This Korean Face Mask Made My 70-Year-Old Parents' Skin Look Like Glass
Hanacure's Multi-Action Treatment Mask ($39) is virtually legendary within the beauty, and more specifically, the skincare industry right now. In fact, up until a few weeks ago, the cult-status mask was completely sold out and virtually impossible to get your hands on—it's that coveted. However, thanks to the magical fairies at Violet Grey, I was able to obtain the treatment's signature white box and proceeded try it on not only my own 25-year-old complexion but my parents' 70-year-old complexions as well. And to be completely honest, the results were pretty astounding. (which says a lot coming from three perpetual skincare skeptics).
Beloved by celebrities (both Drew Barrymore and January Jones are known fans), the Hanacure philosophy is inspired by the lotus flower which, according to the brand (and drawn from South Korean culture), freshly blooms each and every morning. The premise for the mask: Your skin will mirror the lotus flower in that it will be "reborn" which each and every use. Enriched with a powerful and patented CO2 OctoLift component, the treatment mask is designed to emulate the high-reaching results of a professional facial and designed to defy the outward signs of aging. Think a laundry list of benefits like contouring, clarifying, detoxifying, brightening, pore-tightening, lifting, firming… Need I go on? Hence, I invited my (actually mature-skinned) parents into the experiential mix.
Of course, I try skincare products boasting the anti-aging peg on a daily basis, but if we're being straightforward, I lack the wrinkles, pigmentation, and years of damage and exposure that truly mature skin inevitably has. So can I authentically speak to these products' efficacy? Perhaps slightly, but not in the truly transparent way we strive to here at Byrdie. Therefore, I looked to my 70-year-old parents (who have said lines, pigmentation, and damage) to serve as my co–guinea pigs for this Hanacure masking experience. Keep scrolling for the process; the before, during, and after photos; and my family's completely honest thoughts about the experience.
To make this experience as official as possible, my parents and I started off with the exact same skin prep. (And as a disclaimer, this was my dad's first foray into any kind of "skin prep," period—my mum and I being the only true skincare enthusiasts of the family.) To stay on a level playing field, and because Hanacure advises you start the experience with a freshly cleansed and then thoroughly dried complexion, all three of us used a hydrating cleanser to ensure squeaky-clean slates. Then, after taking our "before" photos, we began the Hanacure ritual, which starts with a unique mixing experience per the directions, which you're advised to follow to a T. Essentially, you strategically mix the lifting serum with the gelling solution and then shake the combo for about 20 seconds to ensure it forms into a thick, thoroughly mixed gel. Then, it's time to apply.
Normally, one starter kit like mine would probably buy you two applications, so it's worth pointing out that my parents and I wore thinner coats than we normally would have in order to stretch what we had. That being said, post-application, we immediately noticed the mask's trademark tightening and tingling sensation. Although, we all agreed that it was less intense than expected in both appearance and feeling—again, this could have been due to our thin application.
The treatment is supposed to sit on the face for about 30 minutes, so my parents and I sat down to an episode of Queer Eye to make the time (and increased tightening) fly by faster. This was the first time my dad has ever had a mask on his face, and I was surprised by how unphased he was. (He later told me the initial application, which does feel cold and slimy—as masks do—was the most uncomfortable part for him.) My mum was warier of the tightening (see her expression above), but all in all, we agreed it wasn't as bad as we had anticipated due to all of the exaggerated folklore. (Many claim you can't even talk or move your mouth after you've applied the mask, but again, I'd love to give the mask another go with a heartier application.)
My Dad, Steve
As I said, my dad doesn't have a skincare routine, and the only thing he's probably ever applied to his face is soap in the shower (I cringe) and sunscreen (which he hasn't been the best about). That being said, he was pretty astounded by the results he noticed after washing the mask off with warm water. His lines and wrinkles on his forehead and cheeks were significantly smoother, his complexion brighter, and his face "cleaner feeling." In fact, the rest of the night he kept getting up from the couch to look at his reflection in the mirror—adorable. He even asked if I had more so he could keep using it. (Though he would never admit it, he's gown warier of his wrinkles, bags, and pigmentation as he's gotten older, and I know it's a point of insecurity for him.) It was such a cool experience to see a product actually reap results and to notice his obvious uptick in self-confidence.
My Mom, Elise
Next up: my beautiful mum, Elise, who does have a pretty epic skincare routine and the skin of a porcelain doll. However, even though she doesn't have the pigmentation and sun damage that my dad does, she does express worry over sagging, lines/wrinkles, and dullness.
Interestingly, my mum was the most taken aback by the tightening sensation we all experienced while wearing the mask, and at first she said she didn't notice that much of a difference post-wash-off. But I did. Almost immediately, I commented on how much brighter, tighter, and smoother her skin looked in the light (it was about 11:30 p.m. when we performed the experiment, so finding good lighting was a challenge), and it was almost as if a lightbulb went off. Suddenly, my mum couldn't stop inspecting and praising the results. She agreed with me that her skin felt insanely smooth and soft, and her newfound glow was virtually glasslike in appearance. Both of us were obsessed with her results. (I mean, look at that after!)
Last but not least—moi. As I said, I honestly don't have a lot of the "issues" this mask is designed to target, which is why I asked my parents to try the mask to truly get an honest gauge on its efficacy. Interestingly, my skin didn't quite agree with this mask—at least initially. Since my skin type is on the fair and sensitive side, my complexion turned a bright shade of red, which was still noticeable and a bit blotchy the following morning. (The brand does say this can be expected.)
That being said, the texture of my skin did a complete 180. I'm not sure if it's ever felt so smooth and soft, and I also felt like my skin looked more taut and toned—a perk my mum had also mentioned. We agreed we wouldn't say the mask achieved face-lift results but did yield a more "toned" look in general. (A benefit I'm not mad at.) It's been almost 24 hours now, and the redness has completely died down, and my skin hasn't broken out or seemed irritated by the intensity of the formula in any other way. Although my results weren't as drastic as my parents', one day out, I'm definitely a still a fan.
All in all, my parents and I were blown away by the results and agreed that the cult-loved Korean Hanacure mask does, indeed, live up to all the hype.