Hydrating Wash-Off Masks for Dry Winter Skin

While I’m totally part of the #sheetsquad, I find myself reaching for wash-off masks more often this winter. I think a big part of it is the cold factor. Wash off masks aren’t as cooling as sheet masks plus I sort of stop noticing that I’m wearing them after a few minutes. And they’re more eco-friendly! 

Also, while all these masks are perfect for the driest/ most dehydrated skin types, I think a lot of them would work on normal/ oily skin types that are looking to add some moisture to their routine! I just like being a little bit dramatic

Disclaimer: all the masks in the post are PR gifts, but of course my thoughts are my own. In fact, I've already repurchased two of them 💃🏽

Kypris Glow Philtre

$88.00 available via Kypris, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, Cult Beauty, the Detox Market, & Citrine Beauty Bar
Ingredients: Water/Aqua, Lactobacillus/Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Fucus Vesiculosus Protein, Coconut Alkanes, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Moringa Glucoside, Xylitylglucoside, Sclerotium Gum, Algae, Anhydroxylitol, Sodium PCA, Xylitol, Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract, Coco-Caprylate/Caprate, Eryngium Maritimum Callus Culture Filtrate, Sodium Hyaluronate, Plankton Extract, Ceramide 3, Citrus Aurantium Amara (Bitter Orange) Flower Extract, Citric Acid

In the words of Lauren, I’m sold on any mask with the word with glow in it. Actually, we could probably amend that statement to read I’m sold on any skincare product with glow in the name and it would still be true.

I wrote a mini-review of this mask on my IG last week and the main gist of it was that I love it because it’s hydrating but also gently exfoliating at the same time. It has a squishy jelly texture that’s easy to spread. It isn’t drippy so you don’t have to worry about making a mess out of it. Also, it doesn’t dry out! I already know I’ll be saying that a lot in this post since none of these masks are runny or dry down. It makes for a perfect winter mask as you can apply one and go around and do your business without worrying about the mask turning to concrete on your face.

It’s hard to find the sweet spot when it comes to exfoliating masks. There are masks that are just way too harsh for my skin and cause a burning sensation but on the other hand of the spectrum there are also masks that are way too gentle, contain acids allllll the way down on the ingredient list, and do nothing for my skin. This mask hits that magical sweet spot. My skin is softer and more hydrated immediately after washing off this mask. And it’s smoother, brighter, and glowier the morning after.

After taking a peek at the ingredient list, it seems the star ingredient is the Punica Granatum Fruit Ferment Extract which is the fancy scientific way of saying fermented pomegranate extract. It’s the second ingredient so it’s safe to say it’s present at a significant percentage. From what I’ve read, fermented ingredients and probiotics in skincare hold much promise—they may be able to aid with acne and skin barrier function! There’s evidence that fermented pomegranate, in particular, is rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties!

Also found in the mask are more ferments, ceramide 3, and Tremella Fuciformis Sporocarp Extract aka silver ear—all these aid in the hydrating properties of the mask.

TL;DR version: I love this mask on paper and in practice.

That said if you're looking to treat yourself to one item from the brand, I would still recommend antioxidant dew. While I think this is a beautiful mask, you could find more affordable options that deliver similar results (Off the top of my head, I would recommend the Tata Harper resurfacing mask as it also gives a hydrated glowy look and is $30 cheaper. Not that it's "affordable" but rather more affordable in comparison. And I’m sure there are other gel exfoliating masks out there with a more reasonable price tag. They might not be as hydrating or as gentle, but they’ll definitely be more wallet-friendly.) Antioxidant dew is something I find to be more unique and undupeable. Also, a serum gets more regular use than a mask, at least in my case.

Ole Henriksen Berry Nurturing Gel Mask

$36.00 available via Sephora & Ole Henriksen
Ingredients: Water, Glycereth-7, Glycerin, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Aminomethyl Propanol, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Potassium Sorbate, Allantoin, Panthenol, Sodium PCA, Ethylhexylglycerin, Maltodextrin, Papain, Bromelain, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Propylene Glycol, Rubus Villosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Flower, Alcohol, Citric Acid, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Extract, Tocopherol, Linalool

I haven't had the best experiences with Ole Henriksen products-- I've tried some of their cleansers, serums, and toners and none of them have been a big hit with me. This is probably my favorite product from them...although I can't say it's something I *love* ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I just like it.

Ingredient-wise it doesn’t really trigger a WOWZA from me. The blueberry and blackberry extracts that the mask is named after is included in the bottom of the list. The skin-soothing ingredients like aloe leaf juice are listed after phenoxyethanol (a preservative that’s usually capped at 1%) and lavender oil. From my amateur ingredient analysis, it seems to be a scented gel ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

But like I said, I care about results and experience! And it is an enjoyable experience to use this gel mask. Upon application, it has a cooling sensation that makes my skin feel soothed. I’ve used it after ripping off a sheet mask that burned my skin and it did help calm things down. And like I said up above, I like that it doesn’t dry out nor does it drip down my neck and face. After I wash it off my skin is somewhat more hydrated.

