Terrifying 1917 Face Masks And Their 2014 Counterparts

"Sometimes made of animal flesh like veal..." And you thought sheet masks were scary.
Publish date:
December 8, 2014
the face shop, face masks, skin care, vintage beauty, under eye masks, a.c. care, chin mask, purederm

Korean sheet masks are all the rage right now--you know, the kind you typically feel the need to post on Instagram, accompanied by an overused Silence of the Lambs caption. That’s the one. But did you know that this Hannibal Lecter-looking beauty mask has been around since 1917?

Typically made of vulcanized rubber--and sometimes made of animal flesh like veal (!)--early 1900 face masks aimed to prevent "wrinkles, congestion, dryness, blackheads, greasy seborrhoea and general eruptions.” Sound familiar? Let's take a closer look at these 1917 masks, and their 2014 counterparts.

The Entire Face MaskWomen in 1917 used...

I used... A.C Care Bee's Sheet Mask, designed to deliver moisture and hydration to the skin while reducing redness and inflammation. Its active ingredients are bee venom and obtusa water, which target acne-prone skin.

The mask was cooling and soothing, but while my skin felt refreshed afterward, I'd need multiple treatments to see results.

The Chin MaskWomen in 1917 used...

I used... Purederm Firming Lift Multi-Step V-Line Treatment, designed to help you achieve that perfect V-Line face shape, which is extremely popular in Korea. This one is a two-parter: you apply the firming ampoule (feels like body lotion) on your chin, and then apply the patch made of hydrogel on top.

The patch has two loops that go around your ears; the fit is very snug, forcing your double chin to temporarily recede back into your jaw where you hope it will stay. Despite the fact that it smelled like a used Band-Aid, I left it on for 30 minutes. The formula uses collagen and caviar extract for firming and lifting, as well as pumpkin and ginkgo extract to improve microcirculation and reduce swelling.

Before & After

Did it work? Inconclusive, but, again, these masks need more than one go for full results. My chin did feel tighter and extremely soft, though.

The Under-Eye MaskWomen in 1917 used...

I used... The Face Shop Raspberry Collagen Eye Patch. Made with Himalayan raspberry roots and collagen, these gel patches improve elasticity, moisturize, and reduce fine lines. My under-eyes felt brighter and more refreshed, though the difference is definitely not discernible enough to be photographed.

The Face Shop employee suggested to use this mask twice a week for at least four weeks for more noticeable effects.

This Is Me After Using All Of The Masks

  • What are your favorite sheet masks?
  • Any beauty tips or curiosities from the 1900s you’d like to share?