Review of 3 Drugstore Korean Face Masks from CVS

Review of 3 Drugstore Korean Face Masks from CVS

So I had a week long company offsite (for my day job at Twitter) this past week in the lovely city of Houston, Texas, and early on during the planning process, I knew I wanted to buy face masks for every night of my trip. Might seem oddly specific, but as a mom of two very active girls under 5, I don't have a lot of opportunities to treat and pamper myself. I knew I had to seize this moment to give myself some long overdue R&R.

My skin, especially the pores on my nose, we're NOT happy. The most I did at home was some Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream after my showers, and sunscreen before I headed out the house. No exfoliation, no face wash, nada. I was looking forward to seeing what I could find! 

I headed to CVS after some dinner with my coworkers, and went straight to the travel aisle. In addition to some mouthwash and toothpaste, I saw two travel face masks, which seemed perfect! I picked those two up, and picked an additional 2 from the checkout section which seemed appealing. I have dryer skin and some blackheads, so anything that mentioned hydration and cleansing piqued my interest. When I got back to the hotel and took a closer look, I realized they were all made in Korea, which was a welcomed surprise since Koreans are well renowned for their skincare prowess. I was excited to slap one on and relax.

Let's jump right into the masks! I'm listing from cheapest to most expensive:

1) Soo'Ae New York: Hydrating Cucumber Slice Mask $1.99

Soo'Ae New York - Hydrating Cucumber Slice Mask Front Soo'Ae New York - Hydrating Cucumber Slice Mask Back

So this one looked pretty promising. Hydrating, witch hazel for my blackheads, overall, seemed very calming and a cheap addition to my haul. This was one of the ones in the check-out aisle, so I didn't realize it came in what looks like cucumber cut-outs. Wished it was a whole face mask, but didn't regret trying something different. 

I opened it up, and took out the 4 slices. I put one on my forehead, one on each cheek, and one on my chin. There was left over sheet from the cutout, so I easily ripped it up into 3 pieces: I used the mid-section to cover my T-zone area, and the 2 side strips for my jawline.  

Trying on Hydrating Cucumber Slice Mask

I left it on for the recommended max of 20 minutes. It dried pretty quickly, and felt a bit tacky to the touch. After discarding, I rubbed in the remaining essence from the pouch, which wasn't a lot, but was enough to spread a thin layer across the face. 

I didn't feel or see a noticeable change to my skin, but it was interesting, and did smell nice. It didn't have a lot of essence in the bag, so I think you are mostly paying for the cucumber slice cut-outs, which didn't really add to the experience, even though it looks cool. I probably won't buy this again.

2) Peach Slices: Travel Camellia Leaf & Coptis Root Sheet Mask $2.49

Peach Slices - Travel Camellia Leaf & Coptis Root Sheet Mask Front Peach Slices - Travel Camellia Leaf & Coptis Root Sheet Mask Back

This one was from the travel aisle, and says "These star ingredients work together so you can say goodbye to jet lagged skin." The ingredients contains bamboo water, ginger, camellia leaf, coptis root, and aloe. It was also more obviously Korean from the front, so I wanted to try it out! 

When I first took it out the bag, there was already a noticeable difference compared to the Soo'Ae cucumber mask - this Peach slices mask was one juicy mask! It was practically soaking wet, and was a full face cotton sheet mask. I put it on and watched Netflix for about 20-30 minutes, and it was still pretty wet. 

Trying on Peach Slices Travel Camellia Leaf & Coptis Root Sheet Mask

When I took it off, I already saw a difference in my complexion. When they said "instant radiance," they weren't kidding! My skin was brighter and felt nicely hydrated. There was also still so much essence on the mask and in the bag, that I just squeezed the excess essence from the mask and rubbed it in, and saved the rest from the bag for the next day. 

Peach Slices: Travel Leftover essence

Only compliant was that it fit my face perfectly. It was hard to cover my nose and forehead at the same time - the nose piece was a bit small. But, would buy again!

3) CVS: Charcoal And Black Sugar Dual Action Scrub Facial Mask $3.19

CVS - Charcoal And Black Sugar Dual Action Scrub Facial Mask Front CVS - Charcoal And Black Sugar Dual Action Scrub Facial Mask Back

I really liked the look of this one. Dual action as a mask and scrub seemed like a great idea. They had a variety of other flavors/options like "Orange Peel and Kiwi Exfoliating Peel-off Facial Mask" and "Cucumber Cooling Peel-Off Facial Mask," but this one caught my eye with Charcoal and exfoliation. All the packets are resealable with a cap so you can use as much as you want per session, and use the mask multiple times. 

I followed the instructions and left the mask on for about 7 minutes. It left a little warm on my skin, and I have sensitive skin, so it might be due to slight sensitivity, but didn't seem harmful. I then scrubbed it for 2 minutes. The sugar crystals are a bit big for my liking, so it was definitely exfoliating! I thought it was a touch too harsh, but the results ended up very surprising. My skin was so soft, supple, and moisturized! There was also a noticeable difference in the appearance in my pores. I ended up using about 1/3 of the bag, so I can probably use it 2 more times (you should not exfoliate your skin too much, once a week should be enough for dry skin typed people like me).

Result after using Charcoal Mask

As a result, I think this one was very well worth the money. I might even consider buying this for my usual skin care routine at home!

All in all, I really enjoyed all 3 masks and enjoyed being able to rest and restore some life into my skin. Look stay tuned as I also try out the JiinJu 5 Step Travel Kit that I brought home to try (was honestly too tired on my last day of the trip).

Coming up - JiinJu: 5 Step Travel Kit $6.99

JiinJu - 5 Step Travel Kit Front JiinJu - 5 Step Travel Kit Back


Disclaimer: this is not a sponsored article by any of the listed companies. I just wanted to have some fun and R&R :).


Carmen is the co-founder of Arden Cove and co-creator of the Anti-Theft Waterproof Crossbodies - bags created for women who want all the practicality and safety features without compromising in style. Shop

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