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Beauty

Why You'll Need These Korean Face Masks More Than Ever

Need to put your best face forward without booking a facial appointment? Here's our cheat sheet: These best Korean face masks will double up as DIY facials for instantly better skin.

It’s no secret that Korean women are known to have insanely good skin that are so so clear and dewy that it gave rise to the glass skin trend. And it’s also no secret that they are ultra conscientous when it comes to their skincare routines in order to achieve that. See: the10-step Korean skincare regime that you probably are no stranger to – remove makeup, cleanse skin, exfoliate, tone, apply essence, serum, mask, eye cream, face cream and SPF. We do love our skincare routines but sometimes, we’d much rather put that 10 to 15 minutes towards snoozing instead (and we’re sure you do too).

For the reason, face masks are absolute time savers. They give your skin an instant pick-me-up in much lesser time, thanks to the high concentration of active ingredients. And with the myriad of options out there, there’s bound to be one (or more) that’ll target all your skin concerns. From hydrating to brightening and even anti-ageing, we round up our favourite Korean face masks (overnight, wash-off and sheet masks) that you’ll want to stock up on.

Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Biome Night Therapy Mask, $51
An overnight sleeping mask that aims to hydrate, nourish and improve skin’s cell turnover rate while you snooze. It is powered by a patented Jartbiome, which is made up of microbes through a probiotic technology that aims to provide an optimal environment for good bacteria on our skin to thrive. Three different sizes of hyaluronic acid are also infused to offer long-lasting hydration through the night. Laneige Cica Sleeping Mask, $45
This overnight sleeping mask is saturated with a powerful cica (read: centella asiatica, which boasts soothing and calming benefits) ingredient known as forest yeast to treat skin irritation and prevent moisture loss while you sleep. Plus, it strengthens skin’s natural barrier over time, improving its ability to withstand external aggressors that may further damage complexion. Saturday Skin Cotton Cloud Probiotic Power Mask, $9
Made out of 100 per cent natural microfibres, this sheet mask is saturated with a potent blend of probiotics to boost radiance and skin’s vitality. Prebiotics are also infused to maximise the benefits of probiotics while cotton extracts (which contain vitamin E) and polyphenols work to protect complexions and deliver optimum moisture to the skin. Innisfree Brightening Pore Sleeping Mask, $31
Ideal for all skin types, this essentially targets two common skin concerns – dullness and enlarged pores. Jeju tangerine peels contain a potent blend of Vitamin C, which is known for its brightening benefits to treat dark spots and pigmentation. The overnight sleeping mask, which features a jelly-like texture, also helps to gently remove dead skin cells for a smoother, more refined skin texture. Caolion Peace Water Lumina Vita Sheet Mask, $10
This offers a concentrated formula that is made up of 90 per cent pure marine collagen to hydrate, improve elasticity and strengthen the skin barrier for a plumper, more luminous complexion. What else we love about it: its multi-micropore technology allows for perfect adherence and maximum efficacy when it comes to delivering the active ingredients to the skin. Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask, $60
Solomon seal (a herb known for reducing inflammation) works together with Japanese honeysuckle and honey to gently exfoliate, as well as soothe redness and irritation for a clearer, more luminous complexion. Bonus: it comes with a calming scent of natural ingredients such as pine and liquorice. Hera Hyaluronic Mask, $35 for a box of six
Hydrating sheet masks are essential and ought to be readily available in any beauty stash. This sheet mask is equipped with high concentration levels of hyaluronic acid to deliver intense moisture to the skin. Overtime, skin is plumper, more radiant and firmer. AHC The Aesthe Youth Radiance Mask, $27.50 for a box of four
This is saturated with a cocktail of botanical extracts to treat discolouration, even out skin tone and boost clarity while a Youth Complex (made up of 17 types of amino acids and biomimetic water) nourishes and combats various skin concerns like dehydration and dullness. The bamboo-derived cellulose sheet mask also aids in providing airtight adherence to the skin. Whal Myung Skin Elixir Mask, $28 for 5 pieces, available at Guardian outlets
With ingredients from its do-it-all Skin Elixir, this sheet mask will help fight any signs of ageing using the traditional Korean herb-infused serum the brand is known for. HERA Signia Mask
This luxurious overnight mask is guaranteed to give you plump and hydrated skin the next morning. With tiny capsules of Narcisuss Bloom concentrate, you’ll see an improvement in skin tone, fine lines and hyper pigmentation. Plus, its Gold Spoon Massager gives you the chance to massage the contours of your eyes to reduce any puffiness while improving your skin’s absorption for the product. Femmue Gentle Green Relief Mask, US$48.53 (S$66.10), www.net-a-porter.com
This one’s designed to remove excess sebum and dead skin cells with mineral-rich kaolin clay and sea mud that penetrate the pores to absorb oil and cleanse them deeply. Blended with organic green tea leaves, this cooling formula also stimulates collagen production and increase elasticity. Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay Mousse Mask 2x, $29
