Friday, June 8, 2018

Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask: Review

Disclaimer: The product featured was provided for review.
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask: Review and Swatches
Kiehl's makes great face masks so when I heard that the brand is adding a new member to the family called the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask ($29 CAD for 28ml or $69 CAD for 100ml), I was beyond excited! However, upon further investigation, I found out that this is an overnight mask (also known as a sleeping mask) and because I've not had any luck with sleeping masks in the past, my excitement quickly turned into apprehension. Made with hibiscus and ginger leaf extract, the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask promises to instantly firm, hydrate, and reduce the appearance of lines. So does this mask give me a new hope for overnight masks or will I be tossing it in my declutter bin? Read my review to find out......
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask: Review and Swatches
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask
Now before I delve into this review, I want to give a little background on why I'm not a fan of sleeping masks. As you've probably learned from my previous skincare reviews, products formulated with silicones is the bane of my existence. Because I have oily skin and have the tendency to touch and pick at my face, silicone-based products feel particularly icky and heavy after a few hours of wear. I literally feel sebum collecting underneath and exuding from the silicone layer, bunching and pilling off of my face from just the slightest touch of my fingers. Most sleeping masks are formulated with silicones and therefore, sleeping with a layer of silicone on my face is a big no-no. It's tolerable as I'm not rubbing my face during my sleep (at least I hope I'm not) but it's less than ideal.
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask: Review and Swatches
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask | Ingredients
So naturally, when I received the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask, I peeled the bottom label to scour the ingredients for silicones. The list is pretty long and I honestly didn't read through all of it carefully but no silicones can be found in the first ten ingredients, which is good enough in my book. However, the mask's second ingredient is PVP (polyvinylpyrrolidone), a texture-enhancing polymer that forms a hydrating film on the skin. The idea of a polymer film around my skin doesn't sound very appealing either but I went into the experience with an open mind.
With a light floral fragrance and a thick, almost-putty like consistency (not too different from that of a whipped, silicone primer), the Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask is a bit hard to spread on the face. However, I find that by spreading and warming up the product between the palm of the hands, the mask blends much more easily. After application, the mask feels instantly hydrating and cooling. This made me suspect that there's a considerable amount of drying alcohol in the ingredients, which is typically what gives skincare products (toners, in particular) that cooling, quick-dry sensation. However, no drying alcohols can be found in the first dozen of ingredients although the mask does contain hydrating, fatty alcohols (ex. benhenyl alcohol, arachidyl alcohol).
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask: Review and Swatches
Kiehl's | Ginger Leaf & Hibiscus Firming Mask
The cooling and calming sensation dissipates after 15 or so minutes, but a firming effect takes its place. Thankfully, the mask didn't pill or bunch like silicone-based sleeping masks but it stills leaves a discernable film on the face. Despite being formulated with mango butter, shea butter, and shea oil, the mask doesn't feel very hydrating. Unlike rich night creams that provide a deeply nourishing sensation, the mask feels a little dry. Interestingly, though, after washing my face in the morning, my skin feels nice and hydrated with a subtle tightened effect. So the mask certainly stands up to its claims. In attempt to obtain some extra nourishment, I tried mixing the mask with a few drops of Drunk Elephant's Marula Oil and the result was absolutely disastrous. Somehow, the oil completely broke down the mask so after application, the mixture bunched and pilled like no tomorrow. I guess a better solution would be to use a hydrating serum before application but I've not tried that yet.
Overall this is a good product. The chunky, whipped texture is unique and the scent is subtle and pleasant. It didn't feel heavy like silicone-based sleeping masks and it is indeed very firming. With that said, I feel like the formulation isn't hydrating enough and because hydration is my main skin concern at this age, it will not be my go-to night treatment. For those with more mature skin who are really looking for a short-term firming effect, this is definitely worth checking out!

Kiehl's is available in stores and online at Kiehl's and The Bay.
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