by Brigid Anderson
The Hanacure mask has become a viral sensation ever since the lovely Drew Barrymore posted a selfie on her Instagram using this bizarre mask. So, why has this mask become so popular? The Hanacure mask is unlike your average mask. It makes you look like you're 80 before it makes you look 10 years younger...allegedly.
I had to find out what this mask was all about and if it lived up to the hype. As a masking fiend, I've tried a lot of odd masks over the years, but I think that this might be the weirdest masking experience I've had to date.
What Is Hanacure?
Hanacure, a cruelty-free brand from Seoul Korea, offers only one product: the All-In-One Facial Mask. At $29 for a single treatment mask and $110 for a set of four, Hanacure claims that their mask “dramatically transforms your complexion” by removing impurities, firming, toning, smoothing and evening your skin tone to create “a visibly younger appearance”. If one mask can deliver on all these promises it's easy to see why everyone wants to get their hands on it.
The “innovative age-defying technology” contains a proprietary blend of lotus leaf extract, oriental raisin tree extract, camellia leaf extract, honeysuckle extract, peony extract, peach leaf extract, sophora root extract, ginkgo biloba extract, caffeine, niacinamide, and a whole lot of peptides including copper tripeptide-1.
The Hanacure mask is a gel mask created by mixing a small ampule of lifting serum with a small container of gelling solution. Mix the two, shake it up, apply, and watch the magic happen over the next 30 minutes.
Opening my Hanacure mask was an experience. The box is beautiful, luxurious, and all the pieces are safely secured within. It certainly looks and feels high-end, and the presentation is on point. The direction pamphlet is clear, concise and contains pretty illustrations to demonstrate the steps.
I love that the kit comes with a brush which can be reused, but I can't help thinking that if you buy this mask often you're going to end up with a lot of brushes. It's not really a bad thing, but I do think the addition of the brush bumps the cost.
I wanted to photograph these steps for you but it was just too difficult to do one-handed. Sorry guys!
Opening the ampule was a little difficult. The initial cap was very stiff and took quite a bit of effort to remove without breaking a nail. I had to loosen it bit by bit until I could get it to pop off. Once you remove the initial cap there is a piece of aluminum surrounding the opening that you peel away to lift off the underlying plug.
I peeled back the corner of the gelling solution to pour in the contents of the ampule. The liquid in the ampule did not pour out and I had to gently tap the ampule to get the liquid into the gelling solution. Once all the liquid was in, I folded the corner back down, held it with my thumb and shook for 20 seconds in every direction. I peeled back the foil top to reveal a peachy clear gel which I immediately thought didn't look like enough for my entire face.
The gel applied easily and smoothly and it isn't very thick. It felt cooling and didn't have a noticeable scent. I applied the gel in a methodical manner, making sure to steer clear of my lips and under eye area. The more I worked the more I realized that there is quite a bit more gel than it initially appeared. Since you can't reuse the remaining product, I found myself layering the gel in areas where I felt I needed some extra lifting. After all, I didn't want any of it to go to waste!
My face Before Hanacure
I do have a hormonal irritation sitch on my chin (you can tell in the photos how red it looks without makeup) and when I first applied the mask to that area it did sting a little. I was concerned about the stinging but it stopped within a few seconds.
Using Hanacure And The Results
Hanacure recommends that you limit all facial movements for the entire 30 minutes to maximize the effects. This is where all the cracking comes in and plays a part in the overall effectiveness of the mask. The less your mask cracks, the better. You can also fan your face to increase the intensity of the tightening effect.
Within 10 minutes I could feel the mask start to pull and tighten, especially around my nose as I breathed. The mask seemed to be air activated. I did fan my face periodically throughout the process and it did maximize the tightening effect...you can even feel the mask tightening if you're walking around. You can feel your skin pulse in time with the tightening of the mask...it's a very bizarre sensation.
Mask starting to tighten.
You can see from my photos the various levels of the tightening process. In the photos, it looks like I'm about to cry but in actuality, I'm really trying not laugh! I didn't succeed and it caused the mask to crack around my mouth. The further into the process, the more your face contorts and pulls and the more ridiculous looking you become.
