This is another of those seriously medical looking’ injection’ masks, which come with a syringe full of the product for you to add at the point of use, but this one is targeted strictly at the pores around your nose.
I loved the tagline on the packaging – ‘Where is strong butterfly? Pore be surprised’ – and also the promise that this would be ‘the best solution to help your skin problems without stimulus’.
This product is Korean, from a company I have not previously heard of, called 23 years old. Which is presumably why they specify that this mask should be left on for exactly 23 minutes… kind of cute.
Anyway, I dutifully squeezed half the gloopy, slightly creamy coloured contents of the syringe onto the stiffened sheet mask and applied it over my nose. This is when you are supposed to tap the mask to activate the carbon dioxide it contains, which makes for a hot and prickling sensation that is not particularly comfortable. I also found at this point that the size of the mask impeded my vision whilst also overlapping my mouth, which is strange because I don’t think my face is smaller than that of the average Korean girl.
Looking at the ingredient list, it appears that as well as the carbonated water and sodium bicarbonate that obviously account for the fizzing sensation, the mask also contains caffeine, liquorice root and ivy. There’s also a stern warning that you should not go on to apply anything containing aloe or alkali, which is slightly worrying.
During the course of the 23 minute wait, I discovered that tapping the mask again at intervals reactivates the carbon dioxide and the hot, prickling feeling starts again. It was strong enough to make me expect that my skin would look red and irritated afterwards, but it seemed fine, at least until I tried to scrub away dead skin cells as suggested. Then I came over all pink.
As half the product in the syringe remained, and it came with a cap to keep it fresh, I assume this means the mask can be reused. The trouble is, after I had washed this clean, it had clearly lost its original components of citric acid, xanthan gum and lactose, and was now soft and floppy. Whether this makes any difference to the efficacy of the mask the second time round remains to be seen.