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Is sheet masks really effective?

Over the last few years, as consumers have become more aware of the impact of single-use plastic on the environment, there’s been a backlash against certain harmful products, and an effort to eradicate them from our lives.

Plastic drinking straws have been replaced with metal or bamboo versions, and clear plastic water bottles with trendy reusables. In bathrooms all over the world, face wipes and cotton pads have disappeared, and washable fabric rounds or flannels have become hugely popular.

For beauty lovers who want to remove their make-up or apply skincare products like toner daily, ditching wipes and pads makes a big difference to their environmental footprint. Sheet masks on the other hand, have escaped the backlash so far – but that might be about to change.

Originating in Korea face-shaped sheet masks soaked in serum are loved for their moisturising and glow-giving properties, and have been a massive beauty trend in recent years. With sales predicted to reach £369m by 2025 according to Statista Holland and Barrett estimates that one million masks are thrown away each day.

Joanne Cooke, beauty trading director at Holland and Barrett says: “Beauty sheet masks can only be used once, so following a review, we feel they no longer fit our clean and conscious beauty ethos, which is why we’ve decided to act now and stop selling them.”

But are pots of cream or gel mask really better for the environment – and are they as effective?

In comparison, a multi-use mask could significantly cut down on plastic, depending on the size of the tub or tube.

As with many product categories, it’s a bit of a minefield when it comes to finding masks that are effective but don’t leave you drowning in eco-guilt. With so many different skincare options, the choice is up to you. One thing’s for certain, however: single-use sheet masks are not the answer.

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