Sheet masks are a ubiquitous part of Asian skincare. They’re awesome, but there seems to be some challenges (namely two) that every girl faces with them. So here are my tips on how to make the most of your sheet mask!
Problem: Have you ever been excited to take out a nice, juicy mask...only to have it DRIP ALL OVER THE FLOOR?!
Or, you get the opposite situation: when you’re desperately trying to get every. last. drop of serum out of the package. So there you go, cramming your fist inside, jamming your fingers into the corners, wiggling them around frantically…
The point is, it's really hard to get all the serum where we want it! ...But there's a simple solution!
Airi's Solution: Don’t tear the package; cut it!
This is good because now you have full access to the mask. And if the mask drips when you pick it up, it’ll just drip onto the pouch:
Let’s not forget you also have full access to the serum as well! Now you can easily scoop up all that extra serum with your hands:
Or, you can do what I do: just smear the whole pouch on your face! XD
Alternatively, if you don’t have a razor, you can use scissors and just cut along the edges. I’d still recommend a razor blade though. With scissors, the serum still has a possibility of leaking out the sides (because you're cutting both layers of the package, not just the top layer.)
Problem: I see a lot of pictures of girls using masks online. (See here.) But one thing I notice is that they often have lots of air pockets! What’s the point of a mask if it’s not touching your skin? Some companies seriously need a lesson in facial proportions, but until then…
Airi's Solution: Tailor it!
Part 1: Air Pockets
As you can see, it fits pretty badly. I tried my best, but it's hard to wrap the mask around my nose bridge area. And there's also a lot of slack around my mouth, so my cheek area is very crinkly:
This will separate the pocket into two flaps, and allow you to press the mask flat against your skin:
Part 2: Extra slack
I’m betting most of you girls are like me and get extra slack around their cheeks, jawline, and sometimes the upper lip. So here’s what we do:
And when you're done...
I hope you can see the difference! In the after photo, the mask wraps around my face much better~
It may seem like a hassle, but it's really not! All it really is is just just "cut & press, cut & press." It takes me only a minute!
You probably know that Japanese people wear surgical masks when they’re sick. But why do Koreans wear masks?
(Disclaimer: Much of this post is based purely on what I've observed, having lived in Korea for over a year now.)
There are 3 reasons that I’ve observed:
3. Plastic Surgery:
As common as plastic surgery is in Korea, you’ll be surprised that this is the least common reason! (Hence being labeled as #3.) And actually, this is more common among foreigners, not native Koreans. A lot of Chinese people come here for medical tourism. They come all the way over here, so of course they’re going to shop while they’re at it! And if they go out, they have to cover up. So I sometimes see Chinese tourists wearing surgical masks in touristy places. Not super often, though!
And for native Koreans, I see it even less often. Since Korea’s their home country, they usually just hide at home when they get surgery. But once in a blue moon, I do see bandaged Koreans on the streets, hiding behind surgical masks!
The next two reasons are much more common:
2. Yellow Sand:
Yellow sand is fine sand particles that blow over from China’s deserts. Due to seasonal wind patterns, it mainly happens in fall and spring. I don’t know too much about it, but you can find many articles about it online. I hear that it's basically the same as silica, which I know is baaaaaad for your lungs!!
1. Pollution from China:
Again, there are lots of articles you can read about this, but this is what I understand: Basically, Northern China is REAAALLY cold. Power plants there use coal, which produces lots and lots of smog. A few years back there was even a ginormous cloud of smog that just sat over Harbin for a week. Anyways, wind eventually blows the smog away…but it blows right on over to Korea and Japan. (And I don’t think residents in those countries are too happy about that…)
And unlike yellow sand, this is not limited to seasons; it happens all year round. So whenever the news reports it, the masks go on.
How seriously do Koreans take these issues?
Pretty seriously. When smog and yellow sand happen, it’s in the news and people pay attention. People of all ages and occupations wear masks: old people, middle-aged parents, young adults, students, young children. Parents tell their kids about it, and kids make sure to wear their masks. I know my coworkers whipped out their face masks as soon as we left the building.
Now at the same time, not EVERYONE wears masks. At the highest I've seen, maybe 60%~70% of people do? (Again, this is just what I've seen.) It could be that the threat level was not suuuper high at the time.
What kinds of masks to people wear?
Now since I am most interested in fashion, let’s talk about the kinds of masks they wear!
Sadly, nobody really wears decorated masks...and nor do they wear surgical masks like these:
Instead, I most often see people wear clothy kinds, with a puckered shape for your nose:
And some people also wear nonpuckered clothy surgical masks:
And occasionally I see little kids (like toddlers) wear cute Hello Kitty ones. *_*
But most kids that I saw (elementary school and up) wore the second type, the non-puckered cloth kind.
I’m just a foreigner whose lived here a little over a year, but even I can feel the effects:
My boogers are black.
My nose gets stuffy whenever it’s “cloudy” outside.
We won't even talk about my blackheads…
How about in your country? Do people commonly wear masks there too? And if so, why? If not, is it weird if people wear masks?
Tony Moly — Kiss Lover Live Tint 03 Live Red
It has a thin, liquidy formula and the color payoff is great! (As opposed to many other lip tints which are actually quite sheer.) It's very easy to create a gradient with this. Plus, it leaves no sticky residue on your lips, yay~!
The Face Shop — Lovely Me Ex Makeup Base Green 01
I like it; it’s great for brightening! It has a thin pasty formula. It's opaque enough to create a solid brightening effect. However, the pasty texture does accentuate my dry areas. But it looks great everywhere else! Unbeatable price, too! They also have it in purple. ☺
Holika Holika — Prime Youth Intensive Emulsion:
I bought it because I liked the texture. It's like a thin, watery lotion, unlike some emulsions which are drier and feel more like a light cream. However, I didn't notice any positive differences on my skin. I still suffered oily skin (caused by dry skin). Nothing seemed to change upon using this. Was not too impressed, especially considering that this costs about 10,000W more than most cheap emulsions.
Etude House — Real Art Cleansing Oil
I like it. It’s your typical oil cleanser. I thought it was pretty similar to the ever-popular DHC one. I have no complaints. It’s thick enough to glide on smoothly. As such, it provides a smooth medium in between my hands and face. That means I’m not rubbing my skin too much when I use it, which is good!
Now remember, if you have any questions, you can comment or ask me on my Facebook page!
And thank you sooooooo much to everyone who commented and gave me advice (or condolences) on my hair post! I was very touched and very grateful! Y'all are the best!! I'm going to reply over the next day or so~!