Who hasn’t heard of Korean sheet masks?
Or their more sophisticated hydro gel cousins?
Or their eco-friendly-chic cotton clan?
Everyone in the know, knows that these creepy yet wildly effective thingamabobs do all sorts of awesome for your skin. I first wrote about how sheet masks are taking over the world several months ago, and then again when I shared how they helped in the healing of my complexion post Angioedema. Since then, I’ve continued to use up to three masks each day. One in the morning, one at night with the occasional third being a spot specific piece such as for the eyes or the lips. Sometimes a fourth too. Just because I felt like it. Life’s too short to obsess over drippy sheet masks.
And that’s why when Charlotte jumpstarted the #soko7daychallenge on Instagram, I was, quite honestly, over the moon. To me, placing a sheet (be it Cotton or Fabric, whole or in part) has become an integral part of my skincare regimen. I don’t even think of it as a luxury or a pamper me moment but rather, an absolute necessity. I suppose I could argue that given my medical conditions, they are vital and necessary so there’s that.
For the challenge (in case you’re interested, Glow Recipe is doing one too, it’s called the #mondaytofridaymasking movement), I intentionally picked masks which I’d never used before. If it was to be a public project, why not make it educational and informative, yes? It’s text-heavy, I’m sorry, I truly am but there’s so much to share and I didn’t want to put together a half-assed written piece which would waste both our times, you know?
BRTC (Bio Remedies Therapeutic Cosmetic) is a brand owned by AMI Cosmetics which has more than 1,000 skin care clinics and laboratories in Korea. It’s a brand I’ve
only just come to know of love while shopping at the Sasa store in Malaysia and I was hooked. To give you an example of just how infatuated I became, there was one day when I was at the store 4 times (not once, not twice but four times) just because I was afraid they’d run out of the BRTC sheet masks so I kept going back to buy everything they had in stock. I know. After the second instance, Eve refused to even be seen walking beside me.
The line claims to be powered by plant-based stem cell essence and features masks of Morning Glory, Green Tea, Rice, Zinnia, Ginseng and Edelweiss. Here, I’ve used the Ginseng piece and I must say, it’s one of those rare moments when the mask fits perfectly. Everything folds and lays flat the way it’s supposed to. No sagging, drooping, or dripping. Even if it’s all marketing malarkey, I do think this stuff works. I had a sore on the right corner of my lips (something which happens on occasion with SLE) and I was so happy to see it healing (no longer an angry red, irritated and inflamed) the next morning post this sheet mask. By the middle of the following day, the sore was completely gone. Ginseng is, afterall, famed for its healing and regenerative properties so I shouldn’t really be all that surprised. I think what caught my attention was the speed with which recovery took place as that’s never happened before in my prior experiences with ginseng-based products.
Since the challenge, I’ve also tried the Zinnia (relieves and clears) as well as the Green Tea (soothing and calming) masks, and while I remain impressed by the quality and efficacy of their individual essences, the fit was awful. Awful, awful, awful. I couldn’t understand it. However, I will tolerate it for how my skin looks and feels post every application. I slip a BRTC sheet mask into my skincare regime at least three times each week. Available here and here (limited selection).
Overall rating: 7.5/10 (it would’ve scored higher had the fit been better)
This one was a slippery number. The Tony Moly Intense Care Snail Hydro-Gel Mask is precisely that, wet and hydrating, and smooth to the point of being a little slimey. It contains the filtered liquid of snail mucus (that’s right, you heard me, snail mucus) and extracts from, amongst other things, a genus of red algae called Ceramium Kondoi. Now, slime is more than likely the very last thing you’d ever have thought of putting on your skin (or maybe not, I wonder, as it has gained loads of traction this year within the inner sanctum of the beauty gods), but it’s actually used as a beauty aid. Yes, indeed.
How it’s supposed to work is that the hyaluronan molecule, the basis of the slime (cousin of hyaluronic acid that we already use in dermal fillers and topical moisturisers) serves as a surface humectant, which absorbs and captures moisture from the air, and sits on top of the skin to plump up outer dry cells and make fine lines less visible. Having used the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream ever since my first Angioedema attack in February, I’ve personally seen how effective snail mucin has been in reducing inflammation and redness, stimulating skin regeneration, and locking moisture in to accelerate the recovery process. So don’t be grossed out by the snail extracts – this stuff really does work magic.
Now, because this mask comes in two pieces (one for the upper half, one for the lower half), be sure you have the packet on hand (or anything that you can use to rest one half of the mask) as you peel away the layers, and separate the pieces. Remember what I said? This is a supremely slippery mask with a gel-esque texture which makes it difficult to hold on to. Once all that has been accomplished, and the mask is on your face, get set for a wondrous time. See how well the bits fit? No mess, no fuss (beyond the initial battle), and my skin was glowing after 30 minutes. I swear it was. It’s not cheap so I don’t use this particular baby as much as I would like to, say twice a month? I bought mine here.
Overall rating: 7/10 (less slip, more points, just saying TonyMoly team)
At this point, my skin was parched from all the travelling done over Summer (first NYC then Chicago then Los Angeles, and then Melbourne, then to Kuala Lumpur, then to Kuching and then right back to Kuala Lumpur, stopped by Frankfurt and then back to Houston, over the course of 6 weeks). It needed extra pampering and I’d never tried a 2-step sheet mask before so I felt it was the right moment to use this piece from Etude House called the Dr Ampoule 2-Mask Sheet for Luminous Care.
