this thing's incredible

This Glowy Sheet Mask Works Better Than SK-II (and Is a Third of the Price)

Photo: Courtesy of Brodie Lancaster

I always assumed that the cheap masks I bought in bulk worked as well as any other. That changed when I bought the cult-favorite SK-II’s Facial Treatment Mask during a Sephora sale.

The reason they’re so great (and get away with being so expensive) is because of Pitera, a deeply hydrating ingredient packed with peptides, proteins, and basically everything good for your skin. But no amount of radiance can make me forgive the mask for what comes after peeling it off: little white crusties of Pitera that dry around my eyes, hairline, and mouth.

The one rule of sheet masks is to not wash your face afterward — we’ve been taught to pat in the excess, never wasting a drop — and yet, one of the priciest masks on the market has me wiping and buffing my face before I can put on makeup. If these masks were intended for a sleepy evening at home, it wouldn’t matter, but they’re pre-event masks, the kind of thing you’d use before a special occasion.

A search for an equally glowy but less crunchy sheet mask led me to an Australian skin-care brand called Go-To, founded by a former beauty editor who started her own line to fill in the gaps she saw missing in the skin-care market.

The line only has a handful of products, and they make just one sheet mask. It’s called Transformazing, and it has a satisfying, oozy gel texture that’s designed specifically to be used before events and after hangovers, much like SK-II. (But it’s a third of SK-II’s price.)

It contains native Australian ingredients, including Tasmanian pepper leaf, a calming antioxidant, and Kakadu plum, a wild fig-shaped fruit with anti-inflammatory properties and the highest concentration of vitamin C of any fruit. There’s also some niacinamide, essential for calming redness. Together, those three elements leave my face plump and bright, the ideal base for event makeup (but radiant enough that, on a good day, I don’t really need any at all).

Most of the masks I’ve tried (and I’ve tried a lot) have cute packaging and vague claims of brightening and hydrating — yet the benefits, largely, come from the serums and oils and moisturizers I slathered on afterward to trap all that moisture in. But like the pricier SK-II, Transformazing works hard all on its own — and leaves no residue that I have to scrub off.

On the eve of my 30th birthday, a wine-soaked dinner bled into a summer concert and a 3 a.m. bedtime, all before I had to wake up for my actual birthday party. I put this mask on, and it made my face feel so genuinely bouncy that the only makeup I needed was some SPF and a little Glossier concealer (plus Lemonhead glitter in “Birthday Bitch” on my eyelids, because it was my birthday, after all).

Other Strat-recommended sheet masks

Strategist writer Rio Viera-Newton says, “As someone who is constantly battling dry skin, eczema, and allergy-induced rashes, this face mask has been a total lifesaver.”

Rio says this one has been her “go-to pimple-fighting warrior mask for years now.”

$25 for 5

This one — which boasts silk cocoon extract for collagen and moisture; probiotics for clearing acne; and niacinamide for brightening — has been a best seller among Strat readers.

Our resident male masker Garrett Munce loves this because “it comes in two parts (so you don’t have to use the bottom if you have a beard),” but anyone will enjoy it, bearded or not.

And this mask, which has more than a hundred glowing reviews, is available on Amazon Prime, meaning you can order it today and try it out tomorrow.

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This Glowy Sheet Mask Works Better Than SK-II