26 Nov 2015

Review: Hanaka Intensive Renewal Facial Mask

I am a bit obsessed with Taiwanse masks lately. Although I still have a lot of reviews lining up, I choose to write about Hanaka mask first. See how I love you, Taiwanese masks? Ok, that's just my lame excuse to buy more Taiwanese mask, LOL. But, it is true that Taiwan produces the best affordable-masks in the world, which's why I always come back to them. The Taiwanese are also estimated to use somewhere between 80 - 150 million sheet masks per year. So you can imagine the vigorous competition going on in there. How can you not get high quality masks at cheap cheap prices when masks are just everywhere?

There are a lot of Taiwanese brands that I love, such as AMPM, Neogence, Dr. Wu and so on on skincare; but also others that specialize in producing masks such as My Beauty Diary, My Scheming, Hey! Pinkgo Girl, L'herboflore, Hanaka etc. If you ask me, I feel that Taiwanese masks are by far the world no.1 in terms of their cost-performance ratio. Of course, Korean masks are really nice too, but I feel that Taiwanese ones move faster and have cuter and more appealing designs.

Hanaka Intensive Renewal Facial Mask is one such masks that has been quite popular in Malaysia online beauty market. Many online retailer such as Hermo, Beautystall, and individual 11street sellers are carrying them. They come in a pair, a black one for deep-cleansing and a white one for exfoliating. Both are wash-off type masks carrying 250g of product with freaky cute designs.

Since I have already got Coni Beauty Black Jelly and DMC deep-cleansing mask, I would save Hanaka Blackhead Pore White Mask for later and just grab the Hanaka Intensive Renewal Facial Mask. I wonder why they call the black jelly mask "Pore White Mask" though. It's black, not white at all, or are they serious about calling it "pore white" as in "whitehead"? You know, pores can't get white. Ok, that's just my lame joke. Let's move on.


The Hanaka Intensive Renewal Facial Mask is a mask that claims to brighten up your skin, tighten your pores and reduce dullness through gentle peeling process. In sort, brightening + exfoliating. It's a wash-off type product, so you are not supposed to leave it on your skin for more than 30 minutes. The active ingredient here is mandelic acid, which is quite a popular yet gentle exfoliating agent in Taiwan. Through gentle peeling process, skin can become brighter and smoother with all the stacking dead skin cells removed. Like how you polish your shoes or wipe your mirror.


credit of English translation: morenmore singapore


The Hanaka white jelly mask has a pearly white appearance in a light jelly form, and can be easily spread on your face. It gives a cooling effect upon applying with a pleasant scent that lingers until you wash it off. It has a bit of viscosity or stickiness that I think are meant to prevent the mask from being absorbed into your skin. I am not sure about you guys, but I won't want an exfoliating mask on my skin for any longer than 20-30 minutes, especially that it contains some hazardous ingredients.

After 20 minutes of applying, my skin immediately feels softener, brighter and cleaner. This effect unfortunately will go away pretty soon though, like 1-2 hours later. I attribute the brighter look it gives me to water saturation after having a water-condensed jelly product sitting on my skin surface for too long - similar to like how your fingers and toes look like after taking a long bath.

(click here for my Cosdna profile)

Aqua, Carbomer, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Ctearyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Phenyl Trimethicone, Dimethicone, DL-Mandelic Acid, Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Actinidia Chinensis (KlWI) Fruit Water, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Propylene Glycol, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Honey Extract, Soluble Collagen, Hydrolyzed Elastin, Sodium PCA, Serine, Glycogen, Ethoxylated Alkylphenol, Ethoxylated Sorbitan Ester, Methylisothiazolinone, lodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Fragrance


The ingredients are still acceptable here. There is a lot of emollients, stabilizers, and other non-active ingredients but except for ctearyl alcohol (with a score of 2 on both comedogenic and irritation) and methylisothiazolinone (a preservative flagged as 4/5 hazardous and is supposed to be used on rinse-off products such as cleanser ahdm shampoos), the rest are still OK. 

My main concern is the methylisothiazolinone, a hazardous preservative that are only approved for use in rinse-off products. Of course, the Hanaka white jelly mask is a wash-off type product, but you will still need to apply this on your skin for 20-30 minutes. Wouldn't that be problematic at all?

