Saturday, April 22, 2017

40 sheet masks tested by Hong Kong consumer council. Shocking !


Last week, Hong Kong consumer council (HKCC) published their testing results on 40 sheet masks from different countries of origin and brands, with retail price ranging from HK$3 (~ US$0.4) to HK$108 (~US$15) per piece. These face masks claim to having moisturising property and require no rinsing after use (Dating back 10 years ago, instruction on all paper masks would advise user to rinse their face after using paper mask. Things have changed).

So which one performed the best?  which were rubbish?

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First test : Chemical analysis and findings

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Hong Kong consumer council tested 40 face masks for their chemical content, including MIT, parabens, other preservatives, heavy metals and CMIT. Microbiological test on E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, P.Aeruginosa etc. was also conducted.  Safety standards from EU, USA, Taiwan and China were referenced.



FIVE products tested were found containing fluorescent materials which might cause skin sensitivity.

  • (FR) Eau Thermale Avène Hydrating Mask
  • (US) Kiehl's Clearly Corrective White Hydrating and Clarifying Treatment Masque
  • (JP) MUJI Sheet Mask
  • (JP) SK-II Facial Treatment Mask
  • (FR) Lancôme Blanc Expert Second Skin Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask



ONE product also contained migratable fluorescent materials, for instances, optical brighteners and fluorescent whitening agents, meaning it might not only cause skin allergy but also make your skin glowing in dark.

  • (FR) Eau Thermale Avène Hydrating Mask



ONE product used salicylic acid as preservative.

  • (JP) SK-II Facial Treatment Mask 0.42%. Passed the Chinese standard.


TWO products contained lead. Both are below Chinese SDA standard (10ppm)

  • (JP) Hada labo Gokujyun Mask  0.13ppm 
  • (US) Olay Aquaction Intensive Treatment Mask 0.16ppm 


THREE products used methylisothiazolinone (MI) as preservative. Australian therapectic goods administration has a public note on MI summarised it as "skin sensitisation was sufficiently noted across all the studies", "may also cause systemic acute toxicity (by all route of exposure) and local effects (skin corrosion and the possibility of causing serious damage to eyes)"and "expert panel concluded that 'MI is safe for use in rinse-off cosmetic products at concentrations up to 100 ppm". In 2016, EU placed a ban on MI being used in leave-in skincare products as no safe levels of MI in leave-on products.


In this test, HKCC borrowed Chinese SDA standard that no more than 0.01% MI in skincare products across both leave-in and rinse-off products.


  • (FR) Besilke Moisturising & Whitening Mineral Spring Mask 0.013%, exceeded Chinese SDA standard and HKCC already reported this product to HK customs department.
  • (TW) My Scheming Hyaluronan Hydarting Mask
  • (TW) Timeless Truth Bio Cellulose Hydra-Soothing Moisturising Mask


Over HALF of samples tested used parabens as preservatives. Yet, all samples are free from parabens that are banned by EU and Chinese SDA (isopropyl-paraben , isobutyl-paraben , benzyl-paraben phenyl-paraben, pentyl-paraben)

All samples passed microbiological tests. 

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Experiment : Skin test !
Since all samples claimed they could be used without rinsing, HKCC tested each sample on 24 human subjects/ participants in inner arm area followed by skin moisture analysis.
The samples were applied and left on following instruction from packaging. After removing the sample, technicians measured moisture of participants skin after 1 hour, 3 hours, 6 hours using the sample and compared it with data collected from bare skin.

Moisturising capability and OVERALL performance
Data collected after 1 hour, 3 hours and 6 hours is weighted 50%, 30% and 20% respectively to calculate the averaged score on moisturising capability.

Overall score considered all factors with different weight - chemical analysis (10%), moisturising capability (60%), participant review (25%) and label & information (5%).

On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being the worst and 5 being the best, there is no product scoring 5.

TOP 7 Moisturizing Face Mask

(JP) Utena Puresa Sheet Mask -Rose Extract and Hyaluronic Acid (~ HK$15 per piece)
Moisturization : 4    Overall : 4 [✓ methylparaben]


(JP) Mandom Barrier Repair Facial Mask - Moist (~ HK$14 per piece)

Moisturization : 4    Overall : 4


(KR) Leaders Aquaringer Skin Clinic Mask (~ HK$19.5 per piece)

Moisturization : 4    Overall : 4


(JP) Ettusais Skin Version Up Super Mask (~ HK$19 per piece)

Moisturization :  4   Overall : 4 [✓ methylparaben]

(JP) YUMéI Water Glow Skin Renewal Facial Mask (~ HK$34.5 per piece)
Moisturization : 4    Overall : 4


(KR) MíOGGí Snail Nutrition Hydro Gel Mask (~ HK$30 per piece)

Moisturization : 4    Overall : 4


(JP) Kracie Hadabisei Moisturising Facial Mask - Extra Rich (~ HK$15 per piece)

Moisturization :  3.5   Overall : 4 [✓ methylparaben]


Other products and their overall performance:


