\nIn a word, no. \nIt’s Sunday night. You have a giant mug of tea, you’re starting back at season 1 of Gilmore Girls, and you’ve got a sheet mask on. What about that picture is killing the planet? \nWell, aside from the millions of microplastics you’re drinking along with your chamomile, your sheet mask is part of a major fatberg-creating waste machine. \nYes, the Sunday night ritual is precious, but there are alternatives! Let’s keep that me-time love-fest going AND declare “death to sheet masks!”.\nIf you can't already tell, I’m a bit fired up about this.\nSo why are sheet masks so evil?\n\n\nSheet masks are as bad as wet-wipes\n\nAs far as the earth is concerned, they’re the same. They’re made from similar non-compostable, un-recyclable, non-biodegradable materials. Most of them are also made from cotton, that great super-polluter.\nYou’ll often buy propylene and butylene glycol in your sheet mask - usually a petroleum by-product and totally unsustainable. Some use plastic polymers too (yergh). Then each of these enviro-nightmares is individually wrapped in plastic packaging, aka more waste.\nWait, go back - what is a fatberg?!\nI hope you haven’t eaten recently (we promise we won’t post photos of them!). It’s a festering mix of food fat, wet wipes and sanitary products found in almost every sewerage system in the world.\n\nThe most famous fatbergs are British - last year a 64m fatberg was found under the seaside town of Sidmouth (in Devon). It took 8 weeks for the fatberg to be hacked away and removed. \nNew Zealand is seeing similar fatberg-blockages, mostly because of all those wet wipes flushed down the loo. It’s so much of an issue that us ratepayers are spending an estimated $1M a year unblocking those pipes. \nDeath by wet wipes\nThere’s no doubt about it - for single-use wet wipes, sanitary items and sheet masks, the best-case scenario is for them to end up in landfills. That’s even the so-called biodegradable ones. As awful as this sounds, it’s a much better option than them being flushed down the loo where they turn into fatbergs that cause blockages so significant they can make raw sewage leak onto streets.\n\nOK, OK. I’m off sheet masks. What do I use instead?\nThe easy answer: good old fashioned facemasks. Look for ones from companies who are working hard to deliver their products with a minimum of impact - look at the packaging, whether it uses palm oil, and what its active ingredients are. For example, hyaluronic acid is an amazing ingredient that’s deeply hydrating and will do wonders for your skin!\nFor bonus points, simply make your own. There are so many amazing DIY masks out there that are easy and cheap enough to make. Even better - you’ll be able to customise it to exactly what your skin needs. Here’s a fun chocolatey one if you’re stuck for ideas!\nIf you’re worried your face will suffer without the sheet, don’t. There’s zero evidence that the extra fibres get the active ingredients deeper into the skin. Your skin is the most incredible barrier - there aren’t actually that many things that can get deeper than the first few layers (read more about it here). The mask might help prevent water from evaporating, but the easy alternative is to apply your facemask onto damp skin - or follow up with a good moisturiser. \nSo slap on some clay, top up that tea, and truly relax knowing that your beauty routine isn’t going to create a less-than-beautiful sewerage situation somewhere down the line.