Yesterday while in Chinatown, NY waiting for Amy and Evelyn to arrive for dinner at the local authentic Chinese cuisine eating hole, I *accidentally* wandered into oo35mm and The Yeon and came out with this Tony Moly mask made of kelp. Yeah, as in, the mask sheet itself is MADE of seaweed. I was so intrigued. Is it deep sea kelp that mermaids make their skirt out of? Is it that annoying green plastic sheet stuff that tangle up on your legs after a storm in Miami Beach? Look at that delicious slick bouncy seaweed in that bowl on the package!
Duuuuuude…..it’s the nastay stuff. If there was ever, ever, a way to spin the marketing on garbage that washes ashore, this is IT. While sounding awesome in theory, the sea kelp mask made of…sea kelp…is just seaweed that washed up ashore being slapped on your face. Next time you’re at the beach, you can try it for free without blowing $6.50.The ingredient list was pretty nice. Lots of fermented stuff, lots of extracts, lots of seaweed (laminaria japonica.) However, I looked up medical uses for this laminaria japonica and….um….you can do it yourself but it has to do with cervical dilation. WTF man, where’s the medical excerpt about it being fountain of youth?!
Upon opening the package, you’ll see two pieces of seaweed cut like those hydrogel sheet masks, with a section for the top of your face and a section for the bottom of your face. You’ll also note the greenish yellowish “sea kelp” serum….which is basically sea weed sweating in its own marinade. And OH MY GOD it smells like Chinatown after the rain. With an extra dose of fish.
For the sheet being entirely cut out of seaweed, it fit pretty well. The texture of the sheet was interesting; almost like a thick fabric, not super bouncy and as slick as you’d expect kelp to feel. It was pretty fishy so I put my Daiso silicone mask protector on top. One, it helped with absorption because I thought the kelp mask didn’t necessarily adhere to naked skin. Second, did I mention the smell?
Afterwards I didn’t feel anything special, but I was relieved that I didn’t have to breathe Chinatown in any more. And the smell didn’t go away. I had to wash my face twice. Who the hell can do their sleep after using this?! Not to mention I’m sure that greenish yellowish liquid would stain your pillow case more than your tears of loneliness ever did.
Pros: fun (sort of) to use, concept is interesting, sea kelp is supposed to be good for you (IF you ingest it, probably)
Cons: smelly, expensive at $6.50 a mask, doesn’t do anything…and even if it did, would you really leave that smell on yer face?