On a trip to Hong Kong earlier this month, I was inspired by the vast array of paper skin care masks. These masks are actually serum-infused face-shaped pieces of paper with holes for eyes, nose and mouth that are applied to the face for 10-15 minutes. They come individually packaged, sometimes quite whimsically, are easy to wear, deliver a precise amount of concentrated product and contain curious ingredients such as fermented snail mucin (creates a moisture barrier…like a snail), bee venom (reduces lines and wrinkles) and hyaluronic acid (keeps skin plump and dewy). Perfect for industry people in Los Angeles. Asian skincare products are prized by beauty insiders, so I wondered what was available in the local Marukai Market, www.marukai-market.com, that would be accessible and beneficial for a skincare routine. Chinese actress Fan Bing Bing admits to using 600 paper skin care masks per year.
Jamie Bock and I set out to discover why. I purchased four masks at Marukai with powerful active ingredients. They ranged in price from $1.50 - $11.98 (pack of four). Here is the tale of our experience.
When choosing a face mask, we looked for certain ingredients, including:
- Exfoliant/Retinols, AHAS and BHA (to turn over skin cells)
- Antioxidants (to reduce cell damage)
Hydraulic Acid (to retain moisture)
The masks we found contained one or more of these ingredients.
Jamie tried the Gokujyun mask that contained hydraulic acid to retain moisture. The package included 4 individual masks, and were heavier than a sheet of paper (water weight and active ingredients). She felt tingling about 5 minutes into wearing the mask. It stuck to the face so you could move around, but not like a Biore strip. The sides around the bridge of the nose may benefit from trimming, to allow complete coverage. Skin felt a bit sticky after taking off the mask — directions say not to wash off after, but it was tempting! Length of time: approx. 10 min on.
Gina tried the LuLuLun (7 days) mask which contained Royal Jelly and Citrus Fruit extract. The package included 7 individual masks. It helps to extract impurities — deep cleaning! Gina felt the mask was very ill fitting. It began tingling a few minutes into wearing. It was well saturated with ingredients — the mask wasn’t uncomfortable but wasn’t very pretty!! Total time: 12 minutes on.
For the second round...
Jamie tried the Babyish Mask because it’s everyone’s goal to look like a baby. The package contains 8 masks that are deep moisturizing. The mask was similar to Jamie’s first one (the Gokujyun mask) but a bit lighter, and had eye flaps that could potentially be used to cover the eyelid if lying down-? There wasn’t nearly as much residue as the previous mask. Total time with mask on: 10 min.
Gina tried the Moisturizing Day mask with Snail Secretion Extract! This mask is to help with collagen production and skin cell turnover. This mask was much wetter than the previous one she tried. It didn’t adhere to the skin as well, and was a bit wide on the face. If you have a smaller face, this product might be better if trimmed down. Directions say not to wash the product residue off once mask has been removed. Gina noticed that the ingredients started sinking into the skink more quickly. Total time with mask on: 15-20min
Gina and Jamie did not experience any irritation since using the masks. They will definitely use them again!