Mega-review #MASKOTD: Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask Ex / Snowsie Brightening Mask/ Overnight Vitalizing Mask/ Radiance Energy Mask
I was very generously provided 4 masks from AP, Sulwhasoo to try out and you ALL know I'm all up for any kinda masks now so a giant thank you for letting me try out these super luxurious masks. Since I have 4, I tried them all out, took note of ingredients, took pics (of cuz) and I'm here for one mega review.
If you're looking for smth to splurge for urself or ur mama, and wanna know which is suitable, I hope this post will be useful in some ways.
I tried all 4 products out WITHOUT reading up or doing research so I could get a fair first-impressions. I only did my research after, but for the sake of the review and clarity, I'm gonna insert any required info in.
Sulwhasoo skincare centers around medicinal herbs and I kid u not, the masks smell like ginseng, it's really SO NICE.
The idea of using herbs is to treat problem at its roots, instead of using skincare to only treat problem when it surface. This is a huge difference I observe when it comes to Korean vs US skincare.
I am very into anything-hanbang lately ever since realizing my skin likes it. It likes how soothing it is, and calms my natural redness down. One of the best at doing that in fact.
It also helps that I also apparently love herbal smell in my skincare. I really love the smell of ginseng and herbs in general. It's so.....zen. Idk lah. Is it just me HAHAH wtf
I have shared initial and first reviews for some of them on IG Stories the past 1 week so I finally am getting round to writing it a proper, hopefully cohesive review.
Clarifying Mask Ex
The first one I tried was the Clarifying Mask. This is a peel-off mask to remove impurities and dead skin cells. Basically, a more gentle physical exfoliator of kind.
It has a thick syrup-y texture, and it's described as honey-like on the website (which I think is v apt).
I see honey in it so that explains texture alot. Polyvinyl alcohol is in it but it is a common ingredient in peel-off masks and the neg. effects are generally off-set with addition of glycerin.
The third ingredient is alcohol and I usually wouldn't pick a product with alcohol as a top 3 ingredient but I've been trying to do more in-depth research for this. I'll come a to conclusion after reading more articles but as of now, for the sake of the review, I had to try them all heh heh heh
1. I assume alcohol is necessary for the mask to dry quick to peel off
2. I didn't really feel my skin drier even after 30 minutes of use and it could be due to the fact other more nourishing ingredients are helping
3. I'm not leaving this overnight or for any extended period, plus I'm layering hydration after so it's fine by me.
The power ingredients in this are Small Solomonseal Powder, Honey and Japanese Honeysuckle and the purpose of them is to provide nourishment and brighten skin tone. Im not too sure of all of them but honey itself is anti-inflammatory and very healing for the skin!
The instructions state that we should use this over our emulsion (which is a light moisturizer to me but I don't use that) so I just used it over my moisturizer. This apparently works wonder with the Overnight Vitalizing Sleeping Mask.
P/s: The instructions state 'emulsion' but I have no clue if they are referring to their own label of 'emulsion' or if it's what the community deems emulsion to be - which is a light moisturizer. #confused
Why are Korean terms so interchangeable and so long 😂
For the sake of trying the products, I tried it 2x. Once was immediately after cleansing and 2nd time was after my moisturizer.
It has this sticky, honey-like consistency and I find that working fast with it helps to achieve a even finish which helps it dry evenly, and in turn, peels better.
Once it dries, you simply peel it off (bottom to top) and can I add that being able to peel an entire piece out is just so super dooper satisfying!!!
I let it dry for around 30 minutes!
I wasn't really expecting to see much diff because it felt pretty gentle. Even with alcohol in it, I didn't feel uncomfortable throughout the process. However, it DID sting my eyes. If u see my pic above, my eyes were actually tearing up wtf. I really thot it'd be v drying like a clay mask.
What was rather amazing was that I didn't feel any dryness AFER even! My skin was much noticeably softer, and it has like this matte blurred look. Just go see the before/after ⬆️
I won't go into too much effects for this cause this normally isn't my last step. If I use this after cleansing, I continue with my usual skincare. If I use this after moisturizer, I continue with a sleeping mask! Oh, either way I used it didn't matter much too. The effects were pretty much the same!
If you're looking for:
• beginner product into Sulwhasoo
• a gentle exfoliating peel (can remove fuzz)
• peel-off mask for most skin types (unless u are allergic to any of the ingredient!)
Snowsie Brightening Mask
I'm gonna come right out and say it - this has got to be the most expensive mask I've put on my face to date.
But omg this mask tho 😍 My heart just skipped a beat staring at this pic, I kid you not. It's not my beautimous face lmao, but the material of this mask!! It's like nth I've tried before. Or maybe I just haven't tried alot of sheet mask?
