SHEET MASK | Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask #LunarJanuary

For the last two years I have been doing something called #LunarFebruary which is where instead of Valentine's posts, I focus on Asian beauty brands in honour of the Lunar New Year. Well, call me a bad Asian, but I assumed that the Year of Rat would once again fall in February, but haha, LUNAR means the new year can come in January too! I am kicking off this month of Asian brands with one of my favourites - luxury Korean beauty brand Sulwhasoo

 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask Review
This exact mask in this post was purchased by me, but I was sent another one afterwards in PR that I have yet to use as I originally bought a pack of 5.

I have been a big fan of the First Care Activating Serum since I was first introduced to it in 2016 and after playing around with where it should be in my routine (at the beginning works best for me!), I am now on my second bottle which is a big deal if you are a skincare junkie like myself. I *think* the First Care Activating Mask was introduced in 2017, but I didn't pick up a pack for myself until last year because that's just what I do now. Buy mo' masks.

This is a "balancing care mask" intended to soothe, brighten and moisturize the skin and features a "micro net radiance sheet" soaked in Sulwhasoo's proprietary JAUM Balancing Complex. A single sheet mask is said to contain 1/3 bottle of FCAS aka about 20mL! In terms of use, this mask is intended to be an intensive version of FCAS so it should be the first thing you use after cleansing. I went a bit overboard the first two times I used this mask and used both the serum AND mask. Let's just say that my skin didn't need a whole lotta moisture after THAT!

 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask Review

Ingredients: Water/Aqua/Eau, Glycyrrhiza Uralensis (Licorice) Root Extract (for hyperpigmentation), Propanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Betaine, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract (anti-oxidant), Paeonia Albiflora Root Extract (for hyperpigmentation), Nelumbo Nucifera Flower Extract (skin conditioner), Polygonatum Officinale Rhizome/Rootextract, Lilium Candidum Bulb Extract (possible anti-inflammatory), Rehmannia Glutinosa Root Extract (possible anti-inflammatory), Honey / Mel / Miel, Ophiopogon Japonicus Root Extract, Juglans Regia (Walnut) Seed Extract, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Zizyphus Jujuba Fruit Extract, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Natto Gum, Peg/ Ppg-17/6 Copolymer, 1,2-Hexanediol, Glyceryl Polymethacrylate, Bispeg-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Dextrin, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, Tromethamine, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance/Parfum

 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask Review

The colour of my hair is giving away how long ago I took these mask selfie photos, but the mask hasn't changed in the last 6 months so here you go! The actual fit of the mask was quite nice with the fabric feeling very sturdy. Though the cotton sheet is not the thinnest I have experienced, the material was still very pliable and did not lift off my skin or cause me to have a chin goatee.

Though the product description says this mask contains 1/3 of a bottle of FCAS serum, I had a look at the ingredients list between the two products and there are some slight differences so I am not sure if I would necessarily call the serum and mask essence equivalent. For one, the FCAS serum has a higher concentration of preservative and fragrance and potentially lower concentrations of the plant-based ingredients I love so much. I'm normally not a huge fan of phenoxyethanol being so high on the list, but like with a lot of skincare, I can compromise a bit more when the results are nice and because I don't necessarily use it 2x a day for 5 days a week. The mask essence definitely looks really nice after comparing it with the FCAS serum.

 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask Review

Mask Summary:

Price: $79/Box of 5
Scent: Just like the First Care Activating Serum - gingery!
Essence Type: Watery gel
Duration: 10-20 min
Thickness: Thin
Mask Fit: Good
Tackiness: Medium
Hydration: Good!
Other notes: The mask is made of a cotton mesh that is very soft.

 Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Mask Review

Final verdict: I would hands down pick up another pack of these because I feel like $15.80 for a luxury sheet mask is fairly "reasonable". I liked the firmness of my skin and I felt very hydrated upon removal and through the next day. I know I'm not supposed to like added fragrance, but man do I love this ginger scent! Now, that I know the mask essence has slightly more concentrated plant-based ingredients, I will keep all the extra essence for my face instead of using it on my entire body!

You can find the Sulwhasoo First Care Activation Mask at Sephora, Nordstrom and Holt Renfrew.

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