Welcome back, everyone! Who's ready to face mask? If you said yes, congratulations on making one of the best skin-changing decisions of your life!
Growing up in California, I never really thought face masks were a big deal. $10 for one face mask seemed so expensive compared to getting a face cream for $50 that could do the same thing as the face mask over a longer period of time. Face masks aren't really emphasized in the American skincare regimen and seem to be more of a special treat that only happens when you get a facial.
In Seoul, that is not the case. Not only is there one big chain beauty store at every corner, you are also able to find a NATURE REPUBLIC at many subway stations. Korean men and women take their skin VERY seriously, and the great thing is that it doesn't even cost that much to get on their level. It's so easy over there to walk into a beauty store, grab a couple of sheet masks, and be on your way home. Koreans are reminded everyday about skincare, but us Americans... not so much... until we look in the mirror and agonize over our skin problems.
Face masks SAVE your skin when it isn't up to par. Even if you just use one once-a-week, you will be able to see a change in your skin. For the cost of a lunch out or even a few cups of coffee or boba, one face mask pumps a bunch of great nutrients into your skin that you may be missing from your daily face products. Face masks are definitely a great way to take control of your skin. Is your skin too oily today? No problem! Use a face mask packed with tea tree oil! Too dull? Don't worry, put on that vitamin C face mask! Too dry? Face masks have your back - use one loaded with hyaluronic acid! Got too many blemishes? Use a whitening face mask! Worried about aging like me? Collagen it up!
As always, I want to emphasize the importance of consistency in skincare. In order to really see the effects of a product, you have to be patient and give it time. Face masks are great because just one can show an amazing amount of effects, and if you use them continually (I use one mask on every weekday and one over the weekend), your skin will always be in its best condition. Think of it as an investment, and you will soon notice that you may be able to toss that concealer in the trash!
Note to men: Face masks are not just for women! Many skincare companies such as INNISFREE, NATURE REPUBLIC, and MEDIHEAL make their packaging and marketing very generic. Other companies like HERA and IOPE have made separate face mask lines for HOMME/MEN. Women and men have the same skin concerns in Korea, so both men and women share the same brands and products. This is very different than the American beauty market, which is something that American men are not quite used to.
Today, I want to introduce NATURE REPUBLIC's Snail Solution Mask Sheet, which is a mask that I default to and use when I don't have a particular skin problem and want to just moisturize, anti-age, and get rid of any dark spots I may have. Going forward, I will be reviewing a bunch of face masks (as I am absolutely obsessed with them and am always looking for more to add to my face mask collection). The Snail Solution Mask Sheet is a cotton sheet mask, which is one of the more basic sheet masks in the Korean beauty market. There are also hydrogel masks, which are gel masks that contain much more nutrients than a cotton mask and melt off slowly on your face to release the goodness - but more on that next time!
The steps are very easy, but you should always prepare your skin for a mask in this order:
1. Wash your face using the 3-step method that I will explain further soon (oil cleanse, exfoliate, foam cleanse).
2. Gently apply toner with cotton (or you can use your hands like me).
3. Apply the face mask and leave it on for the recommended time. Most full-face masks are usually left on for 20 minutes maximum. If you leave the mask on for more than 10 minutes after the recommended amount of time, the mask may dry out your skin, so make sure to pay attention and don't fall asleep with it! I like to spread a towel over my pillow and lay on it. Sometimes, I also do work with it on (if I must). The best position, in my opinion, is to lay flat on your bed so that you let gravity work the essence into your pores. Watch a show or something! You have time.
4. Remove the mask. Lightly tap in the remaining essence on your face into your skin.
5. Continue with the rest of your skincare regimen, beginning with emulsion. Click here to read about my post-cleansing skincare steps.
I use this as a basic care mask in conjuction with my main skincare products. Snail has always been a very good answer for me. I recommend that you find one face mask that you can use as a basic care mask (TONYMOLY and INNISFREE have some very affordable basic care masks for under $5/pc, and THEFACESHOP has a nice bundle for men). Use this basic care mask everyday or very often. When you find that you have a specific skin problem, swap out a few of your "basic face mask days" with a different mask that targets that problem. Never just let your skin go! Always feed it!
Hope this was informational! Test it out and let me know how you like it! More posts coming up soon!
ANNOUNCEMENT: If you are a gentleman who is willing to test out Korean skincare products for vklSKIN and you live in the Los Angeles area, please send me an email so we can talk further! All products that you test and review will be completely free. Products will be catered to men and also your skin type and skin troubles. No photos of yourself will be required in these product reviews unless you are willing to be photographed.