A sheet face mask that costs under ten pesos? Let's try DIY tablet masks!
A daily sheet masking habit can be good for your skin, especially when preparing for a special occasion. It’s not quite wallet-friendly though, since each individually-packed mask can range from P65 for the Watsons Collagen Face Masks to P248 for a Leaders The Gold 24 Secret Mask. In looking for a cheaper alternative earlier this year, I tried a DIY lotion face mask that cost roughly six pesos: it was that cheap because all you have to buy is the multi-layered cotton pad which you can use with whatever moisturizing toner or Japanese lotion that you already have.
If you want something that feels a little more “professional”, another DIY option exists: compressed sheet masks. Available in bargain stores like Miniso and Ilahui, you may also know them as tablet masks or candy masks. Unlike the Lotion Face Mask, you don't need to soak these in water beforehand. Most contain instructions to directly apply the moisturizing toner or essence just before using the compressed mask. It will then unfurl to turn into a sheet mask, which you apply as usual either before sleeping or putting on makeup. What’s cool about these masks is that you can customize the fluid you soak them in, whether it’s an actual essence leftover from your previous mask session or even your own mix of essences and serums!
It can get confusing trying to decide which store to buy from and which variant to get though because there are so many options available. We decided to get masks from Daiso, Miniso, and Mumuso since those are the three most popular stores that sell these masks.
A set amount of 10ml of the Human Nature Hydrating Face Toner (P99/100ml) was used to soak each mask; there's actually no amount advised on how much product you should soak the tablet in, just that it has to be enough for it to decompress and feel wet. At 10ml per compressed sheet mask, this will add P9.9 to the cost per mask.
From Daiso, I got the Compressed Facial Mask (P88) made of "100% Pulp". The resealable pack contains 12 individually-packed pieces, each in a mini bowl that you can use for soaking the mask tablet! The mask absorbed the liquid quickly enough, though I had to roll the mask on its side and turn it upside down to ensure that the mask was wet all over.
The fit was not the best for my face since the eyeholes were a bit off and there were wrinkled parts in the chin area; I think this would be best for small oval faces. I used it for the recommended 10 minutes but it remained wet enough that I got an extra 5 minutes out of it.
From Miniso, I got the Bamboo Charcoal Compressed Facial Mask (P149) made of "bamboo charcoal non-woven". The resealable pack contains 40 pieces of candy-looking masks. It claims to absorb dirt in pores and have an anti-aging effect due to the charcoal. Because of the unusual material used, they did include a warning for those with sensitive skin to test on your hand before using on the face. I don't have sensitive skin but figured better safe than sorry, so I tested one on my hand a day before trying it out.
The mask quickly absorbed about half the liquid but then slowed down a bit. Like the previous mask, I had to turn and roll it with my finger for better absorption. My face was well-covered by the mask but the eye holes were too near each other for my liking. I experienced a slight tingling sensation during usage, which might be due to the deep cleaning promised by the mask since my pores were more visible after. The mask was nearly dry in the middle yet still a bit wet elsewhere at the end of the recommended 15-minute period; if you want to wear it a bit longer, you can try adding more toner to the mask.
From Mumuso, I got the Box Packed Compressed Facial Mask (P99) made of "pure cotton non-woven fabric". There were 35 candy-packed pieces and a small bowl inside the plastic box which can be repurposed later on. The material being natural cotton, it claims to be skin-friendly and non-irritating.
Like the other masks, it absorbed quickly but turning it over is necessary to completely saturate it. The fit was off for my face; while it did cover my nose, it didn't fully cover my forehead, there was extra on the sides, and the mask ended exactly at my chin with no extra to go underneath. I had a hard time smoothing it on my face as the wet mask kept sticking to my fingers, and it felt really wet on my face compared to the others, even when I used the same amount of toner. I couldn’t extend past the recommended 20-minute wear time though, since the mask was almost dry at that point.
Overall, the three masks performed quite well considering the cost plus the usage of a moisturizing toner (take note, this isn't an astringent/alcohol-based toner) instead of the usual Korean essence. The most affordable and best performer despite the fit issue is clearly the Mumuso Box Packed Compressed Facial Mask at only P2.83 per mask!
What makes it even more sulit is that you have a bowl that you can use for other tablet masks that don't have their own bowl, plus a reusable plastic box that can be used for organizing makeup. This was also the mask that made my dry skin feel most moisturized after. It could be due to its cotton material that also contributed to having the longest use at the recommended 20 minutes. The Daiso and Miniso masks tied at 15 minutes, the former having extended from the recommended 10 minutes.
The runner-up Miniso Bamboo Charcoal Compressed Facial Mask is worth the extra cents though, since it lives up to it's deep-cleaning claims. I don’t think this should be used daily though as I really felt my pores were a bit stripped after even if my face felt refreshed and cleaner. I would recommend the most expensive Daiso Compressed Facial Mask as the most travel-friendly because the packaging solves the problem of where to soak the mask in if you're on the go.
While I'm happy to report that none of the masks slid off while I was bustling about wearing them, the best fit for my face is the Miniso Bamboo Charcoal Compressed Facial Mask. It fully covered my face and aside from the eyeholes, there wasn't much of a fit problem. It would depend on your face shape though if this would also be the best fit for you.
Have you tried using DIY compressed sheet masks? Which variant do you go for?