Sheet mask

Chizu Saeki
Chizu Saeki

In ancient times, Geisha used to dampen a piece of kimono silk with distilled flower water and place it on the face, making an early form of sheet mask. The sheet or “lotion” mask is a trademark of Japanese skincare, and gained worldwide recognition through Japanese skincare expert, Chizu Saeki. Her easy alternative to bought sheet masks involves dampening cotton wool with toner or lotion and placing on the face for 5 – 10 minutes to deliver an instant moisture hit.

Have you heard of the lotion mask method? This is a method popularised by Japanese renowned skincare guru Chizu Saeki, who is in her 60s. She used to work for cosmetic producers Guerlain and Dior before opening her own salon. What kind of products does she use that made her so famous? Chizu Saeki emphasises the importance of sufficiently moisturising the skin. Using a lotion-infused mask is one of the techniques to improve the hydration levels of the skin. How do you make this mask yourself?

After cleansing your face, take a few cotton pads and soak them with water. Next, press the cotton pads gently to remove any excess water and then soak the cotton pads with lotion. In Japan, lotion is similar to toner but Japanese lotion tends to be thicker and more hydrating. Afterwards, separate the cotton pads into thinner pieces and place them on your skin like a facial mask. An optional extra step is to put a layer of cling wrap or wear a shower cap over your face (do not forget to make holes for your nose to breathe!) to further enhance the penetration of the lotion face mask. Do this for only 3 minutes and then remove the cling wrap and cotton pads. After that, apply a regular moisturiser to your face.

Skin Fast

Chizu Saeki also recommends having a ‘skin fast’ once a week. This means that you should not use any product on your face for 24 hours, not even a cleanser. Just wash your face with water.

Minimal Product Usage

Chizu noticed that the skins of women who use many products are usually worse than those who use only a few products. Less is more: just sticking to basic skincare products will do, don’t overload the skin using a lot of different products.

Information and photo from Japan Info (

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