Sleeping Masks 101 & Review: Shara Shara Honey Bomb and Korres Wild Rose Sleeping Facial
Ahhh sleeping masks. Another fabulous invention of the South Korean’s 🙂 So what is a sleeping mask? And do you need one? Let’s find out!
Firstly, a sleeping mask is in other words, a night time treatment, which you don’t wash off, as you would with other traditional masks. It can also be called a sleeping pack (this is the original Korean name for the product type). You pop them on top of your regular treatment serum (or bare, clean skin, if it’s been ‘one of those days’) and you then wake up with glowing, hydrated skin – well that’s the promise 😉 Packed full of nutrients and usually some sort of occlusive ingredient (like beeswax) to lock in all of that goodness and moisture, it’s able to replace your regular night time moisturiser. Because you usually apply a little more than you would a regular moisturiser (and they come in all different types of textures, most are a little on the thicker and sticker side of things) it’s not a product most people would want to use every night – hence the idea of the ‘mask’ treatment. I do however, use my sleeping masks on top of my regular night time moisturiser (I let my regular moisturiser sink in and do it’s job for a while, before popping on the sleeping mask), however this would probably be overkill for most people. The reason I do this is because for some reason, during the night, my skin just eats up product. I very rarely wake up with very hydrated ‘plump’ skin. It’s generally quite dry in the mornings. I’m not sure why this is, because overall I don’t have very dry skin at all. What probably doesn’t help this issue, is the fact that I often sleep on my side or on my stomach, and so my face is mushed into the mattress. I know this isn’t the best beauty practise, but watcha gonna do when it’s comfy as hell! So my trick of applying my sleeping mask on top of moisturiser, does help my poor dry skin.
We can all be a sleeping beauty… although my ‘style’ is more like Princess Tiana’s rather than Aurora’s lol!
Another reason why it’s important to use targeted treatments before going to bed, is because your hormones peak at around midnight, working hard at repairing damage and turning over skin cells. Moisture is critical for your skin’s ability to function normally and efficiently. Using products which help your skin do this, means more beautiful and healthy skin when you awake. If you are a night owl, make sure to wash your face and pop on your skin treatments well before midnight so your skin is ‘ready’ (around 9pm is best). Another tip is to not eat anything right before going to bed, as insulin levels can cause havoc on your hormones, and out of whack hormones mean out of whack skin.
I have trialled two different sleeping masks, one is by the Korean brand Shara Shara and is called Honey Bomb All in One Ampoule, so you know, being a bee and all I just had to try it! 😀 The second sleeping mask is by the Greek brand Korres and I guess you could say it’s a Western version. The Korres sleeping mask is called the Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial Wild Rose. I liked the sound of it because it’s supposed to be retexturising and brightening. Let’s start off, by examining Honey Bomb!
We need to clear something up from the get go. I get that this product calls it’s an ampoule, which is yet another type of skin care product. An ampoule traditionally is like a ‘booster serum’. Not a product you use everyday, but every now and again when you feel that your skin needs some extra help. This kind of fits in with the ethos of a sleeping mask mentioned above. The reason I call it a sleeping mask over an ampoule, is that ampoules look and feel like serums (they usually come in dropper bottles) and you use them after cleansing but before moisturising (also like a serum). Honey Bomb however, you use like a sleeping mask, i.e. on top of serums in place of moisturiser or on top of moisturiser. So it is essentially a sleeping mask, got it? 🙂 😉 If you were having an awful night and are to tired, you could of course use it after cleansing in place of every other product out there, because it has that thicker texture which feels moisturising and like it’s protecting your skin.
Honey Bomb promises to deliver moist, radiant skin with a hydrating effect. The first thing worth mentioning is that the tub is huge! It contains 250ml of product and I kid you not when I tell you that it will last you forever… The texture of the mask is really interesting. If you’ve ever put honey on your face as a DIY mask (check out that post here, because it is a great thing to do!) you know that honey is quite sticky. If it’s very hot, it can also become very thin and start to melt, so it can potentially be messy. The texture of this mask is very gel like and it spreads very easily on the skin. It’s a little sticky, but not very. It smells a little sweet (maybe you get a hint of honey?) and quite fresh, so it’s very pleasant.
Luckily, the ingredient list is written in latin which is very much understandable in English, as well as being written in Korean! It contains some really great ingredients which is why I wanted to give it a go so much! After water we have glycerin, which we all know is a fabulous moisturiser (it is both a humectant, occlusive moisturiser AND an emollient – so it helps to lock in all those ingredients and moisture, zing!). Fourth on the list (so very high up in a very long list of ingredients) is niacinamide – vitamin B3. Niacinamide helps to reinstate the skins barrier function, decreases inflammation (whether it’s from acne or external aggressors making your skin sensitive) and increases ceramide and protein synthesis (collagen is a protein!). Niacinamide can also aid in the reduction of pigmentation, even though we don’t really know how it does that just yet (mysterious ingredient it is). Ceramide 3 is also mentioned, even though it’s very low on the ingredient list. Ceramide 3 helps your skin to hold moisture. I guess the ‘star’ ingredients are definitely the honey extract, royal jelly and propolis. Royal jelly is thought to help the skin regenerate thanks to an array of nutrients (flavonoids, nucleic acid, decanoic acid, enzymes, zinc), vitamins (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6) and also help with collagen synthesis. Propolis and honey specifically also help decrease inflammation and help skin to heal – so they really are fabulous ingredients which work away during the night, helping your skin to regenerate itself! Honey is also a humectant moisturiser, so it draws moisture from the air and puts it back into your skin.
