Is there any easier, less expensive way to treat yourself to luxury than by enjoying a soothing sheet mask?
If there is, I haven’t found it. In fact, the toughest thing about using them is deciding which ones to buy, since there are so many amazing, creative and adorable options out there at any given moment.
My latest sheet mask obsession? Soo’AE. This New York-based K-beauty brand is all about clean beauty products that help their users practice self-care, and from the moment I laid my eyes on their products, I knew I’d love them. The folks behind Soo’AE were kind enough to send me a bottle of serum and all of the sheet masks from their Food Story and Tea Story lines, and I’ve found my new go-to mask.
Soo‘AE is a vegan K-beauty brand that wants to be part of your beauty ritual. “Soo“ means balance, and “AE“ means care, and together, they mean that every item in their line is crafted with the greatest love.
They aim to make clean and green products that are good for both the user and the environment while bringing the latest in K-beauty to American consumers. They do so by using only the best ingredients, making luxury products at totally affordable prices.
Their Food Story collection includes six different sheet masks, all infused with the essence of different fruits to impart their unique healing properties on the skin. They also have Tea Story masks in Black Tea and White Tea. With their 95% natural formulation, they include great ingredients that enhance any skin type and promote healthy glowing skin. They‘re also totally biodegradable, which is great news for the environment—and at just $3 a pop, you can indulge your skin without breaking the bank.
Phyto Collagen Serum: $18
Before I get into the masks themselves, I want to talk about the Phyto Collagen Serum that was also sent along with my masks. The brand recommends washing your face and applying a serum before using their masks, and it turns out that this serum is the perfect complement.
First off, it‘s unlike any other serum I‘ve ever used in two ways. I‘m used to serums coming in tiny 1 oz. bottles and retailing for $50 or more. Soo‘AE‘s Phyto Collagen Serum comes in a great big 1.69 fl oz. bottle, complete with a long dropper, and sells for just $18 while delivering everything I expect from a high-quality serum.
Not only do I love the slick but not too oily texture, but it‘s also positively packed with nutrients, including vitamin C and other ingredients that are great for skin, including vegan collagen, which improves skin texture and firmness while reducing signs of aging. It also includes adenosine and niacinamide for smoothing and firming, plus fermented pumpkin and ginseng extracts to both soften skin and hydrate while lessening wrinkles. Salvia hispanica seed extract nourishes and revitalizes, while opuntia ficus fruit extract helps with elasticity and ascorbic acid tones and invigorates the skin. While using this extract, my skin has felt supple and vibrant—and it only gets better with the masks.
I started my Food Story journey with the pineapple mask. I began with a cleanse and the serum before unfolding the nutrient-soaked mask (which also comes in a paper wrapper) and placing it over my face, making sure the holes were properly aligned to my eyes, nose and lips before smoothing and allowing it to rest for 20 minutes.
During that time, I loved the tropical scent of the mask, as well as how well the mask just worked. It was lightweight but not too delicate, and it felt great and stuck well to my face, fitting quite nicely as I took some time to soak in the bathtub.
The mask‘s star ingredient was, of course, pineapple, which works as a gentle exfoliant. Paired with vitamin C for relieving redness and swelling and vitamin E for moisturized, plump skin, my face looked great when I took off the mask and rubbed in the rest of the leftover ingredients into my skin. I felt amazing and couldn‘t wait for the next mask.
I‘ve long heard about the skin benefits inherent in avocado and have even seen people make skincare masks out of the fruit, so I was very curious to see what this sheet mask was all about. I took all of the same steps when applying this mask, and read up on it while it worked its magic.
Avocado oil is full of all kinds of vitamins as well as protein to provide nourishment to the skin. This mask also includes anti-aging adenosine, as well as pistachio with soothing and moisture-retaining properties. Again, once I‘d absorbed the last of the healing ingredients into my skin, it looked extra healthy and vibrant.
After the first two masks, I had high hopes for the third, and the Kiwi Food Story Mask did not disappoint. I loved its soft fruity scent, and the mask itself contained kiwi (of course) which balances the pH of the skin, plus redness-reducing vitamin C and soothing witch hazel. By the third night in a row of using skin masks, it was getting tougher to see the differences, but my skin did seem to have a certain glow about it.
Pomegranate is another antioxidant-rich fruit I‘ve hard all about covering skincare, so I very much looked forward to trying this mask as well. It had a lovely fragrance, but even better, it came with all of the balancing power of pomegranate, plus natto gum to balance the level of oil and water on the skin and amino acid-packed ferment extract for hydration. By this day, my skin was looking hydrated and flawless even in the mornings when I woke up, and this luxurious mask only added to its softness.
By the time I got to the Blueberry mask, I was well versed in all things Food Story, but loved that each and every time, I was still nourishing my skin with something new. Blueberry itself is an ingredient that helps maintain youthful-looking skin, and paired with deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid and anti-wrinkling adenosine, this mask is like the Fountain of Youth in biodegradable form. I wasn‘t sure if it was just me, but my skin looked extra supple after trying this one—and then I only had one Food Story mask left.
I‘m not sure why, but of all of the masks, I was the most excited to try Banana—which makes sense why I saved it for last. It didn‘t exactly smell like banana, but it did pack all of the nourishing and anti-aging properties of the fruit, plus more hyaluronic acid, as well as aloe for soothing and relieving dry skin. If I had any dry skin at all before applying the mask, it was certainly gone by the time I peeled it off and rubbed the last of the infusion into my skin.
Now, on to the Tea Story Masks. These masks are slightly different because they‘re infused with the properties of teas instead of fruits, but the application was much the same. However, I did find that this White Tea mask also left an interesting cooling sensation on my face, which made it the perfect complement to a hot bath.
In addition to smelling like heavenly grassy citrus, white tea contains natural polyphenols as well as tannins, acting as antioxidants, as well as anti-aging plus pore-tightening. This mask also contained hyaluronic acid for hydration, plus coconut for smoothing and extra moisture. It left my skin feeling much as the Food Story Masks had—rich, firm and radiant.
And last, but definitely not least, was the Black Tea Mask. In addition to containing the tannins and polyphenol of the White Tea Mask, black tea also has catechin (yet another powerful antioxidant for anti-aging). This mask was also full of panthenol for restoring dull skin to its former glory and bifida ferment lysate for toning healthy skin. It‘s another mask that I would absolutely buy and use again.
I love everything from Soo‘AE that I‘ve tried so far—especially because of the way they leave my skin looking and feeling. Using them makes my skin feel healthy and moisturized, and that really shows when I take a look in the mirror. Their serum is amazing, especially for the price, and each and every one of their masks has awesome benefits that come from real ingredients. I love that you can pick and choose depending on what you‘re looking for—or just splurge and buy them all, because at $3 each, they‘re that affordable.