31 Mar 2016

Sheet Mask Review Episode 3: January and February 2016 Facial Mask Collection

I think I am going to make this a routine, sharing my sheet masks review every one or two months. It would be interesting to note the changes in my skin conditions following different masks I use, in different environments. It would also provide a helpful guide for those of you who are having difficulties choosing the right sheet masks for yourself. So, I shall be the lab rats then!

Here are all the sheet masks I used in January and February of 2016:

  • Goodal Keeping Youth Coconut Wash-off Pack
  • FaceQ It's Ocean HA Moisturizing & Skin-Reviving Mask
  • Innisfree Skin Clinic Madecassoside Mask
  • Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Cucumber Mask
  • L'herboflore Pear Nourishing Hydromask
  • Goodal Cherry Blossom Revitalizing Mask
  • Lovemore Mountain Tea Polyphenols Moisturizing Mask
  • My Beauty Diary Lipsome Hyaluronic Acid Mask
  • Tsaio Deep Moisturizing Mask x 2
  • L'herboflore Camellia Nourishing Hydromask
  • My Beauty Diary Natto Mask
  • Entel Aloevera Mask Pack
  • Pure Smile Milk Essence Mask
  • Entel Snail Gold Mask Pack
  • Mamonde Lily Water Whitening Flower Essential Mask
  • Leaders Stepsolution Aquaringer
  • Neogence Ceramide Moisturizing Mask
  • Bliv Dullness Cessation Bright is Right Black Pearl Brightening Mask



Goodal Keeping Youth Coconut Wash-off Pack



Assessment

Packaging (72%) Scent (85%) Material (92%) Wear (83%) Ingredients (NA) Finish (85%)
This is surprisingly good as a capsule mask. It contains coconut meat for gentle exfoliating purpose to remove dead skin cells and revive dull skin. The coconut pack also smells exactly like perfumed coconut, which is not artificial or funky, rather quite natural and pleasant.

My skin felt clearer and cleaner after washing it off. Pores relatively smaller with more fined skin texture. Also noticed an increased in skin radiance and moisture level, even though this doesn't say moisturizing and brightening. Definitely looking younger with all those dullness removed and fine lines calmed.

Repurchasing? yes
Grade: 83%/A-

My Beauty Diary Natto Mask
我的美麗日記飽水保濕納豆面膜



Assessment
Packaging (68%) Scent (65%) Material (82%) Wear (62%) Ingredients (72%) Finish (65%)



This natto flavour is known in Taiwan as the most moisturizing ones among all My Beauty Diary masks. A lot of people are raving about its moisturizing properties, which make it one of the "classic" flavours that have not been discontinued since its production. As such, I have really high expectation about its moisture-binding properties.

The renewed version of the My Beauty Diary has much better sheet materials compared to its previous versions. It is extremely adhesive and thin yet firm enough to grasp lotsa essences. The essence in this natto mask is rather viscous and thick, which leaves a tacky finish after applying. Regardless of the tackiness, I don't find anything special about this mask - not particularly moisturizing or hydrating compared to most other masks I've tried.

Ingredients-wise, this natto mask contains aloe vera extract, lemon fruit extract, licorice root extract, watercress extract, black elderberry flower extract, brown algae extract, bladderwrack extract, arnica flower extract and so on but somehow I couldn't find "natto" in this long ingredients list. Apart from that, I want to raise your attention to the ingredient "triethanolamine" used here, which is a controversy ingredient used in cosmetic products as a known skin irritant and organ toxin.

Having said that, I think I wouldn't make a repurchase, although I still have a few more left in the box. There isn't any significant improvement in my skin, apart from that unpleasant tackiness it gives, and I don't think I should risk my health for something rather useless and ineffective.

Repurchasing? NO, but still have a few more left in the box
Grade: 69.30%/B-

My Beauty Diary Lipsome Hyaluronic Acid Mask


Assessment
Packaging (55%) Scent (65%) Material (50%) Wear (50%) Ingredients (35%) Finish (30%)


Just like the natto mask discussed previously, this is another moisturizing type My Beauty Diary mask but unlike the natto one, this is a new flavour just came out. It's a "lipsome" hyaluronic acid mask, which equates to deeper penetrating power. Unfortunately, I didn't experience any "deep hydrating" effect from this. It doesn't feel any difference with other My Beauty Diary masks. Though, this mask indeed contains some good ingredients like aloe vera extract, lemon fruit extract, box holly extract, ginseng root extract, arnica flower extract, mallow flower extract and so on. There is indeed a good amount of efforts being put into the formulation although one should always be cautious about the ingredient "triethanolamine" inside, which as I mentioned many times previously, a toxin that might cause liver cancer.

