Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Masks #4 - Hydration

A few years ago, someone at Clinque counter identified my skin as normal/combination and I think that is pretty accurate. Due to the fact that Cowtown is really dry and its pretty much winter for 3/4 of the year. My skin needs a lot of hydration.

During the warmer months, I just need toner, my hyaluronic acid serum and sunscreen and I am ready to go. But as soon as the temperature drops, like a few days ago where it hit below double digits (Celsius), my skin will start flaking and need the extra boost of moisture. So I am pretty drawn to items that offers boosts of moisture. Hence I am so excited to try these masks!

I should preface this blog entry with the fact that I used these masks as the last step in my routine before bed. So that would be toner, H-Acid and then mask. I feel like this is the best way to see how moisturizing the mask is. Because it is done over the warmer months, my skin can't take on too much moisture. So if I layer on my moisturizer, and the mask is really moisturizing as well, then it would be too much for my skin. Resulting in my skin looking shiny like no tomorrow and pilling up around my hairline. That's just not a good look. So this way, if the mask is not too moisturizing, I can slap on some more to compensate instead of washing everything off and starting again.

Aritaum Fresh Essence Mask in Hyaluronic Acid:

I bought this with my bulk order of variety of masks and I was pretty excited to see a H-Acid mask! I really like how simple this packaging is. I am assuming it's saying it has 2,000 microgram of Hyaluronic Acid in the mask.

Ingredients: Unfortunately the mask is only in Korean and Google Translate gave me silly translations like "sword in Saturday" so no ingredient list for this mask :(

The mask is drenched in light clear essence that reminds me of those cooling "slimming" lotions. Not the best smell in the world but it is not too bothersome and does go away after a while.

From what I can understand from the back of the package, the mask is supposed to be a layer of pulp between two layers of rayon. The mask is quite thin, such that once it's on my face, you can't tell I got a mask on from afar. The mask is similar to the Innisfree It's a Real Squeeze masks, where they are thin but this one doesn't tear as easily.

I found the mask to fit my round face well, but there was a bit of extra flap on the nose for my little pig nose. But no worries, I just flipped it up so I can breathe. There was also a little extra flap around my temple and ear area, oh well, guess my hair can soak up some of that essence. Unfortunately I was dumb and forgot to take a picture of the mask after I took it off. Sorry!

While the mask was on my face, it made my face feel cool, like I got menthol or something on there. Guess that's why it smelled like those cooling slimming products. I took it off after 30 minutes but the mask was still moist to the touch. It took a long time for the essence to absorb into my skin. It made my skin feel tacky to the touch but I couldn't see any flakes.

Immediately I thought my face got lighter, but it may have been the cooling bringing down the redness. However, the next morning my face was dewy and well moisturized so this is a pretty decent cheap mask. Though I probably wouldn't use it in the cooler weather due to its cooling properties. 

Mamonde Flower Essential Mask in Jasmine Oasis Water

Hmmm these masks went up in price. When I bought it in February, it was roughly $1.05, now it is roughly $1.50. It may have due to TesterKorea's sale at the time though.

I was waffling between all the flower choices but I chose jasmine as I really love jasmine.. Yes real clear logic here. I didn't choose it for its ingredient list or its purported results. But rather, I love jasmines. Such a weird logic in choosing skincare product.

Ingredients: Unfortunately, this is another mask that is only in Korean. I tried the good ole Google Translate and managed to get some of the ingredients.
Grapefruit Extracts. Purified Water, Glycerin, Jasmine Extract, Potassium Hydroxide. That is all I got before it turned into "butylene blood glaciers cycle ethanol, not blood". So... I guess there's no blood in the mask? Anywhos, it looks like those who bought the brick and mortar stores in the States have an English label slapped on it. So I direct you to Plain Jane Pains' page for the English ingredient list.

I had secretly hope the mask to smell lightly of jasmine, as I adore the freshly bloomed jasmine smell. Alas, I was disappointed. The smell was more toward of a medicinal scent. Thankfully it's not strong, only occasionally wafting into my nose. There was just a little bit of essence left in the package, but due to its smell I am not too inclined to slap the rest onto my face.

The mask is more of a round shape, so it fits my round face like a glove. There was even enough to wrap under my chin a little bit. The nose flap fit my button pig nose perfectly, so it will be too short for those with bigger noses. The only problem I had with the mask is that the distance between the eye holes, the nose and the mouth feels off. I had to stretch and maneuver it for that area to fit properly, or else the eye hole would have sat below my eye.

The mask is pretty thin, similar to the Aritaum mask above. It felt sturdy as I was able to stretch and maneuver it without tearing. But it tore quite easily after I tried to pull it apart. So I guess be gentle is the key here.

I took the mask off after 40 minutes and there was not much essence left on the mask. I rubbed the mask on my arms and legs to use up all that was left. My face felt sticky to the touch. Touching my face also led to my fingers feeling like there's a layer of something on top. I don't know how to describe the feeling, but it's like there's a layer of something that makes my fingers feel smooth and soft. Like there's an unseen layer of softness between my fingers when I rub them together.

