The Worst Masks I’ve Ever Tried…

Have all been from the same brand.

Negative Review Chameleon
I’d like to introduce you all to Fifty Shades of Snail’s new mascot, Negative Review Chameleon. His favorite food is strawberry, his favorite drink is water, and he holds me and all of humanity in great disdain.

You may have noticed that the vast majority of the reviews on this blog are at least somewhat positive. The reason’s pretty simple: The more I learn about skincare ingredients, the easier it is for me to choose products that I know I’ll find effective and probably enjoyable. But I’ve definitely tried out some duds, and when it comes to masks, all the worst of those duds have come from Missha. Some Missha products have worked well for me, such as their M Signature Real Complete BB Cream, both the Long and Longer Name versions of their Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule,  and the original formulation of their Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, so I find it odd that I’ve disliked every Missha mask I’ve ever put on my face. Let me tell you of my troubles.

Group review: Missha Pure Source sheet masks

MisshaUS runs a lot of sales, which I really appreciate, and often offers great gifts with purchase when one’s purchase exceeds a specified amount. In  many cases, I find myself unable to get close to the target total without throwing in a few sheet masks. That’s how I’ve ended up trying the Pure Source sheet masks in honey, raspberry, pearl, and pomegranate.

There’s really no nice way to say what I want to say, so I’m just going to say it: In my experience, these masks are about as effective as blank sheet masks soaked in tap water.

Seriously. Just useless. More useless than nipples on a breastplate.

Why are the Pure Source sheet masks so useless?

The ingredients lists themselves don’t give any clue. They start out the same as just about any other sheet mask, with water, glycerin, and butylene glycol, a moisturizing and penetration enhancing ingredient. The featured extracts are high up. All of the masks contain sodium hyaluronate for extra humectant hydration. Why are they so terrible? My best guess is that it isn’t the ingredients themselves that are the problem, but rather the proportions. Basically, I suspect that there’s just too much water in these and too little of everything else. (Shoutout to waterless skincare. These masks wouldn’t be a problem if they were waterless, I bet.)

My blanket rating for the Missha Pure Source sheet masks in honey, raspberry, pearl, pomegranate, and probably everything else in that line is 2.

Mini-review: Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mask

Next on the list is the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Mask.

The original formulation of Missha’s  First Treatment Essence (as opposed to the new First Treatment Essence Intensive) is widely known as an SK-II dupe and has been justifiably considered superior. I went through three big bottles of the stuff and loved every fermenty, hydrating, brightening, glow-giving drop. (I only decided to switch to COSRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence because Missha took out the licorice root extract, and as there are plenty of other ferment first essences with niacinamide that cost less than the Missha, I figured it was time to cut my expenses a bit. No regrets.)

So why didn’t I like the mask? As a hydrogel infused with the magical Missha FTE, it should have been glorious. Instead, it was…mediocre.

First of all, I wish I still had a picture of me wearing the mask. The Missha FTE mask is a two-piece hydrogel, and the bottom piece includes a neck section that wraps up under one’s chin to give the upper neck and underside of the chin some FTE love. The neck piece felt strangly to me, and the mouth was freakishly small. We’re talking creepy gimp mask small. So there’s that.

But I’ll happy submit (har har) to a poorly fitting face mask if the mask delivers good results. The FTE mask, for whatever reason, just didn’t. Remember how I said the Pure Source masks were about as useful as mask sheets soaked in tap water? The First Treatment Essence Mask is the same, except that it also smells like stale beer and costs a whopping $7 per mask. The brightening effect is mediocre at best (I bought three of these when I first discovered the joys of original recipe FTE) and the hydrating effect is subpar. I would give this mask a 3, because it did at least have some effect, but the combination of such mediocrity and such a price point mean that this mask also gets a 2.

Mini-review: Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Gel Mask (Plus a Rave for Benton’s Snail Mask)

And now we come to the star attraction of this parade of rage-inducing mediocrity: the Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Gel Mask.

Where do I even begin?

Let’s begin with the ingredients, because this time at least one glaring flaw is obvious. This mask contains a wimpy 5% snail slime extract.



That is simply pathetic. Even more pathetic is the fact that Missha proclaims that measly 5% on their official website like it’s something to brag about. Snail mucin is a great, great skincare ingredient. It’s full of humectants and antioxidants. It’s lovely. But, judging from the very high percentages of the ingredient in other snail products, it seems to be something that needs to be present in large quantities in order for it to be effective. 5% is nowhere near enough.

Even more distressing is the fact that snail mucin appears third in the ingredients list for this mask, after only water and glycerin. That means that every other one of the many, many other promising-sounding ingredients in the list is present in only the minutest quantities. That also lends a bit of credence to my theory that the problem with the other Missha masks I reviewed above is that they’re too much water and too little anything good.

But having such small amounts of good ingredients isn’t enough to make a mask actively terrible, just mediocre. What made the Missha snail gel mask so terrible for me was the effect it had on my skin.

It dehydrated the everloving crap out of my skin.

I have never, ever had a reaction like that to any other product, Asian, Western, Plutonian, or otherwise. My skin is neither sensitive nor reactive–another reason my reviews tend to skew positive. But this mask?

