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Beauty

Our Edit Of The Best Korean Face Masks You Seriously Need To Own

DIY facials for better skin in an instant.

You can’t deny the fact that Korean women are known to be super conscientious when it comes to skincare. You’ve heard of the 10-step Korean skincare regime: remove makeup, cleanse your skin, exfoliator, toner, essence, serum, mask, eye cream, face cream and SPF. While many women swear by it, you might belong to the camp that would rather spend an extra 10 to 15 minutes scrolling through your Instagram feed.

Which is why facial masks are quickly gaining popularity as they give your skin an instant boost, thanks to the high concentration of active ingredients. And with the staggering variety available in the market, regardless of whether your skin type is dry, congested or dull, there are literally dozens of options. Moreover, the influence that Korean beauty trends have on the global beauty marketing is evident — after all, they popularised ingredients like ginseng and snail mucin before Western brands adopted them.  From hydrating to brightening and even anti-ageing, we round up our favourite Korean face masks (whether overnight, wash-off or sheet masks) you need in your beauty arsenal.

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. Erborian Spray-to-Mask Revitalising Face Mask Radiance Effect, $45
Inspired by hydrogel masks, this spray-to-mask features a gel-like film that releases its active ingredients onto the skin while locking in moisture. Revive tired and dehydrated skin with ginseng, liquorice, wild yam and horsetail, which work in synergy to hydrate, plump and reinvigorate skin. Blithe Patting Water Pack Rejuvenating Purple Berry, $54
The ultimate time-saver for those always on-the-go, this innovative mask works by splashing the concentrated blend of lactic acid and antioxidant-packed berries on your face. In 15 seconds, the mask provides exfoliating, deep cleansing, moisturising and pH balancing effects at once. Splash, pat, rinse and say goodbye to shiny skin. Caolion Pore Refining Sheet Mask, $55 for 6 pieces
Saturated in an ultra moisture essence, this skin-refining mask infuses skin with hydration, calms sensitivity and strengthens its barrier function. Honey extract also reduces the appearance of pores by tightening lax skin and improving its barrier function for healthier, more resilient skin. It also contains peptides derived from bee venom to stimulate collagen production to tighten pore walls and improve skin texture for a supple and plump complexion. 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. Kocostar Slice Mask Sheet Lemon, $6 for 6 sachets
This hydrating mask lets you apply the individual patches wherever moisture is needed – your face, neck, arms and even legs. Formulated with skin-brightening lemon extract, these easy to use slice masks will brighten your complexion. The alpha hydroxy acid gently exfoliates dull skin to reveal brighter and younger-looking skin. Leaders Insolution Mela-Tox Skin Clinic Mask, $4 for one sheet
With its fine and thin silk texture, this mask envelopes the face to ensures maximum absorption of all nutrients. The formula of sugar maple extract, chamomile flower and niacinamide (a vitamin B3 that firms and clarifies skin) normalises the production of pigmentation and improves skin hydration. The result? Skin is revitalised and radiates from within. 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 your 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. Caolion Magic Black Powder Sheet Mask, $12
Enriched with evening primrose oil and raspberry oil extracts, this helps to treat common skin concerns such as dehydrated complexions, sagging skin and enlarged pores. The two-piece hydrogel face mask also soothes and calms. Aprilskin Rose Water Modelling Mask, $8, Guardian
An easy-to-use DIY face mask that is infused with skin-revitalising damask rose and hydrating pearl powder to moisturise for a plumper and smoother complexion. It also contains panthenol and rose water to strengthen skin’s moisture barrier. 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. See: this new Korean facial mask might be the best one we’ve tried all year Dr. Jart+ Dermask Micro Jet Brightening Solution Ultra-Fine Microfiber Sheet Mask, $46 for five sheets, Sephora
This is made with fine microfiber to help active ingredients penetrate deeper and instantly brighten dull and uneven skin tones. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask, $72 for five sheets
Made with the brand’s Jaum Balancing Complex, this helps to soothe and smoothen skin texture for an overall clearer looking complexion. Blithe Blue Zone Marine Intensive Mask Sea Cucumber, $46 for a box of eight, Sephora
With a blend of niacinamide and sea cucumber extract (which is known as ‘ginseng of the sea’) this mask brightens skin tone and promotes a more radiant complexion. It is also infused with daffodil extracts, which helps protect skin from environmental damage. See: 9 Korean sheet masks writer Sofia Kim swears by  Etude House 24K Gold Therapy Red Ginseng Mask (Firming), $9.90
This hydro-gel sheet mask contains ginseng extract to help firm and hydrate skin for a plumper complexion. Innisfree Coconut Bio-Cellulose Mask (Soothing), $5.50
Developed with a naturally-derived sheet made from fermented coconut, this bio-cellulose mask is formulated with witch-hazel water, coconut water and coconut oil to moisturise skin. Etude House Wonder Pore Black Mask Sheet, $5
For oily complextions, this mask is infused with oak tree charcoal to control excess sebum production and deeply cleanse pores. 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. See: the clay masks you need to unclog pores for a clearer complexion  #13: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Colour Clay Mask, $13 each
This series features seven different types of clay masks designed to address various common skin concerns. Although it can be used on its own, it is recommended to apply the different masks, each with a targeted function, onto different parts of your face. See: the new Korean multi-masking range our beauty editor is obsessed with Laneige Time Freeze Firming Sleeping Mask, $53
Enriched with peptide water and collagen, this strengthens skin’s barrier function and boosts hydration for firmer, younger-looking skin. See: writer Sofia Kim shares her favourite overnight sleeping masks  Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay mask, $21
This reformulated mask contains double the amount of volcanic ash to that of the original version to effectively absorb sebum, cleanse pores and exfoliate dead skin cells. Laneige Clear C Peeling Mask, $30
Made with natural AHA fruit acid and strawberry seeds, this gently removes dead skin cells and conditions skin for a smoother, clearer complexion. Erborian Bamboo Waterlock Mask, $49, Sephora
This refreshing aqua gel mask is enriched with a unique complex of bamboo sap and fibres to help skin feel smooth, hydrated and plumped. It can also either be used as a rinse-off hydro-plumping mask or as a moisturising leave-on treatment. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask Lavendar, $42
With a gel-like consistency, this intensive moisture sleeping mask is one of the best products to apply before sleeping to wake with brighter, plumper skin. Its relaxing scent also helps you sleep. Su:m37 Water-Full Aqua Sleeping Pack, $74
This lightweight overnight sleeping mask is made with fermented moisturising ingredients to nourish and hydrate skin through the night. Belif First Aid Overnight Brightening Mask, $38, Sephora
Formulated with black truffle, this overnight brightening mask helps you achieve a more luminous and radiant skin while you sleep. 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. Like this? Check out all the best holiday edition beauty gifts under $50, SK-II’s limited edition gift sets and these 6 waterproof eyeliners that are easy to remove.