©Photo by iStock: DragonImages

Japanese Facial Sheet Masks Explained

The Timeless Trend for Skincare Convenience

Japan is famous for its facial sheet masks, but with all the choices out there these days, how can we tell them apart?

Japanese facial sheet masks are beloved by beauty enthusiasts all over the world. Some people incorporate these face-shaped cloths soaked in various skin-rejuvenating ingredients into their skincare routines every day.

Whether you have or haven’t tried a facial sheet mask before, here’s our Savvy Tokyo deep dive into the history and benefits of this go-to skincare product. Read on to find out some of the most common ingredients in these sheet masks and how they can benefit you.

The History Of Japanese Facial Sheet Masks

Japanese Facial Sheet Masks Explained© Photo by iStock: Tatiana

Sheet masks have been part of Japan’s skincare culture since before the Edo Period. Traditionally, Japanese geisha would soak silk with nourishing mixtures to hydrate and refresh their skin. The popularity of sheet masks soared in the 20th century with advancements in technology and skincare innovation. Today, Japanese beauty brands pioneer the development of innovative sheet masks with new and effective formulas and materials. Japanese facial sheet masks are continually celebrated as a staple skincare product for their efficiency in and out of Japan!

What are the benefits of sheet masks?

Sheet masks are renowned for their ability to deliver various skincare ingredients directly to the whole face with convenience. The benefits vary depending on the ingredients used in each of the sheet masks. They often help ease skincare concerns like dryness, dark spots, skin aging and redness.

What are the best skincare ingredients to look out for and why are they good?

Vitamin C/VC100

Vitamin C/VC100: Japanese Facial Sheet Masks© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super VC100 Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant known to brighten the complexion, fade dark spots and protect skin from environmental damage. VC100 is a concentrated form of vitamin C that can enhance skin radiance, minimise pores and boost collagen synthesis to improve overall skin texture.

Recommended for: Anyone looking to improve overall skin tone and texture!

Tea Tree

Tea Tree© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super Tea Tree 100 Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

With its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, tea tree is a natural ingredient that’s known to effectively treat acne. It can also help calm irritated skin, making it ideal for post-sunburn care and soothing any face mask-induced irritation.

Recommended for: Those with acne-prone skin, sunburn or everyday face mask wearers.


Ceramide© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super Ceramide 100 Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Ceramides are essential for maintaining the skin’s moisture barrier. Incorporating carefully selected natural ceramides at the highest concentration in your skincare routine will help prevent moisture loss and can keep skin hydrated and supple.

Recommended for: Those with dry skin.

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)/Niacinamide

Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN)/Niacinamide© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super NMN100 Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

NMN is a molecule your body also makes naturally that improves skin elasticity, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and enhances skin barrier function. Similarly, niacinamide, a form of vitamin B3, can moisturize, brighten, reduce signs of aging, control oil production and calm inflammation.

Recommended for: Those concerned with skin aging and other issues like acne and skin irritation.


Retinol© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super Retinol 100 Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Renowned for its anti-aging benefits, Retinol is a form of vitamin A known to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, improve skin tone and promote cellular turnover. They can refine skin texture and return a plumpness from within the skin.

Recommended for: Those who want to bring a soft baby-like plumpness back to their skin. #babyskin right?


Galactomyces© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super VC100 + Galactomyces Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Derived from fermented yeast, Galactomyces is a luxury skincare ingredient that contains essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals and amino acids vital for skin health. It hydrates the skin, minimizes pores and enhances skin clarity and brightness.

Recommended for: Those concerned with their pores and overall complexion.

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic Acid© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super Niacinamide + Azelaic Acid Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Azelaic acid is a skincare ingredient known for fighting acne and reducing inflammation. It’s a dicarboxylic acid naturally found in grains like barley, wheat and rye, as well as in human skin. It’s antioxidant properties can help even out skin tone by reducing hyperpigmentation.

Recommended for: Those looking to treat acne, rosacea, overall redness and texture.

Do “whitening” sheet masks contain bleach?

Japanese whitening sheet masks don’t contain bleach but rather ingredients (like the ones mentioned above) that brighten and even out skin tone. Despite some misconceptions, they won’t leave a white cast; instead, they enhance radiance and reduce pigmentation for a brighter complexion. The simplest way to understand the term “whitening” in a Japanese context is to recognize it’s interchangeably used with “brightening” when discussing skin care.

whitening sheet masks© Photo by Quality 1st
Quality 1st Derma Laser Super VC100 White Mask | ¥770 (7 pieces)

Where can I buy Japanese facial sheet masks?

Whether you live here in Japan or are just visiting, you’ll be sure to find a large variety of sheet masks at most drugstores, like Matsumoto Kiyoshi, department stores and beauty specialty stores. Don Quijote, a popular variety shop, also offers a vast selection of sheet masks at affordable prices. If you don’t have the time to head out, various online shops such as Amazon, Rakuten and official sheet mask brand websites like Quality 1st sell them too!

Quality 1st

Quality 1st: Japanese Facial Sheet Masks© Photo by Quality 1st

This article is sponsored by Quality 1st, a beloved Japanese cosmetics company specializing in facial sheet masks. Popular amongst Japanese locals and visitors from neighboring Asian countries, Quality 1st’s facial sheet masks are a must-have addition to any skincare routine. With a commitment to providing customers with exceptional value beyond the price point, Quality 1st offers a range of products utilizing various key ingredients. To explore their product line further, visit their official website or look for their sleek and simple packaging in stores.

What are Derma Laser masks?

One of Quality 1st’s standouts is their Derma Laser Series. These highly advanced facial sheet masks utilize nanocapsule technology. These capsules ensure an unprecedented level of skin penetration, maximizing the efficacy of the natural beauty components and essential ingredients to their fullest potential. Suitable for all skin types, these sheet masks are free from preservatives, alcohol (ethanol), synthetic coloring, fragrance and mineral oils.

Do you like using Japanese facial sheet masks? Tell us about your favorites in our comment section!

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