I guess you could say I’m a practical learner. When I get interested in something, I want to try it, and if I like it the first time, I want to try it again and again until I master it. I’m working on a research-heavy ginseng post, but reading about it isn’t the only thing I’m doing. Nope. When I noticed the results I got from a few different ginseng products (to be reviewed), I decided I had to Get. All. The. Ginseng. On. My. Face. I hauled accordingly. The L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask is the only ginseng product I’m ready to talk about right now. So let’s talk.
L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask review
I first encountered Taiwanese sheet mask brand L’Herboflore on Beautibi. Until then, my experiences with Taiwanese sheet masks were primarily limited to the solid and reliable My Beauty Diary, the sometimes spectacular but sometimes odd-smelling My Scheming (which I won’t be reviewing until I can figure out what the hell makes that weird-ass smell), and the terrible (in my opinion) Hey! Pinkgo Girl brands. L’Herboflore, with their glossy, beautiful oversized mask packets, looked like something different altogether.
Purpose: L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask is an anti-aging sheet mask. Aren’t you glad you guys read this blog? How would you ever have figured that out without me?
Best suited for: All skin types, but especially mature/aging skin.
Do not use if: You are sensitive to botanical extracts or anything else in the ingredients list.
When and how to use: Use immediately before the moisturizer step(s) in your skincare routine. Remove mask from packet and unfold. This mask has two backings. Don’t be like me and embarrass yourself thinking one of the backings is the actual mask. Peel off the white plastic pearl paper backing. Very very carefully situate the mask and the softer blue backing on your face, then very very very carefully peel away the blue backing. Alternatively, lay the mask flat on a towel or other clean surface and very very very very carefully peel the actual mask off of the blue backing, then very very very very very carefully apply mask to face. Wear for 15-20 minutes as directed on the packaging, or as long as you want. After removing the mask, pat or massage in any excess essence and seal in the juices with moisturizing lotion, cream, and/or sleeping pack.
Sheet mask tip: Do you prefer your sheet masks as juicy as possible and to stay moist as long as possible? There’s a better way to use up the mask essence without decanting it into a container and using it later, when it won’t benefit from the mask sheet’s occlusion the way it was formulated to! After you open the mask packet, lay the mask on a clean towel. Pour enough essence from the packet into your hand to cover your face. Slather it all over your face. Repeat at least once, more if desired. Now apply the sheet mask as usual. Finally, pour more essence onto your hand and smear it onto the mask sheet on your face. Repeat until there’s no more essence in the packet.
L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask ingredients: Aqua (water), butylene glycol, glycerin, glyceryl polyacrylate, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, citric acid, cucumis sativus (cucumber) fruit extract, propylene glycol, chondrus crispus (carrageenan), angelica gigas root extract, bupleurum falcatum root extract, ophiopogon japonicus root extract, asparagus cochinchinensis root extract, aquilaria agallocha stem extract, saxifraga sarmentosa (saxifrage) extract, vitis vinifera (grape) fruit extract, morus bombycis (mulberry) root extract, scutellaria baicalensis (baicalin) root extract, disodium EDTA, phragmites kharka extract, poria cocos extract, allantoin, hyaluronic acid, sodium hyaluronate, panax ginseng root extract, xanthan gum, dipotassium glycyrrhizate, trehalose, mannitol, sodium citrate, acetyl tetrapeptide-15, beta-glucan, sodium polystyrene sulfonate, sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, sodium sulfite, phenoxyethanol, chlorphenesin, sodium dehydroacetate, sodium metabisulfite, methylisothiazolinone, iodopropynyl butylcarbamate
Notable ingredients: Very appropriately for a mask from L’Herboflore’s Oriental Herbs line, the Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask contains the extracts of a ton of medicinal herbs, most of them traditionally used for anti-inflammatory, wound healing, and skin brightening effects and most also delivering some antioxidant cell protection. There’s not a whole lot of ¡¡¡¡SCIENCE!!!! backing up these herbs, but I happen to believe that absence of evidence isn’t always evidence of absenceof effects and am willing to give them a chance as long as there’s also no evidence that they’ll melt my face or kill me, and there isn’t.
