January 2016 Birchbox Review 1: Manefit Beauty Planner Cucumber Sheet Mask

I have so many good things to say about this sheet mask.

When Korean beauty became all the rage here in the past two years, sheet masks started popping up everywhere. These masks are really convenient for travel, since you don’t have to take a whole tube with you, which is why I was excited to see them in American stores.

But since their arrival, I have yet to find one that I like and feel is effective. They were definitely fun to try out on Treat Yo Self home spa days, but I didn’t really feel they delivered on their promises. Plus, I’ve found that a lot of these masks are loaded with fragrance, something I try to avoid as much as possible when it comes to skincare.

So when Birchbox included this Cucumber Soothing + Moisturizing Mask from Manefit (USD $10.00 for 5 masks), I was really hoping I’d hit the jackpot of sheet masks. Winter had been drying out my skin with the reduced humidity outside and the heat being on all the time inside. Plus, I’ve been traveling like a maniac every week which never helps. It needed a moisture boost stat.

Manefit says this mask should soothe, hydrate, even out skin tone, and reduce puffiness. Puffiness isn’t really an issue with me. Plus, we all know that there is no such thing as a magical skin product that will take care of puffiness. The solution for a long term decrease in puffiness is: get plenty of sleep, stay hydrated, and keep your skin well moisturized. You know, all those things we never have time for. But my skin definitely needed some hydration and was looking a little lackluster because of it.

After my weekly trip out of town, I decided to put this to the test. Following the instructions, I washed my face and applied toner before using this mask. Like all sheet masks, it takes a little work to unfold because it comes soaked in serum. But once I got it unfolded and placed on my face like a Jason mask, I just sat back and let it do the work.

Another issue I have with sheet masks is that they come packed in so much serum that the stuff ends up running all over your neck and into your hairline. This mask was no different, which was a little annoying. But knowing this I just made sure to do the mask on a night when I hadn’t washed my hair. That way, the extra could seep all around my hairline and I could just wash it out later. I know manufacturers don’t want to risk masks drying out, but I do wish they could find a better mask to serum ratio.

The mask itself didn’t have a noticeable scent, which was appreciated. But looking at the ingredients, fragrance is listed though it is at the bottom of the list. Granted, I don’t think Korean products have to adhere to the same packaging regulations as the US and list ingredients from most to least prominent. All this to say, I have no clue how much fragrance there is. I’m hoping since it was the second to last ingredient, there wasn’t much at all. But this is important to mention for sensitive skin people.

Also, I should note that there is a lot of citrus fruit extract. This is what gives these products the “brightening” effect on the skin. While it didn’t irritate my skin, I think those who are very sensitive to grapefruit, lemon, and lime extract (all in there!) should avoid this mask. I don’t think the cucumber and hyaluronic acid in there will be enough to counteract the irritating effects of these particular ingredients.

After 20 minutes, I removed the mask and rubbed the excess serum into my skin before finishing up with my nighttime routine.

I’m not going to lie. There was a noticeable difference in my skin. Post mask, my skin looked plump from being rehydrated and those citric extracts did bring back some brightness. I looked and felt luminous without being left feeling overly greasy. In fact, this mask could actually work on oily skin without being overly hydrating.

The effects carried over into the next day. It was like the shot of espresso my skin needed to get back on track.

All in all, I was impressed.

Rating: 4/5. This sheet mask actually delivered on its promises. It provided a lightweight, yet significant hydration for my skin. I’m still a little hesitant about all the citric extracts in the ingredients and the unknown amount of fragrance, so I can’t recommend this for sensitive. But I think this mask is fine to use in moderation and spaced out over time whenever you need a hydration pick-me-up.

If you’d like to try out Birchbox, follow the link!


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