I think this mask is good at preventing my skin from drying itself out, but it doesn’t really add much in terms of hydration or moisture. I mostly use it in the shower or bath when I want to dry my face out from all the hot steam. Sometimes I’ll also use it post-shower when I want to veg out and not worry about layering on my nighttime skincare just yet.

Josh Rosebrook Advanced Hydration Mask from the Detox Market

$65.00 available via the Detox Market, Josh Rosebrook, Follain, Beauty Heroes, & Petit Vour
Ingredients: *Shea Butter, *Mango Seed Butter, *Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, *Indian Senna Seed Extract (Botanical Hyaluronic Acid), *Sunflower Seed Oil, *Avocado Oil, *Jojoba Seed Oil, *Evening Primrose Oil, ‡Candelilla Wax, *Ashwagandha, *Turmeric Root, *Rose Hips, *Goji Berry, *Calendula, *Black Cohosh, *Elderberry, *Bladderwrack, Marshmallow Root, *Ginger, *Fenugreek, *Chickweed, *Licorice, *Raspberry Leaf, *Dandelion, *Sage, *Eyebright, *Milk Thistle, *Rose Petal Flower, *St. John’s Wort, *Cat’s Claw, *Cinnamon, *Lavender, *Ginkgo Biloba, §Xanthan Gum, §Potassium Sorbate, †Blue Tansy Essential Oil, †Blue Chamomile Essential Oil, †Lavender Essential Oil, †Rose Essential Oil, ‡Frankincense Gum Oil. *Certified organic, †Organic, ‡Wildcrafted, §Non-GMO plant sourced

I can say without a doubt that this is a mask I would have hated a year or two ago because I hated oils. But now that I’ve embraced the greasy potato look, this mask has become my jam.

First off, it’s simply fun to use. It’s blue! And when you use it, it melts down from a blue gritty texture to a balmy oil. As I wrote out that description I realized that texture wise this reminds me of Sunday Riley’s blue moon cleansing balm, except that this has a more decadent scent and is much, much, much more hydrating.

Ingredient wise it’s composed of a bunch of yummy oils and extracts. Yes, please!

My skin is so ridiculously moisturized while wearing this mask, as well as afterward. I will say that it’s definitely not for everyone. If you dislike masks that leave a moisturizing/ oil residue behind, you will not like this. If you do enjoy that effect, then this is the mask for you! And even though I already compared it to Sunday Riley’s cleansing balm, I think it can also be compared to the Omorovicza cleansing balm which also leaves an oily residue when washed off. I do prefer this Josh Rosebrook mask though because it isn’t as thick as the Omorovicza nor does it have as much grit. I also find that it washes off better. If I don’t use a washcloth to wipe off the Omorovicza cleansing balm, I find it to be too oily for my liking. The oil sort of just lingers on the surface of my skin and doesn’t sink in. Whereas the Josh Rosebrook can be rinsed off with a washcloth, but totally doesn’t need to be. Also, I find that the Josh Rosebrook mask is absorbed better into my skin and leaves me more moisturized, although I guess that makes sense as it’s a mask and the Omorovicza is a cleansing balm.

I’ve been having flare-ups of extremely dry, flaking skin around my nose and mouth lately, and this + the Kypris mask have been a godsend. Some days I’m tempted to wear this as a sleeping pack but I know it would smear all over my pillow *side eye emoji*

Make P:rem Wonderful Me. In-shower Face Pack

$25.00 available via Glow Recipe, Target, & Amazon-- unfortunately it's no longer on the Althea Korea site 😔
Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Methylpropanediol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Betaine, Algae Extract, Eclipta Prostata Leaf Extract, Rubus Fruticosus (Blackberry) Fruit Extract, Rubus Chamaemorus Seed Extract, Centella Asiatic Extract, Ficus Carica (Fig) Fruit Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Vaccinium Angustifolium (Blueberry) Fruit Textract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Ascophyllum Nodosum Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Dipropylene Glycol, Xanthan Gum, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Potassium Hydroxide, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Maltodextrin, Ethrylhexylglycerin, Caramel, Hydrolyzed Avocado Protein, Fructooligosaccharides, Propylene Glycol, Lecithin, Disodium EDTA, Beta-Glucan, Butylene Glycol, Caffeine, Dimethicone, Squalane, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Alcohol, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Acacia Senegal Gum, Isononyl Isononanoate, Polyglyceryl-10 Stearate, Polyglyceryl-10 Oleate, Cetearyl Alcohol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Stearic Acid, Polyclyceryl-2 Dipolyhydroxystearate, Sodium Dilauramidoglutamide Lysine, Thermus Thermophillus Ferment, Lysolecithin, Phytosterols, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Inulin Lauryl Carbamate, Ceramide NP, Disodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Leuconostoc/Radish Root Ferment Filtrate, Citric Acid, Fragrance, Potassium Sorbate

This was the first jelly mask that I tried last year and it’s still a staple! Even though I said none of these masks dry down or drip, I think this has the thickest texture. And it’s useful since you’re supposed to wear it in the shower!

