Alginate peel-off masks - Do they really work? In what level?

LabLab Member
edited May 17 in Skin
I may be wrong in my judgment about this, but at least to me this kind of mask seems... a little superficial, I think?
Many people have said that it can increase the effectiveness of serums and other cosmetics (when applied first) and honestly I tend to believe more when things are presented this way, but the matter is more about the mask itself than other formulations.
Is there something specific I'm missing in this? I know moisture has so many different aspects and meanings and measurements, but what besides hydration and actives (which I'm ignoring) am I missing here?
Can anyone point me how these masks really work on the skin?
Thank you all (:


  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    You'll need to be a bit more specific than that.  What would demonstrate to you that they "work"?  That is, what would be different about the skin if after using one of these they "work"?

    "increase the effectiveness of serums" - This would be difficult to prove mostly because it's difficult to prove that serums are effective at all. 

    We measure moisturization through a few methods include TEWL meter (transepidermal water loss), corneometer or other similar device. But the truth is the data you can collect in studies of this nature is not really that good in my opinion.  It's incredibly difficult to get reproducible results and even more difficult to show differences between different moisturizer formulas.

    Serums (if they work) would take weeks of use and the changes would be subtle. Unless there was a substantial "boost" in performance after using a facial mask, you likely wouldn't see any difference.

    The way masks work is this. You put it on your face. You leave it on for a certain amount of time, and you remove it. Maybe it provides some moisturization or it exfoliates a bit but the reality is, it is simply an experience. It will have little lasting impact on your skin.
  • LabLab Member
    That was more or less my line of reasoning. I've always wondered how it would work with such a short application time and such "simple" ingredients (which we often know don't do much). It's exactly this lack of change that intrigues me, I thought I was missing something important (apart from people's ability to believe something is working when it isn't necessarily).

    Thank you, Perry! As you said, experience is what ends up being bought in the end - and that's okay with that.  :D
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