Think Twice Before Buying Face Masks In Bulk

Too much of anything is bad for you; that much is true, but there's also a saying in the beauty community that goes: "it isn't hoarding if it's skincare!"

It's easy to accumulate creams, gels, tinctures, serums, masks, and other beauty treats to turn your bathroom into a mini version of Sephora, but as it turns out, it does more harm than good. Not only does hoarding contribute to clutter build-up that will give Marie Kondo a run for her money, but it may also cause you to accidentally use expired products that can have an adverse reaction on the skin. The last thing you want is to have splotchy marks on your face due to using a moisturizer that dates two years back.


Avoiding to hoard pricey serums, oils, sprays, and creams is more manageable, but when it comes to smaller, cheaper items like sheet masks? Many of us have a hard time resisting the urge to buy them in bulk. With most sheet masks costing $5 a pop or even less, many are tempted to purchase them in a variety of different scents and materials. However, experts advise against buying a stockpile of face masks — and any skincare product, for that matter — and here's why:

Experts say expired sheet masks no longer provide any benefit

Like almost every other product, skincare items like sheet masks have a specific shelf life. And unless you're planning on layering your masks or vow to use them every single day, you may want to veer away from buying more than you think you can use. "If you have the option to buy something like face sheet masks in bulk, you may want to reconsider," consumer analyst Julie Ramhold shared with BestLife. "Even if the price is excellent, if you don't use them all before they go bad, you'll have to toss out any that are left over. While they might not harm you to use, they also probably won't provide any benefit by that point."


And even if you think it would be harmless to use an expired sheet mask, some of them may have gone stale, developed an off-putting scent or color, or generally be uncomfortable to put on the skin. Vince Spinnato, a chemist specializing in personal care products, cosmetics, and fragrances, also told Allure that skincare such as sheet masks might contain ingredients that, when expired, can cause a negative reaction. "Ingredients break down over time and chemicals could become altered, so those with particularly sensitive skin might develop a mild rash simply due to the change in chemical composition," he explained.

Inside the shelf life of sheet masks

But if you insist on buying more than a handful of sheet masks, it's important to make sure that you're going to use them within a certain period of time. For things like Korean sheet masks, Degrees of Vanity advised consumers to look at the pack and look for the manufacturing date, which is typically labeled by the letter "M" or the word "제조." Some brands already print the expiration date, and you can tell if you see the letters "EXP" or "까지." Generally speaking, though, sheet masks can last one to three years.


You may also want to store your sheet masks in the fridge rather than your dresser or medicine cabinet. Doing so helps in preservation and even has an added benefit to your skin by the time you open them. "Anytime it [the skin] gets overheated (like after a workout, in the summer, or after a laser treatment), my skin can lose moisture and also produce more sebum and throw its balance way off. Instead, I cool my skin immediately with sheet masks that are stored in the fridge," Alicia Yoon, founder of Peach & Lily, shared with Byrdie. "I always do this after a long hot day out in the sun in the summer."