Welcome to the first of many For Future Reference Fridays! Each Friday I’ll take a moment to both review and recommend products that may be of interest to readers of this blog… or at least to the crickets. Many Fridays will feature craft and sewing related themes, but I will also use it as an opportunity to discuss products related to self-care, the household, and whatever else I find share-worthy.
If you have any input on the current theme or suggestions for future topics, be sure to mention it in the comments or email me!
This week I’ll be discussing the three sheet mask variety packs I’ve recently purchased from 3rd party sellers on Amazon. Starly, of Sew Starly, is an enabler and has gotten me addicted to beauty products imported from Korea and Japan. One of the more popular exports is the act of “sheet masking”. Honestly, at first I thought the whole idea behind a sheet mask was pretty goofy. You apply a pre-soaked piece of material to your face for 10 to 20 minutes, you look pretty silly for this time frame, and then things happen. My opinion changed after a nasty bout of the flu. Usually the dehydration from several days of ick would have sent my skin into chaos for weeks, but using a sheet mask nightly during the 3 days when the flu really had me down made me look a million times better than I actually felt. Ever since then, I’ve been periodically been splurging on bundles of sheet mask variety packs.
The sheet mask variety packs I will be covering are from Holika Holika, Celavi, and Innisfree. All the packs are conveniently available on Amazon with Prime shipping because I’m an impatient woman living out in the boonies.
About the guinea pig
Skin type: Dry/Normal and prone to dehydration.
Concerns: My current skin issues are more from sensitivity/genetic lottery/environmental/misuse/oopsy related factors instead of aging. At 36, I am sure the aging bit is just round the corner though. Dun, dun, dun. I do have some blackheads and whiteheads and occasional acne due to hormones and/or reactions.
Just in case
Disclaimer (aka. the obvious): People are different, skin types vary, what may work for you may not work for me and vice versa. Always use your own final judgement when deciding if a product is right for you.
By the way
This post contains affiliate links. ALL recommendations (and opinions) will come from my approval and personal use. Since I do a crazy amount of shopping on Amazon anyways, I figure the use of affiliate links to feed my various habits is worth a shot. Photos of the product packaging are taken from the product listing, the rest are my own.
Holika Holika Baby Pet Magic Mask Sheet
Baby Pet Magic Mask Sheet
Brand: Holika Holika
What do you get? 2 each of 4 unique sheet mask types for a total of 8 masks. Soothing Cat, Whitening Seal, Vitality Panda, Anti-Wrinkle Pug
My cost: $10.42
Obviously the hilariously cute faces are a huge selling point for this mask set. At least to me and my kids who get a kick out of mommy transforming into various animals. I also liked the mask names that told you upfront the intended results rather than expecting you to have in-depth knowledge of popular ingredients.
The sheet mask material is heavier than the others listed here and I found it had difficulties staying in place with movement due to the weight. Sure it is recommended that you spend your time sheet masking “relaxing” but sometimes you do need the multi-task. The packets had enough residue of the essence where I could scrape it out and apply it to other parts of my body. It is hard to say what each mask smelled like but the intensity of the fragrance was minimal and each had a generic “natural” type vibe to it.
I won’t discredit the “Whitening Seal” and “Anti-Wrinkle Pug” since both probably would benefit from long term use to see any real effects. The “Whitening Seal” did dry me out to the point where I’d be hesitant to use it again. As for “Vitality Panda”, it felt nice while I had the mask on and the next morning I looked no different than if I would of used a regular moisturizer instead.
For me the stand-out was the “Soothing Cat”. It did wonders for moisturizing my dry skin patches, due to winter conditions and dehydration from the flu. The mask has also consistently has worked wonders when I have inflammation due to skin irritants, allergies, and blemishes. Both immediately after and the next morning my skin will have noticeable reduction in redness and dry spots. Often the issues will be gone all together. I do not believe the effects would be the same with the same issues from long term damage but it hits the right marks for my temporary skin annoyances.
