Remember in elementary school, when the teacher tasked you with making a paper mask? You copped your fave shade of construction paper, snipped eyes and a mouth, and tied it behind your ears like the freaky little #craftboss that you were. Well, dry masks are kind of like the paper masks of your grown-up beauty conscious years: Same concept, but with plenty of surprising skin care benefits.
Dry masks are still relatively new on the market, and as far as I can tell, there are two brands to choose from: Nannette de Gaspé's Dry Masque, and Charlotte Tilbury's Instant Magic Dry Sheet Face Mask.
Each brand's product has different qualities, but similar effects. Nannette's come in five varieties, for eyes, face, neck, hands, and mouth, and have a higher price point. Charlotte Tilbury's only come in one variety for the face, but is offered at a more approachable price point of $22.
The ingredients in the Nannette mask are targeted towards specific areas of the face and have 87 percent active ingredients, including marine extracts and brightening tetrapeptides. Each mask is dry-printed onto a fabric sourced in Japan. Charlotte Tilbury dry masks are packed with ingredients that are, according to the brand, clinically proven to reduce wrinkles, smooth, brighten, lift and hydrate your skin exactly where it needs it.
All of this beauty jargon is helpful, sure — but how does it actually work?
It's easiest to imagine it like a normal sheet mask, but with absolutely no water. The heat from your face is enough to warm the ingredients of the mask, which are in turn transferred to your skin.
"The unique dry-printed delivery system in each mask allows for penetration of active ingredients through multiple layers of the epidermis," brand founder Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien tells Bustle. "Each formula includes a combination of powerful age renewal actives in a hydrating formula with ingredients that help stimulate the synthesis of collagen and elastin to visibly tighten the skin, improve skin texture, and reduce the depth of wrinkles."
Wearing the masks feels like wearing, well, a piece of slightly soft construction paper, and I'll admit that it's hard to believe that they're actually doing something. However, after wearing each of these for 15 minutes, my skin was brighter, smoother, and felt incredibly hydrated. It's also pretty gratifying to learn that these masks can be used more than once — up to three times, in fact — making them a much more compelling purchase than a fancy wet sheet mask.
"The traditional wet masks that you see on the market are, on average, 85 percent water and glycerin, with less than 15 percent active ingredients," de Gaspé Beaubien shares. "Keep in mind that the Nannette de Gaspé masks act more like infusers, in that they infuse the skin with a rich cocktail of active ingredients and emollients."
I got similar results from both Nannette de Gaspé and Charlotte Tilbury's dry masks, and the reviews on the Charlotte Tilbury website for this product are right on par with what I experienced.
"My skin really DID feel hydrated and smooth even hours later," reads one review. "It didn't leave any sticky residue on my skin and my skin looked really healthy! I also liked how it felt on my face and stayed on so easily!"
Another basically summed up exactly what I was thinking myself. "The dry mask is practical you can wear specs over it; doesn't gunk up your hair around your face and can be used 3 times! Fantastic!"
Fantastic, indeed. Don't sleep on this new mask innovation, as it might be just the peculiar oddity your skin was looking for — and if not, it's a fun way to pretend you're back in that legendary elementary school art class, swapping the copious amounts of Elmer's for a healthy dose of luxurious skin care.