Stores & Services
Find a Sephora

Happening at Sephora

View all


From makeovers to personalized skincare consultations

Free Classes

Get inspired, play with products & learn new skills

Showing results forย 
Search instead forย 
Did you mean:ย 
Post in Skincare Aware

๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ˜Œ 2023 Mask of the Week Challenge ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ’–


Welcome to the 2023 Mask of the Week Challenge! We love hearing about every masking experience, on or off-theme, and suggestions are always welcome.

Letter of the Week: L

Theme: Masks that make you hungry! Fall/Winter Edition - Pumpkin, Cranberry, and scents perfect for this time of year ๐ŸŽƒ๐Ÿโ˜•๏ธ


Mask of the Week Misc. Info & Previous Year's Links:


To Post:

Each week features a different theme, as well as a letter of the alphabet for coming up with new masking ideas. 

Please include the brand and name of the mask you are trying out, as well as a photo if possible. Any other details are greatly appreciated, including scent, fit, adherence, mask type (hydrating, brightening, exfoliating, detox, sleeping, etc.) as well as your overall experience.

Most importantly: Would you repurchase it? 

Second most important: Have fun and merry masking!

2022 Mask of the Week Challenge

JAN - MAR.pngAPR - JUN.pngJUL - SEP.pngOct-Dec.png

2021 Mask of the Week Challenge



2020 Mask of the Week Challenge:

2019 Mask of the Week Challenge:

2018 Mask of the Week Challenge:   

Thank you @Aaliaa for starting this thread, and giving us a place to share our love for masks๐Ÿ’—

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@ather  Aw, you can still post even if you're off-theme! The themes are just for fun, and we wanna hear your thoughts on masks no matter what theme they do (or don't) match. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne  Aww thatโ€™s so sweet of you to say!!  I will try and be more active with my masking posts!! 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne the centella mask sounds exceptionally lovely

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

I like it when I see repeat masks in the thread @WinglessOne .  Sometimes we get a first impression which is great since a lot of masks aren't used regularly and get swapped in and out, but if I see repeats that someone uses time and again I know that they really enjoy them.  And as we use those repeats we tend to notice more about them.  That Saem mask sounds great to me, I had to stop myself from googling where to pick some up (Sheet mask low/no buy over here). 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

Love tried and true masks @WinglessOne. These are lovely! โ™ฅ๏ธ Iโ€™m a firm believer that we should use the mask our skin needs. If they happen to be repeat masks, all the better. That says a lot about the mask(s). As for the themes, Iโ€™m sure thereโ€™s a way to get a mask to fit one of the themes. If not, eh. I just love hearing about good mask - you know, for when my stash runs low and I need to find a mask! ๐Ÿ˜‚


The packaging on the Tosowoong one always makes me think it might be a new Skinceuticals mask. Yeah, the tea trea and grapefruit extracts would be the ones that would make me just a teensy bit nervous about how my skin might react. I can usually use them without a problem but am mindful of how frequently I use masks with one or both of those ingredients. 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne  Sounds like a great line up! I'm actually super happy you posted the ingredients for the Tosowoong mask because I just ordered it and it would be nice to know what's in it! ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Im curious about your take on parabens. I have no strong opinion, but I've read there's a controversy that they're possibly cancer causing. I don't mind using masks with parabens, but I do use it as an excuse not to purchase a mask... haha! I've only read negative things - what are the benefits of parabens?

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@Shosh85 @missjeanie @itsfi Here's my usual summary on the topic. 


Parabens are very effective preservatives. 

The ones youโ€™ll most often see listed on skincare labels are methylparaben, ethylparaben, butylparaben, and propylparaben. Theyโ€™re tolerated by most peopleโ€™s skin and do a great job of keeping products free of bacteria and fungi. 


Some problematic studies have caused an uproar. 

