Innisfree My Real Squeeze Mask

I want to be an Innisfree stan so badly because their products are all-natural, and their sustainability measures are a little bit more defined than some of their competitors. Heck, they even replaced some of their plastic bottles with paper bottles, which I had never seen before them:

But their products have just seemed to lackluster, and the masks I’m about to review is no exception (which means you can skip reading this entire entry and just go to the end if you want 😉 ) I ordered six different masks from the website, Honey, Bamboo, Cucumber, Rose, Green Tea and Rice. Despite the plethora of options, there isn’t much to be differentiated between the different masks, despite possibly their scent. Speaking of scent, the rose mask smells like the water that old bouquets sit in, and starts to become green if you don’t empty out the vase. I normally love the smell of roses, but that mask was definitely not it.

I was happy with the mask size itself. MBD and Mediheal masks tend to overshoot my chin a half an inch or so. I was also happy that the packaging wasn’t overly saturated with the liquid. While I know the “extra” is good for applying on the rest of your skin, MBD tends to add more than I could possibly use, and I feel a little guilty throwing away any of the excess.

Anyway, the redeeming qualities stop around there. The liquid on the mask is not in the slightest moisturizing (maybe they did need all that extra liquid in the packaging, after all!). Quite frankly, it felt like a slightly sticky sheet of paper sitting over my skin. Ultimately, when I removed the mask, my skin didn’t seem hydrated in the slightest — it was actually a bit red, which is never the goal when you are using a product that is supposed to be moisturizing. The cucumber was probably the worst offender of this.

All six caused some type of skin congestion the next day except for the bamboo mask. The bamboo mask, despite not being particularly well inundated with liquid, felt refreshing both during application and after.

When I ordered these, I don’t recall alcohol being an ingredient in any of the options, since it most likely would have deterred me completely from buying them in the first place. But when I checked back on the website as I started writing this, who’s right up there in the #4 spot?

Alcohol, my skincare nemesis! If you have sensitive skin, I’d definitely skip this one (and not just because of the alcohol!) ~A

Perceived efficacy: 1/5

Longevity: 1/5

How much I actually like this product: 1.5/5

Recommended for sensitive skin: No!

INNISFREE Daily UV Protection Cream No Sebum SPF35 PA+++

Innisfree UV Protection Cream came up in my search for alcohol-free sunscreens on Reddit, so I thought I’d give it a try. It was… lackluster, though not awful.

You get a tiny bit more product in this sunscreen than you do with most Asian sunscreens at 50mL, at an equivalent price point of $10-12. It was tough for me to find a US seller for this one, so there was a bit of a wait for this to be shipped from Korea.

The product comes out of the tube pretty easily. It initially has this, kind of… beige-colored tint? But it immediately turns white once you apply it to your face. Smells a little like fruity chalk, too. Ok, let’s try a better descriptor than that: like Flintstones vitamins. And that smell never fades at any point through the day.

It applies fairly easy onto the skin, but the white-cast is somewhat noticeable and doesn’t fade easily. That said; it does play well with makeup and other products underneath it, but you might notice the sunscreen ends up being a tad bit of a white-mixer with your foundation.

This sunscreen started to make my skin feel a bit dry after the 4 hour mark — although it wasn’t affecting my makeup necessarily, it felt like my skin was cracking each time I smiled.

I guess longevity isn’t technically a “thing” with sunscreens, because you should be reapplying after 2 hours anyway, but wearing the Innisfree sunscreen for a week or two instead of my usual SPF 50 made me realize how much more effective the SPF 50 is at blocking out rays. I got substantially more color on my skin in those two weeks.

I was a little paranoid this would make me break out because it dried my skin out so quickly, but it didn’t. So that was cool. Other than that, I guess I wasn’t really blown away by anything, and I probably won’t rebuy it. The whitecast was kind of annoying, it made my skin feel too tight, and I could also see how the smell would be off-putting for some. But hey — any sunscreen that doesn’t break me out is a friend in my book! ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.5/5

Longevity: 3/5

How much I actually like this product: 2.5/5

Sunscreen and Sensitive Skin

Now that the sun has made a guest appearance in my otherwise cold and snowy part of the world, I’m back on the hunt for a good face sunscreen. Here’s my criteria:

  • At least SPF 30
  • No whitecast
  • No drying alcohols

Not too crazy, right? Not even a chemical vs physical sunscreen stipulation! Unfortunately, the “no alcohol” clause rules out at least half, in both the US and Asian beauty markets! Goodbye, Biore UV Watery Gel! (too bad because I love that stuff).

Here’s a quick run down of sunblocks I’ve tried in the past, on a pass/fail basis:

Biore UV Watery Gel: Awesome. Dries fast and clear. Has alcohol. Fail.

Cerave Facial Moisturizing AM 30 SPF: No alcohol, but breaks down makeup, pills like mad, and makes my skin itchy, thus made me break out. Come on, Cerave… Fail.

Innisfree No Sebum SPF 35: No alcohol. Fruity smell might not be everyone’s taste, but I don’t mind it. Whitecast can be a little much and it will break your makeup down after it’s been on all day, but the longevity is certainly better than most! So actually… pass, but not on work days.

Avene Mineral Ultra-Light SPF 50: Absolutely not. Crazy amounts of white-cast, itchy, destroys makeup, pills with every single product, WAY too much money considering this has ZERO cosmetic elegance. Also made me break out. Fail times one million.

Hawaiian Tropic Silk Hydration Face SPF 30: I want to like this stuff so bad because I love Hawaiian Tropic brand for some reason (probably the beachy packaging…) but this basically burned my face off. Smells good, though… Fail. 😦

Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Dry-Touch SPF 50: Another “burned my face off and made me break out”. Fail.

Its Skin 2pm SPF 50: I’ve talked about this one a million times but it’s the only sunscreen that’s a 95% pass for me. Applies smoothly with very little whitecast, smells freakin’ amazing, doesn’t break down makeup or other product, and it’s 50 SPF. It DOES give me little tiny break outs, though. They’re tolerable, but ugh. Still, pass.

So there you have it, my quick review and rant of just some of the sunscreens I’ve tried in the past year. I’ve got Canmake Mermaid Skin on the way to my house right now, and I’m tempted to try Cetaphil’s 50 SPF. Readers, do you have any sensitive-skin friendly sunscreen options? I’d love to hear if you do!