K-beauty is so much more than carbonated face masks, peelable lip stains and pretty packaging. Whether you’ve noticed it or not, Korean beauty trends have been influencing the UK skincare market for years now; BB creams, cleansing oils and sheet masks are all perfect examples of this. Now, even Garnier, Estee Lauder, Charlotte Tilbury, Origins and, bizarrely enough, Nails Inc have sheet masks as part of their skincare collections. I am by no mean an expert in sheet masks, but I’ve tried my fair few, with the worst coming from Primark and the best from Tony Moly…
When is comes to packaging, it just doesn’t get any cuter than South Korean based cosmetics brand Tony Moly. Founded in 2006, Tony Moly’s collection features a range of wonderfully kitsch cruelty-free skincare and makeup products with a focus on using natural and organic ingredients. As fun and cheeky as their packaging may be (they even have Pokemon themed ones), Tony Moly have proven that they are far from gimmicky. The outside of their products definitely attracts the crowds, but people are staying for the innovative formulas inside. Once difficult to find, Tony Moly products are now available at Ulta, Sephora and Urban Outfitter in the US and at Cult Beauty and Selfridges in the UK. You can also find value bundles available on Amazon and Ebay, although just be careful that they are 100% legit.
Each Tony Moly mask targets a specific skin concern and comes with both Korean and English instructions. The 3-layer pulp sheet is infused with natural oils and moulds into the contours of your face seamlessly. The masks aren’t paper thin like I’ve some I’ve used in the past, but they are delicate so you need to be careful not to tear them when removing them from the packet. To apply them I simply run a bath (although apparently this isn’t necessary but the bathroom is the only place I get a minutes peace), leave each infused mask on for around 20-30 minutes and then massage in the excess serum.
I’m Real Seaweed Mask Sheet – Skin Purifying & I’m Real Tea Tree Mask Sheet – Soothing
I reach for both the Seaweed and Tea Tree masks when I can feel my skin on the cusp of breaking out. These masks give my other anti-blemish treatments, such as my Balance Me Congested Skin Serum and S5 Purity Serum, an extra boost.
I’m Real Tomato Mask Sheet – Radiance
When I buy a value bundle of these masks online, this is usually the last one to get used. It’s a perfectly ‘nice’ mask, it cools, refreshes and leaves my skin very soft but, compared to some others in my collection, I always find it a bit underwhelming.
I’m Real Pomegranate Mask Sheet – Elasticity
Formulated with pomegranate extract and an “enriched water-based essence”, this mask provides hydration whilst promoting elasticity. Each mask is thoroughly saturated in product and feels almost a bit slimy at first. This mask not only smells heavenly but gently tightens your skin with no discomfort or irritation.
I’m Real Red Wine Mask Sheet – Pore Care
This is definitely one of the more gimmicky versions but is still incredibly soothing and great for breaking out during a girl’s night in. I probably wouldn’t purchase this one again as I’ve used it a few times now and still don’t really see any significant difference in the size of my pores but my skin does feel softer and plumper afterwards. The scent isn’t too strong although I wouldn’t say it reminds me of red wine at all. I’ve read some reviews that said this specific mask irritated their skin, I’ve never had a reaction or any redness whatsoever.
I’m Real Lemon Mask Sheet – Brightening
This mask is a perfect little pick-me-up for when you’re feeling particularly tired and your skins looking dull and lacklustre. Its citrusy scent is crisp and fresh, without overly smelling like cleaning products. I feel like my skin looks brighter, more away and healthier looking after this mask. For some reason, I find this one more drying than the others but it’s nothing a good moisturiser can’t solve.
I’m Real Avocado Mask Sheet – Nutrition
Now we’re onto the three most ‘boring’ ones. The ones with the ingredients that aren’t nearly exciting as red wine or seaweed and come in bog standard green and white packaging. Well, they’re actually my three favourites from the whole collection! I usually buy a value pack once very two months, but if I ever see a multipack or single sachets these are the three I always make an effort to stock up on.
I’m Real Rice Mask Sheet – Clarity
If I ever have a reaction to any of the skincare products I test or my skin is feeling hot or itchy, this is the mask I reach for. It’s like a fire blanket for the face. I wouldn’t say it cleanses, because, well, my face is already cleansed before I apply any face mask and it doesn’t do anything particular fancy but it just delicately soothes and nourishes my skin back to life.
I’m Real Broccoli Mask Sheet – Vitality
Don’t worry it doesn’t smell of broccoli, in fact, it doesn’t really smell of anything which personally I find a bit disappointing. This is great for when my skin is feeling really oily and on the verge of a breakout like the tea tree one.
I used to turn to Lush and treat myself to a bath bomb when I wanted time to relax, but after several disappointing purchases, sheet masks became my new treat. I love how they give you an excuse to shut off from the world for half an hour, preferably with a glass of wine in a bubble bath. I actually like the fact that you can’t stare at your phone without it starting to slip off. I have to make an effort to put my head back, close my eyes and shut off from social media. I’ve been using the majority of these masks off and on for over a year now and in terms of price and results, I just don’t think they can be beaten.
Have you ever tried any Tony Moly products?