Without having ever used a product with the word ‘collagen’ slapped all over it, most people nowadays have a picture in their mind when the word is mentioned. Everybody knows of it, but not everybody knows exactly what it is, or what it does (or even is supposed to do) in skincare products. Ask someone what it is, and I’m sure they’ll be able to paint a vague picture, but not pinpoint it entirely. Collagen conjures up the idea of plump, round, healthiness – or a wobbly jelly, wonderfully elastic.
Collagen is a protein found in the body (both human and animal alike), in our connective tissues. We get gelatine from collagen, so you’re gnashing down on it when you eat gummy sweets – might be why that wobbly jelly comes to mind. Collagen helps to keep your skin smooth, elastic, and full of life. As we get older, our ability to produce as much collagen dips, meaning wrinkles and fine lines increase. Collagen products are supposed to help boost our skin and collagen production, but normal collagen cannot be absorbed through the skin, thus rendering creams and skincare products somewhat useless. However, marine collagen in very small quantities CAN be absorbed, and this type of collagen is widely used in Korean skincare products. Chopped up collagen, while not proven to be absorbed by skin cells, is an excellent source of moisture. This is because it is a humectant – something which keeps things moist and supple.
All the collagen products I’ve tried so far, I’ve liked: especially Etude House’s Moistfull Collagen range. But that’s for another day. After hearing so many talk positively about Innisfree’s sheet mask range, I wanted to try one. Innisfree have a skin clinic range, targeting specific problems, and containing several big deal ingredients in the world of skincare. The range is as follows: hyaluronic acid, collagen, catechin, BHA, Vita C, peptide, and madecassoside. They offer benefits such as brightening (or whitening), firming, moisturising, improvement of skin tone, and improvement of skin texture.
The collagen mask claims to firm the skin, giving it elasticity, and help your poor tired old complexion by giving it a little boost awake. These sheet masks claim to be the no.1 in all of Korea, so I was excited to try one.
To use the sheet mask, simply pull it out of its packaging and peel off the film the mask is attached to. Many masks just come folded up with no attached film, which can make them trickier to unfold. I liked the fact that this mask was easy to unpeel and put on, without getting annoyed at it twisting and turning in my clumsy hands.
The mask is made of cotton, and a good amount of liquid came in the package. There was no particularly strong smell – I could hardly detect a fragrance, which I like with sheet masks. There is no need for a strong perfume with something I’m going to be wearing for about 20 minutes. The skin clinic masks advises wearing it for about 10-20 minutes. I usually forget how long I’ve had it on for, but I definitely went the full twenty. The mask has one of the best fits for any that I’ve tried, so I was feeling impressed by this point.
After taking the mask off, pat the remaining liquid into your skin. Sometimes, when using a sheet mask, you can feel the difference almost instantaneously. This wasn’t the case with this mask, and my skin didn’t feel refreshed as it often does after using certain masks.
The moment of truth, however, came the next morning. Chin eruption. I’ve never experienced such a bad breakout with a sheet mask, and I hardly ever break out at all – I normally get a one spot reaction. I had spots all over my chin, under my eyes, on the side of my nose…everywhere, it felt! I hadn’t tried any other new product or started using anything new for a long time, so I’m pretty sure this reaction came from the skin clinic mask. I checked another review of this mask where the writer (Grace’s Musings) stated she also broke out, although she wasn’t sure if it was the mask or just a general breakout. After using it myself, I’d be inclined to believe it was the sheet mask. Below you can see the difference. Sorry the first picture is head on, rather than a shot of exactly the same area – but it definitely demonstrates the overnight change.
The ingredients are as follows:
Water, Butylene Glycol, Dipropylene Glycol, Citrus Paradisi Fruit Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glycereth-26, Betaine, Carbomer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Cellulose gum, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis, Hydrolyzed Collagen, Citrus Grandis Peel Oil, Fragrance, Glycerin, Citrus Medica Limonum Fruit Extract, Citrus Unshiu Peel Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil, Pelargonium Graveolens Flower Oil, Ocimum Basilicum Oil, Orchid Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Camellia Japonica Leaf Extract, Opuntia Coccinellifera Fruit Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis Leaf Oil, Salvia Sclarea Oil, Disodium EDTA
Potential irritants are highlighted. I was surprised to see hydrolysed collagen was not a little further up the list, but it’s still a key ingredient, along with some other things which in theory should be great for your skin. Orchid extract soothes and repairs the skin. Camellia is anti-inflammatory. The citrus extracts even the skin and are are often used in anti-ageing products.
So, all things considered, let’s rate the mask, from points out of five.
Fit: 5/5. This is one of the best fitting masks I’ve used, and it’s very comfortable. It’s easy to put on, and the cotton feels nice on your skin.
Fragrance: 5/5. No notable fragrance, which I like.
Ingredients: 1/5. In theory, some great stuff in there, but in practice, my face exploded. I’m 100% sure it was due to the mask, which is a pity, as it had been doing well up until then.
Effects: 1/5. Not only did it make me break out, but I also didn’t notice any improvement to my skin. Perhaps it has to be used several times over a period to be of any effect, but I didn’t find it particularly moisturising, or that it lived up to its claims.
The score overall is higher because of the excellent fit of the mask, and its ease of use. However, I don’t find these to be of the utmost importance when using sheet masks – it should be all about what the end result is, right? So, even though my score for the product is average, I would not advise using this mask. I certainly won’t be going back to it. Sorry, Innisfree!