Besides, I've also seen the ingredient making its presence in Hanna & Kent masks, a brand that just got launched in Malaysia not too long ago --- like 1 year ago? It actually took me by surprise because sheet masks have essence that is meant to be absorbed by your skin and wouldn't methylisothiazolinone cause any troubles for your skin? Well...

DL-Mandelic Acid is the star ingredient here. I am not sure how many % of it is contained here, but mandelic acid is required to be present at a certain concentration to function well. It is natural AHA exfoliant which can also suppress pigmentation, treating inflammatory non-cystic acne and rejuvenate photoaged skin. One thing to note about mandelic acid is that it must be packed in an opaque container to remain effective --- so if you see mandelic acid in transparent container, remember not to pick it up from the shelf!

Other active ingredients include:
  • ascorbic acid 左旋C -- vitamin C, a very effective antioxidant and brightening agent
  • allantoin 尿囊素-- a powerful soothing agent and moisturizer
  • kiwi fruit water 奇异果萃取-- Hanaka claims that this can enhance the skin renewing process, whereas my own research claims that it has more benefits such as reducing free radicals damage on your skin and regulate trans-epidermal water loss
  • sophora angustifolia root extract 苦参萃取 -- Hanaka claims that this can exfoliate dead skin cells whereas my own research found that it can also reduce melanin transfer
  • calendula flower extract 金盏花萃取 -- soothing 
  • honey 蜂蜜萃取 -- soothing, moisturizing

Ingredients-wise, this mask is just on average for products in the same price range (RM 40-50 for a wash-off mask). It is packed with a good deal of brightening agents, exfoliants, and some soothing agents that can indeed remove your dead skin cells and reveal a brighter-looking skin. However, I personally feel that the effect it provides is not long-lasting and could be a bit harsh for individuals with drier and sensitive skin. Those with dull, resistance, oily and combination skin can give this a try, but I wouldn't say that this is better than other more gentle peeling masks such as Skinfood Rice Wash-off Mask, Belif First Aid Transforming Mask, Primera Gentle Peeling Mask and the list goes on. 

Also, I am not the brilliant scientist behind this product so I won't know the % of AHA content here. I can't tell you for sure that it is better than many rather well-known AHA product from Paula's Choice or Cosrx, and my understanding of AHA/BHA products are still quite primitive. But if you want to try, try; just don't expect too much from it. I guess if you are a teenager or young adult below 23, then you are welcomed to give this cute-looking mask a try as your skin is pretty much very good and strong still. For older skin like mine (25++), I would advise that you try something else instead of this. 

Packaging ★★★☆
Texture ★★★
Scent ★★★
Ingredients ★★

Performance ★


In short, I don't find this white jelly mask impressive or distressing. The effect is still there, but not long-lasting. I can still get whiteheads (my blackheads are manageable) using this alone before incorporating treatment essences into my skincare. Also, this mask has some harsh ingredients that I want to avoid. It may not cause me problems at this point of time but I don't want other complications or premature aging due to using the wrong thing later in my life. 

If you have extra cash, or you like cute looking things, have oily to combination skin with no sensitivity issue, and are below 23, go ahead and try this as an affordable peeling mask. These are still far better than many stripping and harsh pull-off type packs like the Nivea or Garnier one you see in Watsons or Guardian. Gentle exfoliating is essential to ensure that your skin is free of debris or dead skin cells that cannot be removed by cleanser alone. I used to ignore that exfoliating part -- only to find out that I've a lot of whiteheads that are terribly hard and painful to be extracted. So, I would advise anyone to get at least one deep-cleansing or gentle exfoliating mask for your skincare routine -- even if you are just in your teens.

A reminder though, since it contains methylisothiazolinone, do not use this product for more than 30 minutes as instructed! Make sure you wash everything off before continuing with your skincare routine. 

That's all for tonight guys! Good night and I'll see you in my next review.

You can get this from: Beautystall / Hermo / Morenmore / Comian

[Disclaimer] This is NOT a sponsored review. Products are purchased with my own money. All copy right of contents and images in this article is strictly mine.
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