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Gifts from Korea: The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Masks in Aloe Vera and Cucumber

The Face Shop Real Nature Aloe Cucumber Sheet Masks

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. :P So it was a pleasant surprise when my she presented me with goodies and I hadn’t even know she had gone traveling overseas.

The Face Shop Real Nature Aloe Cucumber Sheet Masks Back

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.

The Face Shop Real Nature Aloe Cucumber Sheet Masks Ingredients

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.

Korean Dried Seaweed Nori Can

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!

Korean Dried Seaweed Nori and Rice

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.

12 Responses to Gifts from Korea: The Face Shop Real Nature Sheet Masks in Aloe Vera and Cucumber

  1. Hiya! Found your blog via Messy Wands :) I’m an American girl living in Japan and as much as I love so much about this country, I have to agree, Korean nori is soooo superior! Absolutely delicious ^^

    • Hi Emily! Ooo, it’s nice to meet another beauty-obsessed girl in Japan! ;) Have you been living here long? I’m glad we agree on the nori situation. I’m almost done with the can and getting anxious. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving me a comment! :D

  2. Am not crazy about TheFaceShop masks although the ones in the brown packs feel nicer. They aren’t as sticky. And I don’t know the difference between the nori sheets but the ones we get here from Japan are also flavoured. And yes, makes me eat more rice too tho I like snacking on them :)

    • Paris, do the sheet masks in brown packs have better ingredients? I can’t see myself using these for the long term, especially with alcohol in it.

      You must try Korean nori some time! They’re more porous than Japanese nori and have sprinkles of salt and, I believe, seasoned in sesame oil. SO. GOOD.

      • erm… like you I don’t pay a lot of attention to ingredients either but I do believe alcohol features. I like sheet masks for the practicality but I hardly use them long term too – they are nice after a long hot day though :)

        • Agreed. They feel amazing after a hot bath! There are enough alcohol-free sheet masks on the market that I can use for the long-term that there’s no reason to stick to ones that contain them and can be drying!

  3. seaweed!!!My favourite!!;3

  4. can you recommend some masks without alcohol and castor oil?

    • The most popular ones I can think of are My Beauty Diary sheet masks from Taiwan. They’re all alcohol free and (I believe) castor oil free as well.

      • thanks :) I have looked into those a while back but never took the plunge. Taiwan has got some great sheet masks from the looks of it, with companies like SexyLook, LoveMore etc. Because of skin sensitivities I like the look of ingredients in Karuna sheet masks – they seem to be made with the international market (US particularly) in mind but don’t seem readily available as yet outside the states

        • I have sensitive skin, too, and have really been trying to avoid alcohol and most oils lately as well. I hadn’t heard of Karuna, but that’s great that there are more sheet masks available for the US market now. If you’re a fan of Japanese brands, fancl, Orbis, Hada Labo, Juju Aquamoist, Puresa, and many others are also alcohol-free (and oil) free.

What say you?