Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Asian Paper Masks

Other than food, I am a little (?) obsessed with beauty products... it's one of the few things I would splurge on.  If you have traveled to Asia, you probably have seen them.  It's one of the products I swear all Asian women have used - paper mask.

Paper mask, if you are unfamiliar, is a piece of heavy duty cotton paper soaked in serum or essences that are made to treat the skin.  It is pre-cut to match the contours of your face.  I prefer them over other types of masks (clay, organic homemade) because they are convenient - no mixing, no spreading, and no washing.  All you have to do is refrigerate the mask (optional) and slap it on your face for 15 to 20 minutes, massage any remaining serum into your skin and you are all set.

I am no chemist or expert in the field but I have taken the "it's better safe than sorry" route.  i.e., if I used them and they didn't work, I only wasted money; if it worked and I didn't used them, I will be sorry... and there you go, here's another confirmation why a woman and her money are easily parted, especially on things that claims will make "youthful looking skin" last longer.

Plus, nothing beats an iced cold mask after a long day of work.  Regardless of it's properties, I think mask relaxes me and moisturizes my skin.  I use a paper mask at least weekly, sometimes more often.

Without further ado, the following is a list of masks I have used and liked.  I have combination skin which is oilier in the summer and dryer in the winter.  I don't have serious acne problem so hydration is usually my top priority.  There are many other quality masks out there and this is not meant to be a comprehensive list, just my top picks. 

My criteria for a good paper mask are:  (1) no allergic reaction; (2) my skin feels moisturized immediately after using it; (3) the pre-cut fits the contour of my face; and (4) the price is reasonable (less than USD5 each).

Korean manufacturers:

1.  Innisfree Wine Jelly Mask (KRW2,000 / USD1.75 each)

upon opening the package, you can smell the wine already
if you are allergic to red wine, i would skip this one
my friend used it and her skin turned red due to the wine
the mask sheet fits well on my face and I looked refresh after using it
it's my top requested souvenir anytime a friend visits Korea :)
2. The Face Shop Miindo Yul Sibigyeongrak Lifting Mask Sheet (KRW3,500 / USD3 each)

upon opening the package, you can smell the Oriental herbs
the scent might put you off but I LOVE this one! 
I am probably going to try the entire line~
this mask feels so good on my skin I almost never want to take it off
3. The Face Shop Miindo Seol Whitening Mask Sheet (KRW2,500 / USD2.20 each)

I also tried the whitening mask sheet but didn't like it as much
that one didn't have the herbal scent and I sneezed a lot the first minute after putting it on
it was nice but it didn't "wow" me like the last one

Taiwanese manufacturers:

1. Dr. Wu Microinject Hydrating Mask with Hyaluronic Acid (TWD135 / USD4.5 each)

my friend got it for me as a souvenir from Taiwan
it's 3x more expensive here in Macau
it fits my face very well and it's very hydrating and not sticky
2.  Beauty Diary Q10 Rejuvenating Mask (MOP5.8 / USD0.7 each)
in addition to the Q10 line, I also liked the sake line
my skin feels tighter after using the Q10 and brighter after using the sake.

I used to like the red wine line too but I prefer the Innisfree line now.
Hong Kong manufacturers:

1. Joseristine Hyaluronic Acid Moisturizing MasK (HKD18 / MOP21 / USD2.50 each)

it fits very well on the skin and very moisturizing
I think I like this one a tad bit more than Dr. Wu's since there is more serum in it
however, it's also stickier so depends what you like
2.  Joseristine Alp Rose Stem Cell Q10 Repairing Mask (HKD35 / MOP38 / USD4.5 each)

it's another one of the 3-ply masks, fits well on my face, lots of serum.
you can smell the rose scent upon opening the package and it was a little overwhelming.
(I started sneezing - allergies alert!)
the serum is very thick but my skin drank it like water
my skin also felt a little tingly when the mask is on
might be a tad bit too rich for me in the summer but i know my skin will love it in the fall/winter

FTC Disclaimer:  Prices listed are local prices.  I am not affiliated with any of the companies or brands mentioned and the products are purchased and not sponsored.

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