Repurchasing? not this flavour!
Grade: 68.15%/B-

Pure Smile Milk Essence Mask


Assessment

Packaging (82%) Scent (15%) Material (25%) Wear (0%) Ingredients (NA) Finish (0%)
I got this cute little Japanese mask for around RM 2.00 (USD 0.50) from Iqueen Malaysia. Since I have been using mostly Korean and Taiwanese masks, so I thought why don't I give this cute mask a try? Hence, I bought a pack of 4 different flavours just to see how they work on my skin. There is no English description whatsoever on the packaging, and I can read only minimal Japanese characters. Fortunately enough, on the front it says “moisturizing, relaxing and sothing", which I guess is a milk-essence-containing mask designed for moisturizing and soothing purposes.

I must be very honest that I didn't like this at all. The material was really rough, and didn't fit well on my skin. The essence dried up within 10 minutes, and started to sting my skin. The essence smelled horrible as well, like some kind of cheap milk candy with artificial sweetener. In short, "uncomfortable" is the only word I could find to describe my feeling when I had the mask on. My skin did feel relatively softer, suppler and moisturized after taking off the mask, but that uncomfortable feeling was really killing my desire to further try out masks from this brand. And... I still have 3 more to go.

Repurchasing? No
Grade: 23.40%/F

Mamonde Lily Water Whitening Flower Essential Mask


Assessment
Packaging (98%) Scent (100%) Material (100%) Wear (100%) Ingredients (85%) Finish (100%)

You can easily tell from the marking that this is my favourite mask. Not only did the packaging look lovely, the mask smells and feels wonderful on the skin as well. It has a really pleasant lily flower smell that is perfect for bedtime use. The mask sheet is really thin and silky, feels almost weightless on my skin. There is a spoonful of clear essence which you can apply on your knees, neck, elbows or your face. The essence is non-sticky or gooey, just some clear thick water essence that gets absorbed rapidly upon contacting the skin.

My skin feels soft, supple and moisturized for the next 2-3 days. Also notice a brighter complexion the next day although it only lasts 1 day. Ingredients-wise, this lily water whitening mask contains niacinamide, lily water extract and hyaluronic acid. There isn't any particularly problem ingredient, except for maybe butylene glycol, castor oil, and PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer which is really common in most cosmetics. I like how clean the ingredients list is. Instead of putting ten different ingredients, this contains only three: the claimed extract lily, the popular niacinamide for brightening and hyaluronic acid for moisturizing.

Repurchasing?
Yes!
Grade: 95.95%/A+

Leaders Stepsolution Aquaringer Mask


Assessment
Packaging (70%) Scent (78%) Material (83%) Wear (72%) Ingredients (NA) Finish (75%)

I had a high expectation on this mask, as it came from one of the best-selling Korean mask brand Leaders. However, it did not impress me as much as I expected. The mask has really special material. It is somewhere between gel and wood pulp, which grasps essence really firmly compared to many other normal wood pulp or cotton mask. The process of wearing this is rather comfortable and moisturizing but not very hydrating. I didn't feel a lot of water flowing into my skin, just some sticky moisturizing layer covering my skin surfaces. Skin feels slightly suppler after wearing but nothing special apart from that.

Repurchasing? Unlikely, unless if I want to give it a second try
Grade: 75.40%/B

Neogence Ceramide Moisturizing Mask


Assessment
Packaging (58%) Scent (50%) Material (60%) Wear (0%) Ingredients (60%) Finish (0%)


This is the second mask, apart from Hanaka ones that itch me out badly. I thought the brand Neogence is really well known for its mildness and gentleness on skin so I couldn't understand why it hurts my skin so badly. I couldn't recall much details from the experience, the material was OK, the smell was just normal mask smell and the essence was not too sticky. However, the process turned into a torture when this mask started to itch me out really badly after 5-10 minutes.

Ingredients-wise, there is nothing really wrong in this mask. I spotted some normal humectants, emulsifiers and emollients. There is trehalose, squalane, hyaluronic acid and ceramide to do the skin repairing and moisturizing jobs. Maybe the preservative is added a little bit too much but I still don't quite get why I get that horrible sensitive reaction to this mask.

Repurchasing? No
Grade: 37.70%/F

Bliv Dullness Cessation Bright is Right Mask


Assessment
Packaging (68%) Scent (75%) Material (85%) Wear (82%) Ingredients (85%) Finish (85%)


Bliv is a sub-brand of Clinique, which focuses on simple and pure cosmetic lines as well as Japanese silk mask. The packaging looks rather simple, with the big label "dullness cessation" for dark and uneven skin tone. This mask claims to do brightening, smoothing and hydrating works for a glowing and even complexion.

