If you had to purchase only one beauty product from Taiwan, pick yourself up some sheet masks.
Sheet masks are everywhere in Taiwan. While we may be inclined to use them as a pampering treat once in a while, sheet masks are a staple in a Taiwanese skincare routine! Some Taiwanese people even joke that the three most popular things to buy as souvenirs from Taiwan are: oolong tea, pineapple cakes, and sheet masks.
In fact, Taiwan produces a whopping 17% of sheet masks globally. Combining their expertise in textile manufacturing and cosmetic research, it’s no wonder Taiwanese sheet masks are easily renowned as some of the best in the world. But how did they get their start?
A Short History of Taiwanese Sheet Masks
“In the past, Japan and Korea – Asia’s skincare and beauty powerhouses – focused mainly on basic skincare, and diverged into a very rigorous multi-step ritual in Korea, and an efficient, effective model in Japan. Taiwan’s manufacturers and brands saw key potential of facial masks to fit both the multi-step tendency in Korean trend and the efficient-orientated Japanese trend,” says My Beauty Diary’s Christine Ling. “This is a key reason why My Beauty Diary, the forerunner of Taiwan’s mask market, has entered both of those leading markets so early.
“With a huge market in sheet masks in Taiwan, our consumers are quite keen in discerning what’s a good mask, so compared with other countries, Taiwanese brands tend to provide better money for value and product safety as we invest quite a bit in our serums and fabric,” she explains.
But why exactly are they so popular?
“Sheet masks give consumers ease of use and great skincare results in a very short time. What makes brands last long is the standard of quality, thus winning consumers’ trust for repeat purchase,” Christine says.
But before you start to think that one sheet mask is very much like another, stop! Here are 5 of the most unique Taiwanese sheet masks I’ve tried, and you can be sure that there are a lot more where they came from!