It's not the most comfortable process, let me tell you. If you are adverse to masks that tighten then this mask may not be for you. There was a point where I didn't think I'd be able to get through the last 10 minutes but I sat down and meditated on it.
When my 30 minutes were up, I began to rinse.
Okay...I don't think I can adequately describe how painful rinsing this mask off was for me. The mask began to crack when hit with the water, and as it did it felt like band-aids being ripped off while being scratched at the same time. I don't think I've ever said “Ow” that many times while removing anything from my face. As my skin was being released from it's gel prison, my skin stung and was bright red. It took a lot of effort to get all the dried gel washed off and I had to use a washcloth which hurt even more. My skin felt like I was washing sun-burnt skin with hot water even though the water was lukewarm. I was freaking out.
After removing the Hanacure mask and applying my Vichy gel moisturizer.
Once the mask had been completely removed, I pat my skin dry and knew I needed to get something on my skin to calm it down STAT! The stinging was still in full force. I grabbed my Vichy Mineral 89 (a gel moisturizer that I will be talking about in another post soon) and it felt like coming up for air as I applied it to my angry skin. I wish I had taken a picture of just how red my skin was before applying the Mineral 89, but I couldn't think clearly. You can still see that my skin is pretty red in the photo, but by this point, it had been about 10 minutes after applying the Mineral 89 and gathering myself. FYI, the redness lasted a good 3 hours.
Is Hanacure Worth The Hype?
We've all heard “it takes pain to be beautiful”. I don't think they're words to live by, but it's realistic to assume that we will undergo some form of unpleasantness in the pursuit of beauty at some point. My experience was definitely an uncomfortable one, but did it deliver on it's promises of a more youthful appearance?
Well, I do notice that my skin feels firmer. Whats more, once my skin chilled out I was able to tell that it does feel and look much smoother. It has now been 24 hours since using the Hanacure mask and I can say without a doubt that it really has made a visible difference in the overall appearance of my skin. I especially notice the effects on my forehead where lines are less visible and skin looks more taught than it did previously.
Hanacure recommends using this mask up to two times weekly until you achieve your desired results (they estimate 4 - 6 weeks), then you lessen the frequency for maintenance. I can't say that at my age I would consider using this mask weekly much less twice per week, but I could see myself using the Hanacure mask once a month given my results.
Here's the thing – I'm 34 years old and I have definitive signs of aging. I have loss of elasticity and fine lines, and though I noticed mostly positive results I wouldn't say they were dramatic with one use.
I am unconvinced that anyone without aging issues would see enough of a benefit to justify the costs of using on a consistent basis. It's an aggressive anti-aging treatment.
If you're under 30 and looking for a product that is going to give your skin a pick me up, there are a ton of gentler options that would provide those results. I feel that because Hanacure has gone viral it comes across as a product for everyone at any age. In my honest opinion I just don't think that's true.
Hanacure states that their mask provides a more “youthful appearance” and is an anti-aging treatment. It does work and I think this mask has the potential to greatly benefit those looking for a safer, more affordable alternative to surgical procedures, especially if used as Hanacure directs.
I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone with extremely sensitive skin or to those with active acne. Most of my results were on the positive side, but I did notice that it caused more irritation in my already irritated areas, namely my chin and a spot on the side of my nose that was on the verge of breaking out.
looks like it Irritated a spot, ouch!
Look you guys, Drew Barrymore is 42 years old. It makes sense that she's using products like this in her routine (though she looks killer at any age). Just because something is popular, doesn't mean that it's right for you. When it comes to skin care, I urge you to research products before jumping on the Instagram bandwagon. When you do happen to notice those deep lines in your forehead and your skin isn't as tight as it once was, definitely give the Hanacure All-In-One Facial a try.
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Brigid Anderson has been a makeup addict for over 15 years and has worked as a freelance makeup artist and stylist for fashion labels and music videos. When she isn't writing about and using beauty products, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their dog Ivan, hoarding vintage clothing and vinyl records, and binge watching 'Game of Thrones'...repeatedly.