Test It Thursday: What we think of the 10-second wash-off face masks from Althea
I love taking my time with my daily skincare routine as a form of self-care. Still, as a working woman with two young kids, I do dream of getting the benefits of a 10-step Korean skincare routine with just three products and wayyy less time! So, when I saw that Althea’s collaboration with Get It Beauty (a super popular beauty show in Korea) was all about super quick and easy skincare, my curiosity was definitely piqued.
I have tried wash-off mask cleanser hybrids before, but I’ve never seen anything like the Real Fresh Skin Detoxer. This product is meant to be applied on dry skin and left on for just 10 seconds flat! After activating with a bit of water, it lathers and rinses off. There are two variants: Rose (Refining) and Green Tea (Purifying). Designed to impart the benefits of a leave-on mask and give a deep cleanse without drying the skin, these are actually recommended for daily use. You can purchase the 150mL tubes for P550 each, or get the set of two (with both variants included) for just P990.
Packaging design-wise, the tubes fit in really well with minimalist aesthetic of Althea Bare Essentials, the brand’s first foray into skincare. Although the box and tube are covered mostly in Korean text, I love that they included a little blank space in the back for noting the date when the product was opened! It’s a clever little detail that I really appreciate, and I am totally doing this for all my other skincare products.
The ingredients lists of the two are very similar, with the first eight ingredients (which make up majority of the formula) being exactly the same. Although the formula is sulfate-free, half of these starter ingredients (cocamidopropyl betaine, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, potassium cocoyl glycinate, and PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate) are surfactants, which are responsible for creating a rich lather. Acrylates copolymer also gives the mask-y texture, which forms a film over the skin before lathering. Heads up if you are sensitive to scents as these wash-off masks contain fragrance.
Althea X Get It Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxer in Rose (Refining)
What sets the masks apart one from the other are the plant extracts. The Rose Refining variant features real rose petals and rose extracts among other leaf, root, and seed extracts. Rose is known to have anti-inflammatory effects on the skin, easing redness and skin irritation. This aligns with Althea’s recommendation to use it in the morning, as better skin texture makes for easier makeup application.
The pink flecks are rose petals floating delicately in the gel liquid, and while it adds to the visual appeal, it doesn’t do much in the way of physical exfoliation. The crushed petals are hardly detectable in the gel formula once applied to the skin. I actually prefer this though, as my sensitive skin turns red with more abrasive formulas. I personally find the scent very pleasant - not overly floral or perfume-y, but like real fresh roses. Since the mask has to be left on face a bit longer than a regular cleanser though, there’s more exposure to the fragrance so consider that if you have a sensitive nose.
Althea x Get it Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxer in Green Tea (Purifying)
On the other hand, the Green Tea Purifying variant features Jeju green tea as its star ingredient, among other fruit and flower extracts. Green tea has been used for centuries not just as a health and beauty drink, but also as topical application for skin and hair. This practice has actually been backed up by modern research, which proves that green tea is full of antioxidants care of polyphenols and catechins. It makes sense that Althea recommends to use this mask at night, as it helps detoxify the skin while protecting it from free radicals.
Aside from green tea extract, it also has real green tea leaves suspended in the gel mixture. I find that the green tea leaves do add another level of mild exfoliation, and I’m happy to report that it was gentle enough even more my overly sensitive skin. Used with a separate makeup remover, it does a good job of another level of cleansing after a day of wearing makeup.
So, did these wash-off masks kill two birds with one shot in my skincare routine? My answer is: yes and no. Yes, because it provides a thorough cleansing without drying or irritating my skin. So on a day that I would ordinarily go for a clay mask, I feel like this product accomplishes the same as a mask, cleanser, and soothing toner.
Where it did fail was substituting for a nourishing mask. While my skin felt comfortable after use, it was nowhere near the hydrated feel I normally get after using a moisturizing face pack or sheet mask. I appreciate the inclusion of incredibly skin-caring, antioxidant-rich plant extracts in the formula, but I also doubt that 10 seconds is enough exposure time for my skin to absorb all it can before being washed off. I would have loved to leave these on for longer, but I didn’t like leaving all those surfactants sitting on top of my skin for longer than needed. I feel like a wash-off mask would need more powerful actives for the mask part to work better.
As a cleanser though, this product is also good, in my book! It doesn’t trigger any negative reactions even though my skin is very fickle and easily irritated. If cleansing is your favorite skincare step, I recommend trying these out as they do provide a different experience from your regular face wash. I liked both variants well enough, but the Green Tea left the drier parts of my combination skin feeling juuuust a little tight after washing. If you have sensitive and/or dry skin, the Rose variant may be a better pick for you..
The instructions recommend applying a thick layer of product on dry skin, leaving it on for 10 seconds, activating with a bit of water, and massaging it in before rinsing off. Do not do this! Instead, apply a thin and even layer of the product. Otherwise, the mask takes a long while to rinse as the detoxer lathers up quite a bit!
You can totally use the mask regularly as a face wash, and Althea even recommends daily use. My skin can’t take using it as wash-off masks that often though, so try using it for once a week first before introducing it as part of your daily essentials.
Don’t freak out if the formula changes color. Since the detoxers contain real leaf and petal bits, these would likely change color over time.
You might be tempted to leave it on for longer than 10 seconds but I definitely recommend sticking to the instructions. Even through formula is sulfate-free, it still contains surfactants that should not be left on the skin for long periods of time.
Have you tried this, or something similar? What do you think of a 10-second wash-off mask? Let’s talk in the comments! 😊
Althea x Get it Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Rose ingredients:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Pteris Multifida Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Rosa Gallica Flower Powder, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol
Althea x Get it Beauty Real Fresh Skin Detoxer Green Tea ingredients:
Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Acrylates Copolymer, Peg-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Glycerin, Pentylene Glycol, Piper Methysticum Leaf/Root/Stem Extract, Melia Azadirachta Leaf Extract, Phellodendron Amurense Bark Extract, Melia Azadirachta Flower Extract, Coccinia Indica Fruit Extract, Solanum Melongena (Eggplant) Fruit Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Pteris Multifida Extract, Cynara Scolymus (Artichoke) Leaf Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Flower Extract, Ocimum Sanctum Leaf Extract, Ulmus Davidiana Root Extract, Amaranthus Caudatus Seed Extract, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Corallina Officinalis Extract, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Powder, Methylpropanediol, Butylene Glycol, Polyquaternium-51, Beta-Glucan, Betaine, Fragrance, Phenoxyethanol, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol