Hooray! The weekend is finally here. That means I can kick back and start working through the backlog of product reviews I’ve been planning. First up: the biggest disappointment I’ve encountered during my sheet mask journey, the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Bija.
Purpose: The Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Bija claims to treat problem skin while purifying and hydrating.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to alcohol, citrus extracts, fragrance, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: Use anytime after cleansing but before applying an occlusive or emollient moisturizer. Tear mask packet open, remove mask, unfold, and apply to face, cutting or tearing the slits in the mask sheet as needed to customize fit. Leave on for 10-20 minutes as directed by the mask instructions, or longer if desired. After removing mask, pat or massage any remaining essence into skin and follow up with your occlusive or emollient moisturizer of choice.
Ingredients list: Water, glycerin, butylene glycol, alcohol, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) fruit extract, betaine, xanthan gum, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, ethylhexylglycerin, aloe barbadensis leaf juice, torreya nucifera seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, citrus unshiu peel extract, orchid extract, camellia sinensis leaf extract, camellia japonica leaf extract, opuntia coccinellifera fruit extract, disodium EDTA, phenoxyethanol, fragrance
Notable ingredients: I wasn’t sure what “bija” was, and Google was surprisingly unhelpful (I was pretty sure this sheet mask has nothing to do with yoga or Hinduism), so I combed through the ingredients list until I found the one botanical extract that I haven’t seen in any other Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Masks. “Bija” in this mask refers to the Torreya Nucifera tree. Torreya nucifera seed oil is claimed to help treat acne, though I didn’t find much in the way of research to prove this. And you’ve probably already figured out that the mask didn’t do that for me personally, either.
Apart from the torreya nucifera seed oil, which is about halfway down the ingredients list, the rest of the essence is the same as most other masks in the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask line. Humectants, penetration enhancers, and a sprinkling of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant plant extracts. Basic stuff. As usual, my CosDNA analysis came up pretty clean, with butylene glycol the only ingredient to raise a flag: 1 out of 5 as a potential acne trigger. Those with dry or dehydrated skin or alcohol sensitivities should avoid this, however, as the alcohol content is quite high.
Have you ever had a friend whom you feel like you’ve known forever, and who has always been someone you could rely on as a really positive influence in your life, but with whom you had a kind of silly falling-out that just gets blown out of proportion? Then you lose touch for a while. You think you’re coping pretty well and think you’ve even found a replacement for that old friend, but not really. The new friend means well, and they haven’t done anything wrong to you, but they’re just not the same. Then one day you decide to get back in touch with your long-lost old friend, just on a whim, and wow! That old friend really is your soulmate and best friend, and you forgive and forget your fight as soon as you start talking again.
In this version of the story, Benton is my old friend, and the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Bija is the new friend, the one who just doesn’t really cut it. About a year ago, Benton fans were dismayed by the revelation that one batch of the Snail Bee High Content Essence had been contaminated. Although the company responded with the quickness to claims and complaints and provided proof that it was a one-off incident and that they had taken steps to address the problem, many of us were a little put off. I wasn’t one of the customers affected–all of my Benton essences have always been in perfect condition–but just the possibility of putting something contaminated on one’s face is scary. I dropped my Benton essence and steam cream and started using Mizon’s snail line instead. I also had a decent stash of Benton Snail Bee High Content sheet masks that I threw out in a fit of panic. Welp, there’s really nothing like a Benton sheet mask for calming down redness and shrinking and healing pimples.
I had a little zit on my chin thanks to my kid. He loves to come cuddle me in the morning and presses his sweaty little child head onto my face, and I’d rather have his cuddles than a perfectly clear complexion, so when he breaks me out, I deal. This time, I thought I’d see if this mask could take care of the spot.
The Bija sheet mask uses the clear, watery essence type. Straight out of the packet, it has a baby powder-ish fragrance mixed with a strong initial whiff of alcohol. Both smells fade quickly after application, though, so if either fragrance usually bothers you, rest assured that they won’t be too much of a problem here.
I wore the Bija mask for about 45 minutes, letting my skin soak up as much of the essence as I had patience for. I experienced no burning, tingling, or discomfort, and after I took the mask off, the remaining essence massaged in easily, with only a slight sticky residue. Plenty of essence remained in the packet, so I squeezed that out and massaged it over my trouble spot as well. Everything fully absorbed in about 20 minutes, at which point I topped it with my usual Benton steam cream.
I could tell from the moment I took the mask off that I wasn’t going to be impressed. With a really well formulated sheet mask, you might not experience the full effects until the next morning, but you’ll have at least some instant results. Besides the extra hydration that literally any sheet mask ever will give, I didn’t see any other improvement. The pimple on my chin was the exact same size and shade of red that it had been before I put the mask on. There was very little positive change by the morning, either. The Benton steam cream is itself anti-inflammatory, and I credit the slight reduction in the pimple to that rather than the Bija sheet mask, since it’s about the same effect I’ve gotten on past pimples from just using the steam cream with no mask.
Conclusion: I do really want to like the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask line. I have a positive feeling towards Innisfree in general, and I love sheet masks. Unfortunately, the Bija mask hasn’t done anything to impress me. If it claims to help soothe acne, then it should at least soothe acne a little bit, but in my case, it didn’t.
Where to buy Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Masks in Bija
Skin care is, of course, very YMMV. Just as some things that work for me may not work for you, so too is it possible that things I found unimpressive might end up being your Holy Grails. If you want to try the Bija sheet mask out for yourself, here are a couple of places to order it from:
- The InnisfreeWorld official website, where Bija sheet masks are $1.20 each
- 5 pcs for $6.99 on Amazon (affiliate link): Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask 5pcs (Bija)
- 10 pcs for $15.51 on Amazon (affiliate link):Innisfree It’s Real Bija Mask- 10 pcs
- 15 pcs Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask assortment for $21.38 on Amazon (affiliate link): Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask Sheet x 15 sheets
Have you tried the Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask in Bija? What did you think?