(?) JOSERISTINE hyaluronic acid moisturising mask  (~ HK$14 per piece)

Moisturization :  3.5   Overall : 3.5 [✓ methylparaben]


LANEIGE water bank double gel soothing mask (~ HK$48 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5


(JP) FANCL Moisturising Mask  (~ HK$55 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5


(?) HELLO CARE intensive aloe vera collagen treatment mask (~ HK$5 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5 [✓ methylparaben]


(JP) KOSE COSMEPORT ClearTurn white hyaluronic acid mask  (~ HK$9.2 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5 [methylparaben]

(US) KIEHL’S Clearly Corrective White Hydrating & Clarifying Treatment Masque (~ HK$66.7 per piece)
Moisturization :  3.5   Overall : 3.5 [✓ fluorescent materials]


(KR) MEDIHEAL N.M.F. aquaring ampoule mask upgrade EX (~ HK$6.6 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5


(JP) Hada labo Gokujyun Mask  (~ HK$9 per piece)

Moisturization :  3.5   Overall : 3.5 [✓ methylparaben] [✓ lead]

(KR) FAITH IN FACE  (~ HK$23.3 per piece)
Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3.5


(JP) MUJI Sheet Mask  (~ HK$30 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5 [✓ fluorescent materials]


(?) REGENE crystal mineral silk mask  (~ HK$12 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5


(KR) A.H.C premium hydra soother cellulose mask  (~ HK$16.5 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3.5

(US) GARNIER Aqua Defense - hydrating glow essence 2nd skin mask(~ HK$9 per piece)
Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3.5 [methylparaben]

(TW) DR.MORITA hyaluronic acid facial mask (~ HK$5.2 per piece)
Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3.5 [methylparaben]


(TW) MY BEAUTY DIARY hyaluronic acid moisturising mask  (~ HK$7.5 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3.5


(?) DR.ALTHEA essential skin conditioner silk mask  (~ HK$15.6 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3.5


(KR) TONYMOLY Pureness 100 Hyaluronic Acid Mask Sheet  (~ HK$8 per piece)

Moisturization :  3      Overall : 3


(JP) SHISEIDO White Lucent Power Brightening Maks  (~ HK$100 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3 


(HK) SASATINNIE water glow essence mask  (~ HK$34.6 per piece)

 Moisturization :  3     Overall : 3


(US) Olay Aquaction intensive treatment mask  (~ HK$20 per piece)
 Moisturization :  3     Overall : 3 [✓ propyl-paraben] [✓ lead][✓ ethyl-paraben] 


(FR)BIOTHERM SOURCR THERAPIR Revitalising Tissue Mask (~ HK$70 per piece)

Moisturization :  3   Overall : 3 [✓ methylparaben]


( ? ) DAISO bb face mask with hyaluronic acid (~ HK$6 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3 [methylparaben]


(JP) SK-II Facial Treatment Mask  (~ HK$88 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5    Overall : 3 [✓ methylparaben] [✓ fluorescent materials]


(FR) LANCÔME blanc expert second skin whitening bio-cellulose mask  (~ HK$108 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3 [✓ methylparaben] [✓ migratable + normal fluorescent materials]


(HK) WATER360 BY WATSONS mieral spring hydrating mask   (~ HK$20 per piece) 

Moisturization :  2   Overall : 3 [✓ methylparaben]


(US) NETROGENA deep hydrating mask    (~ HK$18 per piece) 

Moisturization :  2   Overall : 3 [✓ methylparaben] [✓ ethyl-paraben]


(FR) EAU THERMALE AVENE Hydrating Mask  (~ HK$54 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3 [✓ fluorescent materials]


(KR) Innisfree skin clinic mask – hyaluronic acid ultra thin  (~ HK$18 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 3


(TW) My Scheming Hyaluronan Hydarting Mask  (~ HK$7.5 per piece)

Moisturization :  2   Overall : 2.5 [✓ methylparaben] [✓ MI]


(FR) BESILK moisturising & whitening mineral spring mask  (~ HK$3.1 per piece)

Moisturization :  2.5   Overall : 2.5 [✓ MI]


(TW) TIMELESS TRUTH bio cellulose hydra-soothing moisturising mask (~ HK$15 per piece)

Moisturization :  2   Overall : 2.5 [✓ MI]


(KR) SKINFOOD BEAUTY IN A FOOD MASK – ALOE  (~ HK$15 per piece)

Moisturization :  2   Overall : 2.5


(TW) BEAUTYMATE hydro power collagen mask (~ HK$7 per piece)

Moisturization :  1.5   Overall : 2.5 [methylparaben]


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So...

- Read the ingredient list before you buy!! Nobody wanna have fluorescent face or use leave-on skincare with MIT.


- Being expensive doesnt necessarily equal better performance or contain less concerning ingredients.
  Although sheet masks from SK-II and Lancome are exorbitant (over 10 USD a piece), both contain paraben & fluorescent materials and perform less prominent than other affordable brands (e.g. leaders and mandom barrier repair).

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