We’re no stranger to the clay masks from the Korean naturalism brand, but this one packs twice the punch when it comes to cleansing your skin thoroughly. It features Jeju Volcanic Cluster Spheres with twice the power of sebum absorptiveness, while the micro clay mousse formula allows it to cleanse even the finest dirt particles that are trapped in small pores. Huxley Mask: Glow and Brightness, $45 for 3 pieces
Infused with the brand’s signature prickly pear cactus oil, this brightening sheet mask leaves the skin with a luminous, radiant glow and protects skin from harmful environmental stress. Huxley Healing Mask: Keep Calm, $40
A soothing mask that nourishes and replenishes moisturise to dehydrated skin, its jelly texture wraps the skin and locks up intense hydration while soothing the skin. This one’s especially perfect for use after a long day out in the sun or when your skin’s acting up. Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, US$45 (S$61.70)
If you haven’t been living under a rock recently, you would’ve seen this Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask from Glow Recipe making its rounds on Instagram. Described as a pillow-proof bouncy, breathable sleeping mask, it’s formulated with soothing, amino acid-rich watermelon extract, hydrating hyaluronic acid and pore-refining AHAs that slog away to reveal renewed skin while you sleep. Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, US$45 (S$61.70)
From the same fast-rising Korean-owned beauty brand, the Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask is a creamy yet breathable sleeping mask that pampers dry, tired skin overnight. Think of it as a quick fix to eliminating dry flakes and dull skin. 74% of this creamy formula is made from four forms of avocado: avocado fruit, avocado extract, avocado oil and avocado butter. The brand thinks of avocado as somewhat of a magical fruit because it’s rich in oleic and linoleic acid. Translation: it’s intensely hydrating. Femmue Dream Glow Revitalize and Radiance Mask, US$61.30 (S$83.50) for a box of 6, www.net-a-porter.com
Each sheet absorbs excess oil and dead surface cells for a clearer complexion while also fighting breakouts with niacinamide. That doesn’t mean it’ll dry out your face though – it’s added hyaluronic acid for a moisturising effect. AHC Black Rose Facial Ampoule Mask & AHC Black Pearl Facial Ampoule Mask, $27.50 for a box of 5
Said to deliver moisturising benefits that’s as strong as a highly-concentrated complexion-boosting ampoule in each sheet, this mask is packed with purifying charcoal, soothing rose damascena extract, antioxidant-rich vitamin E and hyaluronic acid to help nourish the skin. FYI to get the best soothing results, you’d want to keep the mask in the fridge until the thermometer on the back of the pack turns green. I Woke Up Like This All In One Concentrate Treatment Mask, $60 for a box of 6, www.ksisters.sg
You’ll truly be able to say that you woke up like this with this all-in-one multi-tasking mask. It’s like multi-masking but in one single, convenient step. From evening out skin tone, improving complexion, getting rid of wrinkles, brightening and hydrating – it does it all. By Ecom Pure Calming Mask Pack, $36 for a box of 7, www.ksisters.sg
From the beauty label of Korean influencer Ecom, comes this sheet masks that’s specially targeted at  moisturising, soothing and calming sensitive skin. How? Its essence that’s made with natural plant extracts focuses on being one that’s of a low pH level to balance out the skin’s pH level. Innisfree Purifying Jelly Mask With Recycled Coffee, $19
If you don’t already know, Innisfree recently dropped its brand new upcycling beauty range that harnesses the exfoliating and moisturising benefits of coffee powder and coffee oil. It takes waste coffee grounds from its flagship store and cafe in Jeju Island and upcycles them into safe skincare ingredients. In this case, it fuses the above with kaolin clay to create a nifty multitasking jelly wash-off mask that absorbs dirt, cleanses pores, exfoliates and moisturises the skin all at once. The Oozoo Face In-Shot Hydrolift Mask, US$43.68 (S$59.50) for a box of 5, www.net-a-porter.com
The only shots we’ll be taking with this moisturising mask are shots of skin-soothing plant-derived beta-glucans and moisturising ceramide the reinforces the skin’s barrier. And it doesn’t involve rocket science to use this – simply press down the button on the syringe to mix the ampoule and nject the ampoule from the syringe into the cap of the non-drying microfibre sheet mask. Neogen Super Shiny Aqua Capsule Mask, US$42.66 (S$58.80) for a box of five, www.net-a-porter.com
For the days that your skin needs some TLC, seek solace in this sheet mask from Neogen. It comes with an ultra-hydrating small, breakable aqua serum-filled capsule – that also has propolis, vitamin B3 and royal jelly to brighten up the skin. Banobagi Age Vitamin Cocktail Foil Mask, $5.90, Guardian
Not only does it feel super bougie to have your face covered in gold, this gold foil actually serves a function. With soft cotton sheets added to it, the mask is able to prevent the evaporation of essence from the skin. What goes into said essence? Mineral water to strengthen the skin’s barrier, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B7, B9, C and E to make your skin bouncier and healthier. Dr. Jart V7 Brightening Mask, $33 for 5, Sephora
With a blend of seven kinds of multivitamins and white jade ingredients, this mask is said to instantly brighten up the skin and retain that luminosity for up to 24 hours. Suitable for all skin types, it’s made up of 40% moisturising agents including hyaluronic acid for abundant moisturising. Dr. Jart Rubber Mask Bright Lover, $17, Sephora