When I first removed it, my skin just felt kind of dry on the surface. I was disappointed but not alarmed. Over the next three days, however, my skin just kept getting drier and drier. It became parched and flaky, literally scaly, which is why I chose our poor, hateful little chameleon to be the official Fifty Shades bad review mascot. It took over a week of extreme babying–no acids, no alcohol, just lots and lots of Benton Snail Bee High Content Steam Cream day and night–to get my complexion back to normal. Days upon days of utterly miserable skin.

I am not alone in this, either. Pico Prince had a bad reaction to this mask as well.

You know who does snail masks right? Benton. Their Snail Bee High Content Sheet Mask (affiliate link because these masks are just astonishingly good) is free of fillers and irritants and packed full of soothing, anti-inflammatory, brightening, softening, calming ingredients. You know who doesn’t do snail masks right? Missha.

The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Gel Mask gets a 1.

By the way, I’d like to take this moment to introduce you to my new Do Not Like tag. It is exactly what it sounds like it is.

What are the worst masks you’ve ever tried?


20 thoughts on “The Worst Masks I’ve Ever Tried…

  1. Aww! I just bought the Missha snail gel mask in my most recent haul! Now I’m worried about using it ugh and it wasn’t cheap either!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi, what is your opinion about the new First Treatment Essence Intensive? Its the fisrt time i want to buy an essence and i dont know which one to. I ve read a lot about SK II but is very expensive so i am looking for something cheaper but good. What do you propose?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have not tried the FTE Intensive, but I used the original FTE for a long time. One of the major changes they made was to remove the licorice root extract (brightening effect). In my opinion, the licorice root extract was the thing that made FTE different from other first essences I have seen, so when they removed it, I don’t think it’s really worth the cost anymore. I have changed to COSRX Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence, and I really like it! It is very brightening and more hydrating than FTE. I will be reviewing it soon 🙂


  3. The Missha masks were also awful for me. The Raspberry one sometimes stung my face and the others were just so.. meh. I don’t mind if it doesn’t do much besides moisturising but they weren’t the cheapest and from those I expect a little bit more. x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one! My skin loves Missha products, I use the Essence, Ampoule and one of their serums. So I was badly surprised when I tried one of their masks and I hated it. I tried the Pure Source Pomegranate mask and it was really bad, it stung my face (and my skin isn’t overly sentitive) and didn’t give any noticeable results 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh god the Missha Pure Source masks were fucking terrible for me too! It was like putting paper soaked in water over my face and I couldn’t stand it after 10 minutes. Had to rip it off and replace with the soothing hydration of an Innisfree It’s Real mask.

    And don’t get me started on their M Signature Real Complete BB cream. Forumlated for “dry skin” my ass -_-

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL. I am so glad I’m not crazy and everyone else hates the Pure Source masks too.

      I like the Signature Real BB Cream (not as much as I like cushions though) but it’s definitely not for dry skin. Shit, sometimes I want to mist my face when I’m wearing it, and my skin’s nowhere near dry.


      1. Glad the BB cream somewhat worked for you! For me it was great until I washed it off and my skin just felt so…tight and was slightly flushed/warm from irritation D: I was super lucky that it didn’t do any more damage to my skin, but it’s definitely something I will never wear again.

        Haha, when I first opened the Pure Source mask I thought it was weird that there wasn’t enough essence oozing out of it to cover my face 2-3 times pre-mask application, unlike a lot of the other masks I tried, but I thought it was just me. After I tried it I was like NEVER AGAIN.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Just found your blog and I love it! Pretty new to the KB obsession, but obsessed I am! Tried my first Missha Pure Source mask today and it’s my first absolutely will not reorder. Tried the Pearl and it was a nothingburger. My favorite so far has been the Tosowoong Propoulis mask.

    Again thanks for the wonderful site!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Never tried the Missha masks, but the FTE made me breakout bad. Like a teenager!!! I was mortified. My chin area got extra large pimples…. I never got to use the original formula, so I cannot compare them. Now I am looking for a new essence. Maybe the snail one by COSRX.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I actually like Missha masks, for me they work pretty well 🙂 I have normal skin.My skin looks moisturized and shiny.Moreover I am not the only one who notice the effect, I receive complements from others after I am using it. =)

    I use lots of different masks and Missha’s ones are not too bad 🙂 I am using them for a few years and have no complaints 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I tried a Dr Morita Cucumber & Aloe mask and it did exactly what the Missha did to you! My skin was oddly dry in a way it never has before. It looked almost like…crinkled plastic wrap?! I’m also with you on the Benton masks- I have three large purge pimples on the go at the moment and that mask has calmed them right down.


  10. Lol Missha arw the worst, i changed my skincare products to nature republic and innisfree. i tried Missha rice cell mask sheet and i put that in ma face for about 20 minutes and its really nothing, says brighten ma face but dang-.- no effect at all. brighten ma ass duh😒 and so i put Nature republic soothing gel and thats so much moist then da fckin mask😤 so i really don’t recommend Da “M” products. Rather spend more money on Etude or Tony Moly😕


  11. I can get the Supra Aqua mask 4 for $10 at my local Urban Outfitters. I bought two. One for me and my (girl)friend. I’m only wearing masks once a week so I’m curious to see how I react next week!


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