StarSkin is a brand that focuses a lot on sheet masks. They also have other products but the masks are by far the most popular. It’s a relatively young brand (2015) and it’s a regular appearance on beauty boxes and advent calendars, which is where I got everything I ever had from them.
The brand claims to be inspired by South Korean skincare. They also claim to be 100% natural and clean beauty, which is usually a bad sign. Although “natural” and “clean” claims have no scientific foundation nor are they regulated terms, meaning any brand can claim to be natural and clean regardless of the ingredients they use, it usually is a sign that there will be a lot of essential oils in the formulations of that skincare brand, in detriment of actually good ingredients. Essential oils are mainly perfuming ingredients that commonly have the potential to irritate the skin.
So the first thing I did was focus on the ingredients list. And saying I was surprised is a f*cking understatement.
100% Camellia Nourishing & Brightening 2-Step Oil Sheet Mask
Ingredients: Capsule: Camellia Japonica Seed Oil. Mask: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, 1,2-Hexanediol, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta, Polyglyceryl-10 Caprylate/Caprate, Panthenol, Trehalose, Carbomer, Arginine, Betaine, Zeolite, Allantoin, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Sodium Hyaluronate, Beta-Glucan, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Cimicifuga Racemosa Root Extract, Sophora Flavescens Root Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Vitis Vinifera (Grape) Fruit Extract, Persea Gratissima (Avocado) Fruit Extract, Hippophae Rhamnoides Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Tuber Magnatum Extract, Pearl Powder, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Fragrance (Parfum).
The first step to this mask is to snap the serum container and apply the oil all over the face. After that, you put on the actual face mask that’s folded in the bottom sachet. When applying the sheet mask it felt like the forehead part was smaller than typical. But I also have a forehead big enough for a drive-in cinema (to project the film onto, that is), so maybe it’s just a me problem.
Right after removing it, I think my face redness subsided a bit. It did leave a sticky feeling in my skin. I did not rinse off the oil I originally put on, as per the instructions, so I could still pretty much feel it after using the mask. I don’t like the feeling of oil in my face, but for the sake of the experiment, I went to bed with it on. The next day my face was pretty hydrated, not clogged up (which I was scared about) and overall just looked good. Even Sir Fiancé mentioned it.
When it comes to ingredients, this guy is a winner. The ingredient this mask focuses on is Cammellia Japonica Seed Oil, which is a great antioxidant and protects the skin from loss of collagen, but besides that it’s packed full of super star (ha!) ingredients: glycerin, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and a lot of antioxidant extracts. The only bad one is the fragrance but that’s literally the last one, so the concentration is very minor.
Eye Catcher Smoothing Bio-Cellulose Eye Masks
Ingredients: Hippophae Rhamnoides Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Water, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Vaccinium Angustifolium (BlueBerry) Fruit Extract, Brassica Oleracea Italica (Broccoli) Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Adenosine, Fragaria Chiloensis (Strawberry) Fruit Extract, Panthenol, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Olive Oil PEG-8 Esters, Tocopheryl Acetate, Hydroxyacetophenone, Anthemis Nobilis Flower Extract, Cananga Odorata Flower Oil, Polyglyceryl-6 Caprylate, Polyglyceryl-4 Caprate, Linalool.
These are BIG. They go all the way to my temples. And like any other eye mask I’ve ever tried, they slide down to my cheeks as I’m wearing them. Is it just me? Please tell me if that happens to you too, or if for some reason my face is just slippery. Ew.
After removing the patches I could still feel the product in that area, it felt like it was tightening as the product was drying. That’s not necessarily bad or good, just an observation.
Looking at the ingredients, this is another great formulation. Apart from Cananga Odorata Flower Oil and Linalool, which are fragrant sensitizing ingredients – but also really far down on the list – all other ingredients are good. Hydrating and soothing all around. I was skeptical about the “smoothing” claim, however, the next day when I woke up I felt the undereye area was just soft and plump, and fine lines are certainly less noticeable in plump skin.
Nourishing Double-Layer Hand Mask Gloves
Ingredients:Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Urea, Glyceryl Stearate, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Peg-100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Dimethicone, Carbomer, Arginine, Caprylyl Glycol, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Olea Europaea (Olive) Fruit Oil, Macadamia Integrifolia Seed Oil, Fragrance (Parfum), 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Allantoin, Disodium Edta, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sesamum Indicum (Sesame) Seed Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Polygonum Multiflorum Root Extract, Phellinus Linteus Extract, Angelica Gigas Root Extract, Morus Alba Bark Extract, Paeonia Lactiflora Root Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Lycium Chinense Fruit Extract, Hexyl Cinnamal, Benzyl Benzoate, Alpha-Isomethyl Ionone, Citronellol
This was my least favourite. My hands are maybe where I have more skin sensitivity, and they get dry easily. I prefer more balmy hand moisturizers, they feel more comfortable. This isn’t balmy or creamy at all, it’s a liquid, fluid serum.
I felt a slight sting when I used these mask gloves, which could be caused by fragrance, and sure enough, “parfum” is relatively high up in the ingredients list. I’m not too mad at that though, most of the list is made of soothing, skin-replenishing, moisturizing ingredients. I just have peculiar hands. I also didn’t feel a dramatic effect after removing the mask, but unlike the face masks, there’s not much chance for ingredients to work overnight because I’m constantly washing my hands.
I think brands nowadays have to say they are clean and natural to be marketable – even if those terms, scientifically or industry wise, mean nothing at all. If you’re like me and those claims make you roll your eyes, do not worry – StarSkin masks are very well put together and packed full of good, scientifically proved good , ingredients for your skin. This comes to show one really has to look at the ingredient lists – which can be a tedious route, but it’s such an effective one. Hey, at least it kept me occupied during the quarantine.
I was so pleasantly surprised. Of what I’ve tried so far, this is my favourite brand of sheet masks. Not the most affordable, I know (a face sheet mask is about 10€), but I’d rather use these less frequently that a mediocre alternative more often, just because it’s cheaper. They have a few skincare products besides the mask, including a line based on celery, that I’m now super curious about, so I’ll be looking into that in the future.
Way to go, StarSkin. You have a fan.