A 15-second face mask exists, and yes, of course it’s from Korea

It’s no secret that, here at Project Vanity, we love a good masking sesh! From sheet masks challenges to trying different types of clay and everything in between, the PV girls are always down for a good at-home spa day. There’s one problem with this, though: I often don’t have the 10 or so minutes to spare for the mask treatments. After a long day of working and attending music school, it’s a small victory that I even manage my current five-step skincare routine daily! But what if there was a mask that works in mere seconds?

An online article I read introduced the concept of patting or ”splash” masks: a concentrated hybrid of a toner, essence, and acid exfoliant that technically isn’t a “mask” at all. Applying them (and washing them off) supposedly takes all of just 15 seconds, after which you can supposedly expect smooth, clean skin and a rejuvenated glow. I am such a sucker for anything that promises glow, so I quickly carted the Blithe Patting Splash Mask (P2,080 at Sephora PH)!

According to the Sephora product description, Blithe’s Patting Splash Mask is “...inspired by the Korean bathhouse tradition of splashing botanical steeped water onto the face after cleansing and toning.” There were three variants to choose from: Soothing and Healing Green Tea, Rejuvenating Purple Berry, and Energy Yellow Citrus and Honey. I went back and forth between the three options, tempted to hoard them all, but ultimately decided on the Soothing and Healing Green Tea variant because Pony Effect’s video of her nighttime routine included a green tea mask for detoxifying her skin.

Well, Blithe’s Soothing and Healing Green Tea looks like green tea with its watery consistency (very much like a toner, actually) and muted green color. The mask is anything but “gentle” though - the secret to its quick effect appears to be its high concentration of lactic acid content! The AHA is listed second on the ingredients list and some sites have speculated the percentage of this active to be near the 30% mark!

_MG_9753.JPG

It’s a far cry from the formulations of other AHAs but don’t be alarmed because lactic acid is also the gentlest kind of AHA. Rinsing the mask off is definitely a must to prevent over-exfoliating and sensitizing your skin. I’ve used this product on and off for a couple of weeks now and experienced no adverse effects, so as long as you use it correctly, you don’t have anything to worry about.

There are two ways of applying a “patting mask.” The first (and the one that Blithe recommends) is to use it in the shower: just apply a capful of the formula on your wet face and pat it on as it gets rinsed off with shower water. The second technique is to add a capful of the solution into a sink full of water, then splash and pat the water-mask mixture onto your face for 15 to 20 seconds. I find it’s easier to pour water into a basin instead of the sink though!

I’ve tried both methods, and while the shower version is the easiest, I’m iffy about using it this way because I prefer to shower in morning and I’m concerned about AHAs increasing my skin’s sensitivity to the sun. What I do instead is to dispense a bit of the mask onto my hand after cleansing then pat it onto my still-damp face, lightly pressing it on like I would a toner or essence. I wait a few seconds, then wash it all off using splashing and patting movements.

While this product has tea tree oil and salicylic acid extracts mixed in, they’re in such low concentrations that I’m not sure they can do much by way of blemish control (also, my breakouts tend to be hormonal). Otherwise, though, I’ve found myself quite satisfied with the performance of Blithe’s Soothing and Healing Green Tea Patting Splash Mask. My skin feels cleaner and smoother - definitely due to the AHA - as well as more “receptive” to absorbing any other products I use afterwards. To me, this makes it more of a special toner than a mask, but who am I to argue with branding?

Blithe recommends using the mask daily, and despite the bottle containing 200ml of product, it’s very easy to work your way to an empty due to the application technique. Personally, I just use it a few times a week, and alternate with my other AHA-based products. I don’t use these all on the same day as that would definitely cause overexfoliation!

Would you try this 15-second “mask”? Know of any other similar products? Sound off in the comments below!