A 1998 study showed that parabens mimic estrogen in rats. However: 


  • Parabens werenโ€™t applied topically on ratsโ€™ skin. Instead, they were injected. 
  • The results showed that compared to naturally occurring estrogen, parabens are VERY weak. Birth control pills are much stronger than parabens. 

A 2004 study found traces of parabens in breast cancer tissue samples. This is the study that kicked off all the vilification, but it had huge problems: 


  • Only cancer tissue was examined; there was no control group of healthy tissue. Iโ€™m not a chemist and even I know this is a super major flaw. Studies like this are pointless without control groups. 
  • Parabens were also found in blank samples that contained no tissue. Soโ€ฆ did the parabens found in cancer tissues actually come from that tissue, or from contaminated equipment? 

Other studies done on this topic have used animals (mostly rats) and in vitro samples, not humans. In the rat studies, the concentrations of parabens used were MUCH higher than whatโ€™s used in cosmeticsโ€”and in most studies, parabens were either fed to or injected into rats, not applied to ratsโ€™ skin. 


To date, there's been no reason to vilify parabens: 


  • There's still no scientific evidence of parabens causing breast cancer. 
  • The FDA has not banned parabens. Their scientists have yet to find evidence of adverse health effects. 
  • Parabens are still less skin sensitizing than several other preservatives. 

Reading material: 


Lab Muffin - this has been one of my most trusted knowledge sources for years because Michelle, the woman behind this site, is a chemist and educator. There are other good write-ups (by other people, including MDs and scientists) debunking the โ€œparabens are evilโ€ myth and yโ€™all can search for those. ๐Ÿ™‚ Iโ€™ll just share Michelleโ€™s here:


The current FDA stance on parabens: fda[dot]gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/parabens-cosmetics


Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne  Oh my goodness, this was extremely helpful, thank you! I do remember reading that it was found in cancerous tissue, but hadn't read that the cancerous tissue was all that they examined and I also didn't know there wasn't a control group used. The birth control thing is interesting too!  ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne Lab Muffin ๐Ÿ˜


I naively believed the parabens scare when I first heard it but once I started trying to find out more realized quickly I was duped. It was one of those, why would someone warn me about something if it wasn't true; they must have good intent. I'm afraid that's how a lot of misinformation spreads. Thanks for always sharing your knowledge.

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

This makes me feel so much better @WinglessOne thank you again for your information

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@Shosh85 @WinglessOne I'm no ingredients master, but it's my understanding that parabens are a preservative in skincare.  My dermatologist says that I'm fine to use them and I follow another dermatologist online who says they've been demonized and are fine for your skin as well.  She's the reason I asked my doctor about them not long ago.  I'm told a lot of the replacements being used for parabens are actually worse for your skin?  lol in truth my Doctor says that all the different masks are totally unnecessary for my face and a good solid routine should be good on it's own.  But... I mean... I'm still gonna mask lol

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@missjeanie  If I were told that masking was unnecessary, I'd still continue to mask too! Haha! No harm, no foul!

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@missjeanie Heh, my derm says at least 50% of my skincare products are unnecessary, at least for daily use. ๐Ÿคฃ Whenever I tell him I want to trim down my daily routines for better efficiency, he reminds me that all my skin truly needs, in terms of good health, is a gentle cleanser, a hydrating layer of some sort, occasional acne control, an occlusive moisturizer, and (during the day) an effective sunscreen. "Those are the structural ingredients for a good cake. Everything else is just decorative icing," as he likes to say. He's right about that. Even retinol is largely an attempt to improve the look of my face: tone down hyperpigmentation, reduce lines, etc. 


