At least, I hope it’s a good morning for you. But if it isnt, if you haven’t gotten enough sleep or you just aren’t feeling your best, why not try to make time in your regular skin care ritual for an eye mask?
Typically made out of either the same thin pulp or cotton sheets as regular sheet masks, or out of thickened essence gel like hydrogel masks, eye masks are a fantastic way to temporarily plump up, smooth out, and sometimes brighten the skin around your eyes. While their effect will only last a day or so, they can be just what your eye area needs to look refreshed. Lately, I’ve been making some time in my AM routine for these. I love how a well hydrated eye area can instantly boost my whole face. I’ve mostly been using these Etude House Collagen Eye Patch eye masks.
Purpose: Etude House claims that their Collagen Eye Patch will hydrate and tighten the skin under eyes, improve its elasticity, and brighten dark circles.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to alcohol, castor oil, retinol, fragrance, or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: After cleansing in the morning but before applying eye cream or moisturizer around your eyes, tear open package and remove the plastic tray that holds the patches.
Open tray and pull out patches. Separate them from the thin, perforated clear plastic backings.
Each package contains two eye patches. Apply them to your undereye area, smoothing them down onto skin. Wear for 10-20 minutes. Remove, tap in remaining essence with a fingertip, and finish with eye cream or your regular moisturizer.
Ingredients list: Water, butylene glycol, glycerin, PEG-75, PEG/PPG-17/6 copolymer, alcohol, hydrolyzed collagen, citrus paradisi (grapefruit) fruit extract, xanthan gum, PEG-60 hydrogenated castor oil, carbomer, triethanolamine, disodium EDTA, camellia sinensis leaf extract, sodium hyaluronate, tocopherol, retinol, polysorbate 20, phenoxyethanol, fragrance
Notable ingredients: Since collagen is the star ingredient of this mask, let’s talk about that first. As we know, collagen is not an anti-aging active. Applying collagen to your face will not increase collagen levels within your skin, and it will not stimulate your skin to naturally produce more collagen. What it will do, however, is temporarily moisturize, smooth, and tighten the skin it’s applied to, and in a product like this, that’s good enough.
Collagen is not an anti-aging active, but retinol is, and to my surprise, the Etude House Collagen Eye Patch contains a bit of it. Its placement in the ingredients list means that there isn’t much, and you won’t see clinical-grade improvements with this product. Regular use of these eye masks may provide a small amount of long-term improvement to fine lines and wrinkles in the eye area, however.
The Etude House Collagen Eye Patch essence also contains sodium hyaluronate and glycerin for skin-plumping hydration and camellia sinensis leaf extract and tocopherol (vitamin E) to give your skin an antioxidant boost.
As far as the dark circle brightening claims, however, I’m not seeing much in this ingredients list that would help. In any case, most dark circles are genetic and relate to factors such as the anatomy of your eye area, the thinness of the skin, and the pigmentation under your eyes. A topical treatment won’t change any of those things.
My CosDNA analysis of the ingredients list showed a couple of warnings. The moisturizing penetration enhancer butylene glycol–present in almost every sheet mask I’ve ever seen–scores a 1 in the acne column, while tocopherol and the pH adjuster triethanolamine score 2s. Like butylene glycol, triethanolamine is in a ton of products, including sheet masks, so if your skin typically doesn’t respond poorly to sheet masks, I wouldn’t worry about the presence of these ingredients here. Tocopherol also scores a 2 as a potential acne trigger. There isn’t very much of it in this mask, but if you’ve broken out from vitamin E before, patch test first. The emulsifier carbomer (another ingredient that’s found in just about all standard sheet masks) gets a 1 for acne. It should also be noted that CosDNA doesn’t recognize plain alcohol, which is commonly used in products like this as a penetration enhancer but can be drying or irritating for some.
Since I only wear this mask for about 10-20 minutes at a time, there isn’t much to say about the way it feels while it’s on. It adheres nicely to the skin under my eyes and is big enough to cover my crow’s feet area as well; I can’t smell the fragrance at all, and the essence doesn’t irritate my undereye area or my eyes themselves.
The plumping and smoothing effect these masks have on my undereyes is impressive. If I’m a little dehydrated because it’s morning and I haven’t had a lot of water to drink yet, these masks will fill the skin out and make me look extra hydrated, and when I’m a bit puffy from eating too much salty food or not sleeping enough the night before, using these masks straight out of the refrigerator helps to take the swelling down significantly. The remaining essence pats in quickly and doesn’t interfere with either eye cream or makeup.
Conclusion: As an occasional addition to my morning skincare ritual, I really like these eye masks. They’re comfortable, easy to use, quick and relatively inexpensive–a good thing to have in the stash in case of eyemergency. If you’re looking for something to magically fade away undereye circles, however, you’re probably out of luck.
Where can I buy the Etude House Collagen Eye Patch?
This product is pretty commonly available. Two trustworthy places to buy the masks are:
Etude House’s official website, where you can buy as many as you want for $1/pair (ships from Korea).
Do you ever use eye masks? Which ones are your favorites?