few through subscription boxes and then proceeded to purchase more than a few from Ulta during one of their sales. I don't see these for sale at Ulta currently, and I hope Tony Moly isn't thinking about discontinuing them. One of the reasons that I love them is because they come with slices of sheet mask that you can apply to whatever area of skin needs a little extra love, whether those are cheeks going through a rosacea flare or spots dealing with acne breakouts. Then, you place a full sheet mask over the mask slices, so your entire face gets sheet mask goodness while the targeted areas get a little extra boost. My favorite of the three I've tried is the green tea version, but I did enjoy the peach and lemon version, too.
7. Sweet Chef Kale + Vitamin B Fresh Pressed Sheet Mask - Retail Value $3.50
I truly adore all of the sheet masks from Sweet Chef, but the Kale + Vitamin B mask is the first one from them I tried and fell in love with. The sheet mask material is thick and plush, and the mask itself has adorable printed drawings and phrases on it- this one has a picture of kale and sunglasses on one cheek and the other cheek says "don't kale my vibe." I die over the cuteness of it, but the performance of the mask is awesome too. Every time I take one of these masks off I feel like there's a noticeable glow to my cheeks, and if there was any redness to my skin before masking this helps to calm it down. I've been able to purchase some of these as Ipsy add-ons (and I hope they appear again in the future!), but target also carries them so I've purchased them that way too.
8. Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Mask - Retail Value $9
The Box it Came From: Pink Seoul Mask January 2021
Dr. Jart+ masks are on the pricier end, but boy do I love them. This mask is from the brand's iconic Ceramidin line (if you haven't tried it and you have dry skin, what are you waiting for?), and along with trying it in a subscription box, I've purchased the mask from Sephora on more than one occasion. This sheet mask has everything that dry skin wants- a blend of five different ceramides, peptides, panthenol, and aloe vera. This is another hydrating and calming sheet mask I can always reach for, no questions asked, no matter what my skin is going through, and that's why I always try to keep one or two of these masks handy in my stash (and also why this mask cracked my best of the best list).
9. Mediheal Warming Eye Mask - Retail Value $3
Okay, so this isn't quite a sheet mask, but I discovered them through my sheet mask boxes and they are absolutely deserving of a place on my list- I think at this point in my life I have purchased at least fifty of these Mediheal warming eye masks from various K-Beauty retailers? These were a major game-changer for me, and I always try to keep some on hand. These aren't wet the way a sheet mask or other eye mask is, instead, it's a dry papery material. It goes over your eyes similar to a sleeping mask, and then the part that covers your eyes warms up like a hand warmer would. It never gets so hot to become uncomfortable, and instead feels like pure bliss on tired eyes. I reach for these all the time- if I'm dealing with a migraine or headache these can help provide some relief, if I've woken up in the middle of the night and haven't fallen back asleep these can help me get back to dreamland, and I also like them for when I am flying- sometimes they help me to take a nap on the plane, sometimes they just help me relax and forget I'm surrounded by a ton of people in a small airplane seat. Mediheal makes this in grapefruit, lavender, and unscented versions. I've tried all of them, and I like all of them. Out of all of the masks on this list, these are the ones I have repurchased the most.
10. Knesko Diamond Radiance Face Mask – Retail Value $47
The Box it Came From: Skinstore Holiday Edit
I know, I know. That retail price has all of the audacity. But the thing is, none of the hydrogel masks I have ever tried in a subscription box have been as remarkable as the one from Knesko- to the point where, thanks to Boxycharm offering their sale to everyone even if they weren't current subscribers, I was able to stock up on a box of these Diamond Radiance masks along with a box of the gold masks from the brand even though even on sale the masks were still expensive. I think one of the best ways for readers to judge if a reviewer truly loved a product is to know what we spend our hard-earned dollars on, so that's why I tried to point out every mask I've purchased and repurchased after trying them out. These masks are hydrogel on their own level- I genuinely wore my mask for two hours without it drying out or becoming uncomfortable (it stayed cooling the entire time, too), and my skin was so freaking happy when I finally removed it. I had resigned myself to the fact that I was probably never going to be able to experience such a lovely mask again, which is why I was so happy Boxycharm had them on supersale for anyone to shop. Yes, this mask is literally made with diamond powder, but it also has a proprietary complex of hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and CoQ10. This is definitely a special occasion type of mask for me, but I absolutely adored it.
What do you think of my roundup of the best sheet masks I've tried in my four years of reviewing boxes here at MSA? Do you think there's a mask that has been snubbed and left off the list? Is there a mask out there I need to try even if it hasn't been featured in a subscription box before? Let me know in the comments!