Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Fun At-Home Facial Using Korean Sheet Masks!

Wow! It's really been nearly a month since my last post. Where has the time gone? As the crisp fall air begins to displace the muggy remnants of summer, I'm feeling an increased resolve to regain a sense of dedication and focus. This includes motivation to eat healthier, plunge head-first into my PhD dissertation, and- of course- a renewed zest for blogging!

Before my blog posts start to take on an autumnal tone (fall is my favourite season!), I still have to review a fab new product I discovered over the summer. On a (not so recent) trip to the P.A.T. grocery store in Koreatown, I, as usual, wandered up to the second floor, which features an exciting array of Korean skin care and cosmetics. Looking for a fun, affordable product to add to my skin care arsenal, I found these:

PureDerm sheet masks in Rose Essence, Tomato Essence, Pomegranate Essence, and Brightening Essence

Purederm, a popular Korean brand, offers a variety of skin care products, but what caught my eye was their selection of sheet masks. A staple of most Asian face care traditions, sheet masks are single-use face masks that consist of cotton-like paper pre-soaked with skin-loving ingredients (wow, that's a lot of hyphens in one sentence!). At 5 for $10, I couldn't resist choosing a handful to test out. There were about 20 different options to pick from, and I brought home the five that I thought most closely suited my skin care needs. 4 of the 5 I chose are pictured above (I had to use one right away, so it didnt' make the picture!).

All of the sheet masks contain the same base ingredients, including collagen (to add moisture and plump the skin) and Vitamin E (purported to act as an antioxidant). They are advertised as appropriate for all skin types and for all seasons. The one I tried the evening of the following picture was the Tomato Essence Mask, which, in addition to the previously mentioned benefits, was supposed to refine pores and brighten skin. The mask itself is soaking wet with product, and comes in a soft, thin paper that you fit to your face. If you've never seen one before, it's definitely an interesting and different (and to some, including my boyfriend, frightening) look! Below is a picture of me wearing it:

Get prepared to be scared, people ;)

Me wearing PureDerm's Tomato Essence Sheet Mask

As you can see, it has cut-out holes for the eyes and slits around the edges to that you can adjust it perfectly for your  features and face-shape. Despite its ghastly appearance, these masks are quite comfortable to wear, feel quite refreshing, and do not sting the face at all. This is likely the result of the sheets not containing alcohol or harsh irritants. Perfect for my sensitive skin! I left the mask on for about 20 minutes, as directed, to find moist, glowing skin left behind. No traces of redness or clogged pores, as I've found with other facial masks and treatments. I was quite pleased!

I have used all of my 5 purchased sheet masks by now, and have been happy with them all! Although I haven't noticed much difference between the different types in terms of performance, it is nice to buy a variety because each offers a uniquely pleasant scent. Who doesn't want to wear a mask that smells of fresh tomatoes (or roses, or pomegranates) once in a while? :)

Overall, here's a breakdown of the pros and cons of this product:

  • Alcohol-free and non-irritating. Did not sting my face or leave it red.
  • Left my face feeling moisturized, but not greasy
  • Pleasant to wear, with unique but not overpowering scents
  • At $2 per mask, they are quite affordable
  • The sheet mask format is a fun and novel way to pursue an at-home facial!
  • It can take a bit of practice to master the technique of applying the mask to your face
  • It's difficult to say whether each type of mask offers specific, unique skin care benefits
  • These masks may not be moisturizing enough during the winter months, particularly for normal to dry skin types
  • You will not look cute when wearing the mask, though it can be fun to startle others with your new look! ;)
Thanks for reading xoxo

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