Masks, Masks, Masks

A spotlight on my favorite go to line - Tony Moly

The Tony Moly mask color spectrum.  Photo by Grace Corton.

The Tony Moly mask color spectrum. Photo by Grace Corton.

I was lucky to get into the Korean skin care craze early. I was 16, living in Japan, and I couldn't avoid the lure of colorfully packaged face masks for under a dollar on every convenience store shelf. After my first purchase, I was hooked. My normally dry skin immediately felt soft, hydrated and refreshed. I fell so in love with the masks that when it came time to return home, I stocked up and researched where I could purchase Korean skin care products in America. Unfortunately, the concept had not yet caught on stateside. 

Flash forward to 2016 and face mask sheets are all the rage. Korean company Tony Moly, despite only being founded 10 years ago, permeated the Western market. Now, large scale retailers such as Sephora, Ulta and Urban Outfitters keep a steady stock of their products and Americans are going crazy for them. And they really do work! I can't tell you how many times I've been on set and the makeup artist has used a Korean sheet mask to brighten my skin. 

The instructions as per the back of one of my packs.  Photo by Grace Corton.

The instructions as per the back of one of my packs. Photo by Grace Corton.

For anyone who has yet to try the phenomenon, Korean face masks entail rinsing your face and applying the paper like mask for approximately 30 minutes. It's that simple! As an extra tip, try placing the mask in your refrigerator before using it to make it extra cool and relaxing.

My personal favorite is the Rice Mask Sheet for Clear Skin, pictured below. Like all Tony Moly masks, it is formulated without Parabens, artificial colors, and all those big-word chemicals. Instead, it has ingredients like Mineral Oil, Rice Extract and Anise Extract. The three strong cotton layers keep it from falling apart or drying out during the treatment. The mask effectively clears up any problem areas(we all have breakouts!) and hydrates my skin to prevent further breakouts. If you have oily skin and are worried that using a hydrating Korean mask might compound the problem, adding moisture actually helps to calm down excess oil production. And, if you have sensitive skin or allergies like I do, these masks don't contain any harsh products, so you should be fine to give them a go! 

The key to having good skin is understanding that you are unique in your needs. The Rice Mask might be my favorite, but you have to pick what works for you! Here is a list of the full range:

  1. Broccoli-Vitality
  2. Avocado-Nutrition
  3. Lemon-Brightening
  4. Tomato-Radiance
  5. Pomegranate-Elasticity
  6. Red Wine-Pore Care(smells so good!)
  7. Rice-Clear Skin(all around favorite)
  8. Makgeolli-Skin Purifying(makes my skin so soft)
  9. Seaweed-Skin Purifying
  10. Aloe-Moisturizing
  11. Tee Tree-Skin Soothing(gets rid of any redness or irritation)

*favorites in bold

There's an obvious allure to a hassle free "facial" at home, but how do you know that you are getting your bang for your buck? I recommend going to Amazon where you can find a variety pack of 11 Tony Moly masks for $10. It's a nice trial so you can determine what works best. If, after this, you have one absolute favorite, you can purchase 2 packs on Sephora for $7.50.


Best wishes xx