Sh*t I Actually Use is where Beauty Editor Nikki Brown and other members of the StyleCaster team wax poetic about the products that make it past their desks and into their beauty routines.
It takes time to create your own unique combination of skin care products, but there are a small number of brands that seem to wiggle their way into most of them. Kiehl’s is a part of the illustrious group. The seasoned skin care brand has been around for over 165 years and since its genesis back in the day (1851, to be exact), it’s become one of those names that you hear so often, you’d recommend even if you hadn’t tried a product yourself.
So you can imagine our surprise when discovering that 2018 marked the debut of its first-ever sheet mask.
Here’s what you need to know about it:
The Name: Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask. The words “instant” and “renewal” initially worried us. A lot of products claim to deliver instantaneous results, but we’ve tried them and the truth is, only a small percentage actually do what they say, especially after a mere 10 minutes. In this case, the results promised are immediate hydration and softness, both of which actually don’t feel so far-fetched. We appreciate that Kiehl’s didn’t over-promise in this department
The Price: $32 for a pack of four masks. The price tag is on the slightly expensive side, but given the set of ingredients and mask material, biocellulose-embedded hydrogel, we think it’s reasonable.
The Ingredients: Copalba Resin Oil for smoothing and softening, Pracaxi Oil for moisture and Andiroba Oil for replenishment. These are the same ingredients used by plants in the Brazilian Amazon to protect themselves from harsh weather conditions and poor soil conditions. In a sense, this mask aims to do the same for our skin, which faces its own set of environmental challenges, like air pollution and transitional weather.
Now that you’ve got the basics, here’s what three members of our team (including myself) have to say after one use:
Nikki Brown, Beauty Editor:
As someone who uses sheet masks on a weekly basis and expects a lot from a legacy brand like Kiehl’s, I was super excited to try this one. For starters, I think it’s so cool that the product is actually two pieces. A lot of sheet masks are not only just one piece, but typically one-size-fits-all, which means you’ve got to pray you can actually see and breath through the eye/mouth holes without having to manipulate and risk ripping the entire mask in half before you can use it.
The bio-cellulose material is also very cooling and sticks onto the face pretty well. I would, however, recommend sitting still while wearing it; I attempted making my bed and the bottom piece fell off. When I took off the mask, it left behind minimal slime, which I appreciated, though my skin felt a bit sticky and putting on a serum afterward helped to curb some of that. I did notice that my skin glowed a little more and it wasn’t as oily, so I’m hopeful that with regular use, it’ll make my face look less greasy after a long day.
One last note: This mask looks like a huge slice of yellow cheese. It looks equal parts terrifying and hilarious, but I personally got a kick out of it. If you share a selfie on Instagram, prepare for a lot of questions. Case in point:
Katie Stanovick, Beauty Writer:
OK, so I have oily, acne-prone skin, and it’s super sensitive. The two-part mask was helpful because I felt like I could cover my whole face without sacrificing certain areas that a normal mask sometimes misses—for instance, the tricky area right under your nose. Mind you, the mask did have a lot of product on it and it was a little slippery. Other than that, it was easy peasy to apply.
I chilled out for 10 minutes while the mask did its thing. I didn’t feel anything working or tingling. When I took it off and rubbed the excess into my skin, I did feel a nice tightness and noticed a fresh glow. My usual redness was toned down, too. The next morning I didn’t really notice any much of a difference in my skin. All in all, it didn’t hurt, but I don’t know how much it really helped my specific type of skin in the long run.
Hannah Hickok, Deputy Editor:
Like most New Yorkers in late March, my current complexion is very dry and dull, so I loved how this mask gave it an instant hydration boost. A few hours after I’d removed the mask and let the extra product soak in, my skin felt super-silky and smooth—which is definitely not the status quo right now. I noticed the effects more acutely right after use than I did the next day, but still, I’ll take it. Looking forward to using it again next time my skin feels thirsty.
Learn more about the Instant Renewal Concentrate Mask at Kiehl’s website.