When I first visited Seoul, I had quite a few firsts. I traipsed around in a green tea field filled with snakes, tried actual high-quality soju, and thwarted a meerkat's persistent efforts to steal my earrings (long story). But most memorably, I wandered into dozens of K-beauty shops on every corner, and for the very first time, skincare left me speechless. Products with textures I'd never felt and ingredients I'd never heard of stocked the shelves, and shoppers stocked up on sunscreens and serums and creams at all hours of the night. I was in the beauty capital of the entire world, and I nearly shed a tear for it.
That said, you don't have to go to Seoul to discover these innovative products (though I would absolutely recommend it). Nowadays, K-beauty is a skincare staple here in the U.S., and for very, very good reason. The beauty tech in South Korea is years ahead of our country's, and that's made clear by every essence, moisturizer, and sunscreen that appears on the market. And if there's one thing Korean beauty know best, it's how to mask like a pro. From sheets soaked in snail mucin to jars topped off with bouncy exfoliating gels, K-beauty has every skin concern covered. Here, we've rounded up the most effective, innovative, and just plain playful Korean face masks and sheet masks for your next self-care session.
Two steps are better than one when it comes to this fun little kit. Apply the soothing ampoule after cleansing, then lay the algae and clay mask over your face for 40 minutes to seal in its benefits. Please note: selfies are mandatory.
For a true luxe experience, this sheet mask is made from a gel mixture that feels equally cooling and nourishing. The mask is made with micro-holes that adhere to the skin to keep it in place because a sliding mask is just plain annoying. With a focus on collagen, this mask works great before or after a night out for your best skin.
Since its launch, this glow mask has become a cult favorite for its lightweight feel and watermelon scent that even Harry Styles would be obsessed with. Hyaluronic acid is the star of the show to improve pores and oiliness. Add this mask to your nightly routine and overnight you’ll notice your skin glowing from within.
BTS Army, please rise! The Crème Shop crafted a line of sheet masks inspired by the iconic and history-making K-pop group BTS. There is an entire collection that you can choose from, but if you’re struggling with blemishes, this mask is infused with acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid and tea tree oil—and niacinamide for added moisture.
There was a time where the bubble face mask was the newest craze and everyone wanted to try the equally confusing and fun mask. The confusion part comes in when many think that you need to wash the bubbles off, when all you need to do is massage them in. Your skin WILL thank you.
Yuzu, an Eastern citrus fruit, is practically a vitamin C bomb. And when paired with retinol, it even better refines uneven texture and enhances radiance by morning.
For the everyday exfoliators, this enzyme masque is gentle enough for daily use, while also leaving skin feeling refreshed and balanced. An AHA, the glycolic acid goes deep into the skin to even texture and target dead skin cells. Don’t forget to follow up with sunscreen during the day after adding this to your routine.
Who doesn’t love a good bundle! Peach & Lily know that you probably go through sheet masks more than lip balm. This curated set of masks target not only skin concerns like enlarged pores and dryness but also includes a mask for traveling or when you need to destress. Don’t forget self-care is important and using a sheet maks is a perfect way to relax, especially when jasmine and chamomile are the main ingredients!
Made with Korean red pine, this mask works its magic while you sleep to hydrate and firm skin. A little goes a long way with the thickness seeping into your skin as soon as you apply it. What is left behind is a natural glow and smoother texture that targets wrinkles and sagging skin to give it a gentle lift.
Ooey, gooey, and fruity: the holy trinity of what defines a mask that's just plain fun to use. And don't worry, it's not just pretty. Pomegranate and fig extracts calm and hydrate even the most sensitive skin.
Calendula is known for its intense calming powers, and there's nothing more ahhh-inducing then a sheet mask fresh out of the fridge. Stick one in there at night, and wake up to a spa-worthy treatment in a packet.
Get ready to reap the benefits of rice extract. This overnight option will repair even the most disrupted skin, and the brightening niacinamide helps restore moisture and firm the face without leaving your face all greasy.
A great mask not only hydrates but gets rid of all the extra gunk hiding in your pores. The combined powers of rose flower and jasmine flower in this mask remove all your old dead skin cells in just under 10 minutes. Talk about fast.
Belif is known for its amazing face moisturizers, so it's about time they put their same miracle-working ingredients in a sleeping mask. It's filled with ultra-hydrating herbs like skin-soothing Scottish heather and lady's mantle. Don'tworry about your pillowcase reaping the benefits instead of your skin, it absorbs and gets to work instantly upon application.
There are hundreds of clay masks out there, but this one beats its competition when it comes to reducing oil and beating down acne. Its sebum-absorbing powers come from actual volcanic clay in South Korea.
You know those DIY hair masks that contain eggs to give strands a radiant boost? Same idea here. This lightweight sheet mask is drenched in extracts from both egg yolks and whites for a glowier, bouncier complexion.
Snail mucin and bee venom are two protective skincare saviors in South Korea, and this sheet option is packed with both to strengthen the moisture barrier.
The Amazon reviews on this nighttime mask make clear that this is a workhorse when it comes to eliminating acne. It soothes existing pimples, reduces oil, and smoothes bumps so you can rid yourself of breakouts quicker.
$25 for 10 game-changing treatments? Sign us TF up. Rice extract strengthens the skin for a natural glow.
You're parched. You're flaky. Your skin is crying out for hydration. Enter the N.M.F mask, your new holy grail. It imbues your moisture barrier with ingredients that your skin already recognizes within itself, like hyaluronic acid, amino acids, and water-binding sugars, so your face is instantly soothed.
If the bags under your eyes are steep enough to earn you extra fees on a United flight, it's time to reach for these babies. The essence they're soaked in instantly improves elasticity and tightens the area so you look more awake fast.