Sheet masks have become a fixture in plenty of people's skin care regimens, partly because of how dang versatile they are. Aside from coming in about one billion different varieties, they can be used in ever more creative ways, and the latest sheet mask hack to surface may be the beauty-boosting addition you're looking to add to your sheet mask routine.
If you've used a sheet mask and afterward felt like you just didn't soak up its full benefits, Reddit user dmcimdc may have a solution for you: Sitting in a bath with the sheet mask on, allowing both the mask and your face to bask in the steam wafting off the warm bathwater.
"I have to tell you, when I removed the mask, my skin looked ten times better than using the cold method," they said.
The "cold method" they're referring to involves storing masks in the fridge and using them cold. But steaming a mask while it's on seems to open up the pores and allow more of the serum to get in, the Reddit user said.
Allure reached out to Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho for the deets, and according to Cho, warming sheet masks are nothing new for the K-beauty world. "There are some 'warming' sheet masks and treatments that are applied because they believe warm products will absorb better in the skin," she said.
There's also this incredible little tool: An electric mask heater designed to heat masks up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit in three minutes. While the tool obviously doesn't allow for the moisture the Redditor's steam bath solution offers, it's a good pick for folks who aren't keen on or able to shove their face in a shower, bowl, or mug (hi, college students) of hot water.
Since the claimed benefits of some beauty hacks sometimes can seem curiously impossible to replicate, Bustle asked Dr. Robin Evans, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon, if this heat hack actually works.
Her response: Yes — but definitely use steam over plain heat, if it's possible, because moisture plays a big part.
"It's a combination of the heat AND the moisture from the steam that will not only open the pores up but also increase the absorption of the mask ingredients themselves, ultimately improving the results," she explains. "Most skin care products applied to moist skin will be absorbed better and thus be more effective."
So, next time you reach for your weekly — or daily — sheet mask, consider lighting some candles, grabbing a book, and hopping in a relaxing bath. Doctor's orders!