This is what happened when I tried Mediheal masks for six days
Fans of Korean skincare are probably very familiar with the sheet mask. This supercharged K-beauty innovation basically acts a concentrated “booster shot” for the skin, delivering a potent dose of active ingredients in the form of a saturated cotton or hydrogel mask. Skincare junkies swear by them, and any pretty unnie worth her salt probably has a preferred brand. Here at PV, our editor-in-chief Liz swears by Leaders, while the other ladies prefer more familiar labels like Etude House, The Face Shop, and Skinfood. Personally, I am solidly #TeamInnisfree.
Or, well, I was. Until a KPop group shook up my life, and my skincare routine.
Even if you don’t follow KPop, you might have heard of BTS. The seven-member Korean idol group captured the world’s attention last year when they became the first Korean group to win a Billboard Music Award. Seemingly overnight, they were everywhere: launching an album, landing interviews on major talk shows, collaborating with international music stars (*coughFall Out Boycough*), performing at the AMAs, and topping Twitter trends on a near-regular basis.
Somewhere in their busy schedule, they also found time to work with top Korean mask brand Mediheal. This Seoul-based brand began in a medical school, and is among one of the top sheet mask brands in Korea due to their power-packed formulations and (apparently) super-affordable prices. In fact, according to fellow PV girl Tellie (who lived in SoKor to study makeup), Chinese ahjummas are known to hoard these masks on trips to Korea!
Their reputation alone would have convinced me to give them a shot, but my KPop-loving heart could not resist the promise of skincare sets curated by the seven loves of my life! When Watsons announced that they would be selling the special edition BTS boxes starting March 14th, I nearly lost it. And when I got the opportunity to try out the variants in advance, well, who could say no to that? A recent trip to Baguio left my skin looking rather dull, which convinced me to jump on yet another Korean hypetrain: a daily sheet masking challenge! Excited at the prospect of having skin as flawless as my bias, I dove in!
My first mask was the N.M.F. Aquaring Ampoule Mask EX (P149), which according to other KBeauty bloggers, is one of Mediheal’s most popular masks. As the name suggests, this mask is features a cocktail of moisturizing ingredients like sodium hyaluronate, rose water, and aloe leaf water, which are designed to improve skin hydration and elasticity.
The first thing I noticed with this mask is that the fit is unreal. While most masks are either too round or too small for my face, this mask felt like second skin and tucked securely around my cheekbones and jaw. The essence was saturated the mask, but didn’t feel sticky or uncomfortably thick, which I especially liked since other moisturizing masks I’d tried could sometimes feel heavy. After twenty minutes (the max time you’re supposed to leave them on), there was still a lot of essence left, so I dutifully pat this into my skin and spread whatever's left on my legs and arms too, because why not?
Despite the generous amount of essence though, I felt this mask didn’t make a ridiculous amount of difference. I used this twice - on the first day and on the third day of the challenge - and while both trials made my skin feel pleasantly “fresh,” it didn’t feel particularly smooth or supple. I suppose this really is best as a quick drink for the skin!
On day two, I chose to try the Collagen Impact Essential Mask EX (P99), which is supposedly an “anti-aging” mask. It promises to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, which I do have under my eyes. Also, since this mask promised to seal in moisture into my skin’s “deep layers,” I figured it could tackle the flaking I’d been experiencing around my nose since Baguio.
The active ingredients of this mask are slightly similar to the N.M.F. Aquaring, except collagen is higher up on the ingredients list (meaning a higher concentration). That being said, the fit and feel of this mask were very similar to the first, and like the first, I did not see any immediate effects. However, friends did comment that my eyes looked a little less tired, despite the fact that there had been no changes to my sleep schedule. Perhaps the collagen was working its magic on my under-eye lines?
I was most excited for fourth mask I tried, which was the Tea Tree Care Solution Essential Mask EX (P99). Admittedly, it was for a very mababaw reason: my favorite BTS member, Jin, had snapped a selca holding this specific mask, and so I figured using it was the closest I would ever get to touching his face (ew, creepy). According to Mediheal, this mask is actually a favorite of lead dancer J-Hope and golden maknae Jungkook, who use it for emergency blemish control before concerts, but Jin is supposedly the sheet-mask worshipper in the group so I don’t doubt he uses it a ton as well!
