Photo: @heyman_lam / Instagram
However much they’ve evolved – fabric to bio-cellulose, bubbling to foiled – my criteria for sheet masks remains the same. Firstly, they have to do what they claim: If they’re a hydrating sheet mask then I expect my skin to feel sufficiently hydrated after taking it off. Secondly, they have to feel good when sitting on the skin. That means, no slipping around, no product dripping, and the mask must fit well to my facial contours.
And as a beauty writer, I’ve had the honour to try tons of sheet masks – and you’d be surprised at the number of them that don’t work. The biggest problem most of the time: There. Is. No. Difference. Either the sheet mask doesn’t do anything, or the effect isn’t long-lasting - it’s as if the 15 minutes of masking never happened.
So when the Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Mask landed on my desk, I was partly intrigued and partly skeptical too. Is this going to be another gimmick with the jelly serum? Why even jelly? Why not just your conventional serum?
In fact, I was suspiciously right until the moment I peeled the mask off my face. The mask promised to deliver intense hydration to the skin, through the use of the jelly serum. And it sure produced results, with flying colours no less.
My skin looked plumper and more radiant and felt much softer to the touch as well. There was a visible difference before and after using the mask. But what truly had me sold: my skin felt so hydrated, so much that I didn’t even feel the need to follow-up with my nightly moisturiser after.
I got in touch with the PR girls, asking how is it possible that a jelly serum could be this hydrating. The answer is simple: The jelly texture retains moisture much better than the conventional liquid serum. That means, your skin has ample time to absorb all the hydrating goodness from the jelly serum rather than a race for time as the usual watery ones evaporate.
Which is why the recommended amount of time to leave the mask on is 20 – 30 minutes. You’ll start to feel the fabric getting drier by the time it hits the half-hour mark, and that’s a signal to remove it. Most of the jelly should’ve been absorbed into the skin by then, you’ll just have to gently massage the remaining in.
And that’s not all. The mask was saturated with jelly serum – 33g of it – and you can actually store the remaining jelly in the fridge, and use it as a moisturiser the day after. Here’s a gauge to how much excess jelly is left in the pack after using the mask – enough for the face, twice, for the neck and decollate, and for the elbows and kneecaps. I’m not abashed to say that it’s a mask that keeps giving.
The Utena Premium Puresa Golden Jelly Series retails at $16.90 for a box of three masks. They are available at selected Watsons stores, Yue Hwa stores, Welcia-BHG drugstores, Tokyu Hands, Don Don Donki, Metro Singapore, and on e-commerce platforms Shopee, Lazada, Redmart and Qoo10.