Remember when Justin Bieber posted a pre-Grammys sheet-mask selfie? Somewhere between then and now, the serum-soaked cloths have gone from an Instagram novelty to a skincare essential. And it’s easy to see why we’ve all become hooked. Though almost all masks are highly concentrated, sheet masks drive ingredients further into pores, as the paper or fabric locks everything down. Few things work better on my very dry skin, so I’m always on the lookout for new sheets to try. Which brings me to the St. Tropez Self-Tan Express Face Sheet Mask (£8).
Keep scrolling to read the verdict on this exciting beauty innovation…
To me, a sheet mask that tans your skin sounds like an utter dream. I often follow a Sunday DIY facial with a blob of self-tanner for a bit of a glow. Still, a world-first like this doesn’t come without a few concerns— namely, what if the sheet doesn’t perfectly fit your face? And, well, what if it doesn’t really work?
Each sheet mask is single-use and comes with some very easy-to-follow instructions: Wear the mask for five minutes for a light glow, 10 minutes for a medium tan, and 15 minutes for a deeper bronze. Regardless of how long you lie with the sheet on, you’re supposed to let the serum sink in afterwards. I tried mine before bed and then slept as the tanning agents did their work.
The first thought I had when removing the sheet is that there is a lot of serum left over. Though St. Tropez recommends you blend it into your hairline, I had enough to smooth over my neck and décolletage, as well. If you do the same, please take this as your friendly reminder to wash your hands after massaging the product in. Bright-orange palms look good on nobody.
And now the verdict: St. Tropez’s first sheet mask held up against my initial concerns because rubbing it in means it doesn’t matter if it fits or not, and it definitely works. In fact, despite my decision to make like a beginner and wear the sheet mask for five minutes, I ended up with a tan that was more “two weeks in Barbados” than “two days in Biarritz.” My only wish is that I’d used something stronger than a gradual self-tanner on the rest of my body, but I now know better for next time. These masks do bronzing really well.
As for the reason I fell for sheet masks in the first place (that dewy, hydrated look), St. Tropez included hyaluronic acid to achieve the same effect. While you might wonder if the DHA will counteract any chance of moisturised skin, I noticed my (bronzed) face felt smoother and softer post-mask. So, I’d call that a win-win.
Opening Image: Rex