I had a hard time waking up on Saturday morning, so I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to try the Innisfree Mint O2 Pore Mask ($16) I purchased a couple of weeks ago. The Innisfree Mint O2 Pore Mask is an oxygen mask, which is an invigorating type of self-foaming facial face mask that has been popular in Asia for several years. There are many Asian lines that make an oxygen mask, including Cosline, Skin79, Missha, and Holika Holika, to name a few. The success has been so great that even the American based company Bliss Spa Products has they own version now (although the reviews I’ve seen haven’t been very favorable for that one). Ultimately, I decided to try the Innisfree version because it’s affordable, and it’s been highly praised by beauty gurus and Asian beauty magazines for a few years now.
Unfortunately, all the instructions and ingredients are written in Korean. Additionally, Innisfree doesn’t have a US based website, so I’ve had to piece together what I know about this mask from various reviews and blogs. From what I gather, this mask promises to clean pores, dissolve sebum, and tone and brighten your complexion. Aside from mint, which is in the name of the actual product, I couldn’t find any information in English about what this product actually contains. Innisfree products have a generally favorable reputation though, so I took a leap of faith and hoped I wasn’t sensitive to any of the ingredients this O2 mask contained.
To use, I spread it over my cleansed, slightly damp face, trying to make coverage as even as possible and avoiding my eye area. Within seconds, it began to self foam, and after a couple of minutes, the foam was surprisingly thick! Once the foam volume peaks, you want to keep the mask on until all the bubbles have popped.
The thing that surprised me most about this part of the process was how much it tickled. Most of the time, I despise being tickled. I have an involuntary reaction to tickling that causes me to punch the tickler as hard as possible. Tickling sensations seem to cause some part of me to think I’m going to die, so the fists start flying. Once, when I was about 8 years old, I had a friend that thought it would be funny to tickle me even though I had warned her about the involuntary punching, and I accidentally gave her a bloody nose. Her parents wouldn’t let me play with her for two weeks after that, even though I felt terrible about it. When the bubbles from this oxygen mask started tickling me, I was afraid for a moment that I was going to punch myself in the face. Luckily, this tickling never escalated to that level. In fact, it wasn’t even unpleasant! It mostly just felt silly. And fun! And invigorating!
After about 5 minutes the tickling sensation completely stopped, signaling that all the bubbles had popped and the mask was ready to be rinsed off. The mask splashed away easily. Afterward, I was very happy with how bright my face looked! The brightening effect seemed to be temporary, but I’m okay with that. My skin felt really clean, but it wasn’t tight or dry. Most pore treatments tend to mummify my already dry skin, but this one was gently enough that I didn’t have that issue. I found the whole experience very pleasant, and I’m looking forward to using this oxygen mask again.
Where to Buy
Even though it’s not widely available in the US, acquiring Innisfree Mint O2 Pore Mask Pack is fairly easy online. I bought mine from eBay for $10 plus shipping, but listings for it there seem to be few and far between it. Luckily, there is a cute little online shop called Iheartkoreanbeauty.com that sells this mask for $17 plus shipping. Korea Depart also carries this product for about $10, but shipping costs can be hefty, so I would only advise ordering it from there if you want to place a large enough order to make the shipping costs worth it.
Skin & Tonics Rating
Performance: 3/5 – It didn’t work any miracles, but it’s fun, and it did temporarily brighten my face nicely. It also left my skin feeling very clean without drying it out
Quality: 3/5 – I might have given the quality a higher rating if I knew what the ingredients were, but it didn’t irritate my skin and the packaging was nice and sturdy, so that’s something!
Value: 5/5 – Very afforadable at $10-$17. A little goes a long way and I suspect this bottle will last me a while.
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