Skincare Review

Sheet Mask Challenged – Trying to Mask It Without Butylene Glycol

Since I began partaking in the joys of Korean skin care I’ve been sheet mask challenged. Butylene Glycol, my nemesis (cue: mega breakouts), seems to be in pretty much every sheet mask anyone raves about, leaving me wishing I could find some cost-effective-no-breakout way of joying the party. Luckily, after spending time (more than I’m willing to admit) looking around, I finally found two brands/flavors of masks I can use. Hooray!


Some Thoughts About Cost & YMMV:

A small caveat, before I begin this glorious review. I must admit that I have limited experience with sheet masks (see above, BG sensitivity), which leads me to believe that the opinions I will share here might not be the same opinions a more experienced sheetmasker would share. One must always remember the “your mileage may vary” mantra.

Moreover, when choosing sheet masks, I find that the cost of the mask is something I care about deeply. I can (and do) spend lots of money on scarves and bags, but it came as a shock to me how resistant I am to the thought of spending $11 for one mask (looking at you, Whamisa). Here’s the deal: sheet masks stay on my face for approximately 30-45 minutes. The effect of a single mask is limited to that one time use, so really there’s no effective “cost per wear”. I’d also rather spend that money on let’s say face cream, since I am highly doubtful that one single mask will make my skin magically a dry-free zone for a full six month like a face cream might.    That is to say, I prefer to pay for masks I can use regularly (twice a week or more), and the following masks mostly fall under that category while still being BG free.

With this in mind, let’s discuss the following sheet masks:

Rice Bran Sheetmask 2

ALL Natural Organic Mask Sheet Houttuynia Cordata

Cost per wear: $1.45

Calculation: cost of 5 masks on TesterKorea is approx. $7.45. This does not include shipping costs since these vary based on speed chosen at checkout.

CosDNA ingredient list. Only Oenothera Biennia Oil is identified as a possible irritant or acne trigger.

When Using:

Feel: Super silky-smooth. It’s made out of Tencel, which is a fiber out of wood that’s presumably sustainable. Before I realized my issues with BG I tried your basic Innisfree masks, and I think this Tencel mask is actually much much softer.

Serum: It’s somewhat viscous-y, and the liquid itself is clear. It can take a while for it to absorb once the mask is removed, and I have to admit that I occasionally wipe it off if I’m too tired to wait for it to sink in. The serum itself feels really cool and pleasant, especially during warm summer afternoons.

The sheet itself is really soaked in the serum, and is quite liquid. I find that I can’t move much when using it or it will drip all over. Still, I don’t mind that since the whole goal of using a mask is part hydration and part relaxation. It forces me to stay still and futz for a while.

Smell: Very light, and almost not noticeable. Perfect.

After Use:

Claims: Presumably, this mask is supposed to help with blemishes. The first time I used it was after a major breakout/allergic reaction, and I truly felt that it helped turn my skin around back so semi-normalcy. Upon further use, with small blemishes, I can attest that it hasn’t fulfilled that claim. It hasn’t helped diminish them or reduce their size. So, possibly great when suffering from a major skin-mishap, but not so much for your garden-variety pimple.

Hydration: It certainly helps my skin feel more soft and hydrated right after use. I usually use my Camellia Seed Oil, Whamisa Double Lotion, and Whamisa Nourishing Cream after using the mask, and by the time I wake up my skin is not so flakey or not flakey at all. That’s about it, though. My skin reverts to its usual dryness by mid-day, so I can’t say this mask truly hydrates my skin noticeably.

Overall Thoughts: It’s not the world’s most amazing mask, but the cool sensation of using it and its overall calming effect are certainly not to be ignored. I’m not always drawn to using it, but I like having it around.

TO THE NATURE Organic Face Mask Pack

Rice Bran Sheetmask 1

Cost per wear: $1.73

Calculation:  cost of 5 masks on TesterKorea is approx. $8.69. This does not include shipping costs since these vary based on speed chosen at checkout. You can get it cheaper by buying a ten mask pack.

Ingredients: water,organic rice bran extract(40%),Glycyrrhiza Inflata Extract,Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract ,Xanthan Gum,Rose extract,Chamomilla Recutita (Matricaria) Flower water, Panax Ginseng Root extract,Rithospermum Officinale Extract,honey,Malt Extract,Lonicera Japonica(Honeysuckle)Flower Extract. **I found these posted here.

When Using:

Feel: These masks are made of cotton, so they feel quite similar to the It’s real squeeze masks made by Innisfree. The sheet itself feels slightly heavy at times, and if you like using gel masks I’m not sure you’ll enjoy this one as much.