The mask also contains a whole array of herbs and extracts, from kava leaf/root/steam extract, black hoof mushroom, burdock root, sea buckthorn fruit extract, gotu kola extract, licorice root extract, aloe vera, witch-hazel and the list goes on… Honey Bomb really does pack a punch when it comes to moisture, decreasing inflammation, helping your skin to regenerate and make it brighter! All of these things help your skin to look and feel younger, so their claims are well maintained in my eyes.
So what is it like to use? As I mentioned above, it is a little sticky, but it feels nice and comfortable on the skin (not heavy because of the gel like texture, but moisturising). In the morning my skin does look clearer and brighter. My skin is generally great if I stick to my skincare routine, but when things get tough or stressful, it can be very easy for me to forget about my skincare routine for a day or two (getting away with the bare minimum) and this is where a sleeping mask like this would come in. If I am dealing with an breakout, especially an extended breakout, this guy also helps. In the morning I’m left with a thin layer of product on my face, which is generally dry, so everything else has been absorbed. I wouldn’t say my skin is ‘plump’ in the morning after this sleeping mask, but it is definitely more hydrated than it would be, if I had just used moisturiser (but this is my demanding skin). I suspect that if your skin is normal and not very dry, this mask would indeed be plumping and very moisturising, without that oily feeling.
Honey Bomb is made in Korea and you can buy it quite easily online. My website of choice for Korean goodies is W2Beauty as Alice, the lovely beauty bee running the store is so communicative, sweet and helpful! She also provides all orders with free postage which is amazing! You can buy Honey Bomb from W2Beauty for $45.17 USD.
So how does a ‘Western’ version of a sleeping mask stack up?
The Korres sleeping mask is called a Advanced Repair Sleeping Facial, Wild Rose. It is meant to be intensely hydrating, smoothing and brightening. This sleeping mask looks like a more traditional cream, except that it does feel like it sits on top of your skin, rather than absorbing like a regular nightly moisturiser would. It doesn’t feel to heavy despite containing beeswax and sunflower seed wax. It has a slightly herbal slash floral scent, but it isn’t to strong or offensive. I really like that all Korres products are made in Greece – it gives the brand some more authenticity 🙂
Again, glycerin is ingredient number two in the list which is great! It does also contain sodium hyaluronate, if you remember is similar to hyaluronic acid, but can hold even more moisture! It is a little further down in the ingredient list which is a shame, but it’s good that it’s there at all. This sleeping mask also contains jojoba oil, which is a stable antioxidant wax-ester not an actual oil. It’s very similar to the sebum our skin produces, so it helps your skin to retain moisture very well and is anti-inflammatory. Jojoba also helps the penetration of other ingredients into the skin, so the wild rose extracts and seed oils contained within this sleeping mask, can do their job more efficiently. Speaking of wild rose extracts and oils, this sleeping mask contains two different types: dog-rose extract and fruit oil (a climbing wild rose species) and sweet briar seed oil. These wild roses have a high concentration of vitamin C, which helps with skin repair and pigmentation. It also contain linolenic and linoleic acid which creates a protective film on the skin, while softening and retexturing the skin. I do also wish these ingredients were higher up in the list, but alas.
This mask according the Korres, can be applied to the skin every night after cleansing. By the morning, I don’t find any trace of the mask left on my skin and the cream isn’t sticky at all. It should be safe to use by those with oily or acne prone skin, and it definitely hasn’t broken me out. My skin does look clearer in the morning. I do wish it was maybe a little more moisturising than it is, but used on top of my usual treatments and moisturiser, it works well. It does feel soothing when applied to the skin, so it’s very pleasant to use. I bought my Wild Rose sleeping mask from Mecca Cosmetica in Australia for $56.
I would use Honey Bomb on top of my retinol serum, while Wild Rose is safer to use on top of exfoliating treatments and serums (contains AHAs/BHAs). Sleeping masks aren’t a step in your skincare routine which you must have. They are an additional option just like all masks. I think it’s handy to have one hanging around for emergencies when you can’t be stuffed applying 10 different products onto your skin after cleansing, or if your skin is exceptionally dry (like mine is at night) or irritated. I like taking Wild Rose with me when travelling or overnight getaways, because there’s no risk of spillage and if you know you are going to have a late night, it’s nice knowing that this product has you covered 😉 It does come in a glass jar, but I don’t mind this fact. To me glass packaging just feels and looks better than most plastics.
Honey Bomb is more moisturising for my skin and I think I like the effect it leaves a touch more. The texture of the mask though and the big tub make it more difficult to use when travelling (unless you de-potted some into a smaller container). You could easily share Honey Bomb with your family or friends, since the tub is so massive! So far I like my sleeping mask experiment and it’s worked out quite well for my skin!
Have you tried sleeping masks before? Would you add another step into your routine? Let me know what you think!
Until next time,
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