I waited and waited but the stickiness never went away so I just went to bed. The next morning my face was still felling sticky. Not too impressed with that. My face felt moisturized but I don't know if the stickiness is due to the fact that it's really hydrating and my skin can't take it all in, or it's just my skin can't take it in due to some other factors. Don't know if I'll repurchase this mask again.

Mamonde Flower Essential Mask in Peach Blossom Shiny Hydrating

This is from the same line as the Jasmine mask from above, but just a different "flavour'. I don't really know what shiny hydrating meant, maybe I'll have a shiny but hydrated face afterwards?

Ingredients: Like the jasmine variety, it's all in Korean so I can't translate. But I imagine the ingredient list to be similar, with glycerin, alcohol, and some peach blossom extracts thrown in there.

This mask is actually in a thick lotion like essence instead of the clear liquid essence of the jasmine variety. It has a light floral smell, with hint of apple, I want to say it reminds me of Garnier products. But thankfully the smell is not bothersome and very light. I can't smell it at all once I put the mask on my face.

Since it's from the same line as the jasmine variety, it's no surprise the mask fit my face almost the same. However, the eye and nose area felt better. I didn't have to shift or stretch it to make it sit properly.

Unlike the jasmine mask, this started to feel dry after 20 minutes. I took it off by then and rubbed in the remaining essence on the mask over my body so I don't waste it. There was also extra essence on my face that absorbed in quickly and didn't leave my face feeling sticky. My skin feels moisturized, and it does the leave same feeling as the jasmine. That weird layer of soft film on top of my skin. My skin did not look shiny at all, In fact, I feel like the jasmine made my face shinier than the peach blossom. The next morning, my skin was soft and plump! I think I will repurchase this "flavour" in the future.

Baviiphat - Woori Gokmul Mung Beans Mask Sheet

Not going to lie, bought this mask because it was cute. I probably wouldn't normally buy it but I wanted to sample a variety of masks with my mask haul and thought it was a good candidate since it was cute and cost around $1.00. Sadly it seems like TesterKorea no longer carries it and I can't seem to find any recognizable online distributors offering it either.

Ingredients: Yay for more Korean only ingredients list! I am not even going to bother with Google translate on this. Going by the pattern of getting sword, then blood, I can imagine getting death or injuries in the translation of this ingredient list. xD

This mask is supposed to moisturize and clean your skin. So it wasn't too big of a surprise to see the mask to be soaked in a thick gel like clear essence. Gotta pack all those moisturizing ingredients in there! The essence has a very light fresh smell to it, and it goes away after a few minutes.

The actual mask is like a trapezium, it's slightly smaller on top, and bigger on the bottom. So even though it's round like the Mamonde masks, it didn't fit me as well. The fit around the eyes and nose is fine, but then I got big flaps, about a finger's width, on my forehead and under my chin.

I took it off after about 40 minutes, and even then there was still lots of essence left on the mask and on my face. Never being one to waste that essence, I rubbed the extra essence on the mask on my body. The essence on my face only took a couple of minutes to fully sink in.

The mask calmed down the redness on my cheeks, and looks like it made my skin look paler. But my skin doesn't feel any different as if I were to slather on my normal serum or moisturizer. It doesn't feel any softer or moisturized. I really felt that this did absolutely nothing to my skin that a chilled gel pack wouldn't have achieved.

Edit: I think Baviphat has rebranded itself to Urban Dollkiss and repackaged their products. Here is what I think is the repackaged version of this mask.

L'Herboflore Lychee Translucent Hydromask 

Okay, that description is so misleading. I was like oooh  hydromask! Is it hydrogel? That's so cheap! Then I looked it up on other site. Nope, it's just a normal cotton sheet mask. I guess they named it hydromask as its supposed to be hydrating? I mean the bottom line on the little sticker on the upper right corner translate to "multi-layered skin hugging water retention mask", with the last two words literally mean hydromask. So I am assuming that's where they got the name from?

Anyways, this was purchased from BGO where they offer Taiwanese, Korean and Japanese skincare and makeup items. You can also get free shipping worldwide if you purchase of NT$2,800, which is roughly $86USD/$113CAD. Excuse me while I go sob in the corner over how poor our dollar is doing. I decided to purchase this mask as I was trying to haul all the Lovemore silk masks and meet the free shipping minimum. These were roughly $10CAD for 5 masks, and had interesting flavours such as pear, watermelon and cocoa. I decided upon Lychee since it's a summer treat I used to grow up on. Yup. once again I chose the flavour based on what it's supposed to be instead of its purpose. I also picked up the watermelon "flavour" but haven't tried it yet.

Ingredients: As per the package. 