Close-up of the material. I got this off the website - 'unique translucent gel texture made from a material that is 500 times denser than regular pulp masks'
Wah idk what they talking about lah huh but it feels SO LUXURIOUS. It's this incredibly thin, cling-like material that just hangs on to ur skin for dear life. I can do ANYTHING in this and not feel like it's precariously slipping off.
"Each mask is individually fermented in White Ginseng for 2 weeks, and the Bio-Cellulose mask is treated with Snowise Brightening Serum. It delivers a distinctive whitening care solution by fully delivering active ingredients to the skin to derive a translucent inner-glow."
Sul's site described it as an inner glow and I must agree hahahaha I have comparison pictures of cuz. I've never tried the Snowsie Brightening Serum by itself so I thought this would be a good intro to it.
It came nicely fitted between these two netted sheets because the material is THAT soft. It literally crumples into nothing without these sheets holding it up. I removed one side v gingerly and then placed it on my face, before removing the top layer, before doing final adjustments.
Since the netting traps serum too (can u see the amount of trapped serum), I just used it all over my neck and chest. Waste not hahaha
And this is the mask after I remove it. See what I mean by it just crumbles?
I find that it's best not to let this completely dry down cause the material will really cling and then you gotta peel it off and that's uncomfortable. Once this is on for about 25 mins, I'll remove it and just use the leftover from there on my neck, décolletage and chest area.
A picture's worth a thousand words. I can't even. I swear no editing went into pictures okay.
I was at least 2 shades fairer??? Okay change of HG mask, I'm using this for my wedding day LMAO I don't think ANYTHING can top this mask at this moment.
Radiant glowy bride, here I come lmao 👰🏻
I also tested it a 2nd time and it's really amazing. The brightening effect alone is just wow.
The effects are pretty long lasting. I was significantly brighter even after washing my face the next morning. Okay this is a shitty pic cause it was from IG. Let me show u a better one.
Haha here's a clearer one from my back camera. Wah my skin is damn nice here lah, if I may say so myself HAHA but really, I was very impressed. My face remained so incredibly soft the whole day, my skin tone was evened out, I was definitely definitely 100% radiating and glowy. #luvitsomuch
There was plenty of serum left and I used it in place of my serum/essence step for the next 5 days so that's almost 10 more uses leh! I think that's quite worth it leh? And I use quite a bit each time. Shiok!
If you're looking for:
• instant brightening properties
• evening skin tone
• hydration and extra softness (for real)
For the last two masks, if you have seen my random IG stories, you would have known that I was testing them both at the same time for 5 days straight!
I thought trying it this way can be a pretty decent comparison right! Hahaha
Left: Overnight Revitalizing Mask Ex
Right: Radiance Energy Mask
I split the whole post into: texture/ingredients/application/review but for the sake of cohesiveness cause there's gonna be some direct comparison, I'll talk about each product individually first and then compare so apologies for the messed up sequence!
Overnight Vitalizing Ex Mask
This is an overnight, leave-on sleeping mask that promises to "reawaken skin’s natural glow". I read up more on it and the general effects seemed to include reduction of redness, increase hydration and basically restoring of skin as u sleep.
I can't find my image on this - so weird! But anyw, it comes in a fancy squeeze tube. No fuss, simple and pretty to look at.
A quick glance at the ingredients show a good amount of plant extracts that has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effects. I spy licorice roots - so it probably is brightening too. The star ingredient is the ginseng in it!
This is to be used as an overnight sleeping mask so it goes on as a final step. I spread this with just my fingers, on top of my final serum step. You can apply this on top of your moisturizer too! It's just that it's getting warmer here and I don't have to layer on as much products than before. So listen to ur skin and stop when it starts to feel heavy etc.
Instructions indicate not to wash it off with cleansing foam in the morning, but I kenot. HOW DOES THAT WORK. I don't get it. So I just wash per normal hahahaha but I still see results leh!
A bit of skin background:
This week, the husband managed to squeeze in a small break so we have been having a lazy week that included a lot of binging and late-nights. But if you've seen my Instastories, you would know how crazy glowy and happy my skin is looking. It's crazy. I don't think I look like this even with proper diet and gymming 3x a week wtf
Plus this month's period was a bad one. I actually was typing an email in the living room and fell asleep on top of my laptop. At 730pm. My body was so physically exhausted. After having my period for more than a decade, I know that I look the shittiest during this period of time. My skin would be uneven and dull and probably recovering from pms breakouts.
Every morning, since using this, I have woken up to AMAZINGLY SOFT skin. Like, I-can-feel-a-difference soft. The softness doesn't go away and I can still feel it when I wash my face in the PM.