Serum: It’s a clear liquid, and the sheet is again quite soaked in it. I find it hard to unfold this mask at times because of the serum. Although it doesn’t irritate my skin, I do feel some tingly sensation when I wear the mask. It’s pleasant, overall.

Smell: Again, so soft it’s barely there.

After Use:

Claims: The mask is supposed to calm your skin and hydrate it. I haven’t used it post-irritation, so I am not sure how calming it would be. It does, however, makes my skin feel very soft and smooth. That softness is actually noticeably there for about two days after use, so I really enjoy that effect.

Hydration: Again, the level of hydration I get lasts until morning and that’s about it.

Overall Thoughts: If you are looking for a mask to soften your skin, this one might work for you. I will and have repurchased this mask simply for that reason. The ingredients in this mask are also quite natural, so that’s a another huge selling point.

Moving Forward:

I just made an order of an order of two flavors of My Scheming masks, so I will report on those once they arrive and I’ve had a chance to try them a few times.

Also, this being a glorious mask-purchasing day and all, thanks to a comment by a reader I also stopped by my local Marshalls store and picked up five Collagen masks that didn’t contain any BG and seem to be made by JLC International (mentioned on Reddit here). Stay tuned!



11 thoughts on “Sheet Mask Challenged – Trying to Mask It Without Butylene Glycol

  1. Oh darn, you’re right haha the overnight one does have some BG which explains why it sometimes makes me break out a little. The Luminous Deep Hydration Firming Serum doesn’t have it though, and it’s been working flawlessly for me. Let me know if you try a Yuri Pibu serum! I only know of their black truffle one, which I’m not sure would benefit my skin since it’s described as an anti-wrinkle serum.


  2. Are you sure serum is free of BG? I was looking it up and it looks like it’s there at the bottom of the list. I’m debating attempting one of the serums from Yuripibu because their ingredients seem quite natural.


  3. I got three deluxe samples of Tatcha’s overnight memeory serum concentrate from Sephora and the product is actually lovely; it really has a nice plumping/hydrating effect for me. Dunno what I’ll do when those samples run out since it is SO expensive x_x but the spatula it comes with deposits the tiniest amount, which is really all you need. currently also testing their Luminous Deep Hydration Firming serum, which is supposedly even better for acne-prone skin. Both BG free, of course.


  4. I feel like the scent is too artificial and strong for my liking to I start using it and give up on it fairly quickly. I’ve really struggled to find a serum that actually does anything.


  5. Turns out the serum is still sitting in my cart on innisfree, I must have forgotten to check out during my haul. I’ll reconsider it if it isn’t really effective!
    Perhaps “stubborn” would be a more accurate adjective than brave, lol! I know full well the BG will probably make me break out but in my mind I’m like *just in case*…


  6. By the way, I’ve just started using the Aromatica Rose Absolute Vital Fluid and it seems light but moisturizing. I’ll write about it when I use it for about a month, but that might be something for you to consider. Actually, the Whamisa lotion may be better for you, since it really is too light for me, but it feels hydrating.


  7. I’ve tried the Innisfree serum several times using samples, but it didn’t do much and after a while I wondered if it was breaking me out. I haven’t given up on that one yet!

    Since my skin is so incredibly dry, I haven’t attempted to get any of the Benton products, as I’ve read they aren’t good for moisturizing. I think that once I have that aspect nailed down for summer, I may try it the one that doesn’t have any BG in it.

    You are braver than me! I’ve had such breakouts (at some point I thought meh, I am probably imagining it – NOPE!) that I am not willing to take anymore chances. I’m actually wondering if I have a sensitivity to all the glycols, so I’m trying to avoid anything with any of the glycols.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I recently ordered a innisfree’s green tea seed serum and Rosette Ceramide Gel, hoping they turn out to be good hydrating options sans BG!! My skin is oily, yet dehydrated thanks to topical acne medications.
    Question, have you ever used Benton’s snail bee products? I was recommended their essence, and wishtrend currently has a promo with the essence + masks. I have used a couple of products with BG that I love (Clinique dramatically different moisturizing gel +Tatcha Luminous Overnight Memory Serum Concentrate) that seem to be ok since BG is lower on the ingredient list, so I decided to take the risk with Benton. Hopefully my skin doesn’t freak out!!


  9. Hi there,

    I’m so glad you find this blog useful! I’ve really struggled to figure out what I can use with my BG intolerance and the overall dryness of my skin! I hope my posts help, and I hope you share what you find as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am so glad to have discovered your blog!! I feel so alone navigating the AB waters sometimes because of my intolerance for butylene glycol; it’s so disappointing when everyone is raving about a certain product and you can’t use it because of that dreadful ingredient ;_; Looking forward to trying these out!


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