From The Straits Times    |

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This secret is getting under my skin … 

True story: My buddy over at the other end of the office silo says she swears by anything with “biocellulose” affixed to its name, and begged me to suss it out for myself.  

As it turns out, this intriguing ingredient isn’t such an exotic element after all. Chancing upon it on an average cosmetics aisle should be no skin off your nose; said substance can be found prominently publicised on a plethora of face masks.  

That said, what in Gaga’s name is biocellulose? I’ll let Dr Yanni Xu from The DRx Clinic give her sciencey spiel: “Biocellulose is a naturally derived fibre that’s structurally similar to that found in plants. When used in facial masks, biocellulose is a superb physical barrier against external irritants. This makes it great for use on sensitive skin with acne or open wounds.” Now you know!

Even better, Dr Xu says the pulp’s porous properties means it acts like a thirsty sponge, sopping up serum and supercharging skin with all of the gloopy goodness that would otherwise go to waste by pooling in the packet of your conventional cotton mask. (Universal pet peeve: Fishing out face masks and creating a soggy mess on the sofa.)

Best beauty benefit, bar none? Wearing biocellulose masks to sleep is perfectly permissible – to be encouraged, even. Here’s the good doc again in her own words: “While you can stick to the stipulated 20 minutes, leaving the mask on overnight can speed up recovery of post-laser injuries. This protective layer also stops water loss from the top layers of your epidermis, which can be a problem when sleeping in air-conditioned rooms.” I’m sold!

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Now for an obligatory roll call of the best biocellulose beauty buys on the market (in my opinion, anyway!) There’s Derma-RX’s exceptional Bio-Cellulose Facial Mask, for one, a skin splurge that’s chock-a-block with a comforting ceramide complex, wrinkle-erasing peptides and brightening boosters vitamin C and sodium hyaluronate.

Bonus points for the Spiderman-worthy stretchiness of the sheets. These sweet babies boast a taffety-like texture that swathes every inch of your facial contours: Wrap it around your mien, wake to a visibly lifted visage.

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Pair with Pureheals’ Ginseng Berry Hydrogel Eye Lift Patch. Steeped in a very Korean-sounding herbal broth of berries and ginseng, these patches promise to ward off wrinkles among panda-eyed people.

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Finally, consider giving the criminally underrated T-Beauty brand For Beloved One some love. The Taiwanese top dog’s Extreme Hydration Bio-Cellulose Mask is a mighty contender for obsessive hoarding.

Over and above its potent patented potpourri of plumping peptides and moisture magnets courtesy of microalgae and hyaluronic acid, the melting marshmallow “mouthfeel” of this mask makes for an incredibly indulgent After Eight evening treat.

Here’s my personal beauty “recipe”. After you’re done marinating your face with your night stuff, wait 10 minutes (this gives your serums and such enough time to sink in), then drape the mask over the whole shebang, as if you’re sealing in all the delicious juices of a slow-roasted chicken.

The morning after your For Beloved One mask? Luminous complexion so lovely, your beloved one will, to extend the roasted chicken analogy, find you finger lickin’ good.

So, to recap. Reasons why you should swap your regular sheet masks for those made of biocellulose: They maximise the formula’s efficacy; they’re super absorbent, less messy and hence easier to apply; plus they’re perfect for overnight use on even the most sensitive of skin.

In short, masks made with this near-magical material are just darn good. Take my money already!

Derma-RX Bio-Cellulose Facial Mask, $20 per piece, is available from the DRx Clinic, 16-01 Tong Building. For more information, visit and

For Beloved One Extreme Hydration Bio-Cellulose Mask, $63 for 3 pieces, is available at all Sephora stores. For more information, visit and follow For Beloved One Singapore on Facebook.  

Pureheal’s Ginseng Berry Hydrogel Eye Lift Patch, $48, is available at all Sephora stores. For more information, visit and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.