I’m jumping back into this blog with an interesting review. (By the way, I just posted a quick lil video about my absence on my channel, so check it out if you haven’t seen it already.)
If you haven’t heard of the Hanacure All-in-One Facial, it’s a face mask that’s often dubbed the “zombie mask,” because it pulls on your face until you basically look dead. The before and after photos are a good time, if you’re interested.
This mask is marketed as an anti-aging multitasking product. It’s meant to lift, tighten, brighten, and diminish wrinkles and pores. I took a look at the ingredients and saw that there are a lot of extracts and a handful of other ingredients like caffeine and niacinamide. (Side note: be careful using this mask with other skincare actives like chemical exfoliation and vitamin C, as they can’t be directly layered with niacinamide.)
None of the ingredients struck me as being incredibly irritating. What isn’t gentle is how the mask dries—it gets its zombie quality by transforming from a gel to a hard, crackly mask. It tightens and pulls on your skin to do that, so keep that in mind if your skin is sensitive to being tugged on.
And good news: although this is a Korean product (which typically means it’s sold in China and therefore goes though mandatory animal testing), it is both vegan and cruelty-free.
So, the backstory. Around mid-May, my mom and I were visiting my sister and we had a pack of these masks to try out together. I had many thoughts and feelings and sensations during this experience, so it felt like the best review of this face mask would be to basically retell my journey as I felt it. Get ready for a wild ride.
Phase 1: the fun tingles
It’s about 9:10pm. My mom, sister, and I giddily read the instructions and mix up the gel. Each application comes in a tiny jar and a packet, which you mix together to form the gel. When it’s my turn I mix it up as instructed: I opened the little jar of liquid, peeled up a corner of the gel packet, poured in the liquid, and shook it for 20 seconds. It forms a thick gel, like a very thick serum. Then, I applied it in a thick, gooey layer using the provided brush. It feels thick and sticky like any serum.
We’re still excited. I take a “before” selfie. You can see my naive optimism.
It’s 9:15 when we all finished applying the mask. We decided to sit downstairs in front of the fan to wait out the 30 minutes. The instructions actually recommended sitting near a fan to “intensify” the effect, which sounded fun at the time. The mask felt very cold, but so far so good.
A few minutes later, my mom started to feel tightening, and then I did, and then my sister. We giggled because it was fun to feel it working and to know that we would soon look like zombies. I took another selfie, because I thought I was about halfway.
It had only been eleven minutes.
The apprehension in my eyes is real. The general droopiness is from the mask.
Phase 2: i think i might want to die now
The intense part started up. There was more tightening. And more tightening.
I noticed it tighten around my mouth first, to the point where I couldn’t fully close or open my mouth. It just sort of drooped. My mom looked like she’d had a stroke. My sister’s mask was starting to wrinkle a bit.
I checked my face in my phone camera and it definitely looked like the mask was starting to dry. I figured we had about 5-10 minutes left. I took another victory selfie.
It had only been five minutes since my last selfie. So, we were about halfway.
My entire face kept tightening. It felt like my skin was being tugged up from my chin and down from my forehead. It started pulling my bottom eyelids open. My whole face drooped and tightened into itself in a tortured, metaphorical-but-felt-literal spiral.
There were so many sensations going on that I wanted to fall face first into the couch and fall asleep. My face was dead, like it was made entirely of Botox. The mask had definitely cracked a bit from talking and laughing. I checked the clock and realize I’d made it almost ten minutes since my last selfie, so I took a few more.
As you can probably see, no matter what angle I used, my eyes looked sad, even when I tried to smile or just look alive for the sake of those selfies. And my overall expression screamed “miserable,” even though I wasn’t. But alas, my face was no longer my face.
I couldn’t even angle my forehead towards the fan to make sure the mask was drying evenly—I had to move my whole upper body. I loved and hated how the mask kept tightening my face into itself. I loved it because it felt like the mask was working, and it was an interesting sensation. I hated it because it wasn’t necessarily comfortable, and I couldn’t move anything. I realized my eyes were being pulled open, and that my nose might start running from the fan gushing air into my unprotected eyeballs.
Six more minutes to go…
Phase 3: freedom
At 9:43, we decided to head upstairs and unchain our skin from this torture. Unfortunately, someone (not naming names!) made me laugh just as I was about to remove the mask. I don’t think I’ve regretted anything more in my entire life. I felt the entire thing crack through my face and directly into my soul. In an alternate universe, I crumbled into dust and was blown into the afterlife. I took my after photo and couldn’t wait for my eyes to convey any emotion other than sadness I didn’t actually feel.
As soon as water touched the dry, cracked mask, it turned back into a serum-like texture and rinsed away. This was incredibly refreshing, not just for the instant relief of the tightening sensation, but because face masks that dry this hard are usually impossible to get off.
However, this mask did start to come off in chunks instead of a uniform serum. I took a very blurry photo mid-rinse to show you.
I wondered if the chunks were pieces of my actual skin that had given up and left me to start a new life in the sewer. But it was the mask. It took some work to get it all off, and I used a wash cloth to help the process along a bit.
And then, I was finally free. I could raise my eyebrows and smile and close my mouth like a regular person.
Phase 4: So… I kinda liked it
As soon as my skin was dry, I realized it felt DRY. The directions say to use a moisturizer “as needed,” and let me tell you it was severely needed. I globbed on some of my First Aid Beauty hydrating serum, which my skin drank up in about two seconds, then I doused myself in my moisturizer. Less than five minutes later, my skin felt like it does when I’ve just washed my face. So, not hydrated! I brought another serum and my moisturizer to bed in case I awoke during the night with thirsty skin (and yes, I caved around 11:30 and put more on).
I took a couple selfies about an hour after I rinsed the mask off to see how my skin was doing. It looked a little red and irritated, which is apparently normal, but luminous.
The next day, my skin was looking good. When I thought back to the tightening sensation on my face, I was almost nostalgic? Like it was a so-good-it-hurts kind of feeling??
My mom gifted me the last mask in the set so I could do it again and take a time lapse for this review. A couple weeks later, I used it and filmed myself. Apologies for the low quality here—my phone was easier to set up than my camera.
The experience was similar the second time around but it mostly felt good. I think I had a better idea of what to expect, which prepared me for the many sensations this mask brings. Also, I didn’t laugh and crack my face into another dimension, which I have to say is my number one tip for using this mask.
Have you tried this zombie mask? What do you think?
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