The RE:FRESH Revitalizing & Soothing Natural Sheet Mask is one of those aesthetically-pleasing, oh-so-Instagrammable, free-of-everything-scary, full-of-buzzwords, and minimalistic sheet masks that many popular Instagrammers have been getting as PR gifts. I should note that I also received this for free simply for attending a skincare event as a regular beauty enthusiast (I am not an Influencer or a Beauty Blogger).
You can read more about the mask and it’s long list of claims here.
I was very skeptical of this mask for reasons I will get into below. Despite that, I really enjoyed this mask! It had one of the best fits I’ve experienced and it adhered well to my skin. I left it on for about thirty minutes and it felt re:freshing. It comes with 23 mL (0.78 fl oz) of essence, but the mask wasn’t as saturated as it could have been. It was watery, non-sticky, and absorbed quickly. There was enough essence leftover to rub all over my body. Both immediately after I remove the mask and the next morning, I noticed that my skin looked less red and more smooth that normal. The flakey skin on my nose that has been tormenting me for days is finally gone. I enjoyed the mask, but I do not plan on purchasing it because it wasn’t anything special. It’s a nice mask, but it’s not worth $6 USD in my opinion.
There doesn’t seem to be any Google results for reviews of this mask, so I figured I would post mine here to help explorers of the Internet. The above review was taken mainly from my Instagram post. Below, I’m going to rant a bit about green beauty and buzzwords that I hate. Feel free to stick around. If you’re heading out now, I hope that my review of the RE:FRESH mask was helpful!
A few weeks ago, I posted a poll on my Instagram story asking viewers if buzzwords like “chemical-free” and “green” made them more likely to purchase a product. To my surprise, over 40% of people said yes.
I don’t think that products that claim to be natural, green, free of chemicals, ethical, etc. are inherently bad. Those claims are not meaningful to me, but I can understand and respect why they are important to other consumers. You’re allowed to think that holding crystals can cleanse your chakras and I’m allowed to think that’s ridiculous, but if it helps you in some way, I’m genuinely happy for you. I’m all for “wellness” and I do think that alternative medicine can be beneficial as long as it supplements “the real deal” instead of replacing it. However, I’m still going to be snarky on the Internet.
For example, the sheet mask that I reviewed above claims to “have replaced every harmful chemical commonly found it sheet masks with natural alternatives.” Chemical is not a bad word. “Natural alternatives” are still chemicals, and often they can be even more detrimental than any scary sounding word on an ingredient list. If you call cyanide “apple seed extract,” does it suddenly become a beneficial, holistic ingredient? Are parabens and sulfates going to give you cancer? It hasn’t actually been proven. However, they can be problematic in other ways (e.g., environmentally). Do your research. Beauty products can actually be quite dangerous if ingredients aren’t stabilized properly. (*gasp* preservatives actually serve a purpose?)
When it comes to ingredient lists, there are a lot of things to consider. The quality, quantity, configuration, interaction with other ingredients, interaction with other products, mode of application, external factors, individual skin chemistry, etc. all play a huge role in the efficacy of an ingredient. Although I took some biochem and orgo classes in my undergrad what feels like a billion years ago, I really don’t know or remember enough to explain anything further. I feel like a lot of brands oversimplify things and mislead consumers, which is frustrating. Anyway, there’s more to an ingredient than just it’s name. Rubbing raw kale on your face probably isn’t the most effective method of nourishing your skin.
The whole “ethical” things is another post of its own. Is anything you own ethical? No. I think it’s important to do what you can to minimize the harm you cause to the world. That’s something totally different to everyone, and it’s okay that we have different opinions. I find it a little hypocritical when people freak out about animal testing yet consume products that are a result of child labour, but we’re all hypocrites here. You can support your causes and I’ll support mine.
I hate it when companies use these buzzwords to scare consumers into purchasing their products. I hate extreme statements, like fragrance in any product is always bad no matter what. That’s not inherently true. There are so many factors that affect the efficacy and the user experience of a product, and I think it’s important to be informed and critical. Do what works for you and use products that you truly enjoy.
Anyway, that’s just my philosophy at the moment. Let me know what you think, either by comment here or DM on Instagram. I love discussing these topics.