Ingredients-wise, this mask contains a number of active and well-research ingredients such as niacinamide, black pearl, silk protein, willow bark extract, licorice extract, vitamin B12 and vitamin C. Although not heavily researched, black pearl is an oriental beauty tonic with known skin brightening and melanin-inhibiting purposes. Willow bark extract, on the other hand, has mild exfoliating purpose to revitalize and refine skin tone. Other ingredients such as niacinamide, licorice extract and vitamin C are well-documented anti-pigmentation and brightening powerhouses. The ingredients are pretty safe, though individuals sensitive to paraben, isopropyl alcohol (alcohol), castor oil, and phenoxyethanol might need to take note of their presence in this mask.

This mask has nice material, soft and thin, and will adhere seamlessly onto my face. The essence was clear and non-sticky with cosmetic mask smell. It gave a nice brightening effect after applying with some moisturizing effects.

Repurchasing? still have a few more left
Grade: 81.00%/A-

L'herboflore Camellia Nourishing Hydromask
蕾舒翠 山茶花面膜


Assessment
Packaging (93%) Scent (85%) Material (97%) Wear (82%) Ingredients (58%) Finish (80%)


This mask is a heavenly treat, from its pretty packaging, seamless fitting, flowery scent to its hydrating power. Everything is awesome here. It will be your perfect bedtime relaxing treat after a long day out.

However, this mask has raised my eyebrows over some of its ingredients. First, it contains triethanolamine, which is a pH adjuster known to cause skin irritation and liver cancer in lab rats. A lot of Taiwanese masks, I realize, carry this ingredient, and sadly some of them are my favourites. Secondly, it contains the preservative methylisothiazolinone, a toxin that might cause nerve damage and has been taken off from many cosmetics. Thirdly, there is a hefty measures of preservatives in this mask: methylisothiazolinone, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sodium sulfite, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate, and sodium acetate. I am not an ingredients-expert and don't want to pretense that I am one, but I am feeling uncomfortable over the amount of preservatives inside here, especially methylisothiazolinone.

In addition, the ingredients packed in this gorgeous-looking mask is also far from impressive. Apart from camellia extract, it carries aloe vera extract, cucumber extract, hyaluronic acid, allantoin, mannitol, and trehalose, all of which are "normal" soothing and hydrating agents.

If you ask me, I really love L'herboflore masks, for its gorgeous packaging, ultra-comfortable sheet material to its hydrating power. Regardless, I don't think I will make any more repurchases after I finished all L'herboflore masks I bought, unless of course if they change their formula. Let's hope that they do! Otherwise, it would be such a great waste for a mask this fitting!

Repurchasing? No
Grade: 79.80%/B+

Lovemore Mountain Tea Polyphenols Moisturizing Mask
豐台灣高山茶多酚活氧面膜


Assessment
Packaging (88%) Scent (82%) Material (85%) Wear (80%) Ingredients (60%) Finish (80%)




I've seen a lot of my insta fellows are loving these Lovemore masks, which prompts me to try out some myself. I got this from Iqueen Malaysia during their 1+1 sales, which I think was a really good deal.

The material used here is quite high quality. The "real" mask is hidden between two plastic sheets. It is so slim and soft that it needs two plastic sheets to hold it in shape. The scent is really nice as well - quite refreshing and pleasant. This mask contains mountain tea polyphenols, which claims to do works like antioxidizing, lifting, refining, rejuvenating and moisturizing.

Ingredients-wise, this mask contains mainly green tea extract (mountain tea polyphenols), wine extract, sea water, honey extract, small particles hyaluronic acid, and urea. All of these are potent ingredients for antioxidizing, firming, purifying, nourishing and moisturizing benefits combined. It may sound good, but the presence of methylisothiazolinone remains my biggest concern in masks as well as other non-rinsing cosmetics. Why can't you just not containing methylisothiazolinone???

In terms of results, this mask leaves a non-tacky, refreshing and moisturized finish that I really enjoy. As if your skin is filled with a lot of hydrating factors, making it soft and smooth.

Repurchasing? I will finish off the entire box and will not make any repurchases until it takes off the methylisothiazolinone
Grade: 77.15%/B+

Goodal Cherry Blossom Revitalizing Mask


Assessment
Packaging (73%) Scent (72%) Material (76%) Wear (75%) Ingredients (78%) Finish (76%)


Everything is cloudy, milky and cottony about this mask: from its packaging, its sheet material, scent to its essence. If you look at the ingredients list, you'll see a lot of emollients and emulsifiers, which explain the texture.