You first put the serum from the little top sachet over your cleansed face, gently work it in as much as you can. The texture is more like a cream, to be honest, and I wasn’t really expecting that. You then lay the sheet mask over your face as you would normally. Initially, I found it invigorating and moisturising but getting the mask itself to fit was such a challenge.
Owing to the viscosity of the serum, this is the sort of mask you’d put on either during the colder months or before bed because the aftermath is very greasy. Greasy as though you’d just slathered on a sleeping pack, and not the typical post sheet mask effect one has come to expect. The first time I used this mask? I scrubbed my face clean with my Clarisonic Mia within minutes of removing the mask. I felt so gunky and gross and unclean. The next time, I knew what to expect and used it just before bed, which made all the difference in the world. My perceptions and expectations were properly managed, and when I woke up the next morning, everything had been absorbed. My face felt nourished and renewed. The sad thing is that I can’t seem to find this particular sheet mask anywhere at all anymore (I purchased mine at the Sasa physical store in Malaysia), the closest being the Lifting version which is available here and (in very limited stocks) here.
Overall rating: 5/10 (I’m not completely over the greasy aftermath)
Technically, this peachy pink contraption here isn’t a sheet mask but it’s still a mask, albeit for the lips. Skirting the lines a smidge here. And in retrospect, it does look creepy, I oscillate between a post-allergic reaction and a raw, gaping wound which just so happens to be in the region of the mouth. Shudder.
Alright, back to lil ole lippy thingy here. In a nutshell, it did nothing for me. Absolutely nothing. My lips, apart from suffering a slippery wrestling match with an (albeit divinely-scented) gel mask, were in the precise same condition 20 minutes later. They didn’t feel the least bit moisturised, or smoother, or anything beyond what they were prior to using the lip patch. Clearly, I will not be repurchasing. If you’d like to give this TonyMoly concoction a go (hey, it might work for you), try here and here. I, on the other hand, am considering this one.
Overall rating: 1/10 (because the packaging is cute)
Let’s talk about this awesome Zorro-esque mask from Sasatinnie. It’s the Swallow’s Nest Camellia Rejuvenating Black Mask and one of the loveliest things I’ve ever placed on my face in the name of sheet masking. Impregnated with nature’s finest elements to promote a youthful and radiant look, this luxury piece features Swallow’s Nest Essence as its star ingredient (exceptional anti-oxidizing properties work to reveal skin’s suppleness). It also features charcoal powder (draws out impurities, balances oil and moisture levels, fades pigmentation with time), and, get this, Platinum. It has been scientifically proven that Platinum nanoparticles possess unusually high absorption rates, and when they chemically attach to active anti-aging ingredients, those skin plumpers and line smoothers penetrate deeper into the skin, yielding enhanced youth-renewing results. Working on a cellular level to delete toxins, Platinum also establishes electrical balance in the epidermis, making skin less susceptible to damage from free radicals and premature aging. Who’d turn that down? Also includes Kombuchka and Camellia extract which work collectively to cleanse and rejuvenate.
Fancy schmancy ingredients aside, this mask is one of my absolute faves because it really makes my skin feel refreshed. When I had it on. Yes, only when I had it on. Once the mask was off, the feel-good feeling was gone. And to add insult to injury, there were no visible results on my face either. Zilch. Nada. Insert sigh. Still, it remains a firm fave if only for the sensation of having water running over my face to cool and soothe. I know, but it makes sense to me though.
Overall rating: 3/10 (for obvious reasons)
This 3D design here is the Hadabisei Kracie 3D Super Moisturising Facial Mask. Let me preface by saying I am a GINOURMOUS Kracie fan but I don’t know about it being super moisturising and anti-ageing. Supposedly powered by nano-technology, this piece claims to be easily and deeply absorbed by the skin, allowing it to nourish and defy the signs of age with ease and effectiveness. I think not. It felt fresh and soothing on, but then again, so do most masks. There weren’t any visible signs of the luxurious concentrated hydrating benefits it promised. No dewy afterglow. And my fine lines were still there. All of them.
In addition, the 3D structure which promised to create a slimming V-jawline? Emm, no. Nothing. Sigh.
And now the pièce de résistance.
I love love LOVE this dramatic eye mask from Sasa Tinnie. It’s from the Black Pearl Caviar Nourishing line which is infused with, naturally, Black Pearl extract, Eriobotrya Japonica fruit and Hyaluronic Acid. Its claims to fame are numerous and include the promotion of youthful and radiant skin; reduction of dark circles as well as those pesky fine lines; and intense moisturisation of the delicate eye area which, in turn, leads to a supple complexion.
And. It. Works.
I shan’t write too much and attempt to convince you. Instead, I’ll keep it sweet and simple and suggest that you try it for yourself here. I use this mask so often I’ve set a reminder on my phone to reorder stocks every 3 weeks. Yes, that’s love for you, baby.
Overall rating: 9/10 (no such thing as a perfect score, even if this does come close)
So tell me, what new sheet masks have you discovered of late? Share, share, share. Oh and I forgot!!! I’ll be running a Sheet Mask Giveaway on Instagram in a few days. Come on over and check it out. It’s a HUGE load of really cool sheet masks that I’ll be giving away to one lucky person, some of which have been reviewed/featured here🙂
p/s as with all else, results will differ from face to face so do take that into consideration 🙂
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