I admit it, I’m a mask-aholic. Every time I see a new one, I at least think about trying it. I am not partial to high end or drugstore; I have favorites on both ends. And I have spoken before about my fondness for K-beauty products, so when I saw a few new masks from long-time company SkinFood (a brand that I haven’t tried), I thought I’d give them a whirl. The results were…well, just keep reading.

First I’ll touch on the products themselves. What caught my attention specifically were three new Freshmade Face Masks that they recently introduced: Lemon – which didn’t hold too much interest for me – Coconut, and interestingly enough, Watermelon. You don’t see a lot of watermelon options in skincare, and knowing the hydrating properties of it (duh, watermelon), I picked up that one and the Coconut. Because I am not getting any younger, hydration is becoming a bigger priority for me, so I thought these two would be my best best for dropping a big old water bomb on my skin. They run about $13 each for a 3.04 oz. container, which admittedly is a bit high, but in the grand scheme of skincare is pretty reasonable, not to mention beauty experts always recommend spending more on skincare than actual cosmetics.

I got them home and pretty much immediately decided to give them a test run. Did I mention I love face masks? The Watermelon is touted as a wash-off type mask, the standard, “put it on for fifteen minutes, then rinse” type of thing. The Coconut is a leave-on style, where you simply apply it and allow it to be absorbed into the skin. While I’m not so much into that type of mask – I like the satisfaction of having the “big reveal” after rinsing or peeling off a mask – I was willing to give this one a shot. After all, every other Korean brand I had tried in the past did at least above-average work, so why wouldn’t this, right? Right?

I’m not 100% sure where to start, so I’ll just start at the beginning. I tried the Watermelon mask first, and when I opened it I was immediately greeted by the overwhelming scent of watermelon Jolly Rancher. Super strong, super tart-smelling, super watermelon-y (I know, it’s not a word. Just go with me on this.) By appearances, I was expecting a very gelatinous texture, something I could scoop out and spread. Instead it was…runny. Not watery, just runny. Whenever I tried to scoop some out, it would run off of my fingers back into the jar. A bit of an obstacle, but I chalked it up to it being a different formulation and worked with it. I applied it, and it was cooling and felt like it was moisturizing my skin. but when I rinsed it off, it basically felt like it did nothing. My skin felt and looked the same. Not that I was necessarily expecting immediate results, but usually you feel some difference. Later that evening I tested the Coconut version; same texture (i.e., messy), and basically no coconut scent. This one I was supposed to leave on, but I found about five or ten minutes in that my skin just wasn’t absorbing the product, and it was feeling pretty greasy. I gave in and washed it off, but even after removing it, my skin still felt like it had an oily film on it. I wound up using micellar water to completely take everything off.

Now here is my issue with this brand; if you go to their website you’ll see a wealth of information about the company and its products presented in a whimsical, brightly-colored format. Their mission statement claims that they are all about natural, food-based beauty products, and that, “only the highest quality food ingredients are used to create a more beautiful, healthier lifestyle.” Food, food, food. Nutrients, antioxidants, all the buzz words you need to hear to make you feel like you’re doing something great for your skin. Which to me implies that food and the nutrients contained therein are a serious priority for this company. Now let’s go take a look at the ingredients list of the individual products. First three ingredients of the Coconut mask (which I admittedly did not look at until I brought it home): water, dimethicone (a kind of silicone, which my skin does not like) and glycerin – which explains why my skin was uncomfortable with this mask, as I am not a huge fan of glycerin at all. And the Watermelon mask? Water, glycerin and propanediol, which is another name for propylene glycol. A commonly-used ingredient in skincare and beauty products, it reduces the viscosity of a substance for easier application; in other words, it makes it more runny. Mystery solved there. And although it has not been found to be dangerous, it can still be a skin or eye irritant for those with sensitivities. Oh and those high-priority food ingredients they sing about all over the website? Waaay down at the bottom of that ingredients list. So much for using only the highest quality food ingredients.

Obviously, SkinFood has many other products, and they could be amazing. Am I going to try anything else from this brand to find out? Probably not. Is that fair? Maybe not, but I’ve been convinced that maybe transparency of ingredients isn’t their number one focus. There are far too many other options available to me that are actually natural and will in fact make my skin look and feel great. And for $13 bucks a pop, I’m feeling a touch ripped off. I’m calling this one a lesson in reading your labels before making a purchase – I will definitely be more vigilant from now on. But I wanted to do this post to make you aware that not all reviews are rosy, and to give you a heads-up about this brand. Please make your own decision about using the products, but do read the labels first. I hope this was interesting and maybe helpful as well. Let me know in the comments if you have ever tried this brand and what you thought about it. Have a great week!

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