Home Cosmetic Science Talk Formulating Skin Alginate peel-off masks - Do they really work? In what level?

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

    Posted by Lab on May 17, 2022 at 6:20 pm
    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 (:
    fareloz replied 10 months, 1 week ago 4 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • OldPerry

    May 17, 2022 at 7:27 pm

    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.

  • Lab

    May 17, 2022 at 7:47 pm
    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
  • Martha

    July 18, 2023 at 1:55 am

    I have no idea about Alginate peel-off masks but i have recently done my hydrating facial and its help me a lot. Now my skin appears brighter and smooth.

    • This reply was modified 10 months, 1 week ago by  Martha.
  • fareloz

    July 18, 2023 at 9:49 am

    How I imagine this works:

    Alginate mask is very thick rubish-like (when hardens) coverage. It basically creates a compress which prevents water to evaporate. So if you apply some watery products underneath, the mask will create heavy occlusion and potentially allow the serum to go deeper (because water stays in and the skin kinda swells with the product).

    Also, it is somewhat heavy, so it’s weight kinda pulls and stretches the skin down and makes it more smooth temporary.

    This is not basked with any science, just my perception of it. And of course no actives from the mask itself goes into the skin, they are locked inside the mask itself, right? So it’s pure marketing.

    I guess the same effect can be achieved if put some hydro-gel mask and cover it with plastic wrapper (occlusion part) and some heavy towel or cloth on top (stretching part)

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