We sent one of our writers a packet of Korean face masks. He’s never tried a face mask before, so we thought it would be really interesting to see how he got on! Here’s what Ashley and his wife Morgana thought about them.
- Tony Moly I’m Real Face Masks
- Give a Man a Mask and He Will Speak the Truth
- Other Masks
- Morgana’s Thoughts
- Ashley’s Thoughts
- Value For Money?
- Editor’s Note:
Tony Moly I’m Real Face Masks
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First thoughts? “They could have made a bit more of an effort with their presentation.” The individual face mask packs were loosely bundled into a somewhat crumpled plastic sleeve. Fine if you’re buying them for yourself, but maybe not the best if they were a gift.
Anyway, moving on from that initial, fairly trivial gripe, the packs themselves looked fine. Each face mask was individually packaged, with its main ingredient and the particular benefit to your skin, clearly and cheerfully splashed in bold across the front of the pack.
The non-English-language instructions on the back of the packet wasn’t overly helpful. Fortunately, the length of time the mask needs to be left on was written in digits. Very important!
The first time I tried a mask though (the avocado one), I did misread “20 to 30 minutes” as “40 minutes”. What can I say? The print is small and my eyesight is bad. A disastrous combination.
Neither my wife nor I were entirely clear on what the Makgeolli mask was derived from. Google tells us that Makgeolli is a Korean, rice-based alcohol. My wife used that particular mask, and reported that her skin felt softer, and seemed to have a little more glow to it.
I would agree with the latter. She’s naturally very pale, and, after using the mask, she did look a little brighter. She found the mask a little too wet for her liking. As neither of us have used face masks before, the level of moistness could simply be par for the course.
Give a Man a Mask and He Will Speak the Truth
So, what about the masks themselves as part of a comprehensive beauty and grooming regime?
Makgeolli: Used by Morgana
I did find that this mask was very wet feeling, and a little clammy. I personally didn’t find it soothing or comfortable. However, the scent was quite nice and fresh, not overpowering. I was surprised to discover Makegeolli is alcohol, as I don’t normally like the smell of alcohol all that much.
I found getting the mask out of the packet, unfolded, and onto my face relatively simple. Being visually impaired, I had to Google how long you are supposed to leave a face mask on for, since I couldn’t read the times given on the back of the packet. Perhaps doing away with the Korean and just having the central picture strip with the time needed in larger type would be a good move.
I used the mask while having a bath. Twenty minutes of not doing anything would have been frustrating for me – I’d be an awful spa customer, as the ability to lounge seems to have been left out of my constitution!
The mask did sting quite a bit, which was uncomfortable for me, but this eased after a couple of minutes. On taking the mask off, I was pleased to note that it didn’t look grubby or have a “gritty” feel to it. It came off smoothly, and was easy to wrap in a small bag and dispose of.
Making it possible to easily replace the used mask in the original packet for disposal would be a bonus point, but only because I have something of a bee in my bonnet over excess packaging. Other people probably wouldn’t even think about it. My skin did feel softer, and a little plumper, and my husband agreed with me that I looked brighter, which is always a plus.
Avocado: Used by Ashley
So, okay, confessions first: I ended up leaving this one on for longer than thirty minutes, because my eyesight is terrible, and I misread the times on the back of the packet.
The face mask itself was really, really gloopy feeling with a very thick layer of product on a very thin surface. Unfolding the mask, for a man, requires a lot of patience and care in order not to end up tearing the thing.
I managed it and got it over my face. My wife joked that I looked like a burns patient, but, since I wasn’t planning on being seen by any other humans in the mask, I could live with that.
My first thought was “What the hell do I do for half an hour or more?” My default in these situations is to reach for something to read. I had a magazine nearby, quite a thick, text-dense quarterly, as it goes. Fantastic. Or… not so much.
Turns out I, at least, can’t read magazine print with a face mask on. (Yes, I did know that you placed it around your eyes, not over them!) So I did more than 30 minutes of sitting there doing nothing. I hate doing nothing. Even if I’m ill, I’ll be fidgeting about with something.
The mask started to feel a little bit like it was burning my skin. Not intense burning, but just an uncomfortable warmth.
When I took the mask off, my skin did feel smoother. I’m not sure that it looked any different but I tend not to notice the quality of my skin generally.
Rice Milk: Used by Ashley
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So, this time, I knew to only leave the mask on for only 20 minutes, and I was prepared for the fact that I wouldn’t be able to read. Instead, I set up a favourite programme on YouTube, and laid back for twenty minutes of feeling a little bit daft.
