All About Korean Face Masks - How, When and Why You Should Use One


by Angelina Wu ,

Everything to Know About Korean Face Masks Guide Nudie Blog Australia

How often should I use a face mask? How do I fit it into my skincare routine? Find the best face mask for your skin, and get the answers to these FAQs here!

Face masks are like inexpensive mini facials that can give you better skin in less than half an hour! Korean face masks can range in functions, materials, and ingredients, but are typically made for moisturising, brightening, acne control, pore care, anti-aging effects… well, basically all of your skin concerns!

If you’re confused about where and how to start, here’s the ultimate guide to help you find the mask of your dreams:

How does it fit into my routine?

There is no set rule because every skin type is different, but in general, the recommended routine is to cleanse, clay/ charcoal mask, tone, sheet mask and then moisturise afterwards.

Which Korean face mask is best for my skin?

Here’s a simple breakdown of some of the most popular Korean face mask:

  1. Sheet Masks

By far the most popular and common mask, sheet masks typically come in one full sheet or two separate sheets. Sheet masks are so effective because they are able lock in all the goodness of the mask and let it really soak into your skin.

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Hydrating – KICHO Phyto Refreshing Daily Mask

Soothing – By Wishtrend Hours-Long Moisturizing Gauze Sheet Mask

Brightening – Klavuu White Pearlsation Pearl Serum Mask

  1. “Fancy” Sheet Masks

Sheet masks have long since evolved past the original cotton material. We now have fancier sheets made from hydrogel, nano fibers, plant fibers, and more! Use a hydrogel mask if you want something that feels light and cooling. Use plant fibers if you’re looking for something with skincare benefits built right into the sheet.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Hydrogel Mask at Nudie Glow Best Korean Beauty Store Australia

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Hydrogel Mask – Whamisa Organic Flowers Hydrogel Mask

Plant Mask – Whamisa Organic Real Kelp Mask

  1. Clay Mask

Clay masks are especially great for those with large pores or acne-prone skin because it works like a magnet to draw out the impurities that are trapped in your pores.

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask

Neogen Dermalogy Canadian Pore Clay Cleanser

  1. Peel-Off Mask/ Modeling Mask

Modeling masks are a growing trend in Korean Beauty for their ability to deliver a wide-range of benefits to the skin, while providing long lasting moisture retention. The most satisfying part about this mask is the feeling of baby smooth skin after all the impurities and bacteria have been peeled right out of your pores!

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Anti-Ageing – Lindsay Luxury Gold Magic Mask

Detox and Pore Clearing – Lindsay Luxury Charcoal Magic Mask

  1. Bubble Mask

Besides being hilarious to use and look at, the carbonated ingredients in bubble masks can actually dig deep into your pores and pull out the impurities to help you achieve smoother, more clearer skin!

Elizavecca Milky piggy Carbonated Clay Mask at Nudie Glow Best Korean Beauty Store Australia

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Clay Mask

  1. Mask Pack (Wash Off)/ Sleeping Pack (Overnight)

A leave-on mask, whether you wash it off in a few hours or the next day, can intensely hydrate and protect your skin, while giving it a powerful boost you can't find in your normal night creams.

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Hydrating – Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Brightening – COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Spa Overnight Mask

Acne Care – COSRX Ultimate Moisturizing Honey Overnight Mask

  1. Eye/ Lip Mask

Eye patches are great for depuffing and getting moisture to your wrinkle-prone eye area, while lip masks protect and hydrate the often forgotten skin on your lips, making them smoother and softer.

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

Eyes – Wish Formula Panda Eye Essence Mask

Lips – Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

  1. Acne patches

Whenever you get a pimple, just slap one of these on before bed. By morning, the patch will have absorbed all the gunk and your pimple magically vanish!

Nudie Glow Best Picks:

COSRX Acne Pimple Master Patch

COSRX Clear Fit Master Patch


How frequently should I sheet mask?

Here’s the general rule of thumb, most hydrating versions can be used daily but products with exfoliating, detoxifying or anti-ageing properties should be used more sparingly (say a couple of times a week). Currently, there is a trend in Korea when women usually sheet mask once a day. However, the average person will sheet mask 1-3 times a week, which is sufficient to get that dewy K-beauty glow.

Your skin type also plays a part, pay attention to how your skin reacts post-application. Oily complexions may be able to use a clay mask up to 3x a week where as a sensitive or dry type may only benefit from a weekly application.

How long do I leave a face mask?

A common mistake beginners make is leaving a face mask on for too long, especially sheet masks! Sheet masking should be kept between 15-25 minutes and should not exceed 30 minutes, or be left overnight. Leaving sheet masks on until they dry will actually cause a reversal effect because the sheet will begin to reabsorb the moisture from the skin.

Can I reuse a sheet mask? There’s extra essence in the bag, should I throw it away?

Sheet masks are for one time use only, but the leftover essence can be used all over the arms, neck, elbows, and knees for extra moisture and nutrition.

Do masks have expiration date?

Yes, and usually you can find it on the bottom of the masks. Sometimes Korean brands will print a manufacturing date (제조) instead of expiration date (까지). An unopened mask usually have a shelf life of 24-36 months. 

Help!!! I’m addicted to face masks!

If you want your quarterly dose of sheet mask, you can subscribe to our Nudie Box, which is like getting a birthday present sent to your doorstep!

Do you have any other lingering questions about Korean face masks? Let us know and we’ll try our best to answer!


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