Gifts from Korea: The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Masks in Aloe Vera and Cucumber
|November 17, 2011||Posted by peach_ under Skincare|
My neighbor recently went on a trip to Korea and brought me back what we call omiyage (oh-mee-yah-geh), or souvenirs from traveling, in Japanese. Here in Japan, it’s culturally almost obligatory and considered rude if you don’t bring back a gift, however small.
But I’m not traditional in that sense and don’t mind at all if I don’t receive anything from someone’s vacation, much less from my neighbor. Besides, I’m used to the more “Western” ways in which an omiyage from a neighbor might entail details on how much fun she had on her trip, photos she took, and making me extremely envious. So it was a pleasant surprise when my she presented me with goodies and I hadn’t even know she had gone traveling overseas.
I was watching some evening trash TV (or what my dad calls “non-nutritional shows”) the other day and it covered interviewing random men on the streets of Korea, asking them their #1 deciding factor in choosing a woman. Their answer? “Her face.” It’s no wonder there are massive amounts of skincare and facial cosmetics to arise from Korea, not to mention plastic surgery being commonplace. (And I probably failed the Korean Man Test.)
So of course I was happy to be gifted two sheet masks from The Face Shop, a popular brand of inexpensive skincare and cosmetics. I’ve previously tried several Korean sheet masks, but not this particular Real Nature Mask in Aloe Vera and Cucumber. I pampered myself with both, several days apart, leaving them on for 15 minutes as directed. My feelings about them are tepid at best.
I was pleasantly surprised that they calmed down the redness in my skin after a soak in the bath. However, the serum in these masks have a very thick, gooey consistency that doesn’t get absorbed very quickly. I patted it in for a good 5 minutes before giving up and deciding to let it sink in with time. It wasn’t completely absorbed even after 30 minutes, and I had exfoliated beforehand. The real kicker was that my face didn’t feel particularly moisturized in the morning.
Another con is that both masks are heavily fragranced, as if they are screaming “CUCUMBER!” and “ALOE!” as you apply them. Scanning through the ingredients, I was able to confirm these are not natural cucumber and aloe vera scents as they contain added fragrances.
Other no-no ingredients:
- SD alcohol 40-B (can be extremely drying)
- Dimethicone (for those who are allergic or want to avoid silicone products)
- Hydrogenated caster oil (these masks aren’t oil-free)
- Paraben (for those who avoid them)
I’m not too picky about ingredients (as long as the products work), but with their overly thick serum that doesn’t absorb, combined with some ingredients I’d rather avoid, I wouldn’t rush out to stock up on these.
Ah, but the BEST omiyage from my neighbor was actually this humongous (like, longer than my face) can of Korean dried seaweed (plus a chestnut dessert, but I ate it long ago!) Have you had them before? They’re salted and flavored and very different from Japanese seaweed. The most expensive kind of Japanese seaweed are just seaweed and unflavored. Apologies to my country, but these Korean seaweed beat the Japanese nori for me!
One downside is that they make me eat more rice than usual. They have me eating bowls and bowls of it. I’m going to be a really sad Peach when the can goes empty.