Splash Masks (or Products You Didn’t Really Need But Now You Want pt. 1)
Sometimes in skincare you see a pair of words that don’t really go together, but you accept it and move on because it’s just skincare and sometimes it does odd things like that. Then you sit down and think ‘Hang on, really? A mask? That you splash? But…masks STAY on the face, don’t they? That’s kind of their thing.’ So, yes. Sometimes skincare is amusing and comes up with these concepts that don’t really make sense, but by gum, we want whatever it comes up with when it does. Except for that weird mouth exercise face slimmer thing I once saw in Olive Young. Nope.
The concept of a splash mask is relatively simple. When you get into the shower, make sure you have your bottle with you, and once you’re done with all your shaving, and shampooing, and cleansing, and singing Gloria Gaynor, dispense the correct amount into your palm. Pat the product all over your face, then do the same with water. Simple! You can see that this isn’t really a mask in any way, but it sounds cool and has a better ring to it than ‘patting water pack’, which in skincare terms sounds even odder than a mask that you splash.
I’ve tried out a couple of splash masks, and so thought it was time to give you my opinions on the pair of them. The two I’ve tried out are the infamous Blithe Patting Splash Mask and the Boscia Tsubaki Splash Mask. Both of these are available at Sephora in the US, but I’m not sure about global availability. Sadly in most European Sephoras we don’t have either brand.
Let’s first look at the Boscia Tsubaki Mask, as I believe it’s less well-known and it was the first splash mask I ever tried.
Boscia Tsubaki Splash Mask
Boscia is a preservative-free skincare brand, based in California but with Japanese influences. Boscia = botanical + science. They use botanical ingredients and products are made with the idea of being minimally irritating, with maximum results.
The Tsubaki Splash Mask is formulated with ingredients designed to provide intense hydration, so the product is ideal for those with dry skin (like me) and uneven tone.
PEG/PPG-8/3 Diisostearate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Oil, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Seed Oil, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycerin, Citrus Sinensis (Orange) Peel Oil, Undaria Pinnatifida Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Eugenia Caryophyllus (Clove) Leaf Oil.
There are a lot of oils in there, which help with the hydration part of the promise, but some particularly interesting ones are camellia oil (tsubaki is the Japanese word for camellia), which is rich in anti-oxidants, rice bran oil, which helps to brighten skin and even out tone, and soybean oil for nourishing and softening. Aloe extract also helps to moisturise and can soothe the skin, and ginseng root extract is a popular choice for anti-aging products, thanks to its anti-oxidant care and brightening power.
All in all, not a bad ingredient list. It’s alcohol-free and paraben-free, so for those who are interested in ‘free’ ingredient lists, take note. The only potential problem could be soybean oil, as it can cause blackheads through pores becoming blocked (comedogenic). It’s only moderately comedogenic though, so just be aware with how your skin reacts to oils. I can’t use coconut oil, for example, but I was fine with this.
Texture and Scent
This smells flipping gorgeous – just look at that ingredients list above. The natural oils in there make it an absolute fragrance sensation, and I don’t mean in an artificial-smelling sense. It smells of lavender, one of my favourite scents in the world thanks to how it calms me seemingly from within, and with hints of orange and clove, a beautiful spicy scent that really lingers. The smell is absolutely intoxicating and it’s honestly half the reason I use this mask.
The texture is rather like a cleansing oil – it’s thicker than water and has an oily touch to it. It’s runny but not watery, and behaves and feels like a thin facial oil. My skin has some sensitivity to oils and has difficulty absorbing them, but this pack is not thick enough for this to be a problem. It’s very light to say it’s got so many oils in it, and it absorbs pretty well.
While in the shower, pump 1-3 times to dispense the product, depending on how much you want to use. I usually find one and a bit is the right level for my skin, considering how I get on with oils. At the end of your shower, pat the product into your wet skin, and make sure not to towel dry or wipe off. Pat what you can then leave the skin to absorb the rest…I tend to leave it for about 15 minutes before continuing with my routine, which is time enough to dry, get dressed, and sort my hair out etc.
You can also use this product in the sink and mix it with warm water, but this seems a bit of a faff to me and I can never be bothered. I like taking it into the shower as it’s convenient.
After patting this in, my face feels super smooth and soft, without a greasy cloying feeling. Thanks to the scent, I walk around smelling of lavender, which is rather enjoyable – I feel fresh, clean, and relaxed.
I don’t notice any brightening through this pack, but I do notice how smooth it leaves my skin, and how it conditions to leave a softer, more healthy-looking texture.
In US Sephora, this costs $38 for 55ml of product. The product, however, lasts FOREVER. I’ve had mine for about six months and I still haven’t even used a third. You hardly need any to get the soft, smooth effect. If you’re using 3 pumps, it’s obviously going to run out quicker, but I don’t really think you need anywhere near that amount for it to perform well.
I love the packaging for this – it’s pretty in pink, and the design is really easy to use. The pump is effective, and ensures none of the product spills out. The lid and pump make it really easy to take with me on holiday, and the size too – under 100ml means it’s ideal for travel. It also doesn’t take up too much room on your shower rack, so it’s a welcome addition to my shower cubicle. The only problem I’ve found is that if it falls, the lid comes off easily – but it doesn’t spill a drop thanks to the pump, so this is more mild annoyance than anything.
