To peel or not to peel, that is the question.
If you’re a skin care junkie, you’re probably no stranger to peeling masks—the kind that you apply all over your face, leave on to dry, and then peel off with a flourish. And we bet you’ll agree: There’s something so incredibly satisfying about peeling the hardened mask off, like you’re physically removing a layer of dead skin cells, dirt, and oil to reveal fresher, newer skin.
But as with all “trendy” beauty products, there’s also the question of whether these “It” buys are the real deal or just another marketing ploy. And after much research, here’s what we’ve found out:
Peel-off masks are generally beneficial for your skin as they work as a physical exfoliant, sloughing away the buildup—of oil and other debris—from the top layer of skin, and instantly, too. Since they help unclog pores, they also do wonders in boosting skin’s hydration by allowing your products to get absorbed better. Even better: They offer a relaxing ritual!
But here’s the thing: Not all peeling masks are created equal, and some harsher formulas may cause irritation to skin especially if they’re painful to peel off, or if you have sensitive or problematic skin. Most dermas also warn against too much pulling and tugging on skin while you remove the mask, as this can lead to the loss of elasticity and eventually, sagging. Here’s a tip: Gently press on skin to hold it taut with one hand while the other hand slowly peels off the mask. Moreover, a once-a-week masking session ought to do the trick!
Here, we’ve rounded up some of our fave peeling masks—with different benefits, to boot—from K-beauty brand Soo’Ae:
Soo’Ae Diamond Glow Peel Off Mask-Tube, P699
Get your glow on with this mask that’s infused with diamond powder and a unique blend of botanical oils nourish and detoxify skin in a jiffy. It also has nourishing ingredients such as niacinamide and fruit extracts to help address hyperpigmentation and minimize dark spots.
Perfect for oily and acne-prone skin, this convenient peel-off mask uses the power of black charcoal extract to draw out impurities, unclog pores, and control sebum production especially on the T-zone. The gel-liquid formula makes it easy to apply, too!
Soo’Ae Revive Gold Peel Off Mask-Tube, P699
This IG-worthy gold mask is not just for show; it has the restorative benefits of gold infused with mandarin essential oils to exfoliate skin and improve radiance. It also has brightening ingredients such as niacinamide and fruit extracts.
This two-step mask features plant cellulose gommage cream that helps in removing dead skin cells without skin irritation. After using the peel, apply the soothing mask, which has Centella Asiatica extract, aloe, and chamomile, to calm and moisturize skin.
Shop more skin care products from Soo’Ae here.