Ingredients-wise, this mask is packed with a lot of nutrition. Squalane, shea butter, arginine, kernel oil, camellia seed oil, sunflower seed oil, and safflower seed oil are all moisturizers with skin nourishing and protecting properties. Allantoin and Indian frankincense are both potent soothing agents whereas licorice extract and sakura flower extract can brighten up skin while reducing pigmentation. There isn't any problematic ingredients here, maybe except for mineral oil which is essentially non-comedogenic but may cause skin allergies to certain individuals and/or the polysorbates.

This mask leaves a silky smooth and nourishing finish. Other than that, I don't find anything impressive, not particularly revitalizing or hydrating, just nourishing.

Repurchasing? I'll try one more piece to find out
Grade: 75.50%

L'herboflore Pear Nourishing Hydromask
蕾舒翠 水梨面膜


Assessment
Packaging (78%) Scent (76%) Material (90%) Wear (76%) Ingredients (72%) Finish (75%)


This is a well-made, beautiful and lively Taiwanese mask. Masks are usually quick facial treatments meant to be disposed but these beautiful packaging make me want to keep them. The pear nourishing hydromask is made of seamless Japanese silk cotton that fits perfectly onto your skin. Skin feels hydrated, smoother and radiant after taking off the mask. I don’t want to comment too much on the packaging since there isn’t really anything to talk about except for compliments.

My real concern, however, remains the ingredients used. Although this mask does contain some good ingredients such as aloe vera extract, fermented pear juice extract, hyaluronic acid, mannitol, trehalose and licorice extract, those are really normal moisturizing and soothing ingredients without being overly impressive. The bad ingredients are staggering. It contains two really bad ones: triethanolamine (can cause live cancer) and methylisothiazolinone (can cause nerve damage) as well as a bunch of preservatives (6 in total). Honestly, I would really prefer parabens or phenoxyethanol over these. Until they stop using these questionable ingredients, I guess I won’t make any more purchases after I finished all L’herboflore masks I bought.

Repurchasing? until they discontinue methylisothiazolinone
Grade: 77.20%/B+

Innisfree Skin Clinic Madecassoside Mask


Assessment
Packaging (89%) Scent (100%) Material (88%) Wear (98%) Ingredients (88%) Finish (95%)


This mask has the most elegant and professional packaging I've ever seen in masks I use. May not be the most lively and attractive but definitely classy with its silver-shinny pocket. The mask is made of 100% natural soft cotton hairs around the cotton wool. Despite being soft and fitting, this mask also "firm" and "coarse" enough to grasp essence and force treat them onto your face. The smell of this is sort of like the Goodal Oil Plus Skin Mist, quite herby and earthy, something I would enjoy.

This mask contains madecassoside, an ingredient claimed to soothe skin getting irritated from a lack of moisture and to strengthen the skin barrier. I was feeling sensitive due to a lack of hydration on my skin surface when I used this mask, but did not notice anything special or worth noticing from the experience. It did make my skin suppler, moisturized and softer, but I did not notice that hydrating or soothing effects it promises.

Ingredients-wise, this mask contains arginine, betaine, madecassoside, glycerin, and a bunch of other Innisfree-unique extracts (green tea, tangerine peel, orchid, camellia leaf, and cactus). So our main focus will be madecassoside here. Madecassoside is one of the four principal bioactive compounds in the soothing queen centella asiatica plant. The ingredient has been found to have wound-healing, soothing, collagen synthesis and antioxidizing properties. In short, a great ingredient for soothing and calming skin. Alongside with other ingredients such as arginine, betaine and green tea extract, I think it will achieve its claimed benefits.

It is also important to note the lack of parabens and phenoxyethanol here. It is replaced by lemon peel oil to be the preservative, which is great for individuals sensitive to the said preservatives. Although I notice suppler, moisturized and smoother skin, I did not sense the soothing effects as promised.

Repurchasing? Yes!
Grade: 92.25%/A+

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Cucumber Mask


Assessment
Packaging (100%) Scent (85%) Material (93%) Wear (95%) Ingredients (85%) Finish (88%)


This looks like a "freshly squeezed" cucumber mask with its lively packaging. The scent is also similar to fresh cucumber as well. Wet out of the pocket, this mask carries enough essence to cover your other body parts, if you feel that you don't need that much of an essence for your face. The mask is made of silky soft and slim wood pulp, which makes wearing it a delightful and comfortable treat.

The major claim of this mask is moisturizing, and it does what it claims really well as well - to moisturize and soften skin. My skin feels softer and more supple the next day when I wake up. Although quite moisturizing, but doesn't feel anything special or extraordinary about this mask.

