Review: Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask

A clarifying peel-off mask that delivers clearer and softer skin by thoroughly removing dead skin cells and impurities.

Sulwhasoo

I was so excited to try this clarifying mask . . . another Sulwhasoo fan favorite that I received as a gift. While the product listed “Alcohol” as its only negative-leaning ingredient in its accompanying product description, I was sad to see so many other irritating/drying elements listed on its website. Perhaps this is an older model, but either way, I don’t see the product moving in a positive direction in its development. The product itself, though expensive ($35-45), contains a hefty amount of liquid, so you’ll definitely be getting a decent deal when its comes to use. The liquid comes out of its tube as a thick, deep brown sticky substance – like a molasses of sort – with a rum like smell. Application is a bit of hassle, for its sticky nature makes it a bit of a trial to spread around, but nothing too dramatic.

The product states that it’s supposed to stay on your face for 20-30 minutes, but after 10 minutes I was ready to call it quits, feeling the mask dry and flake on my face. Perhaps due to the fact that I only put a very thin layer on my face, this was EXTREMELY difficult to peel off completely. First I attempted to peel it all off . . . then I splashed water on my face and attempted again . . . then I used my micellar water and cotton pads to wipe the rest of the mask off . . . then I used my second step cleanser to wipe the rest off . . . then I used a damp face towel. That’s A LOT of rubbing and while I didn’t feel too terrible afterwards, the next day I woke up to a super red face – an irritated flush of red spreading across my cheeks and dissolving into my chin. Was the mask effective in addressing the spots of burgeoning acne I was concerned about? Yes. But my gosh, at what a cost . . .

Ingredient Pros and Cons

Ingredients: WATER / AQUA / EAU, POLYVINYL ALCOHOL, ALCOHOL DENAT., GLYCERIN, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, POLYGONATUM SIBIRICUM ROOT/RHIZOME POWDER, PEG-75, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, PEG-60 HYDROGENATED CASTOR OIL, BENTONITE, XANTHAN GUM, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER, FRAGRANCE / PARFUM, LIMONENE, LONICERA JAPONICA (HONEYSUCKLE) FLOWER EXTRACT, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PORTULACA OLERACEA EXTRACT, PROPANEDIOL, POLYGONATUM ODORATUM RHIZOME POWDER, HONEY / MEL / MIEL, DISODIUM EDTA, LINALOOL, NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT, POLYGONATUM OFFICINALE RHIZOME/ROOT EXTRACT, REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA ROOT EXTRACT, PAEONIA ALBIFLORA ROOT EXTRACT, LILIUM CANDIDUM BULB EXTRACT, PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT, GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL

Significant Pros

  • Glycerin / Butylene Glycol (moisturizing)
  • Polygonatum Sibiricum Root/Rhizome Powder (skin healing, antioxidant)
  • Hydrogenated Castor Oil (moisturizing – often too much for oily skin, but due to other drying ingredients, I’m not too concerned about this)
  • Onicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract (anti-inflammatory)
  • Portulaca Oleracea Extract (brightening, anti-aging)
  • Propanediol (hydrating)

Significant Cons

  • Polyvinyl Alcohol (extremely drying, used to create peel-off masks)
  • Alcohol Denat (drying)
  • Fragrance / Parfum (skin irritant)
  • Limonene (skin irritant)
  • Linalool (skin irritant)

The Takeaway

No. This is not worth the cost or damage to your skin. Especially if you have sensitive or dry skin. I’ll use the rest of the bottle on my legs (and then wash off in the shower as an exfoliator), but I won’t be giving this another go on my face after how its irritated me. Despite whatever good ingredients may be found here, they are so overwhelmed by a terrible applicable and wash off process (as well as other, discouraging ingredients), that I can’t see a convincing reason to purchase this product. Keep looking!

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