I also became super radiant. Like, no matter how tired I am that day, I don't look it. The masks came timely - right when I started my period.
The ginger smell is immensely pleasant and refreshing to me but bear in mind, SOs might not agree. My husband has been asking why I've been smelling so herbal-y every night 😂
But alas like a sheet mask, the brightening effect is pretty temporary. It goes away if I skip a day. However, that's not to say that long-term use won't bring about more permanent effects.
So after 5 days of use, this is the before/after! I apologize for the varying lighting 😭 I tried mah best.
I do get the hype around this mask now that I've personally tried it. I just see my skin improving day by day with each use?
My complexion is so even and I have this radiance that's just amazing. I have this rosiness to my skin that ISN'T irritation. It's just an overall lift to my skin. It didn't exactly reduce redness but it just sort of made my skin look super healthy.
Radiance Energy Mask
This came in a pretty jar with a mock-jade spatula. Super thoughtful packaging and it's just a pleasure to look at on my shelf.
This is also a leave-on mask that claims to boost radiance and help improve appearance of skin.
This is a terrible picture. I'm so sorry for it wtf hahaha
I spy with my eye, Nephrite powder, or otherwise known as jade! Jade, is suppose to increase blood circulation in the skin but there's really a lack of research in this area so I am not gonna conclude anything out of this. But I'm still gonna share my own experience and review lah.
Similar to the Overnight Vitalizing, this is a leave-on mask. I use it as a last step so if u have a full routine, then it's after moisturizer.
Scent-wise, this smells slightly less ginseng-y and more light herbal? My husband said I smelt like rosemary on the side I was using this, so there you go HAHAHA I guess it is herb-scented.
I have no issues with any of the scent of the masks tbh and I don't really notice it as much after a few uses. The times I notice, I find myself enjoying it so this is really more personal preference.
This mask did an incredible job at calming redness down and evening out my skin tone. I find that the right side of my face (where I tested it), was considerably less red, even throughout the next day.
I also find that it has a slight blurring effect and it definitely brightened my skin tone. Oh also, SOFT SKIN FTW. What are in these SWS products!! They make my skin DAMN SOFT?
Overnight Vitalizing Ex vs Radiance Energy
Texture-wise, they look really really similar. Both are in this gel-cream consistency but they actually apply quite differently, I feel.
Using Laneige Sleeping Mask as an example cause I'm sure most of u are familiar with that. That one applies like gel, very lightweight and feels v hydrating and refreshing.
Overnight Vitalizing Ex:
• lightweight (feels v similar to Laneige's)
• cooling sensation
• shiny, radiant finish
• dries down in approx 5-7 mins depending on amt used
• no issues of transference
• medium-weight gel cream texture, more on the cream side (a tad heavier than Laneige's)
• silicone-y touch upon application (don't feel watery like the usual sleeping mask)
• slightly satin-matte finish
•dries down in approx 7-10 mins depending on amount used
• no issues of transference (but I did scratch my face accidentally and it did ball up beneath my nails)
The Overnight Vitalizing Ex's ingredients boasts of ginseng; one of the more popular ingredient found in SWS products. Ginseng is a powerful herb and has been known to improve blood circulation. This also helps with detox and enhance radiance.
Radiance Energy, is supposedly infused with White Jade (or as I've mentioned in the individual review - Nephrite Powder). The description states that it can relieve skin of environmental stress and help to boost skin's purity.
I find that the Overnight Revitalizing Ex is best suited for:
• new to SWS and want to try a product before diving in
• evening out skin tone
• increased radiance
• good hydration for majority skin types
As for the Radiance Energy, I find it best suited for
• mature skin type
• calms redness down
• evening out skintone
• good hydration for most skin type
Between all 4, if u r totally new to Sulwhasoo's stuff, try the Overnight Vitalizing Mask Ex. It's v representative of the brand, I feel, with the smell and the ingredients. Plus it does an amazing job of improving radiance and just making ur skin look better overall.
If you're no stranger to the brand and is looking to splurge for a big event coming up, sheet-mask addict 🙋🏻 or any #dayrebrides prepping for big day, omg pls go and try the Snowsie Brightening Sheet Mask. It's AMAZEBALLS.
For mommies, I would say the Radiance Energy is like, perfect?? The jade packaging is enough to sell any one, I swear. I'm gonna get my mom one of this tbh. She has pretty dry and tired skin in general, so I think this is gonna benefit her.
Oh whew omg I'm DONE. I actually fell asleep whilst editing which is why only half the post went up last night fml. Anyw, I do really hope this post is useful. I had such a fun time trying it out and taking before/afters. I'm gonna go grab some coffee, reply so-many emails, and then I'll reply comments! 🙆🏻 Good morning~