These past few months, I’ve become a regular sheet mask user — so much that I regularly save boxes of my favorite mask flavors in my YesStyle shopping bag nearly every week. And when it’s finally time to check out, it is agonizing to weed out the ones that I feel I can do without … for now. The agony is real. (How come nobody told me?!)
Different brands have different gimmicks for their sheet masks. In Japanese brand Utena‘s case, they use jelly! Their Premium Puresa Golden Jelly HA Mask certainly provided a different mask experience for me. Read on to find out!
And the winner is …
There are lots of blog posts out there on how you can savor every precious drop of serum that’s left over in your sheet mask packs. Doing a quick check of sheet masks on YesStyle, I’ve discovered that most contain anywhere from 18ml (such as Sun Smile) to 28ml (Utena’s own Premium Puresa Beauty Mask, which is from a different line), 25ml (Leaders and Naruko), and 25g (Annie’s Way).
But 33 grams? Yes, 33 grams! The clear winner in this case is the Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask that contains the equivalent of 1.16 ounces of lovely, semi-translucent golden jelly goodness.
High On Hyaluronic Acid Power
While the jelly itself contains amino acids and ceramides (based on Google Translate’s help with the ingredients), which help to soften and moisturize, it’s the star ingredient hyaluronic acid that really makes a big difference in the skin.
Hyaluronic acid is classified as a humectant, which means it can bind water to itself. Fiddy from Fifty Shades Of Snail says, “Hyaluronic acid/sodium hyaluronate, and lower molecular weight variants like sodium acetylated hyaluronate and hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, are capable of holding a whopping 1000x their weight in water.”
How does it work?
“What hyaluronic acid and its variants do is hold that water against your skin, keeping it there so that your skin’s natural water-grabbing mechanisms have a chance to grab it and make actual use of it. Regular molecular weight hyaluronic acid does so from the surface of your skin; lower molecular weight hyaluronic acid penetrates into the extracellular matrix to do so from between the cells beneath the surface.” — Fiddy
The product label also states that it’s free of synthetic fragrances (although there was a slight baby powder scent when I opened the pack), coloring, mineral oil, alcohol and animal-derived “raw materials.” Smashing!
Not for spreading on sandwiches
Mask On, Mask Off. Jelly On, Jelly Off
I stored the box in my fridge because I like my masks cool and tingling. Do note that there are only 3 masks in the box as opposed to the usual five or maybe 10 that other brands have.
With apologies to the late and great Pat Morita as Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid, I used a version of his “wash on, wash off” technique when it was time to use the product. I had to be careful when I took out the mask itself because it’s made of rather thin cotton fiber and had no backing. So if you’re all thumbs, you risk tearing the mask apart if you’re not careful, especially since it has precut slits all around aside from the eye, mouth and nose holes. The mask also includes eye flaps so even your eyelids get into the masking action.
Truthfully, the fabric was a disappointment as not only was it rather thin and flimsy but also ill-fitting. No matter how I adjusted it, either the eye flaps slid down my eyes or I was close to chewing the fabric around the mouth opening.
Nevertheless, it stayed moist for around 20 to 25 minutes and there was no adverse reaction on my skin. After taking it off, I scooped out most of the remaining jelly at the bottom of the packet using my trusty Annie’s Way spatula (yay for recycling) and applied it on my face directly.
Despite the mask sitting awkwardly on my face, the sizable amount of jelly at the bottom made up for it.
It was even better than I’d hoped. I was afraid it would drip down my chin and neck, but nope. It stayed put on my face while I binge-watched Call The Midwife episodes, and lasted longer than the mask itself – a full 45 minutes. I decided to rinse it all off in the shower because there was just no way I’d go to bed slathered in jelly.
Afterwards, my skin looked and felt so soft that I decided I was just going to spritz on some green tea water essence and slather on a little snail mucin and go to bed. It was very barebones but I didn’t want to ruin that lovely moment. The next day, I awoke to skin that wasn’t shiny, didn’t feel oily, and looked calm. I also noticed that the skin under my eyes was less puffy, dry and dark.
If this is what 33grams of hyaluronic acid jelly did to my skin overnight, imagine what a million grams could do! I’m kidding.
Despite the mask fabric’s not-so stellar performance, the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask HA is certainly worth adding to your skincare routine occasionally to give your skin an extra boost of softness and moisture.