Placenta Beauty?

Placenta Beauty?

This is a tricky one… depending how you look at it, using beauty products which contain placenta could even fill you with horror and disgust. And that is without considering if the placenta involved comes from humans, sheep or pigs.

There’s also the worry that scientific studies on the use of placenta have so far been very limited, and there is no clear evidence to support the theory that the hormones it contains can do you any good. It might even be bad for you, although since it has presumably been through a series of industrial processes before it winds up in your product, it could be safe to assume it isn’t anywhere near as potent as it was to start with.

The big beauty companies don’t seem to be using it, which should probably make you wonder a bit, but here in Asia it does crop up fairly regularly in face creams, sheet masks and supplements.

When I saw pouches of hydrogen jelly with placenta in my local convenience store, apparently designed as a tasty snack with the added bonus of being a beauty aid, I decided it was time to try it.

This peach flavoured ‘drink’ is from Kiyorabi in Japan, and the placenta it contains is from pigs.

There’s a double whammy here, as the hydrogen part of the product is also a feature – apparently adding extra hydrogen to the drink enables these molecules to capture and eliminate excess oxygen which could be damaging your body.

It comes in an aluminium pouch, which apparently does not allow the hydrogen to escape in the same way as a glass or plastic bottle would, and there’s a handy screw topped tube which you drink through and can reseal if you want to save some for later.

I made the mistake of pouring some of this into a small bowl first, to see what it looked like, and found the jelly blobs in the liquid to be very off-putting. Actually then swallowing them from the pouch was not a pleasant experience. The peach flavour was strong, but there was also a slightly salty aftertaste. It is safe to say I did not like this at all.

The placenta sheet mask I tried shortly afterwards was a different story.  Of the two I had stashed away, I tried the Revital (in the brown packet). This was essentially a sheet mask like any other, with the added promise that the hydrolysed placenta it contained would give my skin elasticity and nutrition, helping rough areas become shinier and healthier.

Even though the directions suggested that I use this mask 2 to 3 times a week for 4 weeks, for a concentrated skincare programme, I swear my skin felt smoother and tighter after just one mask. But having now read far more than I wanted on the pros and cons of using placenta for beauty treatments, whether or not I try this particular mask again, or the alternative one I still have, remains to be seen.

Kids Masks

When it comes to Korean skincare and cosmetics, their excellence is generally a given. It takes great packaging and/or how cute you look when you are using them to make one stand out from the rest.

And, Asian girls being what they are, for every sheet mask that is printed with an elegant design of lace or flowers, there are five or more adorned with animal faces or cartoon super villains.

Imagine, then, that you have children, who are fascinated to see Mum sporting the face of a grinning sheep or shark. Of course they are going to want to try them too. And why not? The earlier you instil a great skincare regime into your offspring, the better their complexions will be.

So here you have child sized versions of those massively popular sheet masks, either the same designs made smaller, or kid-friendly cartoon characters from their favourite movies. I only saw them in Shibuya, but I expect they will be everywhere before long.

I think this is a great idea, and it’s also catching potential new customers really young. If daughters #1 and #2 were still small rather than grown-ups now larger than me, I would have bought a bunch of them on the spot.

Glow in the Dark Mask

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This must count as one of those ‘what will they think of next’ products, because apart from the novelty value I can’t think how this particular feature can possibly improve your complexion. But it was too cool to leave on the shelf at Korean beauty store Missha, (especially at the bargain price of S$3.90 a mask) and it was hilarious to try.

This sheet-style mask comes in bat, butterfly and spider patterns, which are simply black and white as you take them out of the packet, but glow with luminous green lines patterns if you switch off the light.

The company says the fluorescent effect is harmless to the skin and ‘makes the face look pretty’, whilst the hyaluronic acid and propolis in the liquid which soaks the mask are there to firm up and moisturise the skin.

I had a lot of fun with this, although it proved to be impossible to take a decent photo of the glowing patterns in the dark. The bat shape and hands on the fabric were picked out in green, whilst a collection of stars and witches filled the gaps in yellow. I left it stuck on the bathroom wall, and had to get up in the night to close the door because the shapes were scarily visible.

Oh, and it also made my skin feel really smooth, so I will be buying this mask again.

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Dress Code Masks

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Someone somewhere in the higher echelons of Korean beauty product development has made an interesting leap. When you are wearing one of those sheet style face masks which keep a liquid product firmly on your skin, you actually look fairly silly. It’s the kind of thing which makes you want to hide in the bathroom with the door locked, instead of relaxing on your bed and sofa whilst it works.

Hence, I believe, the spate of masks from every major company, which are patterned or coloured for fun. You do still look a little odd, but by sporting an animal face, or something slightly more elegant like this Dress Code mask with its elaborate pattern, you are sharing the joke with the boyfriend or husband who is inclined to scoff. And for girly get-togethers, this kind of thing makes the experience even more of a group entertainment.

We know these masks work really well – it is nice to be able to flaunt them!