Sunday, 13 April 2008

Battle of the Masks…

Gone are the days of masks that came in a tube where you had to apply it yourself and wash / peel off afterwards – today the trend is to just open a packet and place the mask sheet on your face…no fuss, no muss. But are they really good? There have been a lot of these masks flying around the market lately, not to mention quite a few in-house brands (like Watsons)…so in the interest of facial exploration, I decided to try out a few (in no particular order)…

1. The Face Shop Essential Mask Sheet – Ceramide

A ceramide mask sheet for greater skin hydration and elasticity. Ceramide is any of a group of amides formed by linking a fatty acid to sphingosine. It constitutes over 50% of the hydrating factors found in the surface layers of skin, and is responsible for hydrating and nourishing skin so that it stay soft and smooth, together with the following ingredients:
  • Algae extract
  • Lecithin
  • Ceramide
  • Glycerin
  • Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) extract

Comes in a 22ml pack. The concentrations of Ceramide in this gentle mask sheet are effectively absorbed into skin for greater hydration and elasticity.

Wash face and apply toner. Remove mask sheet from package and unfold.
Carefully fit mask over face.
Remove mask sheet after 15-20mins, and gently pat any remaining formula into skin.
For best results, use 2-3 times a week. NOT for reuse.

Initial Verdict:
First thing I noticed was the fact that the sheet mask was literally DRIPPING when I removed it from the pack…not good for the ‘no mess’ factor! Also, I’m not exactly sure what Ceramide is supposed to do for your skin immediately after the mask application, but I sure didn’t see much difference, apart from the cooling effect. Patting the remaining formula into my skin actually left me with a mild breakout the next day with a bit of redness particularly around the cheek and forehead area – not a good idea if you’re looking to use this right before a big night out.

Rating: 2 / 5

2. Biocillin Plus ™ Collagen Soft Powder Mask (40g)

Collagen Soft Powder Mask is a frequent fresh facial mask and the latest beauty treatment to solve and care for skin problems. The mask is based on aroma essential oils and natural ingredients with organic materials such as multi-vitamins, collagen and natural moisturizing factors. Used regularly, it can provide remarkable results.

After cleansing, dry face thoroughly.
Mix the soft mask powder with 50-70ml of distilled water and mix until sticky.
Apply on face, eye zone, neck and any other parts of the body.
After 15-25mins, remove the mask (peel off) and rinse thoroughly.

Initial Verdict:
I didn’t quite like the fact that I had to mix it up into a paste myself, although masks in their powder form can be kept for longer periods of time (the ingredients are only activated when you add water). The mixing direction on the pack is also a bit misleading – it says to add about 50-70ml of water, but in reality only about 40ml+ is needed (if you add up to 70ml, it’s way too watery to stay on your face!). The good part is that you can apply to other parts of your body – like your back and neck – with good results. I’m a bit undecided on this one, but would probably use it again if I had the time.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

3. Laitialies™ Green Grape Hydro Lifting Mask

Collagen Essence Sheet Mask is based on aroma essential oils and natural ingredients with organic materials such as multi-vitamins, collagen and natural moisturizing factors that can be directly and easily absorbed by the skin. A unique formulation that contains natural collagen and highly purified natural materials, it improves absorption nutrient and moisture to the skin. Repeated use can promote accelerated skin metabolism, quick recovery of tired skin, anti-aging, lightening of colour spots and skin whitening. For best results, use twice a week.

After cleansing, dry face thoroughly.
Remove the mask from the pack and apply to face.
Wait 20-30 minutes, remove the mask and follow with daily moisturizing routine.

Initial Verdict:
The smell of this one caught me first – very fresh, with a mild grape scent while its applied…perfect for zoning out with some relaxing music in the background. I hardly needed moisturizing afterwards either, as my face didn’t feel tight or irritated as with the Ceramide mask. I know this one doesn’t have any cucumber extract in it, but nevertheless, you’re as cool as a cucumber afterwards…*bliss*

Rating: 4 / 5

4. Dr Q Orange / Charcoal Mask

This glycerin-based mask provides an infusion of active ingredients directly into the skin, giving a boost where needed. (contains orange extract for the orange mask, and bamboo charcoal for the charcoal mask). Approximately 35g per packet.

Rinse, clean and dry face thoroughly
Remove the two piece mask and remove the inner plastic liner
Apply one section at a time, smooth firmly over skin. Leave about 30 mins
Remove mask gently, and rinse with cool water (should not be left on for more than an hour)
For best results, use 2-3 times a week.

Initial Verdict:
Frankly, both of these masks are nothing spectacular to shout about. Apart from the ‘no fuss’ factor of the glycerin base, nothing really stands out to differentiate these from the rest of the masks on the market. It’s a good entry-level mask for those just starting, but for those that have high expectations, this is not the mask for you. The charcoal version of the mask is slightly more effective than the Vitamin C one, seeing as it did pull out impurities from my skin (didn’t look as oily the next morning).

Rating: 2.5 / 5

5. PUREDERM Refining / Firming Korean Herb Mask

PUREDERM Refining Korean Herb Mask (‘Jung-an’) contains Korean natural herbal extracts from honeysuckle flower, licorice, Colx Lacryma-Jobi seed, Phaseolus Lunatus Seed and Hoelen that have soothing and calming effects. This silky mask does not only clarify the skin by controlling sebum & oil, but also enhance blood circulation for a smooth, refined and healthy glow skin.