Ingredients-wise, it contains mostly common moisturizing agents such as glycerin, cucumber juice, hyaluronic acid, green tea extract, camellia leaf extract and so on. There isn't really anything too special about this mask, but for the price, the packaging and the material used in this mask, I would give this a A+. Individuals looking for some refreshing afternoon tea break should give this a try, so as individuals without any major skin concerns. This will be a delightful, refreshing and lively little evening wake-up treat for your skin.

Repurchasing? Yes
Grade: 90.55%/A+

FaceQ It's Ocean HA Moisturizing & Skin Reviving Mask
絕世愛美肌 海藻玻尿酸水潤面膜


Assessment
Packaging (75%) Scent (78%) Material (78%) Wear (80%) Ingredients (75%) Finish (75%)


This is a beautiful-looking, oceany mask packed with really attractive ingredient - the marine algae. This is pretty similar to other Taiwanese masks, with really slim and silky material and lotsa clear runny essence. It provides a cooling and hydrating sensation on the skin, leaving the skin moisturized and smooth.

However, just like most other Taiwanese masks I mentioned above, this contains really problematic ingredients like triethanolamine and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC). The IPBC is a suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin, and have been linked to reduced fertility and increased risk of pregnancy problems. It also may increase birth defects. Does that sound scary enough to continue?

Having one super bad ingredient really spoils the entire basket. Of course, this mask has some really good ingredients such as trehalose, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, chondrus crispus extract (an Irish seaweed with anti-aging benefits), beet root extract (anti-oxidizing), haberlea rhodopensis leaf extract, faex extract (promotes cell metabolism and skin renewal) and sodium DNA (anti-aging, cell renewal). However, given all these potent anti-aging and skin reviving ingredients would not drive me into buying more of their masks since I feel that there is no need to risk my general health for a force treat of nutrition on my face. Don't you agree?

Repurchasing? not sure
Grade: 76.50%/B+

Tsaio Deep Moisturizing Mask
上山采药 保湿蓄水面膜 - 芦荟 x 玻尿酸


Assessment
Packaging (93%) Scent (92%) Material (82%) Wear (75%) Ingredients (95%) Finish (85%)



This mask smells wonderful, looks pretty and has really cool material. It's like essence soaked in a concentrated spider web, so firm yet silky. It provides a hydrating, cool and also moisturizing effects. You won't need to apply a cream after this because it will form an emollient-like smooth finish for nighttime protection. Just take it off, throw it asides, and enjoy your lights out!

Ingredients-wise, it contains powerful moisturizers like aloe vera extract, hyaluronic acid, and trehalose as well as soothing and anti-oxidizing agents like calendula flower extract, witch hazel and licorice extract. There is no particularly dangerous or harmful ingredients in here, and as for those who are concerned about paraben, this contains methylparaben, a safer paraben used in reputable skincare brands like Kiehl's, Cetaphil and many other.

Repurchasing? yes!
Grade: 87.45%/A

Entel Aloevera Mask Pack


Assessment
Packaging (55%) Scent (75%) Material (50%) Wear (65%) Ingredients (35%) Finish (40%)


This is a really cheap mask widely sold across the internet. You pay anywhere between RM 39.90 to RM 59.90 for a pack of 30 masks, which made it only RM 1.00-2.00 each.

The mask is made of artificially fragranced cotton sheet, with clear and slight viscous essence. It has that strong aloe vera fragrance you have in Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel. A lot of the cheap nightmarket fakes smell like this as well, so I am sure this is not an expensive fragrance at all.

Ingredients-wise, this mask contains minimal amount of skincare beneficials, such as licorice root extract and a tiny bit of aloe vera extract. What's bad about it is the triethanolamine in it that might cause liver cancer. Other than that, the ingredients are just what I would call "indifferent" whether or not you slap it on your face. And does it worth the 20 minutes idling time waiting for the "essence" to absorb is upon your own judgement.

Repurchasing? NO!
Grade: 49.75%/F

Entel Snail Gold Mask Pack


Assessment
Packaging (55%) Scent (65%) Material (50%) Wear (50%) Ingredients (35%) Finish (30%)



As mentioned above, this mask is another "indifferent" cheap mask I've tried this month. Honestly, I don't know why I am wasting my money and time trying all these "useless" masks. This smells even more artificially and weird than the aloe vera one, with similar functions. Inside there is snail secretion filtrate which I am not sure how they formulate it, but if badly formulated, is not going to do any good for your skin anyway. So, yeah, I think it is best not to fall into the "cheap Korean popular masks trap". Cheap is almost always the opposite of good quality.

Repurchasing? No!
Grade: 45.50%/F
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