Would I buy again? Yes and no. I’m happy enough with the “Soothing Cat” type where I have since ordered two more packs with just that one. The need to lay low while wearing the mask does have me looking for other sources with the same effect. I’ve narrowed down the key ingredients to Niacinamide and Camellia Sinensis Leaf. I’ll be exploring more products containing those. With all the said, even if I found a dream solution that pretty much did the same thing, I’ll still keep a few of the masks around for giggles.
TL;DR: Worth a shot but be aware you won’t see much from two of the masks with short term use. Great for a few laughs with some possible skincare benefits depending on your own needs.
Celavi Essence Facial Mask
So let me just say up front, the tea tree one burned like the dickens. I don’t think I made it past 3 minutes with it on because my brain was screaming “If it feels this bad, then it can’t be good!” After removing the mask I went and cleansed by face with water. This comes from a person with a medium to high pain threshold. Fortunately outside of some dryness the next day that could be attributed to the mask, nothing went crazy on my skin. Phew!
The packing does not have a useful amount of essence left behind which is kind of a good thing because I might of ended up with the tea tree burning sensation all over my body. Ack! I also found the masks to be ill-fitting on my face to the point where it seemed like with any sort of facial movement I ended up mask bits it in my eyes, mouth, or up my nose. Ew. It is thinner than the Holika Holika mask but it does not seem to be as moist which makes it almost as prone to sliding. All the varieties smell closer to a perfume than anything “natural”. Not so much where it was completely unbearable for me but I prefer something designed to smell actually cucumber-ish rather than an artistic interpretation of what a cucumber could (or should?) smell like.
Despite my overall dislike for these masks, the honey, avocado, and cucumber types did provide obvious moisturizing benefits. If I ended up with some as a gift then I would not chuck them immediately in the trash.
Would I buy again? No.
TL;DR: A lot of what I don’t like about the sheet masks can be blamed on personal preferences, skin sensitives, and my giant beast of a head. I’m definitely not a fan of them but there is nothing so offensive where I could claim nobody could ever like these masks.
Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Sheet
It’s Real Squeeze Mask Sheet
What do you get? 15 unique sheet mask types. GreenTea, Cucumber, Bamboo, Aloe, Manuka honey, Kiwi, Shea butter, Mugwort, Pomegranate, Black Berry, Tea tree, Bija, Lime, Strawberry, Rose
My cost: $16.00
This pack has a TON of variety and while it could be a downside that you can not immediately try any specific kind more than once without buying multiple packs, you do get a lot of bang for your buck. That fact makes it a great entry level effort into the world of sheet masking, trying out new ingredient varieties, or keeping extra masks on hand for occasional needs.
The fragrances smell “natural” enough, the masks hang on great while you are not relaxing like you are supposed to, and the packs tend to have so much extra essence in it that you can pour it into your palm. Even the mask material feels buttery soft and is so thing that it adheres pretty well to my face.
You can even see the Nextcare Acne Absorbing Cover I have covering a gash on my forehead. I figured since the cover technology is based on wound care, it would work pretty well for my small forehead wound… and it does…
Since I only tried out each variety once it is hard to gauge how effective any one type was for my own skin. The varieties that did immediately stand out to me were the honey, black berry, bija, strawberry, and rose. I did not come across anything I would not try again. I can see why this is such a popular option!
Would I buy again? Yes. I know some of the varieties I will continue to like more than the others but for the price per mask I think it is worth it to be able to experiment with the large variety of mask types.
Tl;DR: Good bang for your buck.
I’m still developing my skin care routines and the huge variety to the Innisfree pack will continue to be an asset, even if some mask types may be less useful to me. The “Soothing Cat” mask from the Holika Holika pack will still be in frequent rotation, at least until I find an easier to use alternative. Both packs I definitely think are worth a shot.
Let me know if you have any questions about the sheet masks discussed or suggestions for new products to try in the comments. I’d love to hear what you think!