I would definitely purchase this product for the price it is in Sephora. I think it’s good value for what it does, and the experience it provides. Half the appeal for me with this product is the sensual experience the scent gives, and the rest is convenience mixed with smooth skin – but I can get similar results with a good toner, so I don’t think that renders the product a must have. If you’re looking for a skincare experience, I recommend it.
Blithe Green Tea Patting Splash Pack
Blithe are a Korean brand, focusing on anti-pollution and anti-aging (anti-polluaging, a term which kind of makes me roll my eyes but makes sense). I talked about this in my recent post on the Huxley Essence-like, Oil-like, but anti-pollution products are becoming ever more popular in Korea these days, as a way to protect the skin from the higher concentrations of pollution present in our modern-day cities.
Water, Lactic Acid, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus Limon (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Acer Saccharum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Panthenol, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated castor oil, 1,2-Hexanediol, Sodium Lactate, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Gardenia Florida Fruit Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Carthamus Tinctorius (Safflower) Flower Extract, Dextrin, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Salicylic Acid.
This formula contains a couple of whitening/brightening ingredients, lactic acid, and salicylic acid, the latter of the two being more commonly known as BHA, a popular exfoliant which helps to boost collagen and clear blackheads at the same time. What a babe.
Many of the ingredients are anti-oxidants, rich in nutrients that help your skin boost cell growth and therefore look healthier and more radiant, plus playing a part in anti-aging – the more collagen and new cells your body produces, the younger your skin will look.
The mask also contains green tea (camellia sinensis) leaf extract and tea tree oil, which soothe the skin and also help to control blemishes. The two are also popularly used in products for oily skin, which I don’t have – I have the blemish-prone part. However, if you have oily skin, this product would be good for oil control, in theory…I just can’t comment on that.
Many of the ingredients in this mask are cold-pressed, which means they retain their original qualities and vitamins, minerals, and enzymes are preserved for maximum effect.
Much like the Boscia, you can take this product into the shower or use it in the sink. However, this has a cap which you must pour the product into, and then do the same action of patting onto the face, followed by water. As you do exactly the same as you would with the Boscia, I don’t need to explain anything more about this part that wasn’t already mentioned above.
The effects of this mask are generally brightening, in my opinion. My skin looks less red and blemishes clear up more quickly while I use this mask, because of the tea tree, I assume. If my skin is looking a little red in the morning, I use this mask, and it really helps the colour in my skin fade, calming it and making it feel more refreshed. I don’t find it moisturising but that isn’t the purpose of this mask – Blithe offer different masks for different skincare issues. This one is perfect for me as I have relatively red, blemish-prone skin, particularly around the chin. This helps blemishes clear up quickly, and keep them at bay.
Texture and Scent
This product is much more watery, and pretty much feels like a regular toner. I don’t find it to be oily, or leave any texture behind that I notice particularly, unlike the Boscia. You can really feel that one on your skin – whereas the Blithe doesn’t leave any residue or any trace, really, that you applied it. It’s very easy to pour, if not too easy, because of its watery texture. It has a slight green colour to it.
It smells lovely, again – splash masks really do provide the scentsual experience. This mask smells of tea tree mostly, with a slight hint of green tea. I mostly detect that tea tree medicinal kind of scent, but not at an overly strong level. The scent doesn’t linger, so you mostly get it as you pat the mask on, but not later on after getting out the shower and drying off.
Prices vary on this one – I bought mine in Korea where prices are lower, but expect to pay around $40-45 for a bottle at most retailers, for a bottle of 200ml. Some notable retailers are Glow Recipe, Sephora, and in Europe, SKINiD and HoneySu. Again, the product lasts a while on this one, but mostly because you’re getting quite a lot in a bottle and you don’t need a lot of it per application.
This, for me, is the big downfall when it comes to the Blithe product. I love the effects, I love the smell, and the whole experience – but the packaging really doesn’t do anything for me. The cap is quite large, so you can easily dispense too much product, and getting it back into the bottle is pretty difficult, so you end up losing some as you try. It spills out into your hands or into the cap too quickly, and you have to be extra careful when measuring out. Clumsy hands like mine don’t fare too well at the dispensing part.
I really wish Blithe would think about making this a pump product. It would be easy to do and I don’t see why it wouldn’t work that way, unless there’s some type of science that I’m not aware of which means the product would no longer be effective. It would totally change the experience and would make me happier to use the mask. I love it and what it does, but not the packaging at all. It’s wasteful and clumsy.
Rather like the Boscia, this mask is an experience – you don’t need one, but if you get one you’ll be so happy that you did. This mask, however, does help my breakouts and blemishes, so I can actually see it doing more for me in an effective skincare routine for calming and reduction in redness. The problem I have with this mask, as I mentioned, is the packaging. It’s pretty bad, but workable. I can put up with it and I will buy this product again, as I want to try the other types – but it really is annoying and unnecessary.
Out of the two, I am not sure which I would recommend more. I like them both very much, but I think for my skin concerns, the Blithe shows the edge and just about beats the Boscia, despite the packaging. This is mostly because I hate the redness in my skin, so anything that calms it is a winner in my eyes. However, if you’re going for an experience and a product that is well-designed, the Boscia wins hands down.
Have you tried either of these masks yet? What’s your winner?