Can I make a skincare sheet mask from rice paper?

The hack
Making a skincare sheet mask using rice paper, as seen on Instagram.

The promise
Sheet masks are great, but few are biodegradable, and the protein in rice is well known in beauty circles as an exfoliant and antioxidant.

The test
Rice paper sheet masks are a breeze to make, and unlike most traditional versions, are biodegradable. Simply take a rice paper sheet, cut it to fit your face, with holes for eyes, nose and mouth, soak it in warm water to soften, and place on your face as you would a sheet mask. Rice’s glutinous consistency makes the sheet stick, even if you move about and do other things (which is the point of sheet masks, really). After 10 minutes, remove the mask. But without the skin-nourishing ingredients that most sheet masks contain, it made my face feel very dry (probably due to the starch). Another method uses warm milk instead of water, which had a mild exfoliating effect (possibly the lactic acid).

The verdict
I wanted this to work – mostly because one-use masks aren’t great for the planet. Plus it’s cheap. But for me the occasional sheet mask gives better results (I like the biodegradable Dr Dennis Gross C+ Collagen Biocellulose Brightening Treatment Mask, £17). That said, a rice mask could work with your usual serum underneath.

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