Rubber Masks: The New Korean Skincare Trend That's Totally Worth The Creepiness

I was skeptical, as I usually am when using anything with a gimmick. However, I have to say I'm a believer.
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Publish date:
June 17, 2015
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korea, Korean beauty, sheet masks, Korean Skincare, Rubber Masks, Modeling Masks

At this point, we all know that what happens in the Korean beauty world doesn't stay in the Korean beauty world; it migrates way beyond the wee peninsula, and soon enough everyone's giddy over the latest and greatest. These rubber masks? No exception.

Rubber masking—yes, it's already a verb—has been a "skincare secret" in Korean spas for a while, but now they're being offered in stores for people to use in the sanctuary of their own homes. To the glee of many, they're also starting to trickle their way into the US skincare market.

So what exactly is a rubber mask?

Consider it a level up from the standard sheet mask. Only instead of draping the mask over your face, as you would with a sheet mask, you mix equal parts powder and water and then slather all over your skin. Once the mineral and nutrient-rich mask is applied, it adheres to every inch and crevice of your face, forming a sturdy, gelatinous mask. This transformation is made possible thanks to an ingredient called alginate, which is found in kelp extract.

As it sets—a 10 to 15 minute process—the skin absorbs the nutrients. Once you peel, the mask lifts away dead skin cells and impurities, leaving you with super-soft, hydrated and brighter looking skin.

Each mask has about 1/2 a cup of powder in it and runs you $5 each at GlowRecipe.com. After filling to the line with water, you stir with the included spatula.

I was a bit skeptical, as I usually am when using anything with even the slightest gimmick factor. However, after using the rubber masks, I have to say I'm a believer. At the very least, they do leave my skin feeling ultra-moisturized and so, so soft. Isn't that the goal of any skincare product?

Apply the mask thickly, especially on the edges of your face. This will make it easier to peel once firm. I noticed that the areas that weren't very thick had a harder time coming off.

Tip: I learned that applying the mask right after you add the water makes for a mess. Instead, I suggest waiting a couple minutes for the mask to thicken in the cup, then apply to your face.

After letting the mask set, begin peeling away. If you're skilled, perhaps you can peel it all off in one go, but I pulled mine off in pieces.

I was immediately impressed with a) how easily it came off and b) how immediately invigorated my skin felt.

I did have to rinse my face to remove all the bits, but it mostly just peeled right off.

I wouldn't be surprised if we see an influx of companies marketing their own rubber masks in the near future.

  • Would you use these?
  • What's your favorite Korean skincare trend?