Hanacure’s zombie mask has blown up thanks to mask selfies on Instagram and press coverage of those selfies. But is it a good mask? It promises everything from lifting and firming to contouring (!!!) and brightening. But first, we have some things to discuss…
#beautyjunkieweek this is a @hanacureeffect mask @thehanacure nuts when you take it off you are 10 years younger. You paint it on with a brush. It starts to dry. It pulls. It gets so tight that it literally pulls your face. See above. But, It makes you look so fresh when you wash it off. And it’s so effective. How fun is that in a package. #notttooenvasivebeauty #kbeauty thank you @crystalmeers for the info that’s changed my life
Some skincare things that we need to let die
If it’s burning/irritating, it’s working!
Oh god, this idea, urgh. Yes, sometimes stinging means something is working (hello lactic acids), but in many cases, burning is just caused by irritating ingredients.
Products that pull on skin temporarily have a lasting anti-wrinkle/anti-gravity effect
Users may see some sort of temporary effects, but overall how on earth could a weekly mask that’s left on for 30 minutes do what truly powerful, daily, doctor-prescribed medication can’t? Real anti-aging that lasts takes consistent work or a needle.
One weekly treatment to rule them all
A common (and comforting, to me at least) mantra is “you are what you do every day.” I feel like this needs to be applied to skincare. For the most part, with the exception of treatments so powerful you need a license to give them, what you do to your skin day in and day out is probably going to do more for it than a weekly miracle treatment. Exceptions exist, but the concept of “Skincare Sunday” or “Skincare Saturday” seems to reinforce the idea of needing to do drastic things one day each week in order to get benefits that last many days. It really doesn’t need to be that dramatic.
Reading hype articles by journalists who haven’t actually put the product anywhere near their skin
Hanacure features a long list of publications that have covered the mask. And they’re right: this mask has received a ton of press. What’s disappointing is that the vast majority of the articles seem to be fluff pieces where there’s no product review by anyone except people in Instagram tags or (worse) people regrammed by the company who have used a beauty filter in their after shot or (very worst) celebs, who may or may not have been paid to promote the mask.
Journalists have valuable things to say, especially if they know skincare and use a lot of it. Hell, I’m a part-time journalist, so I’m not dismissing the profession. But the need to crank out content and keep up with SEO trends means that there’s a lot of sloppily written, under-researched articles on trending products like the Hanacure mask. If I’m reading a skincare article and nobody has put anything on their face, that’s not much more than a press release. Sometimes, that’s all I need. But it’s not enough for me to justify spending $29 on a one-time-use mask.
Hanacure All-In-One Facial Mask Review
What it is: a gel mask that dries down crispy. As it dries, the mask cracks and pulls.
Where to put it in your routine: After cleansing but before everything else. Need a basic outline of when to use your products? Here you go:
How to use it:
- open the glass vial of lifting serum
- open the gelling solution pack just a bit, dump the lifting serum in
- close the lid on the gelling solution and shake it for 20 seconds
- apply the gel to your face with the fancy brush
- leave the mask on for 30 minutes and then remove with water
Gelling solution ingredients: Water, Carbomer, Nelumbo Nucifera (Lotus) Leaf Extract, Yeast Beta-Glucan, Caffeine, Niacinamide, Ethyl Ascorbyl Ether, Hovenia Dulcis Fruit (Oriental Raisin Tree) Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Oil, Paeonia Albiflora (Peony) Root Extract, Sophora Angustifolia Root Extract, Rhus Semialata Gall Extract, Prunus Persica (Peach) Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Biloba Leaf Extract, Caprylyl Glycol, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, p-Anisic Acid, Nicotinoyl Dipeptide-23, Nicotinoyl Dipeptide-22, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8, Copper Tripeptide-1. CosDNA analysis.
Lifting serum ingredients: Water, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Benincasa Cerifera Fruit Extract, Polyepsilon-Lysine. CosDNA analysis.
