A few years ago, I wrote about trying to find sheet masks featuring as little packaging as possible to minimize my use of plastic. The solution to that problem is apparently Japanese sheet masks, which have raised the bar for me in terms of effectiveness and affordable pricing. The newest masks in my arsenal are the 7-piece LuLuLun Deep Moisturizing Face Masks that come in a distinctive blue package.
Freshly chilled from the fridge, hence the condensation.
LuLuLun is one of the bestselling sheet mask brands in Japan, and does not test its products on animals. The brand offers limited-edition sets made with premium ingredients found in Japan, such as green tea leaf extracts from Kyoto, honey, lavender and cantaloupe from Hokkaido, yuzu and lemon from Setouchi, and aloe vera and shikuwasa from Okinawa.
The Perfect Trial Set
Having tried other Japanese mask brands featuring packs of 30 and 60 sheets, I think LuLuLun’s pack of 7 sheets looks quite tame by comparison. However, the brand also offers the same mask sets with 32 or 36 sheets per pack.
For me, this 7-piece version is the perfect way to try this brand. It gives me enough to evaluate its effect on my skin, and if it works with the rest of my skin care products. I’m not that adventurous when selecting sheet masks. I tend to stick to a certain type of mask or brand once I find that it ticks all the boxes for my skin type, skin condition, price and availability. LuLuLun seems up for that task.
Fabric, Fit and Feel
The mask is surprisingly thick, and is apparently an upgraded version. According to LuLuLun’s website, it now uses a three-layer structure that’s 140% thicker and holds more moisture. I find it more substantial than the masks from Utena, Kose and Kracie.
The fit, however, is a disappointment. It doesn’t quite cover my entire face, and the mouth and eye holes are too small. I have to constantly tug at the edges of the mask to make sure the essence won’t drip right into my eyes or mouth. Other than that, the mask is comfortable to wear and adheres well to my skin.
The mask feels great but the fit, not so much.
Note the awkward bunching around the jaw area and the gap at my hairline.
Having tried 30-sheet varieties before, my concern was whether the masks would have enough essence for my skin. LuLuLun’s Japanese website states that the Deep Moisture 7-piece set contains 133ml of essence. Divide that by 7 and that’s about 19ml of essence per mask on average.
While I never actually measured the exact amount of essence, I can tell you that the mask has more than enough for use. Even after 20 minutes of application, there’s enough essence left for my neck, arms and decolletage. There’s also a slightly sticky finish that dissipates quickly. For five days, I got by with only a moisturizing toner and sunscreen under my makeup because my skin looked and felt sufficiently hydrated.
LuLuLun claims the formula has no alcohol, mineral oil or fragrances. I couldn’t detect any scent from the masks so the fragrance-free claim does seem to be true. In the ingredient list, glycerin is the second one listed, followed by glycosyl trehalose as the fourth — both are commonly-used moisturizers. There are also herbal extracts like (hydrolyzed Adansonia digitata), lemongrass stem and leaf (Cymbopogon schoenanthus) extract, violet flower (hydrolyzed Viola tricolor), as well as mallow flower (Malva sylvestris). See the full list below:
Water, Glycerin, Propanediol, Polyquaternium-51, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Glyceryl Glucoside, Sodium PCA, Hydroxypropyltrimonium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Viola Tricolor Extract, Hydrolyzed Adansonia Digitata Extract, Carbomer, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Leaf/Stem Extract, Malva Sylvestris (mallow) Flower Extract, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Butylene Glycol
Single-Use vs. Multi-Packs
I find single-use masks great for travelling, a quick pick-me-up or skin emergency at work or elsewhere. But if you’re a daily sheet mask user and don’t mind sticking to one brand, multi-packs are the most economical option.
One concern about multi-pack masks is hygiene. Since the masks are all bunched together in a zip-lock bag or tissue box, how can you ensure that the masks won’t be contaminated each time you get one?
Some use tweezers but I prefer using my hands. I’m always fastidious about washing my hands, especially when handling food or anything that will touch my face. Whether it’s masks in a bag or a gel cream in a jar, I simply use my fingers — properly washed and dried, of course. I don’t like using spatulas mainly because they’re transparent and small, and I lose them easily. Plus, let’s face it — it’s another piece of plastic that will outlast us all.
In the end, I feel more comfortable using multi-pack sheets. It’s easier to store and use, and honestly, it feels less wasteful. LuLuLun’s mask sets look so kawaii, but underneath it all is the signature Japanese minimalism: simple, easy to use, and does its job well.