Red Wine, Rice, And All The Good Things To Put On Your Face (...So I've Learned!)
About two Christmases ago, I remember having received so many Korean face masks that could last me for probably the rest of the next year. Skincare wasn't yet at it all-time high then, but you could certainly feel its effects, creeping on you, slowly yet surely, and perhaps for me, that's how I got started.
However, as opposed to the one-mask-a-day routine most Korean women are said to employ, I started mine on a weekly basis. And it turned out to be one of the most calming, humbling experiences of my life. To me, anything self-care, from a dental checkup to a DIY mani-pedi, makes me feel gratuitous, because it only means I'm able to find the time and energy for it—and not everyone does. As I always say, it's a relief to admit needing help and doing something about it, be it on skincare or life in general.
As oddly funny the ingredients are (I though pearls were for my neck and ears?) I took down notes of all the things I've felt and thought of while face-masking, just in case you're one of the girls/boys clueless about where to start. The ones on this list come from popular Korean brands, though I'm aware Taiwanese, Japanese, (no Chinese?) sheet masks are heading to our shores, too, so I'm curious to try those out as well.
INNISFREE BLACK BERRY
A nourishing mask that makes skin supple and firm.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 😉😉😉😉
It feels like a cold, rich, milky moisturizing cream (where'd the berries go?) that's so refreshing and calming, I didn't want to take it off anymore!
But of course I did take it off because like an obedient skincare newbie, I followed the instructions to the dot. It certainly feels like a relaxing milk bath for your face!
THE FACE SHOP PEONY
For illuminating, glowing radiance; best for dull skin.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🌸🌸🌸
I admit that there are times when I do feel that my skin is dull, or maybe it's my life that's dull and I’m projecting it all on my skin? My personality, though, is never dull.
The mask has a mild floral scent, which I’m not exactly a fan of (I’m personally averse to floral fragrances), but other than that, the mask did feel nourishing to the body, mind, heart, and soul.
NATURE REPUBLIC TOMATO
Moisturizes and whitens.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 👶👶👶
While I do prefer tomatoes on my pasta, and not my face, I love how this feels cool and fresh on skin, and leaves my face supple like that of a baby's!
Sales people who immediately assume I want a mask that’s whitening are quick to recommend this mask, too.
TONY MOLY RED WINE
Reduces large pores and gives a healthy skin complexion.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🍷🍷🍷
Put a wine mask on, raise your glass, and say cheers to healthy skin! *clink clink*
As they say with red wine, a glass a day keeps the doctor away; which probably means a mask a day, keeps the dermatologist away, too. But if you don't have the budget, a mask a week will do.
ETUDE HOUSE SNAIL
It’s highly-concentrated and locks in moisture for dewy, hydrated, smooth, and firm skin.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🐌🐌🐌🐌🐌
I'll be honest. The essence of the snail sheet is truly icky. It genuinely feels like snail slime, even though I haven’t really felt snail slime ever in my life.
But the result is an absolute dream! Thankfully, I didn't dream of snails crawling all over my face. Instead, I woke up to skin that feels fully rested and completing ten hours of sleep!
THE FACE SHOP RED GINSENG
Helps keep skin young, wrinkle-free and glowing; contains soothing, calming, and healing properties.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🙃🙃🙃🙃🙃
I know ginseng is all the rage in Korea (remember Bok-shil in Fashion King Louie?), but I'd be lying if I say the muddy-looking essence didn't bother me one bit. The sight of it slightly made me stomach churn. Urkkk.
The result is its redeeming factor, fortunately. After the mask, my skin felt so tight, I lost my pores, that ended up looking for them!
TONY MOLY RICE MASK
For gentle exfoliation; contains anti-aging properties that soften and even out the skin.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🌿🌿🌿🌿
It’s a mask that feels funny because the essence does remind you of rice (or bigas, to be precise). I love how there’s a neutral scent and feel to it, nothing too strong or too harsh.
Tita recommendation: put this mask on to the tune of Magtanim Ay 'Di Biro (Planting Rice Is Not A Joke).
NATURE REPUBLIC ROYAL JELLY
A sheet mask that improves dry and tired skin.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 😮😮😮😮😮
After using this mask, I woke up with a new mosquito bite on my face. Maybe they're attracted to royal jelly?
Other than that, I love its effect on my skin. It felt plumper and fuller and healthier, which may or may not effectively attract mosquitoes and humans alike.
ETUDE HOUSE PEARL
A brightening mask; lightens blemishes and discoloration.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 💃💃💃💃💃
A co-tita raved about this brightening pearl mask, promising an ethereal, goddess-like glow. She also specifically stated that it has to be Etude. In high school, I remember wearing pearl earrings for the first time, and a classmate told me that it made my face glow. I didn't know what to feel then, but since then, I've always believed in the power of pearls.
INNISFREE GREEN TEA
Evens out the skin tone, deals with acne, and fades blemish marks.
SATISFACTION LEVEL: 🍃🍃🍃
Before VCO and aloe vera, at one point in our lives green tea was such a popular ingredient. I do know it has great calming effects and is great for your health.
On a mask, though, it left a slight tingling sensation on my skin and didn’t really feel differently from other sheet masks. I'm not much of a green tea fan, too (I prefer ginger or lemon-ginger tea to drink, lol) but because of its detoxifying properties, so I'd still recommend this mask.
How about you? What masks, Korean or otherwise, have you tried or are curious about? The more odd the ingredients, the better! I'd love to know what your recommendations are, too. Do share them in the comments section!