The New Mask in Town is Kinda Weird, Very Awesome


If you thought sheet masks were the answer to an instant glow, get ready for your dreams to come true with rubber masks.

“Rubber,” or modeling masks, have been used in spas all over the world for years, but they’re an especially popular staple when it comes to Korean facials due to the intense hydration and nourishment they provide. In a country where having hydrated skin twenty-four hours a day is the ultimate beauty goal, rubber masks are beloved by skincare-savvy Korean beauty consumers.

When these masks finally hit retail shelves, my heart danced: I realized I could literally (and finally!) bring the spa facial home.

These rubber masks typically use alginate as a base which includes skin-benefitting active ingredients. The real magic, though, is in the actual form of the mask. The mask starts off as a goopy substance that you can baste onto your face. Once it’s on, in about 15-20 minutes, the goop solidifies into a rubbery texture. The occlusive rubber forces all the hydrating and nourishing ingredients into the skin. The best part is that the spa-grade rubber masks will stay moist for up to 72 hours after application, so that moisture isn’t whisked back out of the face (which would defeat the purpose of the mask, and also potentially make skin even more dehydrated afterward) if you don’t take it off in time.

I have eczema, a poor sleep schedule, and I travel to Korea, on average, every 6 weeks, so my skin needs all the help it can get. If left unattended for more than even a day, my skin starts to flake — first around the cheeks, then everywhere else. It’s also really, really hard for me to get that ideal glow. Enter this rubber mask. Within 20 minutes, my skin, without fail, becomes dramatically more dewy. I’ll get all sorts of comments/compliments (my favorite one so far has been, “It looks like if I press your cheek, dew drops will drip out”), and my skin feels at its healthiest.

During the masking, you’ll look terrifying/hilarious/like-a-Marvel-comic-villain. It’s like a Snapchat filter with incredible skin benefits. Once you peel it off (so satisfying) you’ll have a glorious glow afterwards. Highly recommend.

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