As a sheet mask junkie, I practically sprinted to my nearest drugstore when I heard Garnier was launching their new sheet masks. Sheet masks are something I typically associate with Asian skincare brands, and while I have seen Western companies do them, these are the first I've seen by a mainstream drugstore brand. My loyalty absolutely lies with the Asian sheet masks (particularly to the My Beauty Diary ones), as I've been using them for many years, so I was curious to see how the Garnier ones would compare.
While Asian sheet masks usually have a varied selection for different skin concerns (hyperpigmentation, dullness, dehydration, acne...etc), Garnier's only address dark spots. Of course, that might have to do with it being the first from their range, and they may well expand on their variety (or lack thereof) later, but for now it's just anti-dark spot.
When I apply an Asian sheet mask, it's more of a treat than just another facial treatment. It feels like more of a spa thing anyway, so whenever I use a My Beauty Diary mask, I wear it for around an hour (give or take 10 minutes). Garnier, however, intends you to use these three times a week for only 10 minutes each. Considering that these are a bit pricey, it seems ridiculous to only wear these for ten minutes, especially given all the good skincare fluid you're wasting by doing so.
Set firmly in my hour-long sheet masks ways, I ignored the time instructions (I did use them 2-3 times a week) and wore them for roughly 45 minutes each time. My face felt the same way it did with my Asian sheet masks--slightly tacky and sticky, but plumped up and full of moisture. The crucial difference is that the Garnier ones don't last nearly as long before drying out. The reason I wear Asian sheet masks for about an hour is that's how long it takes for them to start losing moisture and peel at the edges--which is my cue to remove it. Obviously, the Garnier ones aren't meant to last that long, but just after 25 minutes they start to dry up quite quickly. Normally, around the one-hour mark the edges of my Asian sheet mask (especially around the nose) start to peel up from being dry, but at 30 minutes in, the Garnier ones are almost half-dry to the touch.
I can't really fault them for that considering you're only supposed to wear them for 10 minutes, but given how much more quickly they dry out, I would assume they're significantly less saturated with fluid.
The ultimate test of a sheet mask's performance is what your skin looks like the next morning. With the Garnier ones, I saw the same results of an Asian sheet mask: brighter skin that looks fresh and thoroughly hydrated. In terms of the anti-dark spot claims, I didn't really notice any difference with my hyperpigmentation, but it really drained my acne of its inflamed color. My face looked less splotchy and ruddy overall, which I was quite pleased with (even if that kind of result is temporary).
The box will run you $19 and comes with six sheet masks which you're supposed to use every other day. As far as I can tell, that and the 10 minute usage time means that Garnier intends for these masks to be a regular part of the skincare routine as opposed to a more infrequent treatment. I've used up the whole box and as far as I can tell, there's been no difference in my skin now compared to when I started incorporating them into my routine. Skin changes are hard to detect and can take a while to kick in, but having tried the every other day method, I think I'll stick to my once or twice a week sheet masks. The biggest difference I see in my skin is in the morning after a sheet mask, and those results are often gone by the end of the day--I just don't see the logic in making them a three times a week regimen.
Plus, if this was a part of your skincare routine, you'd be burning through $10 worth of sheet masks in a single week. It's not the most economical idea.
While we're talking value for money, the My Beauty Diary masks are the clear winner in that department. You can do a quick search on Amazon and find the kind of sheet masks that fit your skin's needs and though you might have to pay for shipping, it's still cheaper. The prices vary a bit by the mask's ingredients, but most boxes are $16 for 10 masks.
Bottom line: The Garnier sheet masks (like just about all other sheet masks) are great for a one-use pick-me-up skincare treat, but are not an effective long-term treatment for dark spots. I love seeing sheet masks in the drugstore aisles, and I hope more brands will follow, but these just aren't as good as some Asian ones (My Beauty Diary). They're not as hydrating and not as budget-friendly, though if you wanted an express sheet mask you can find in your drugstore, you may want to give them a try.
Further proof Asian sheet masks reign supreme!
Hope you're well!