What research does exist is promising. Scutellaria baicalensis (skullcap), for example, shows up in many Asian skincare products and has demonstrated antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and melanin-inhibitory properties. And, as I mentioned already and no doubt will mention again, I’m compiling a nice big post on panax ginseng extract’s potential to calm inflammation, increase collagen production, and SLAYYYYYYYY free radicals. I came across the phrase “significant anti-oxidant activity” in this 2007 article from the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, for example. (Note: I’m not the greatest researcher ever, so I enlisted my academically-inclined friend Sher of Hoojoo Beauty to help me find ginseng studies, and holy shit, she did. Hey Sher? You’re awesome.)
The first thing you should know about the masks in L’herboflore’s Oriental Herbs line is that they have a very interesting cut. I haven’t seen any others like it.
In addition to being cut differently from L’Herboflore’s regular sheet masks, the Oriental Herbs masks are also made from a different material. The Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask and the others in the line use an ultra-thin fabric woven from imported Japanese silk fibers. Silk masks are great, but the oddly coarse and not terribly absorbent silk these are made from isn’t my favorite. It lacks the silkiness and the ability to hold gallons of essence that other “silk” masks, like MBD’s and My Scheming’s, have. L’Herboflore Oriental Herbs masks come with an astonishing 30ml of essence, but most of it is sloshing around in the packet rather than saturating the mask sheet. Hence my earlier tip about using up the loose mask essence. Applied straight out of the packet, L’Herboflore silk masks dry out in about 20-25 minutes on me. Pregaming and then putting all the rest of the essence onto the sheet gets me an extra 10-15 minutes of wetness time.
I go to all that extra trouble because for me, the essence that comes in the Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask is soooooo worth it. Alcohol-free and totally scentless (no “dirt and twigs” classic ginseng smell, thank God), these masks don’t irritate my skin even when it’s feeling extra-sensitive. Any essence left on the skin after taking the mask off is non-sticky and pats in quickly. Finally and most importantly, the effects are friggin spectacular. Whether left on for 20 minutes or 40, the L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask leaves my skin ultra brightened, ultra firmed, and fascinatingly bouncy. I like to stare open-mouthed in the mirror and poke my cheek repeatedly to see that QQ, chok chok bouncy skin action after taking off one of these bad boys. These masks also leave my skin with an extreme matte finish, which is disconcerting, but moisturizer takes care of that right away.
Conclusion: I only bought two of these in my last Beautibi haul, and I deeply regret that. I’ll be happy to make a little extra room in my sheet mask slush fund for more of these. For me, the results the Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask deliver more than make up for the suboptimal sheet material and challenging application. They also make the steep price tag a little more reasonable. (Be warned, though: these masks are definitely not at an MBD price point.) For most budgets, these are #treatyoself masks rather than daily staples, but if your skin is at all like mine, it will definitely appreciate having a couple around for an occasional treat, especially before special events.
Where can I buy L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask?
L’Herboflore Ginseng Anti-Aging Mask is available in singles from Beautibi for $8 and has also been available as part of the currently sold-out L’herboflore Oriental Herbs Collection mask set of 7 masks for $42. If it’s your first time purchasing from Beautibi, you can save $5 off your first order by signing up with my referral link, and shipping is currently free for orders over $35 (normally $75) through Friday.
I did try to find this mask elsewhere as well, but I’m currently unable to find it sold by any other shops or sellers that I would recommend. If any of you guys are in Taiwan and spot these at a shop, for the love of God, email me. In the meantime, if it helps at all, I think of part of the price of these as the price we pay for original curation from someone who puts forth the effort to find new pretties for us to try. I’m happy to support the shops that bring us these discoveries first–they’re more necessary to the AB world than the copycats that follow. Finding awesome things we haven’t tried before can’t be easy, or every AB shop would be able to do it.
Do you like ginseng in your skincare products?