Apply mask to cleansed skin, and leave for 15-20minutes before slowly peeling off.

Initial Verdict:
When I see the word ‘herb’, I usually assume that it’s going to smell a bit ‘herby’ when I use it, and thank you, but I don’t fancy smelling like someone’s boiled ‘wong lou kat’ (a strong smelling Chinese concoction). This one was pleasantly surprising as it did not only NOT smell like herbs, but quite pleasant as well…I’d liken it to something slightly floral with a hint of citrus. The mask is also thinner than the others I’ve tried, but adheres to the skin seamlessly for full skin-mask contact. I tried putting on a damp face towel on top of the mask, and oh man, you really have to try it – the sensation is simply amazing as it cools your skin as well as enhances the smell slightly. And maybe it’s my imagination, but I swear my jawline looked a little more refined afterwards. :D

3 / 5
(for the Firming mask)
3.5 / 5 (for the Refining mask)

6. Watsons Facial Mask with Aloe Extract, Rose Water or Cucumber

Cucumber – This specially formulated mask contains cucumber extract and natural collagen nutrients to tighten your skin and improve skin elasticity, leaving your skin firmer and more supple. (Firming & Moisturising)
Aloe Vera – Contains aloe vera extract and Vitamin C to naturally whiten and moisturize your skin, leaving it fairer and more radiant. (Whitening & Moisturising)
Rose Water – Contains rose water extract and natural collagen nutrients to refresh and moisturize your skin, leaving it revitalized and supple. (Revitalising & Moisturising)

Initial Verdict:
In terms of usage, these masks are similar. However, the real difference comes in the after effects of the mask. The cucumber and aloe vera masks felt very cool on my skin (Hint: if you want an icy blast, apply it and sit in an air conditioned room!) which also helped to tighten up my skin and shrink the pores slightly. The rosewater one had a rather overpowering rose scent which put me off a bit since I don’t particularly like the ‘rose syrup’ smell, but otherwise left me with a nice rosy glow afterwards.

Rating: 4 / 5 (overall)

Out of the 6 or so different brands above, my favourites would have to be:

  • Laitialies™ Green Grape Hydro Lifting Mask
  • PUREDERM Refining Korean Herb Mask
  • Watsons Facial Mask with Aloe Extract

The rest, to be honest did not have much of an effect on my skin, regardless of their claims. However, to be fair, what doesn’t suit my skin (combination with oily T-zone) may work for someone else, so they could work in your favour.

The Face Shop Essential Mask Sheet – Ceramide is available from any The Face Shop outlet.
Biocillin Plus ™ Collagen Soft Powder Mask and Laitialies™ Green Grape Hydro Lifting Mask can be obtained in packs of 10 from Magicboo outlets nationwide.
Dr Q Orange / Charcoal Mask and PUREDERM Refining / Firming Korean Herb Mask are available from major pharmacy outlets nationwide.
Watsons Facial Masks are available exclusively from Watsons outlets nationwide.

Hope that helps some of you out! :D

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At 1:56 pm, April 14, 2008 , Anonymous parisb said...

Oh my! This is an awesome review! I wish I had the patience to do a side by side comparison of stuff!

At 2:15 pm, April 14, 2008 , Blogger Askmewhats said...

you know what? I'm one of those face mask addict and I've tried loads of different brands and I don't see any changes on my skin so i finally stopped using them! :) But seeing your post made me want to go back! hahaha :) Thanks for this, really nice review / battle :D

At 3:28 pm, April 14, 2008 , Blogger Tine said...

Sasa sometimes does a promotion on Kanebo's masks, which I think are pretty good. I stocked up when they were having discounts, and now I have a huge stack of masks which I brought here.

And guess who's been using the masks? Yep, hubby's been nicking my masks!! :O

At 11:32 pm, April 15, 2008 , Blogger beetrice said...

parisb: coming from you, that's high praise indeed...I actually started this a while back, so yeah, it takes a bit of time... :D

askmewhats: welcome back to the 'dark side' of masks!! hehehe...they're quite good once you find one that suits your skin type.

tine: oooh yeah Kanebo had some lovely masks...but for goodness' sakes, tell the hubby to stay away from your stash (and get his own so that YOU can nick!)

At 7:54 am, April 16, 2008 , Blogger Askmewhats said...

I know! with my dry skin and everything, this will be helpful if i finally found the right mask :D thanks

At 12:39 am, April 17, 2008 , Blogger Fashionasia said...

ooo i saw one at the watsons counter and been keen to try them because they have the word "bird nest"!! ;)

At 10:36 am, January 03, 2009 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

for me, the ceramide mask is my favourite of all the face shop masks! it works really well for my sensitive, always red skin. most masks make me itch after. but not the ceramide one!

love love.

At 9:10 am, April 27, 2009 , Blogger korun said...

where can i find that magicboo outlets? :)

At 4:04 pm, September 06, 2011 , Anonymous skin care reviews said...

Organic face masks can also be used to avoid harmful products.


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