The scent of the rice mask wasn’t as overwhelming as the avocado, and it didn’t feel as moist, which, for me, is a good point.
I was particularly impressed with the rice mask: I’d had a cold sore come up the day I used the mask. When I took the mask off, the cold sore was gone.
Lemon: Used by Morgana
I was expecting this one to have quite a sharp scent and feel to it, but it was more crisp than sharp, which was a pleasant surprise.
My skin, once I’d removed the mask, felt a little raw, but it did seem clearer than usual, and smelled fresh and pleasant. If I were going to a job interview, I may well use the lemon face mask the night before as part of a comprehensive bathing and personal grooming routine. It would make me feel more confident that my skin looked healthy and clean.
The mask wasn’t too damp, and while it did sting a little, it wasn’t an unpleasant sharpness.
Pomegranate: Used by Ashley
A fresh, clean-feeling mask that wasn’t overly moist, and felt and smelled good when I put it on. However, it did look a little like a Hallowe’en decoration!
I’d got used to face masks by this point, and used this one whilst carrying on work on my laptop. Combining work and play is much more my style than sitting around doing not very much.
The mask did feel a little cold, but I imagine that would be quite pleasant on warmer days. I was using it in late October, so was already more than cold enough!
Seaweed: Used by Morgana
I wasn’t too keen on the smell of this particular mask, and it did feel a little strange when I put it on. However, my skin felt quite plump and bouncy after using it, so it may be worth putting up with the scent, particularly if I were going out for the evening,
Tomato: Used by Ashley
I’m not a fan of the smell of tomatoes preferring them on pizza or chopped into a salad but I bit the bullet and tried this mask out. I wouldn’t use a tomato face mask again, as, while the smell was subtle, I found it unpleasant in such close proximity. On taking it off, I couldn’t say my skin was definitely more “radiant”, although it did feel more clean and fresh.
Broccoli: Used by Morgana
I didn’t really notice any effects from this mask, and the scent, while not overwhelming, wasn’t particularly pleasant as far as I was concerned. I probably wouldn’t use a broccoli mask again.
Tea Tree: Used by Ashley
I regularly use tea tree as a preventative treatment to keep my hair free of lice and as a base for natural household flea spray, so I was expecting the sharp astringent smell. The mask wasn’t overly damp, and felt cool when I put it on.
On removing the mask, my skin felt clean, and, from what I could tell, looked clear.
I probably wouldn’t use a tea tree mask in general unless I needed to do a deep skin clean.
Aloe Vera: Used by Morgana
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I didn’t really notice any difference to my skin, but the mask did smell pleasant, and my skin felt fresh. I would possibly use an aloe vera mask as part of a relaxing pamper session, just for the feel-good factor.
Red Wine: Used by Ashley
Red wine is always good although I typically take mine from a glass! The red wine face mask, when I put it on, didn’t feel too damp, or clammy. It didn’t have much of a “wine” scent. On removing the face mask, my face felt clammy but wasn’t noticeably clearer, cleaner, or smoother.
I probably wouldn’t use a red wine mask again, not for any particular reason other than it didn’t really do anything for me.
- Offers a range of treatments for one price
- Easy to use
- Could be used on the go
- Affordable compared to a salon
- Difficult to get on with things whilst wearing the masks
- Some of the masks are unpleasantly moist
- Directions and ingredients list on back of pack isn’t in English, and would be too small to read even if it were.
This pack would be make a nice stocking filler. It is also something I might buy as a one-off, so that I had the option of using a face mask if I wanted to, or felt that my skin would benefit.
I don’t think I’ll be going down the metrosexual route any time soon! I can see the benefits of occasionally using a face mask for deep pore cleansing, for example, but on a general basis, I’ll stick with soap and hot water. If I get cold sores in the future, though, I may well use a rice milk face mask again, as that was very effective.
Value For Money?
This is a good value option for a gift for a friend, or if you want to have a range of skin care options to hand.
If you are wanting to try Korean face masks, we’d point you over to our top 3 picks – Dermal Korea Collagen Essence, Nature Republic Real Nature Masks, and Innisfree It’s Real Masks.
You can also try out the Korean 10 Step beauty regimen which our very own dear Jane swears by on for acne, dermatitis, or for overall keeping wrinkles at bay.
Last update on 2018-02-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API