Facial sheet masks are all the rage in Asia and they have slowly made their way to the US. American skincare brands have also started to carry at least one sheet mask and sheet masks can even be found at Sephora.
I have always had a love-hate relationship with sheet masks. On one hand, I love the convenience of being able to pop on a pre-cut mask and not bother with rinsing it off. However, I have not been impressed by the ingredient lists of many popular Asian sheet mask brands and I also recognize that the benefit of sheet masks are temporary at best. Nevertheless, I do value them as a quick way to pamper and hydrate my skin. I also find masking a relaxing activity after a long day. Hopefully I am not alone in feeling relaxed after going through my skincare routine!
I was first introduced to Glow Recipe when I stumbled upon them online while searching for natural Korean skincare products. There are many Korean brands that claim to be all-natural, but their ingredient lists prove otherwise. It is also difficult to shop for Korean skincare products because the ingredient lists are not translated. When I chanced upon the Glow Recipe, I was hopping with excitement.
Glow Recipe is the brainchild of Sarah and Christine, global beauty entrepreneurs who have curated a selection of natural Korean skincare products that pass their testing panels for efficacy and fit their strict ingredient criteria.
I decided to try out two organic Korean sheet masks, a hydrogel mask and a mask made out of real sea kelp (!!!) both from Whamisa. My package came with some skincare samples and a sweet handwritten note:
1) Whamisa Organic Seeds & Rice Fermented Hydrogel Facial Mask – $9. Review below
2) Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Facial Mask – $14. To be reviewed.
According to Glow Recipe:
Whamisa Organic Seed & Rice Fermented Hydrogel Facial Mask is an organic hydrogel mask that has been soaked in skin-plumping botanical serum. Drench your face in ultra hydration and nutrition for instantly glowing, clear skin. It works hard and fast to improve skin’s elasticity and firmness. Formulated with 95% organic ingredients, including Rice & Black Soybean, which are naturally fermented to preserve maximum efficacy. This one of a kind mask relies on a blend of fermented seeds and rice to help rehydrate and calm dry, depleted skin.
This is a two piece hydrogel mask with eye cutouts for the upper half of the face and the mouth cutout for the lower half of the face. Hydrogel masks have less of a Hannibal Lecter quality because of their translucency. I also prefer the feel of a hydrogel mask because it retains the moisture and essence of the mask without any dripping. It also adheres well to the face without much slipping and sliding. One caveat is that I had to be careful not to accidentally tear into the gel with my fingertips when I put the mask on.
This mask retails for $9 a piece. Hydrogel masks are more expensive than paper masks due to the properties mentioned above. Admittedly, this is a little pricy for a single use mask, but the ingredient list below was what swayed me.
Ingredient List: LOVE. Most face masks list water, propylene glycol, butylene glycol and glycerin as the first 4 ingredients. The active ingredients are typically listed towards the end and these masks often include preservatives and fragrance. As you can see below, this Whamisa mask is chock full of seed and rice extracts.
Water, *Hordeum Vulgare Seed Extract, *Glycine Soja (Soybean) Seed Extract, Ceratonia Siliqua Gum, Xanthan Gum, *Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, *Lactobacillus/Rice Ferment Filtrate, **Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, **Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, **Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, *Lactobacillus/Phaseolus Radiatus Seed Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Glycine Soja (Black Soybean) Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Phaseolus Angularis Seed Ferment Filtrate, Allium Cepa (Onion) Bulb Extract, *Lactobacillus/Hordeum Vulgare Seed Ferment Filtrate, *Lactobacillus/Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Ferment Filtrate, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed Extract, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Nobilis (Mandarin Orange) Peel Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil *Certified Organically Grown **Natural Preservative ***Ecocert
This has a light, slightly herbal scent which I found very pleasant and soothing.
I left this mask on for 30 minutes and after I removed the mask, my skin was still moist. I patted the remainder of the essence into my skin and went straight to bed. When I woke up in the morning, my skin felt hydrated and this mask helped eliminate some of the winter dryness I’ve been experiencing. I didn’t experience any brightening or change in skin elasticity. I have to admit, I was a little disappointed until I remembered that most sheet masks are typically short-term hydration boosters, but don’t deliver long lasting benefits from a one-time use. Nevertheless, I recommend this mask over other sheet masks because of the clean ingredient list and the ease of use due to the hydrogel.
This mask review is part of a series of reviews and my upcoming reviews will include sheet masks from the following brands, Tatcha, Whamisa, and Karuna:
Here is the full list!
I’ll be masking it up in the next few weeks to see if these masks can help soothe my poor, dry winter skin! If you have a favorite mask you’d recommend, let me know!
Glow Recipe is offering a $5 off your first purchase through the link below. I purchased all the masks above myself and these reviews are an honest reflection of my experience with the products!