Some beauty crazes on social media are better left to the adventurous type (read: wavy lips and “ponybrows“), but others, like the Hanacure All-In-One Facial Mask, made famous by Drew Barrymore’s “old lady” selfie, are so intriguing that you wonder if they actually work.
The South Korean mask has been popular for some time now—just see the Instagram page @hanacureeffect for proof—but has made a resurgence on Instagram for Barrymore’s review of its ability to make you look “10 years younger.” After staring at the faces on the Instagram account for what seemed like hours and reading the brand’s claims of what the mask could do for your skin (like refine pores, reduce hyperpigmentation and smooth lines in one month), I had to give it a try.
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Once the three-part mask arrived at my desk (a vial of the “Lifting Serum,” a container of “Gelling Solution” and an applicator brush), I read the instructions and couldn’t rush home fast enough to dig in. The back of the box says to peel back a tiny corner of the Gelling Solution (it looks like a single-serve portion of jelly) just enough to pour in the Serum, which is no more than few drops of liquid, before securing it with your thumb and shaking it for 20 seconds to reveal a clear, smooth gel. Use the brush to apply it all over your face (the amount looks small, but there was surprisingly enough to apply three or four smooth layers), then, you wait.
As I patiently awaited for the reveal of my selfie-worthy mask, I did some reading on the formula’s ingredients (this probably should have happened before I slathered it on, but that’s neither here nor there) and learned that it’s powered by botanical extracts (like oriental raisin tree, lotus leaf, green tea, honeysuckle, peony root and sophora root), peptides and patented CO2 OctoLift technology, which is what’s responsible for the crazy results.
Once five minutes had passed, I began to notice some changes (as seen in the first photo above), and could feel a slight tightening in my skin, but it didn’t feel much different than the way a clay mask begins to harden on the skin. Fifteen minutes later (middle photo), the outlines of the mask began to darken and I began to feel the mask literally lift my skin. Once the full 30 minutes were complete (last photo), I looked 80 years old, the mask had completely hardened (almost to the point of discomfort) and I could feel my face pulsating. My eyes started to get pulled into different directions (the strangest feeling ever) and my skin was being pulled so far north that if I didn’t consciously purse my lips to keep them shut, my mouth would remain wide open.
After taking many a selfie and trying to look somewhat sane in the process, I was anxious to see how the mask would leave my skin looking after I removed it. While I washed it off—a messy process, by the way, as the mask literally flakes off and is somewhat pesky to remove—a somewhat red, but glowy, nonetheless, complexion surfaced. My few hormonal blemishes were less red and significantly smaller, my overall tone was more even (once the redness subsided) and my skin looked like I applied a coat of finishing powder to it. I could totally relate with Drew’s review.
All in all, at $30 a mask, this option can get pricey, and at-home peels can deliver similar results for a fraction for the cost. But if you’re after smooth, radiant skin in no time at all—along with an interesting experience that’s definitely one for the ‘Gram—look no further than this crazy option.