The Face Shop Character Masks: A pretty good example of "skincaretainment", where your skincare is fun to use
Of course, the benefit is more aesthetic than functional. After all, a sheet mask is a sheet mask, whether it has a cute animal face printed on it or not, and the fact that it has a panda face printed on it doesn't change its function. Still though, in the vein of "skincarentainment" (a term I've seen thrown around with respect to Asian beauty, particularly Kbeauty products), this is pretty novel to use - you put on the sheet mask, and boom! instant panda face! It does inject some fun into your skincare routine, which I guess is the concept behind "skincarentainment": it's not just about the product, but also the experience, fun, and novelty of using it.
The Face Shop Character Mask: A new launch from the Kbeauty brand, with cute animal designs on the mask
That does sound pretty cool, right? And The Face Shop is certainly not the only brand catching on - there are a few other Japanese and Korean brands having such sheet masks too. Nevertheless, as an old fogey of a beauty blogger (more than 5 years, which is sort of like forever in internetz time), I'm really more concerned with how the product works, than whether it entertains me or not. I mean, I go to the movies to be entertained, but when I choose my skincare, I'm not looking to have a good time, I just want to know if it works, and if it's within my budget. If it does happen to be fun to use, then that's a bonus, but evidently I'm a cranky old grandma who doesn't bother too much about whether my mask looks cute or not. And does The Face Shop Character Mask work? The only way to find out is to start by looking at what exactly is in the product, and take a trip to the ingredient list!
The Face Shop Character Mask Ingredients: Water, humectants, and Panthenol make up the main ingredients
The ingredients in the various Character Masks are all the same, so I've just used the Fox mask as an example. The main ingredients are water, humectants (Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin), emollients (PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer), some of which also have emulsifying or solvent properties, Panthenol (a great skincare ingredient which has humectant properties, but also can help to improve skin's barrier function and helping skin repair itself), emulsifiers (Betaine), thickeners (Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer).
After this, the next ingredients are preservatives and pH adjusters (Potassium Hydroxide, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Ethylhexylglycerin, Disodium EDTA, 1,2-Hexanediol), which are there in small amounts of less than 1%, so everything after that is probably there in very small amounts. This would include some of the advertised ingredients, such as the plant extracts (Phaseolus Radiatus Seed Extract, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Bark Extract, Rumex Crispus Root Extract), hyaluronic acid (Sodium Hyaluronate) and collagen (Hydrolyzed Collagen). (Aside:At this point, if you haven't yet, let me remind you that collagen isn't really useful in topical skincare).
The Face Shop Character Mask: The inclusion of Panthenol also provides the mask with some additional skincare benefits
Looking at the formula of The Face Shop Character Mask, it is quite well-formulated for a sheet mask. While most sheet masks have humectants and maybe one or two emollients, where The Face Shop's version stands out is that it adds Panthenol, and in a fairly generous amounts too, at 4th on the ingredients list. This is pretty great - I always like it when actives with a good body of science behind them are included, and Panthenol has some studies backing it up. In addition to its function as a humectant, there are indications that it can help recovery of burn wounds, and maintaining keratinocyte proliferation and differentiation. It also "is extremely well tolerated by skin", which is why it is quite commonly found in skincare products, including skincare products geared towards hydration and anti-aging. It is also commonly formulated with other ingredients, partially because it is easy to formulate with, and a common combination is panthenol and niacinamide (not found in this product, but easily found elsewhere). Panthenol, when formulated together with other ingredients, improve the skin's barrier function, and evening of skintone and improved texture.
So,looking at the ingredients of The Face Shop's Character Masks, we can deduce that it is going to be a lightweight product with humectant properties, and also, through the inclusion of Panthenol, helps to improve skin barrier and help in wound healing. So, yes, this old fogey of a beauty blogger does indeed think that the product is actually quite nicely formulated.
The Face Shop Character Mask: A sheet mask with a gel-like liquid, and a fairly strong scent
Now, let's get to the part I'm sure we're all waiting for - the "entertainment" part of this "skincaretainmenet" product. The mask's designs printed on it means that when you open the sheet mask, you are greeted with a burst of colour. This is the "tiger" mask, which I decided to photograph for the blog. According to the Chinese zodiac, I'm born in the year of the tiger, so it just seemed appropriate. Because the tiger mask is yellow, I thought it kind of looked a little like folded-up roti prata when I opened the mask, haha. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the tastiness of roti prata, here's an explanation of what roti prata is, yum.)
The sheet mask liquid itself is a gel-like liquid with a fairly strong fruity scent, and the mask contains a generous amount of the liquid. I have a pretty large face, so the sheet mask was a bit smaller than my face width-wise, but otherwise, it was alright. When I applied the mask, I felt the slightest tingling sensation, like a very, very mild stinging, and I'm not too sure why this is the case - perhaps something in the fragrance irritated my skin, or perhaps, now that I'm on isotretinoin for my acne, my skin is just a lot more sensitive than it would otherwise be. But, the sensation did not last long, and I eventually fell asleep with the mask on (oops), and woke up an hour later to skin that felt more more moisturized, and not sensitive.
The Face Shop Character Mask Selfie: This is the tiger mask
Anyway, for your entertainment, I've included a photo of myself wearing the Tiger Character Mask, before I fell asleep. I know there are crinkles and wrinkles in my sheet mask. I don't know why, but applying sheet mask is something I kind of suck at - either it's crooked, or there are weird spaces in between the sheet mask and my face, or crinkly fold lines. I guess I'm not particularly dexterous with my fingers.
Overall, I found that despite the weird, momentary tingling sensation I got from the mask, it didn't actually trigger any skin sensitivities or make me more acne-prone. I would have been very surprised if it did, because the main ingredients all seem pretty innocuous and unlikely to trigger any sensitivities. So I'm putting down the weird sensation to the increased sensitivity of my skin as a result of me being on isotretinoin. I also double-checked by putting the essence on my neck, and I had no reaction whatsoever, so I guess perhaps it's just my face. And after using the mask, I did find that my skin seemed to be more moisturized, and seemed to be better overall, so I would consider this a good mask still.
The Face Shop Character Mask: Overall, a strong combination of fun, a good formula, and a decent price
So, would I recommend The Face Shop Character Mask? I think I would! Of course, the main attraction of this mask is the "skincaretainment" aspect of it - it's fun to use, and you get to look like a cute version of some wild animal for awhile, and on Instagram there are certainly people taking selfies of themselves using such masks (yes, the humble sheet mask is now officially selfie-worthy!). But beyond the novelty of using a printed mask, I liked the formula in The Face Shop Character mask - it has humectant properties, and the fairly generous use of Panthenol also gives it a little bonus formula-wise, in terms of helping to improve skin barrier and help skin heal. And at SGD$3.90 per sheet, it's also not particularly expensive, either. Fun, a good formula, and a decent price - I think this is worth checking out.
|Recommended?||Formulation||Packaging||Ease of Use||Effectiveness|
|Yes, good formula mask||8/10||9/10||9/10||8/10|
|The Bottom Line: The Face Shop Character Masks combine novelty value, a good formula with Panthenol, and a decent price, to make them a good all-around mask that is worth the money.|