We’d wager that whether you’re fussy about your skincare and makeup, or are someone happy to make do with the bare minimum, the appeal of a good peel-off product is fairly universal. You don’t even have to be the one doing the actual peeling to get a kick out of it, if YouTube views on peeling videos are any indication. From pore strips and face masks to even peeling gels, these instant fixes make for a super satisfying experience.
Some of you may wonder if peel-off products do something extra special, or if they’re just for fun and a tad gimmicky. Naturally, the results will depend on the ingredients in the mask or the purported aim of it, but for the most part, the physical act of peeling a layer off your face probably makes you feel like you’re removing an older layer of skin to make way for something younger, cleaner and brighter. And we all know that getting it off in one whole piece is a massive bonus.
When it comes to peeling gels, there’s the “shiok” factor that comes from rubbing the gel into your skin, only to see dark little flakes of “dirt” lift off and clump together. While psychologically it leaves you feeling like it’s a more effective way to exfoliate your skin, some products may be gimmicky, especially if it does the same thing when used on freshly cleansed skin. But hey, it’s still satisfying seeing all those clumps get washed down the sink!
So if you’ve been meaning to get yourself a mask to enjoy from time to time, here are a few you can check out for yourself:
#1 Skin Inc Pure Revival Peel, $76 for 60ml
Now this one is quite popular and effective, which might explain the price. You apply it with dry hands on clean dry skin, let it sit for a few seconds, and once the fluid turns milky you massage it into your skin. The little clumps that form are meant to be the dead keratin from your skin that accumulates in little particles. Once you’ve rinsed it all off, you’re good to go! We highly recommend using a nourishing face mask after this peel gel, as your skin is going to be better equipped to absorb all the nutrients.
#2 The Body Shop Drops of Youth Liquid Peel, $34.90 for 145ml
This recent addition to The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth line is actually a peeling gel. As with most products of this type, you massage it onto dry cleansed skin for a couple of minutes until the little clumps form, and then peel it off. While I didn’t notice much coming off my skin when I tried it out, it was probably because I’m pretty diligent about exfoliating on a regular basis.
#3 Glamglow Gravitymud Firming Treatment, $105 for 40g
Now this one is actually incredibly popular and supposedly effective at firming your face. It also looks really cool on (which means mask selfies are inevitable), because the mask is actually silver and makes you look a little like a cyborg. If firmer skin is something you’re after, you might want to splurge on this treasure, though it seems to be perpetually out of stock almost everywhere.
#4 Belif First Aid Transforming Peel Off Mask, $36
This mask is meant for dull or congested skin. It’s both an exfoliating and hydrating treatment that’s going to unclog your pores and moisturise the skin. After 15 minutes comes a pretty cool removal process: The mask is supposed to transform upon contact with water into a peel-off consistency so you get to enjoy the removal process, too.
#5 Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask EX, $60 for 150 ml
While its name doesn’t suggest any indication of being a peel-off mask, the Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask EX spreads like honey and dries in about 30 minutes, only ideal if you can spare yourself enough me time. A blend of traditional oriental herbs hydrate and brighten skin, while peeling action gently exfoliates and clears pores. Plus points for being able to marvel at all the gunk that gets pulled out.
Text: Alyssa Dhaliwal, Her World Plus / Additional Reporting: Arissa Ha