This two-step masking system comprises of a concentrated ampoule serum along with a cooling rubber mask that was developed to brighten and correct uneven skin tone. The rubber mask adheres firmly to the skin in order to prevent active ingredients from evapourating. Derived from algae, the mask lowers the skin’s temperature to cool and calm agitated skin. Leaders Insolution Amino Moisture Mask, $5, Sephora
This mask is suitable to be used as often as every day. Made up of ceramide ingredients combined with a complex of 17 amino acids that strengthen the moisture barrier of the skin, this mask does away with wrinkles, dead skin, dryness and dullness. Dear, Klairs Freshly Squeezed Vitamin E Mask, $37.20
Those brooding over dry, sensitive and aging skin: rejoice. This Vitamin E mask from Dear, Klairs will be your new favourite skincare booster that moisturises, whitens and strengthens your skin’s barrier simultaneously. Known to be an excellent antioxidant, the Vitamin E in this mask is said to retain moisture for at least eight hours – even on the driest and dullest of skins. Cosrx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask, $26
Don’t let its name fool you. It may be named an overnight spa mask, which might sound daunting and rich, but its texture is so lightweight that it’s suitable for daytime wear too. Made with 65 per cent rice extract and niacinamide, this hydrating formula brightens tired skin when its slathered onto the skin. Mediheal N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask EX. Box, $39 for 10 pieces
Soothing and moisturising, mask your way to clear and hydrated skin with this ampoule face mask that drenches the skin with the goodness of hyaluronic acid, ceramide and witch hazel. Hera Aqua Recharge Mask, $80
This effectively targets irritated and tired complexions and is made of a lightweight gel formula that deeply penetrates into the deeper layers of the skin to restore and nourish it through the night so you’ll wake up looking well-rested and fresh. Coconut oil is infused to lock in moisture for a plumper complexion while camellia leaf extract soothes and calms redness. Mamonde Calming Hydro Sleeping Mask, $28
Infused with calendula petals, the rich formula calms the skin during sleep and creates a hydrated and revitalised look by morning. The mask is non-irritating, hydrating and enriched with asiatic pennywort, aloe vera extract and cucumber extract to replenish the skin with moisture. The cooling effect also leaves skin feeling refreshed. Mamonde Rose Moisturizing Skin Fit Mask, $6 per piece
This fast-acting moisturising bio-cellulose mask has a high-concentration of rose water to quickly deliver soothing and moisturising extracts to relieve dry, irritated skin. Pack it for instant hydration when you’re on the plane or on a winter vacation. It also plumps skin instantly so makeup goes on even smoother. Laneige Water Bank Double Gel Soothing Mask, $35 for 5 pieces
With a cooling sensation, this soothing mask minimises irritation while providing intensive moisture to your skin. Designed to fit closely over your face, it is saturated with hydro ion mineral water for quick and visible results. Quinoa extract which is rich in vitamins A, C and E, helps to protect the skin from dryness as the micro-sized botanical oil particles of olive squalane is penetrates skin easily to give you smooth and supple skin. 3CE White Milk Sleeping Mask, $28
Packed with delicious ingredients like milk, oatmeal, honey and avocado— this mask works hard while you sleep soundly. Milk proteins remove dead skin buildup to reveal healthy radiance, tea tree oil fights breakouts, oatmeal strengthens skin and honey replenishes hydration. Dr. Jart Shake & Shot Elastic Shot Shaking Rubber Mask, $14
Mix and shake the double trans booster with an ampoule containing a cocktail of alpha-lipoic acid and reparative botanical complex to give you a fresh and potent skincare solution. This cream-to-sheet mask also contains retinol which improves skin’s elasticity, tone, texture and removes the appearance of pigmentation. Sulwhasoo Snowise Exfoliating Mask, $85
This in-shower wash-off mask is made with finely grounded white ginseng (both its extracts and powder) to suppress melanin production, hydrate and increases the formation of collagen to plump, moisturise and brighten the overall complexion. Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Creamy Mask, $148 for a box of five
Formulated with a cocktail of nourishing ingredients such as ginseng root extract, which boosts collagen and hyaluronic acid production, this anti-ageing sheet mask also helps to increase skin’s defensive properties and treats common skin concerns such as dryness and loss of firmness.   The History of Whoo Gongjinhyang Seol Radiant White Ampoule Mask, $155 for a box of eight
This intensive whitening facial hydrogel mask instantly nourishes and hydrates skin while targeting whitening and skin radiance concerns. Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask, $38
Formulated with the brand’s Pore Minimising technology, this strengthens skin’s barrier, removes excess sebum and tightens pores while also providing maximum hydration. Su:m37 Water-Full Aqua Sleeping Pack, $74
This lightweight overnight sleeping mask is made with fermented moisturising ingredients to nourish and hydrate the skin through the night. Caolion Premium Blackhead Pore Pack, $39, Sephora
Ideal for all skin types, this is made with 100 per cent natural sparkling water, charcoal powder and micro-oxygen bubbles to effectively remove dead skin cells.