I’d actually spent a lot of time in the sun the day I used this, so my skin, despite my slathering on of SPF, felt rather hot, irritable, and dull. While tea tree can supposedly make you more photosensitive, its healing properties make it excellent for after-sun soothing, aside from the usual pimple-fighting properties.
However, while the mask highlights tea tree, it was actually another ingredient that got me more excited: higher on the list was centella asiatica extract, which is excellent for treating burns and wounds, soothing skin, and helping with cell regeneration. “Cica,” as it’s called, is a supposed wonder-ingredient and is notoriously pricey, so I was pleasantly surprised when this tea tree mask boasted it as one of the higher-concentration ingredients. No wonder my face felt pleasantly refreshed and bouncy after masking!
I have to admit that I knew I probably wouldn’t see very visible results with my Day 5 mask. The I.P.I. Lightmax Ampoule Mask EX (P149) comes infused with niacinamide and vitamin C - brightening agents that help tackle discoloration. Unfortunately, these ingredients are also present in my current HG moisturizer for tackling skin dryness, so I figured the effects of this mask would blur together with the moisturizer. Still, I had no complaints regarding the fit and overall feeling after using the mask, and would definitely be willing to experiment with using this over a longer period (sans my brightening night cream) to see if it would have a significant effect on my already ghost-pale face.
While I expected the Tea Tree mask to be a runaway favorite, it turns out that I had saved the best for last! The W.H.P. White Hydrating Black Mask EX (P149) was the most unique of the set. Infused with activated charcoal, the black mask sheet supposedly pulls impurities out of the face, while arbutin and acai berry even out skin tone, and ceramide locks in moisture. All in all, a super-power mask, and a favorite of the BTS member whose skin I envy most: Suga!
This mask fit a little differently from the others, coming up short on my forehead and barely tucking under my chin and jaw. Still, despite it being slightly smaller, it was still a good fit around my facial contours. It also felt to be of a thicker fabric than the others, perhaps because of the charcoal infused in the fibers. Of all five masks I’d tried, this felt the heaviest, but it still was not uncomfortable!
Suga claims to be the most low-maintenance in the group when it comes to skincare, and for a time I didn’t believe it; photos of him feature skin with an almost unearthly glow. I feel like this black mask just might be the secret! Immediately after usage, my skin felt ridiculously smooth and soft. My non-paparazzi camera couldn’t quite capture the glow it gave but my naked eye could definitely see it! This is definitely my personal favorite of all the masks, and I would willingly hoard this and use it daily if my skin is feeling particularly meh.
Here's how my skin looked after masking for 6 days! While the results weren’t as dramatic as I’d expected, I’m still very pleased with the results. Even sans-makeup, my skin looks bouncy and clear, with a glow that’s almost a shame to cover up with foundation. I even pulled a few all-nighters, and got my lady days during this exercise, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at my skin, which is the clearest I’ve seen it in a while!
While sheet masking is probably no substitute for the frequent dermatologist visits and glam team treatments a KPop idol group has access to, I’d say that using them regularly certainly does make a difference. Just six days of Mediheal have led me that much closer to the dewy skin of my dreams, and I’m confident you’ll experience great results as well!
Needless to say, I'm dying to get my hands on the exclusive Mediheal x BTS Mask Sets, which are dropping on March 15! Each set is priced at P1,250 and will contain 10 Mediheal masks and 14 BTS photo cards. There are four variants available: Hydrating Care, Moisturizing Care, Brightening Care, and Soothing Care.
Are you ready to take on the Mediheal sheet masking challenge? Which variant are you looking to try? Sound off in the comments below, and see you in the line on March 14th!
Mediheal is now available in Watsons outlets. The Mediheal x BTS Mask Set will be exclusively available online from Watsons and a special pop-up booth at the SM Makati Activity Center on March 15!