Aqua (Water), Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Citric Acid, Propylene Glycol, Litchi Chinensis Fruit Juice, Trideceth-9, Bisabolol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid, Mannitol, Sodium Citrate, Acetyl Tetrapeptide-15, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Isopropyl Alcohol, Cellulose, Panthenol, Trehalose, Xanthan Gum, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Parfum (Fragrance), Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate, Sodium Sulfite, Methylisothiazolinone, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Sodium Acetate

Hmm the ingredient list is only in English, kind of odd for a mask that is made in Taiwan. Oh well. Also odd to see cellulose in the ingredient list. It makes me think if they also included the actual sheet  mask ingredient in there as well.

The mask is soaked in a clear liquid essence that has a faint, slightly chemical, slightly fruity smell. It kind of reminds me of a ripe lychee that is on the verge of spoiling. There was so much essence that it was just dripping everywhere.

My biggest complaint with Taiwanese masks is that all of them comes with a plastic backing. It does make it easier to unfold the masks as I am taking them out. But that also means it's an additional piece that is taken out and dripping essence everywhere. Urg, I want those extra essence in the package so I can savour them, not having them moisturize my floor.

I forgot to take picture of the mask itself so apologies for that. It has slits on the nose and on the side, which made it easier for adjustments. I was happy to find a mask where I didn't have flaps around my forehead and my temple areas, even if I didn't slap on the mouth area properly. Oh well, my lips could use some extra boost of moisture anyways.

I took the mask off after about 20 minutes as it was starting to feel dry around the cheek area. There was still lots of essence left on the mask so it went on my arms. The extra essence on my face sunk in quickly and my face felt a little tighter, bouncier and so much softer. I would definitely repurchase this!! Just maybe not in the near future unless I am doing another mask haul. :P

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask - Aloe 

This was purchased through Innisfree's 10+10 deal and it was a flavour I haven't tried before. I decided to use this after a really hot day outside and wanted to cool down my skin with some aloe.

Ingredients: As per the package. 

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Betaine, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Aloe Barba Densis Leaf Juice, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylehexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Hmmm.. Aloe is the 7th ingredient on the list. Not too bad but I am excited for the other extracts! The Camellia extracts should make it super moisturizing!

The mask is in clear liquid essence that has a faint plant stem smell. It kind of brought me back to when I was cutting up plants in the garden at the end of the summer. It lingers and wafts into my nose the entire time the mask is on.

The mask feels like any other Innisfree It's Real Squeeze masks, where it hugs my skin super close such that even I can't tell if I am wearing a mask in photos. The only problem is that it is a bit short around the ear and jaw area. Sadly, like the strawberry mask, this mask tore very easily. I was able to tear it apart simply holding between my fingers and pulling away.

I took the mask off after 25 minutes as it was starting to feel dry to the touch. But there was still lots of essence left on my face. I tried waiting for 30 minutes and my skin was still tacky and it's not fully sunk in. I ended up putting some ampoule on top so it's not as sticky and I won't wake up covered in dog fur. Sadly when I woke up, face was STILL sticky and it took going outside in the wind for it to stop feeling so sticky. It definitely made my face feel moisturized. But it seems like it's a heavier mask that I should use in the winter where I need more hydration.

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask - Cucumber 

 When it was another hot and sunny day, I decided to use the cucumber mask to see if it can soothe my skin while providing just enough moisture to my skin.

Ingredients: As per the package. 

Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Betaine, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Juice, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Carbomer, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Orchid Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance

Hmm, the aloe and the cucumber masks only varied by one ingredient, and that is cucumber replaced aloe. Hmm so in theory, these two masks should perform relatively the same.

The cucumber mask is also in a clear liquid essence, it bares no strong smell at all. I had to sniff really hard to get a faint smell of alcohol and the faintest scent of cucumber.
Just to show how thin the sheet mask is. 

The mask fits just as well as the Aloe one, so I won't repeat myself here.

I took this off after 20 minutes or so, I kind of lost track of time. There was a bit of essence left but it was absorbed quickly. It didn't feel sticky at all and my face feel moisturized. I think this may be the summer soothing and moisturizing mask, while the aloe version is the winter moisturizing mask.

Overall Thoughts

I enjoyed trying out all the different masks as it was nice to have a moment to sit and relax. I'll rank the masks in order of likelihood of repurchase.

1) Innisfree - Cucumber: Feels refreshing and my face was well moisturized
2) L'Herboflore - Lychee : Made my face felt softer and moisturized. But cannot find online easily at the moment. Can only find at BGO at a relatively cheap price.
3) Innisfree - Aloe: Well moisturized but dislike how sticky it is. Hopefully better in winter.
4) Mamonde - Peach Blossom: Skin was soft and plump but not a fan of weird film it left on skin.
5) Aritaum - Hyaluronic Acid: Nice cooling effect while the mask is on, did moisturize and is cheap. But face remained sticky and not a fan of the smell.
6) Mamonde - Jasmine: Face felt sticky for hours, and it also made my face shiny. There is also that weird film feeling.
7) Baviphat - Mung Beans: Did absolutely nothing.

I think #3 - 5 are interchangeable in their ranking as they did well in moisturizing, but just minor flaws that one can probably overlook.


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