BY: JACOB MOLNAR AND PATRICK NAGY
“I bought face masks for us, we can try them when we get home,” my friend Abby says.
Instantly my heart started beating a tick faster. I always see these floating around on social media feeds, but doubt struck my mind the instant I heard those words. What even is a facemask? What does it do? What am I getting myself into?
“Don’t worry, it’ll feel good afterwards,” she said.
Cosmetic face masks date all the way back to ancient times, and can even be credited as the first cosmetic product ever created. Beginning in ancient India with the ubtan mask comprised of different herbs, plants, roots and flowers; some households in India even buy ready-to-use masks on the market where you mix the powder with water or milk and apply it to your face. From there, ancient Egyptians used clay masks, Yang Guifei of the Tang Dynasty in ancient China used ground up pearls, jadeite, lotus root and ginger. In ancient Rome, oils, honey, vinegar, basil juice and goose fat. The list goes on and on and on, and is still expanding, even with today’s ever changing beauty game.
Thousands upon thousands of different trends have come and gone, which goes to show how difficult the industry is. However, despite nearly 5,000 years, one thing that has remained constant is the use of face masks to cleanse and moisturize one’s skin.
The packaging for the face mask I’m given is slim, mint green (for the minty fresh theme, of course) and has a sketch of a woman smiling, covering her face with the mask itself. As I rip open the plastic, I find a folded up, wet object; it almost looks like a towelette, except it’s for your face.
On the count of three, we apply them and wait. Right after pressing it to my skin, I feel a weird sensation, an IcyHot-esque tingling feeling on my cheeks, forehead and nose.
A sophomore at Shenendehowa High School, Ally Molnar says, “it feels odd at first, but as time progresses you can really feel it working to make your skin healthier.”
“It should feel weird, but good,” Abby says as she guides me through the experience.
Seconds then minutes go by, my skin becoming more and more acclimated to the thin sheet.
“You can feel it tightening up your skin, in a good way. It’s like a shower on steroids,” says Lilly Fox, a sophomore at Shenendehowa High School.
The masks continue to feel better as we sit and wait, and after time is up, we remove the sheets from our faces and dispose of them.
“I love them. If you find one that’s right for your skin and does what you need, then it makes you feel refreshed. They really work if you use them consistently,” says Lauren Rock, a senior at Shenendehowa High School.
Experiencing it first hand was unlike anything I had ever felt; my face felt fresh, like I had just washed my face but better. I went home that night thinking about how the craze was real. Just by looking at social media, you could tell how much potential the wave had, and people are still continuing to ride it.
There really was a reason to get behind this trend; not only does it feel good, but it yields results. These sheet masks provide therapeutic relief and hydrate the skin, all while calming it down.
Other forms of the mask do the same and more, some even going as far as reducing surface shine and clogged pores. The thought of applying them on a consistent basis was something to be reckoned with, and after being filled with doubt at first, I wasn’t opposed to it one bit.