18 October 2013

Karuna Clarifying Sheet Mask - First Impressions

Hi all! So this is just a little a write-up on the Karuna Clarifying Sheet Mask I tried yesterday. This is in no way a review since I've only used it once. I just wanted to share with you all my first impression of the product. I got this in my October Birchbox and was thrilled to try it out. I was sort of live-tweeting about it, but I thought it'd be better if I did a more thorough post about my experience.

Before I begin, here's some details about the mask (from the Karuna website):
Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Problematic, Hormonal Skin
Mission: Calming & Clarity
Solution: Help prevent breakouts, kill bacteria known to cause acne, soothe and provide oil-free hydration
Delivery: Mask is made from biodegrable wood pulp natural cloth that retains 50% more moisture than synthetic material and forces pores to fully absorb nourishing ingredients much more than a serum would alone.
Ingredients: Water (Aqua), Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower Extract, Perilla Ocymoides Leaf Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Salicylic Acid, Honey, Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-4, Glycosyl Trehalose, Ethylhexylglycerin, Niacinamide, Propylene Glycol, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Xanthan Gum, Polysorbate 20, Carbomer, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance (Parfum)

The mask contains Shiso, which is a Japanese Green Leaf and a natural anti-bacterial, to help prevent breakouts. It also contains ginger root extract, which helps with killing bacteria that can cause acne. The honey helps to calm and soothe the skin.

If you've never tried cloth masks at home, here is what they look like:

Picture was taken after I took the mask off, of course.

I know, it looks like a scary Halloween mask right? It looks even scarier when you put in on your face =P

The directions say to wash your face thoroughly before applying the mask and I did just that. When I opened the packet, I was really surprised at how wet it was. I mean it was DUH-RIP-PING. It also had a slightly slimy feel to it. I don't know if this is necessarily a bad thing since this is the first time I've ever used a cloth mask at home. I've had it before at the spa, but since my esthetician puts it on for me, I had no expectations on how wet/saturated the actual mask was going to be. All I can say is, do be careful when you're opening it. I can't remember the smell, but it wasn't unpleasant so that's a plus. I'm really terrible at remembering smells and the only time I remember is when something smells really bad.

From there, it's pretty easy. You put the mask on, with the cloth side against your face, adjust accordingly and then peel the plastic backing off the other side. I made sure to press down where there bubbles and made sure it was adjusted as evenly as possible. Some of the product dripped down to my neck, but I just massaged it in. It's not a big deal. Anyway, after I did all that, I sat around for about twenty minutes looking real cute and attractive.

From what I remembered with my previous experiences with cloth masks, it feels REALLY cold when you put it on and this was no different. It was cold, but also very soothing. I felt a slight tingly feeling for maybe the first five minutes and then it subsided after that. Maybe it was the ginger root extract working its magic? After maybe 10 minutes, the mask started to feel much tighter on my skin. It's nothing to panic about. I'm sure that's just because my skin was absorbing more of the product.

When my 20 minutes were up, I peeled the mask off. There was a lot of product left on my skin so I just massaged it in until it was fully absorbed. At first, I was a little scared that there was that much product left and for the first minute or so, it didn't feel like it was going to be absorbed at all. It almost felt like a gel facewash because it foamed up a bit. For a split second I considered washing it off, but I just kept on massaging. After a while, it started to feel more like a serum. I'd say it took about 3-4 minutes for the product to be completely massaged into my skin.

When it was fully absorbed , my skin felt a bit tighter but not dry. It felt smooth and soft to the touch. I didn't feel any tingling sensation or burning. It all just felt very soothing, almost minty-fresh in a way (minus the menthol-y tingly feeling). I didn't have any immediate allergic reactions to it and my skin showed no irritation or redness (apart from the slight rosacea that I already have). Here's me looking happy and satisfied afterwards:

Apologies. I do look frightening without make-up on.  My eyebrows seem to have gone missing.

The next morning, my skin felt very soft and smooth. And I mean like baby-bum smooth. It felt hydrated but it wasn't oily or greasy. I didn't see any new blemishes or any other kind of irritation. Of course, I am not going to see any effects after one use. I am glad though that it didn't seem to make anything else worse. I liked that even though the mask is targeted for oily and acne prone skin, it didn't dry my skin out at all. Most products targeted for oily skins tend to be very drying and will sometimes cause more breakouts (for me at least). The product didn't do much for the blemishes I already have. It might've dried them out a bit.

Will I purchase the 4-pack on Birchbox? I'm not quite sure yet, but it's definitely leaning towards a yes. I will be needing to cut my skincare budget drastically in the near future so I will need an alternative to doing facials once a month and these masks are definitely cheaper than a facial. They're $28 for the 4-pack and you use one once a week. Compare that to the $90 I spend at the spa every 4 weeks. Yah. I know. The things you do for beauty...

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this little write-up and that it was somewhat helpful. If you have questions, just let me know!

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