Available in over 25 varieties, TONYMOLY I’m Real Sheet Masks are single-use face masks designed to moisturize and nourish the skin. Each mask is packaged individually and “the 3-layer pulp sheet is filled with natural ingredients and soaked in different types of enriched essence (Water-type, Micro-Emulsion Type, Milky Lotion Type) to yield maximum hydration for your skin.” TONYMOLY calls this collection of sheet masks “fun and functional,” and each one has a skincare buzzword like Radiance, Brightening or Elasticity printed on the front. So, what’s it like to use one?
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Tested June 2020
I first picked up the TONYMOLY I’m Real Sheet Masks because I’m a sucker for cute packaging. These sheet mask packets are so vibrant and appealing. They come in lots of colors, and each mask has a graphic of a different ingredient on the front. There are lemons and jugs of olive oil, sliced open pomegranates and avocados, just to name a few. So yes, the masks from this K-Beauty brand, founded in Seoul in 2006, win all the points for being fun.
But are the masks functional too? A resounding yes from me. There are a ton of different versions of this mask, and some of my favorites are I’m Avocado, I’m Rose, I’m Lavender and I’m Pearl. The honest truth, however, is that it doesn’t really matter which one you use, you’ll get similar results from any of them. Yes, the masks smell a little different from one to the next, and the descriptions claim to do different things, but I’ve used a lot of them and, in my opinion, it’s all variations of the same theme (brightening, revitalization and hydration come up a lot). Even so, I always have a stash of these masks on hand, and I like flipping through them and deciding, “Do I want the clear skin rice mask or the brightening lemon mask?” I know I’ll reach my skincare goal (hint, it’s extra hydration) no matter which I choose.
I try to use some kind of mask once a week, usually in the evening as a way to wind down after a long day, or the night before an event where I could use a skincare boost. The TONYMOLY sheet masks are in frequent rotation at my house. I always start with a clean, freshly washed face and apply the mask to product-free skin. After tearing open the package, I pull out the white paper sheet soaked in essence and serum. Unfolding the mask can be tricky; be careful not to pull any section too hard or it may rip.
Once it’s unfolded, it doesn’t matter which side is applied to the face. I start by applying the sheet onto the forehead, then over the temples, under the eye and onto the cheeks and chin, smoothing the sheet from the center of my face out toward the sides. I like to take the extra serum from inside the package and apply it to my neck, arms and the tops of my hands. Then I try not to interact with anyone else for 20 minutes because I look totally crazy with one of these on.
No matter what sheet mask I try, they never fit my face perfectly (which is probably true for almost everyone). This mask has little slits on the sides designed to give it some flexibility, but I always have creases and folds in mine, especially on the chin.
Unfortunately, this does lead to the one thing I dislike about the I’m Real masks. After I remove the mask, I sometimes have crease marks left on my face. You know when you wake up in the morning after sleeping on a cotton pillowcase and have pillow marks on your cheeks? It’s like that, but the mask marks (thankfully) subside faster than a gnarly pillow mark. I absolutely don’t want these creases in the eye area, however, so I always make sure that is totally smoothed out. Creases on the chin? I wish it didn’t happen at all, but it’s not the end of the world.
Once the mask is removed, my face feels plump, moist and really hydrated. I use my fingers to press in any remaining product, apply my usual moisturizer and leave it at that for glowing, healthy looking skin. Extra hydration is what I seek from a sheet mask and these definitely deliver.
I love to use these sheet masks in the spring and summer because they are instantly cooling on the face. TONYMOLY even suggests putting them in the fridge for an extra cooling effect. After a long, hot day these sheet masks are a perfect calming remedy. In fact, the 20 minutes of relaxation I get when I do one of these masks is part of their appeal. You can definitely do things (i.e. watch TV, wash a few dishes, catch up on emails) while the mask is on, but I recommend practicing the art of doing nothing instead. Sometimes I lay on the couch and listen to a podcast, some quiet music, or a guided meditation. Ok, sometimes, I flip through my phone the whole time too, but the point is, using these sheet masks is a real opportunity for a few minutes of me-time. That alone is worth $3 a mask, and getting healthy-looking, moisturized skin as a result is icing on the cake.