I also really like that it comes with a pump. Looking at the texture mask you might think that it’s too thick for a pump but it easily dispenses. I’ve worn it in the shower countless times and I’ve never had it drip into my eyes. I’ve even worn it while shampooing and conditioning my hair! Still no dripping.

Out of all the masks in this post, this is the only one with added synthetic fragrance, although it is all the way at the end. I’m not gonna lie, I really enjoy the smell of this stuff. It makes the whole process of using this mask all the more soothing. And since it doesn’t irritate my skin, I don’t mind it!

Despite its staying power, it also rinses off easily. Afterwards, my skin is left soft and hydrated. If you love hot showers that happen to dry the fudge out of your face, I highly recommend investing in this mask!

First Aid Beauty Hello FAB Ginger & Turmeric Vitamin C Jelly Mask

$32.00 available via Sephora & First Aid Beauty
Ingredients: Water, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Selaginella Lepidophylla Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Beta Vulgaris (Beet) Root Extract (Extrait de Racine de Betterave), Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Chrysanthemum Parthenium (Feverfew) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Alteromonas Ferment Filtrate, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Corn Starch, Allantoin, Sodium PCA, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Oil, Thymus Vulgaris (Thyme) Flower/Leaf Oil, Myrtus Communis Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Bud Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Elettaria Cardamomum Seed Oil, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Peel Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Lactic Acid, P-Anisic Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Lactobacillus Ferment, Sorbitan Oleate Decylglucoside Crosspolymer, Citric Acid, Sodium Hydroxide, Potassium Hydroxide, Terpineol Acetate, Linalyl Acetate, Geranyl Acetate, CI 75120 (Annatto)

The first thing that attracted me to this mask (besides for the pink + yellow packaging) was the ginger and turmeric. As a brown gal, turmeric and ginger basically flow through my veins. I know turmeric has been enjoying its time in the spotlight but I've yet to see any mainstream beauty brand feature it as a star ingredient.

And because it’s named a turmeric and ginger mask, I expect to see turmeric and ginger up high on the ingredient list—and it is! Turmeric is the 4th ingredient listed and ginger is the 6th ingredient listed. Other star ingredients include various ferments and green tea extract as well as ascorbyl glucoside—a vitamin C derivative. I’m usually iffy with vitamin c derivatives because some of them work and some of them are poop. But my googling shows that it’s a reliable and stable form! In fact, the Ordinary has an ascorbyl glucoside 12% serum!

As you can see from my photo down below, the mask has a yellow jelly-like texture. It’s a breeze to apply and feels very cooling (…like every other mask in the post. Sorry once again for being repetitive. But these things need to be said!) I’ve worn this mask for upwards of 30 minutes and not once has it dried out on me. Like the Ole Henriksen mask, I like wearing this while vegging out after a shower. I’ll also sometimes apply it after using an exfoliating treatment like the Ordinary’s AHA+ BHA peel. Unlike the Ole Henriksen mask, I can definitely feel that my skin is softer and more moisturized after using this mask.

I recently read a review of the mask stating that the ginger in it is highly sensitizing. I've never heard of that before so I decided to do a little bit of research for myself. According to Paula's Choice, the ginger root extract found in the top of the ingredient list in this mask is non-reactive and shouldn't be irritating (ofc ymmv.) In fact, it can be soothing and is rich in antioxidants. BUT then later on about halfway down, there’s also ginger root oil which can be potentially sensitizing.

They also pointed out the presence of lactic acid and citrus oils as irritants. Personally, I don't have issues with small amounts of essential oils in my skincare, especially in something I wash-off such as a mask. If it were one of the first ingredients listed, I would be more cautious. But of course, everyone's skin is different and if you want to avoid any level of potentially sensitizing essential oils, this mask will definitely be a pass for you!

As for lactic acid, ya know I love me some of that 😏 But the amount of lactic acid found in this mask is so little I didn't see much if any exfoliation action from it. It didn't smooth out any texture issues on my skin but I'm guessing it did aid in delivering that glowy, hydrated look.

23.5N Oriental Beauty Tea Balancing Gel Mask from Beautibi

$5.00 (travel)- $30.00 (full-size) available via Beautibi & Shop Amabie
Ingredients: Aqua, Tea Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Carbomer, Tremella Fuciformis Extract, Niacinamide, Benzyl Alcohol, Mantha Piperita (Peppermint) Extract, Methylchloroisothiazolinone, Methylisothiazolinone

Last but not least, this tea mask! I will forever love any skincare that smells like tea. And has tea in the name. And contains tea in the ingredients. I love tea (*insert some slightly racist joke about how I’m Asian and I must love tea blah blah blah.)

In addition to the tea, it also has the same super hydrating mushroom extract as the Kypris mask (the Tremella Fuciformis Extract to be specific.)

I’m gonna keep this one review short and sweet: it smells delicious, it’s cooling, it’s hydrating, it doesn’t sting my eyes, and it makes my skin soft as a bouncy ball of dough after its second rise. And the travel size is pretty affordable! I’m able to get 5 or 6 uses out of them ;)

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