Even if you consider yourself a skincare devotee, there’s a good chance you probably stick to two popular types of beauty masks: those that wash off and sometimes leave your face feeling filmy, and masks that you can peel off, which can irritate sensitive skin. It should come as no surprise to learn that Korean beauty mavens have found a kinder, gentler way to enjoy the benefits of using a mask; they call it rubber masking.
Rubber masks are considered a celebrity beauty staple in Korea and one that has been around for years. They’re often used as the last step in a professional spa facial, especially after a chemical peel, because they’re ideal for soothing, calming, and smoothing the skin. The second that thick, cool batter hits your skin and spreads, before slowly drying and molding itself into a perfect rubber mask on your face (which takes about 10-15 minutes), you can feel any inflammation or dryness being whisked away and replaced with hydrating ingredients.
But two of the biggest differences between traditional peel or washable masks and rubber masks is that rubber masking covers even more ground and the process of removing them won’t aggravate your skin. “Unlike most peel-off masks, it can be lifted away from skin very easily, and is often slathered all over the face, including over the eyes, eyebrows and lips,” says Sarah Lee, who, along with Christine Chang, created Glow Recipe, which offers cutting-edge, natural and “harsh-free” Korean skincare products.
Rubber masks are usually made of a blend of alginate, diatomaceous earth, calcium sulfates and various vitamin/ mineral powders, Lee explains. The first three ingredients react to water, which causes the cool ‘rubberizing’ effect of the mixture. “The ‘rubber’ creates an evaporation free barrier, which allows for boosted absorption of skin-beneficial ingredients,” Lee says. “Ingredients such as diatomaceous earth also help to clarify skin, minimize the appearance of pores and refine texture, which make rubber masks great for all skin types, including oily and combination.”
Until recently, rubber masks really didn’t take off as an at-home treatment, mainly because many women probably feared that the process of mixing together just the right amount of powder and water (not to mention the clean up involved) was too laborious or required an insane amount of skill.
But companies like Glow Recipe are making it simple for us to indulge in incredible Korean beauty treatments like rubber masks by packaging them thoughtfully so that most of the work has already been done for us. Glow Recipe offers a variety of rubber masks to choose from, including Hana Citrus (to help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation), collagen (to help plump up skin), and lavender (which contains antioxidants and has a brightening effect on skin). Add the suggested amount of water right into the container, mix, apply to your face, and wait for the fun part to begin.
Still not convinced that rubber masks are easy? Check out this tutorial on how to use and apply Glow Recipe rubber masks and see for yourself:
For more beauty tips, check out the one skincare product every woman should be using and what are freckles?