The Best Sheet Masks for You, Based On Your Skin Type

illustration by: jade purple brown

Ready to do something nice for yourself, and improve your skin at the same time? Time to go pick up a few sheet masks and plan a relaxing night in. Skincare sheet masks have officially become a self-care necessity. Whether you’ve had a long day at the office or feel like your skin could use a bit of a refresh, all you’ve got to do is stick one on and close your eyes for 10 to 20 minutes of bliss. You’ll wake up feeling positively radiant.

You can now find sheet masks everywhere from high-end makeup stores to your local pharmacy, whether or not they are all created equal, however, really depends on your skin type. If you have normal-to-combination skin and could just benefit from a bit of hydration, you might be able to get away with any type of mask out there. Don’t feel too left out if your skin is oily, sensitive, or prone to breakouts, though—these days, you can find sheet masks for just about any skin problem you want to solve.

Here’s a look at the best sheet masks for dry, oily, or sensitive skin, plus a list of ingredients you’ll know to look out for, and the ones you’ll want to avoid.

Dry skin

Whether your skin is always feeling dry or flaky, or just tends to dry out in the cooler months (which, to be honest, is all of us come winter time) serum-soaked sheet masks were made for you. They can help with hydration, act as a barrier from environmental stressors like wind and pollution, and leave you looking radiantly dewy.

For dry skin, look for ingredients like glycerin, hyaluronic acid, and ceramides. Glycerin helps replenish the skin’s natural moisturizing factor, which is important because it can get dehydrated and dried out from environmental stressors. It also helps shield your skin from further irritation and will even help make your skin feel softer.

Hyaluronic acid is another buzzy skincare ingredient you’ll want to look for on the label of your sheet mask. It can help reduce the loss of moisture and give you that plump, hydrated and healthy looking skin you’re after. It’s common in sheet masks so it shouldn’t be too difficult to spot on the label. Finally, ceramides are fatty lipids that are found naturally in high concentrations in the upper layers of the skin. They can become depleted thanks to age and sun damage, though, so replenishing them with skincare products can be beneficial for the hydration your skin craves.

What to try:

Oily skin

If you have oily skin, you’ll want to look for ingredients that can help balance out all the shine, shrink enlarged pores, and prevent you from breaking out. (And if the label says “oil-free” or “non-comedogenic,” you’re golden.)

Consider an activated charcoal mask, which pulls out toxins and contaminants from the skin, absorbing dirt and excess oil along the way. It can also help tighten up enlarged pores.

Another option is to add a mask with tea tree oil to your weekly routine. It might seem counterproductive to add in more oil—but tea tree oil works a bit differently than other oils. Studies show it may be as effective as benzoyl peroxide (usually prescribed for acne) to heal breakouts, and it’s a lot gentler on the skin, too. That’s because it has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to fight bacteria and breakouts. It also acts as a solvent to pull out excess oil, so that’s another win for oily skin. If you can find a mask that has tea tree oil mixed with a bit of witch hazel, you may find your breakouts dried up after only a few weeks of masks.

What to try:

Sensitive Skin

We totally get it—if you have sensitive skin, trying one-time masks can feel scary if you don’t get to test it out on your delicate skin first. But rest assured, you can still find sheet masks out there that are safe for you. Just take care to read the ingredients very carefully. Some acids and other chemicals found in many masks may be too harsh. And on the other side of the spectrum, some oils and serums may clog pores, lead to breakouts, or additional redness.

Your safest bet is to try a cooling and soothing mask designed specifically to calm skin down. Natural ingredients like licorice root extract (a brightener) and Aloe Vera gel can feel soothing and calm down skin. You’ll also want to check that your mask is paraben-free and sulfate-free, and contains no alcohol, which can feel too harsh on delicate skin. If you’ve tried hyaluronic acid before in other products and didn’t have any issues, it can add some moisture, balance, and even out your skin tone.

Once you find a mask that is safe for your sensitive skin, be sure to stock up! It’s worth it not to have to try out another brand you might not be as happy with.

What to try:


About the Authorjane-headshot

Jane is a freelance writer and full-time dog lover. Her work has appeared on Self.com, Brit + Co, Yahoo Health, Greatist, Realtor.com and more. She loves to travel and write about beauty and healthy living. Follow her adventures on Instagram @janechertoff and Twitter @according2_jane.