Let me start off by saying that I am not a mask person. Every once in a while, I might get the urge to try out one of the many masks that have come to me in various Ipsy bags over the years.
I do recall buying Glamglow as a birthday gift to myself after a model/YouTube beauty guru recommended it to me, and I used that very sporadically and, naturally, didn’t notice much of a difference. So, I am hardly what one might call an expert reviewer of masks. But, I suppose that this confession makes me like a huge segment of the mask-buying population—a total newbie trying to navigate the emerging world of Korean skincare products. So, while hopefully this review has something for everyone, this review is ultimately for my fellow mask newbies. Here’s to finally jumping on the mask train. . .
. . . And, what an introduction to masks this has been!
I have tried charcoal masks, and I have tried peel-off masks a few times too, but none have quite delivered on the promise to draw out dirt and oil quite like this mask did. Call me crazy, but I feel like there is a noticeable difference between these two pictures—one before I did the mask and the other after:
**Note: These images were taken in the same lighting, using the same camera, one immediately before and the other immediately after using this mask. They have been edited slightly, but both pictures have been subjected to the exact same edits.
The differences may look small here, but this morning I woke up feeling like I was having a bad skin day—my skin felt greasy, my pores felt clogged, and my chin was breaking out like crazy—you can see some of this in the before picture. But, this mask seems to have minimized the redness around the spots on my chin and cheek and smoothed out my skin overall, giving me a dewy look in the after picture that wasn’t there before.
This is not to say that this mask was perfect—it had its drawbacks as well, so let’s review the pros and cons of this mask, and I’ll let you be the judge of whether this is the perfect mask for your skin type.
- This mask dries fairly quickly and can go on patchy if you don’t work quickly enough—note how patchy my forehead looks in the picture.
- The foil packaging makes it difficult to work quickly and makes application a very messy process. This mask is very sticky and sometimes stringy as I was lifting it to my face, causing the package to get very messy in the process– It is worth noting that the website is currently offering a free spatula with the purchase of a three-pack of this mask and that there are alternatives to the foil packaging, although it’s not clear if the Charcoal Peel-off Modeling Mask (in an easier to apply cup) is exactly the same formula.
- It felt a little bit harsh when tearing it off my face—I felt the burn for a while afterwards, although there was no redness or irritation, just the sting of a well-stuck bandage or piece of tape being torn off the skin. Again, though, it’s worth noting that the package does warn consumers of this, warning that people with sensitivities to bandages should not use the mask.
- I noticed quite a few blackheads on my nose afterwards—many of which I didn’t notice before using this mask—it’s almost as though the mask pulled them to the surface but not completely out of the pores, which might be a shortcoming of the mask or, potentially, an error in my application.
Just to reiterate, I am very much a mask newbie and these are my observations after using this mask. I am aware that many of these things are simply par for the course for this type of mask, and/or could probably have been avoided with a little more preparation or expertise on my part. And, none of these points quite outweigh the positives for me, which are as follows:
- This mask smells amazing! I think it’s the Bergamot Extract that makes it smell like an orange cream soda or something. In my notes, I had originally written that it smelled like an Orange Creamsicle, but the more I smelled it the more I realized that that wasn’t quite right, there was something almost metallic about the smell, but not in a bad way, rather in the way that carbonated beverages have a tangy sort of smell and bounce to them. . . is this just me?
- This mask looks cool on. Except for the patchy area on my forehead, which happened because I took a little too long to apply it and I ran out of product before fully covering that area, it did look very similar to the image on the package in terms of the opacity, coverage, and sheen of the product on my face.
- Arguably, one of the most satisfying parts of charcoal peel off masks is looking at them afterwards and seeing all the gunk that they pulled out of your pores. So, I’m sorry to say that I accidentally threw away the mask before I got the chance to experience this thrilling moment. I did salvage it from the trash can, and was excited to discover some fine tendrils of pore gunk still clinging on, so I know that it definitely gave my pores a nice declogging, but I wish I had gotten to see the fresh unaltered view of the mask—also the particles that were left on my mask were too fine for my camera to pick them up, so I apologize to those of you who read this far into the blog hoping to see a satisfying forest of pore branches.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, I really liked this mask, and feel like it is a great mask for my personal skin concerns, so I would try it again. But, it’s definitely not ideal for sensitive or broken skin—I had a cut on the finger I was using to apply it and it did burn a little bit. But, overall I’m quite happy with my first mask experience since joining this blog and definitely think it’s worth trying out at least once.
Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat., Polyvinyl Alcohol, Glycerin, PVP, Methylpropanediol, Charcoal powder, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extract, Althaea Rosea Flower Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Nelumbo Nucifera Root Extract, Hibiscus Sabdariffa Flower Extract, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Cellulose Gum, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Propanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Parfum (Fragrance)