So to start this post, the product I am reviewing is Skin Factory’s I2. P.L White Mela-X Ampoule sheet mask and I will from this point on refer to it as “the mask” so as to not drive us all insane.
And SPOILER: the reason the title says “review” is because after trying this mask, I will officially have my first bad encounter in the realm of K-beauty 😦
Skin Factory as a brand focuses on “natural” products that aim to balance the skin. They accomplish this by keeping their customers and the environment in mind when developing products as well as avoiding added pigments, parabens, ethyl alcohol, and mineral oil.
This particular mask is made of something called “bio-cellulose,” is intended to produce moisturizing and “purifying” effects on the skin, and of course, has the “non-addition” of the four things listed above.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycereth-26, Propylene Glycol, 1,2-Hexanediol, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor oil, Betaine, Triethanolamine, Carbomer, Aspalathus Linearis Extract, Allantoin, Dipotassium Glycynrhizate,Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan), Rosea Centifolia Flower Water, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Arbutin, Disodium EDTA, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Tocopheryl Acetate, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Fragrance
Arbutin is a known melanin-inhibitor due to its hydroquinone content. It needs at least a 1% concentration to have any beneficial result so its placement outside of the “top five” in the ingredients list still means that it is in a high enough concentration to be beneficial (although repeated, daily use of such an ingredient would be necessary to judge its effectiveness; a one-time sheet mask application is pretty much useless).
Another ingredient is Rosea Centifolia Flower water, which in non-scientific speak, just means rose water. This ingredient has been having a moment in the beauty world, touted for a ton of various benefits ranging from antioxidant to anti-aging. At the end of the day, it serves as an emollient and antioxidant as more research is needed to support the other claims.
Morus Alba Bark Extract stems from the mulberry plant which is again, a melanin-inhibitor with little research on the concentration protocols. The other extract, Aspalathus Linearis, is Roobios, which is better-known for its health benefits in tea form rather than just being an anti-allegery/antioxidant (in other words, perhaps you should go drink this ingredient over putting it on your face).
Most of the ingredients on this list are either some sort of emollient/moisturizing agent (such as the butylene glycol which appears in like, every sheet mask ever) or a cleansing agent (like the PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil). There are also some thickeners like carrageenan and carbomer. Triethanolamine is a (slightly controversial) pH balancer for those of you haven’t come across it yet.
The ingredient list for this product is not yet listed on CosDNA (at time of writing this post), so from what I can generally see, most of these ingredients aren’t anything horribly scary or dangerous from what I can tell. As always, do not use if you are sensitive to any of these ingredients and use caution before buying/during/after use. Please remember that when using any kind of melanin-inhibiting ingredients, be sure to wear sunscreen after using products like these, especially if you use such ingredients on a regular basis (a one-time use of this mask won’t have any effect on melanin in all honesty, but using it several times a week call for such measures…and you should be wearing sunscreen all day, err day anyway RIGHT?!).
Basically, after the usual wash and tone prep work, you have to cut a small slit in the pouch and squeeze out all the “mela-ampoule” onto your face.
First, I like sheet masks because they are already soaked in this stuff. I use them to avoid manually putting product onto/into my face. Sheet masks should equal relaxation or fun or preferably, both. If this mask had been reasonable about this process, I could have been chill with it. But dealing with trying to get a seemingly-endless amount of a super-wet, drippy substance from the pouch onto my face and then absorbed enough to keep putting said endless, drippy substance on my face was not fun to say the least. There was so much product it was actually a negative. How is that even possible?!
As I wasted about 15 minutes (I’m not kidding, it took me just under 15 minutes) to get all this crap on my face, I couldn’t help but look at the amount and the waaaay-too-watery texture and think: this product has to be over 95% water. I do not know that percentage for a fact, but given the final results of the mask, the ingredients list (water is listed first and a well-known filler), and the mask’s ampoule amount and consistency, I felt kinda cheated, like I’d been duped. I’d take a little amount of highly potent stuff over what seemed like half a gallon of scented, sticky water any day. The consistency was such a deal-breaker. It got everywhere too. Then dried all sticky 😦 YAY! This sheet mask makes you clean the bathroom counter and the mirror right after you use it! Relaxation at its very finest, y’all.STEP TWO
If you survive this strangely wet, sticky, endless process of trying to force this ampoule-creature-thing into your pores, now that you’ve done all the sheet mask’s work, you can actually wear the sheet mask now. The pouch says to cut another slit to remove the mask, but the mask and “solution” from step one are all stored in one compartment. Give it a big slice and take out some of your anger from the first step.
Needless to say, the mask was almost disgustingly wet. I will not complain about a super-soaked sheet mask, even after such a traumatizing introduction to this product. I am ok with this part of the process…sort of. The mask is made of a plant cellulose material and such material being soaked in so much potion made it kinda gross (well, in a damn, this is one hella soaked sheet mask and ewwww, please don’t make me wear this! kind of way). But, even hydrogel mask textures can make me a little squeemish so full disclaimer of a potential bias here 🙂
Once the actual mask was on, I could relax for 30 minutes. I kept it on for about 45 and I *know* it could have stayed on longer like some sort of mutant coating on my face indefinitely, but I had time constraints like a need for dinner to contend with.
When I took of the mask, I looked like I had smeared olive oil all over my face. I started frantically trying to pat the remaining essence in, but I only discovered my face was literally as sticky as glue! Even once the essence had fully been tapped into my pores, my face looked like an oil slick and was still quite sticky. My skin didn’t look brighter or “purified” in the least. The thick film made me run for my oil cleanser; I could feel my pores already forming pimples from the gunk left over by this mask. Even after a proper double cleanse, the film was still hanging around enough to prevent my skin from absorbing my usual assortment of products, make my makeup application slippery as hell, and within 30 min after my anti-sebum powder application, I looked worse than the BP spill. The *only* slight, charitable results I can drag myself to give this mask is that 1) the mask could probably be worn for several days without drying (although WHY would I ever do that to myself?) and 2) my skin was “bouncier” after this mask for about a day (although that was probably due to increased blood flow brought on by anger and shock).
This unfortunately was my first truly terrible experience with a sheet mask, and actually, k-beauty in general. This product not only ruined my day and was a pain to use, once I finally got the film off my face, the skin underneath was drier than prior to application (ugh, probably both the mask’s high water content and the amount of cleansing needed to remove the sob), PLUS I broke out the day after (like I had to wash my face multiple times to get this film crap off).
So yeah, I definitely do not recommend this product. It doesn’t even get to be rated on my scale because it doesn’t count as product. In fact, this isn’t even really a review; its a cry for help. Have I somehow done this mask wrong? Did I miss something I was supposed to do? Does anyone out there hate this product too or am I totally alone on this?
I seriously don’t even know how to hate something k-beauty…has this ever happened to you?