Review: Skin Formula Skin Check Surge Squalane Moisturizing Black Mask

If I am not mistaken, the O Hui 3D Black Mask (review here) was the first black mask I ever tried; it was certainly the first one that impressed me so much that I still keep wishing that either it weren't so damn expensive, or I would finally do the right thing and win the lotto, so that I could just buy and use it as often as I want. Unfortunately, it is very expensive, and no, I haven't won the lotto yet, so I have been on the hunt for a black mask I both love and can afford. Skin Formula's Skin Check Surge Squalane Moisturizing Black Mask is one of the few I have tried recently.

About the brand:
I could find very little about the brand online, even though they have a website. However, it's rather basic, and while the packaging has all the information one might need in English, the website's English link is broken, and Google Translate cannot do much with most of the information. All I can see is that the brand produces sheet masks, and they are most likely aimed at the Korean market.

What this product claims to achieve:
"Squalane is very skin friendly with strong penetration ability to skin. Combining with hyaluronic acid, the mask helps balance oil and water on skin effectively with skin soothing effect from excessive dryness and uneven skin tone on skin. Thus your skin will reveal natural gloss with deep moisturizing from inside out." (Copied from the packaging)

Instructions and ingredients:
1. After facial cleansing, open the mask and apply it evenly flat on the face.
2. Use fingertips to gently adjust mask until it is properly attached to face.
3. Wait for 15 to 20 minutes before removing the mask. Put the essence on face lightly until it is dry and fully absorbed by skin. Cleanse face once again by individual preference even though not necessary. (Copied from the packaging)

Let's talk about squalane, the star ingredient in this mask as well as the second one on the ingredient list, which I find pretty impressive. writes, "Squalene is an organic compound derived commercially from the liver of sharks and from plants and vegetables oils like olive oil. Squalane is similar to squalene in its structure and function. The primary difference between the two compounds is squalane is more stable and has a longer shelf-life because it doesn't break down as easily. (...) Squalane has benefits as a non-greasy emollient in skin care products and a conditioning agent for hair. It also helps to increase the penetration of other skin care ingredients. (...) One problem with products containing squalane is much of the squalene from which it's made comes from sharks. Some species of sharks have been overfished due to the increased demand for squalene and squalane. For this reason, some cosmetic companies are turning to alternative sources for these compounds that doesn't harm sharks. Other sources of squalene for making squalane are olive oil, amaranth seeds, wheat germ and rice bran. These sources are also more acceptable to people concerned about animal welfare." (Read more here)

While the packaging doesn't claim that the squalane found in this product is derived from shark liver, there is a shark on the front, so if this is something about which you are concerned, please look for another mask to buy and use.

Now that we got this unpleasant issue out of the way, let's see how this mask performed.

First, it was very comfortable to wear. Just like other black masks I had tried, it clung very closely to my skin, it fit nicely, and it didn't move around while I indeed did (I never just relax while sheet masking; I simply find things to do around the house.)
It smells like perfume or soap, but it didn't bother me. (Which doesn't mean it won't bother you, since I am quite famous for my poor sense of smell. If you ask me, the CosRx AHA liquid doesn't smell like much of anything, even though everyone else seems to think it smells putrid.)

I could wear this mask for about 45 minutes without any issues (discomfort or otherwise,) and when I removed it, it took very little effort to pat in the little essence that still remained on my skin.

I have to say that for me, it actually lived up to every claim the manufacturer had made.
My skin looked exceptionally smooth, soothed, plump, and healthy. While the essence is sort of tacky, it sunk into my skin easily, and didn't leave an uncomfortable film. I was very happy with the results, and I am glad I had won a five-pack of these on an eBay auction; even though they're reasonably priced as it is, so I will most likely grab some more once I am done with the rest of the ones I currently have.

Recommend? If you worry about the squalane in this essence potentially having been derived from shark liver, then no. If that possibility is something you can live with, then absolutely yes. It is a very comfortable mask to wear with an essence that does everything the manufacturer claims it will. It might be just a little too thick for someone with very oily skin (however, they might enjoy using this at night, too,) but it was perfectly fine for my normal skin, just like I believe anyone with dry skin will enjoy it, too.

Where to buy? eBay

This video has nothing to do with the Skin Formula mask, but since I wasn't able to find one that does, here is a beautiful video about the Island of Jeju, with which I am kind of obsessed. 


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