He doesn't have a big problem with sheet masks, but does question the need for them in addition to other serums in my routines. If I committed to daily masking, I could probably ditch most of my bottled serums, toners, and essences. So, I've been testing that this month: on nights I mask, I skip all serums except retinol and the NIOD serum I use around my eyes (since sheet masks don't address that whole area). Soon I'll also skip all toners/essences and see what my face thinks about that. So, my night routine will be wash, lip balm, retinol (on retinol nights), eye serum, sheet mask, and moisturizer. On some non-retinol nights, I'll use exfoliants in the retinol slot. And of course I'll still treat any acne flares as needed. Kinda wild that my night routine's now almost as short as my morning routine, though it takes more time thanks to sheet masks. 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@WinglessOne I love the cake analogy!   I tend to find that sheet masks for me mean that I'm taking the time to do a skincare routine.  When I'm doing my 'slap on a sunscreen' and call it a day 'routine', I find I look more drab, as quantifiable as that is lol.  I'll be curious to see how your skin reacts to the pared down routine.  I can 100% see how a good mask could replace a few steps easily. 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

Well this makes me feel wonderful @WinglessOne. My philosophy has always been if I'm masking it is in place of essenses and serums and then just use moisturizer after. Glad to see that seems in line with your dermatologist's suggestion.

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@ShortErica Yep. I usually tell my derm I realize I'm in overkill mode with skincare products but it's hard to strip products out because, well, they're pleasant to use and my face seems to respond well to them. But really, the more products I (and anyone, honestly) layer on my face, the more likely I'll have a bad reactionโ€”if not immediately, then months or years later. So your philosophy's definitely a great one! 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@missjeanie @Shosh85 @WinglessOne, Iโ€™ve heard good and bad things about parabens. 
Itโ€™s a preservative and seems its generally fine for most skin types, except those with sensitive or eczematous (and yes, this will be the word of the month that I try to drop in everyday conversation like itโ€™s meant to be included in everyday convo ๐Ÿ˜‚) skin or those allergic to it. My skin is sensitive but I donโ€™t recall having any negative skin reaction to it. My personal practice has been to just use things with them moderately. I find parabens in a lot, almost all, Japanese sheet masks (particularly the ones geared towards daily masking which, as itโ€™s a preservative makes sense).


@missjeanie, I agree with your derm that a good skincare routine is key. I also have found that daily sheet masking has been good for my skin. My derm once mentioned that sheet masks werenโ€™t necessary all the time. I thought it was amusing that he said that after another having told me that my skin was looking really nice, better; and it happened that I had just finished a 30-day cycle of daily sheet masking. ๐Ÿ˜† I didnโ€™t say anything but I thought โ€œhmmm... but Iโ€™ve been using sheet masks.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ˜‚

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@itsfi  Haha! Love your word of the month! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

Gotta keep things interesting in these times @Shosh85! ๐Ÿ˜† 

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@itsfi I totally get where my Dermatologist is coming from, but like you, I've never noticed that masking has been bad for my skin.  

I find the paraben free and 'clean' pushes in skincare to be very interesting.  Not everything organic and natural is better for us... but here we are.  I find my opinion on it all flip flopping depending on the day.  Today I feel that as 'clean' as possible is a good thing without loosing the science behind proven ingredients.   Then again, I'm no scientist or dermatologist lol

Re: 2020 Mask of the Week Challenge - PART II

@missjeanie, we're not scientists or dermatologists, but we know how our skin responds to things, generally speaking. As for clean, organic, natural, etc., it absolutely doesn't mean it'll be better. Everyone's skin is different and there have been several products with the clean/organic/natural label that my skin has reacted so poorly to. Likewise with formulae that have included ingredients that would not fit under the clean/organic/natural designation.


My skin is probably some version of combination throughout the year - oilier in the warmer months and a lot more dry in the cooler seasons. It's also dehydrated all the time, so sheet masks aimed at hydration (which is what sheet masks are ordinarily geared towards) are wonderful for infusing hydration into my skin.


With there being more and more "clean" options out there, I do gravitate towards seeing how those products perform, but ultimately, it's what makes my skin happy. Because it's no fun having to deal with it (and live with it) when it's angry. ๐Ÿ˜‚

21,012 Replies