Ingredient breakdown: nothing about this mask is inherently bad or side-eye worthy imo. There are a ton of extracts here and some peptides that might help with anti-aging, but two big things overrule the formula: the fact that it’s washed off after 30 minutes (minor concern) and the fact that the mask pulls skin quite violently as it dries. The extracts may penetrate skin during the 30-minute wear time, so I’m less stressed about that. BUT when I’m deciding where to blow $30, I’d rather it be on a product I’m applying day in and day out rather than a one-time-use weekly treatment. There are tons of gorgeous, extract-loaded moisturizing toners, essences, and serums that can be bought for under the cost of two Hanacure masks that I think can more gently help your skin.
What type of skin might like this: uhh, very hardy, never irritated skin.
Packaging: beautiful packaging. The ingredients come in a very nice presentation box, the plastic insert displays everything really well, the product design is clean, the description booklet is nicely designed and all copy reads well. It’s a legitimately “upscale” look for the product.
Smell: minimal smell, maybe a hint of extracts.
Price: $29 for one mask application, $110 for four
Value: this mask is staggeringly expensive and the results don’t justify the price.
While wearing the mask, I sat at the computer typing the following thoughts.
- 0 minutes in: oh, this is nice
- 8 minutes in: omfg the noose is tightening, the screw is turning, my face is getting TIGHT
- 11 minutes in: this is getting so tight that my jaw is being forced down, as in forced open, TAG YOUR BDSM, BEAUTY BRANDS
- 18 minutes in: my forehead is tightening and my eye skin is being forcibly lifted. Everything feels like it’s spreading toward the edges of my face.
- 21 minutes in: the mask is tightening around my nose. I’m basically in a straightjacket for my face. Fuck.
- 22 minutes in: I realize it’s not drying evenly, so I deploy my Nature Republic Oh Sehun fan and try to help the mask drying even out. The mask instantly PULLS on my skin as it dries down.
- 26 minutes in: my right eye feels dry because it’s unable to close all the way from all the pulling.
- 29 minutes in: my forehead is starting to itch at the edges. Omfg.
- 30 minutes in (washing it off): OMFGGGGG THIS IS THE WORK OF THE DEVILLLLLL!!
After I removed the mask (which took a bit of work), my skin was red, irritated, and really dry. Hanacure warns that the mask can leave lighter skin red, but the dryness and scaliness of my skin isn’t something that I think should happen as a result of using a mask just containing some extracts. My skin was deep red in places for several hours after I removed the mask.
Here are some photos from my phone’s clip-on microscope attachment:
It’s not just me: zombie masks can be incredibly irritating
There are other tightening masks like this made in Korea. Tosowoong Monster Cocoon Pack and Skin1004 Zombie Pack are examples. YouTuber Morgan at the Beauty Breakdown had a similarly terrible time when trying the Tosowoong mask.
What’s good: beautiful packaging and presentation, good website copy, good ingredients on paper.
What’s not good: the price is bananas, this was incredibly irritating to my skin, the mask pulls on skin in a way that doesn’t have any real benefits other than Instagram virality, it’s difficult to buy due to constantly selling out (shaking my head).
Will I repurchase: holy fuck no
Where to buy it (but please don’t): Hanacure website
What to buy instead of the Hanacure All-In-One Facial Mask
If you must have a zombie mask for the ‘gram
If you just want a nice mask
Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Masks are freaking awesome and come in boxes of 10. Grab them for under $20 from Amazon seller Papa Recipe (the authorized US vendor).
If you want a fun mask for the ‘gram that hasn’t been seen 1,000 times already
Casamara modeling masks actually deliver some moisture (tip: apply thinner skincare before applying to “bake in” moisture) and also look wild.
Disclosure: I received this product at no charge for the purpose of review from a friend in the beauty industry (not the brand or a shop). This post contains affiliate links. Clicking those links before you shop means that fan-b receives a small commission, which helps to support the blog. Please see my full disclosure for more information.