Unless you've been living under a rock with no wifi, your Instagram and Snapchat feeds have probably been overloaded with people taking selfies in odd-looking white masks. These are sheet masks, and they are amazing—thin sheets of fabric soaked in concentrated skincare goodness.
This Korean beauty trend has been on the rise for a couple years and shows no sign of slowing down. Retailers like Ulta and Target now stock upwards of two dozen different sheet mask options. With so many masks to choose from—at price points that start around $1 and can cost upwards of $20 a pop for luxury versions—what's a girl (or guy) to do? Well, luckily for you, I love a bargain and an excuse to take weird selfies, so I shopped around in search of the best sheet masks under $5.
This popular and moderately priced drugstore line carries a wide variety of sheet masks filled with natural ingredients, each designed to combat different skin problem regimes. My friend and I sampled two of their signature sheet masks—Yes to Cucumber for sensitive skin and Yes To Coconut for dry skin. Both were chocked full of juice and unrolled easily with well proportioned cut outs for the eyes and lips, but of the two the cucumber was the favorite for both the scent and fresh feeling it left on our faces.
Sometimes the allure of a sheet mask is the promise of an instant pick-me-up—enter this line of five Garnier Skinactive "MoistureBomb" masks. We picked one up and, well, it was pretty great. The packaging claims a mask contains half a bottle of Garnier's hydrating serum. I don't know if that's true, but there was definitely a lot of serum in it for the price—enough to mix the left over liquid with my regular face cream. Bonus!
This popular brand can be found at Target and boasts results in 20 minutes. As I have uneven and, dare I say it, sometimes dull skin, I tried the brightening mask with aloe. As this mask stipulates at least 20 minutes of wear, I tried it at night on the weekend before going out. The sheet was a little tingly and while I know 20 minutes won't undo years of dark spots or sun damage, my skin did feel fresher and there was a little bit of a glow to it.
The Spa Life aisle at Target offers a plethora of fruit extract facial sheet masks to choose from. We went with the moisturizing avocado mask and the rejuvenating cherry mask. While the avocado was really good, the real standout was the cherry. Besides leaving my skin feeling invigorated without being over tingly (I do have sensitive skin), it smelled so good I almost wanted to eat my face.
Alba has been on the skincare scene for some time now and is no slouch in the sheet mask department, offering five tropical options. Of all the masks I tried, the detox mask made of volcanic clay was the most unique, claiming to draw out toxins. I used it on a Sunday night before going to bed and to be honest I did feel like my skin was a little happier when I woke up. (However, it could have been the good night's sleep.)