If you’ve been hanging around my Instagram account for awhile now, you might remember that time I bought all the Leaders sheet masks…
Don’t be fooled… there are about 50 masks in that pile. I had to. They were Buy One Get One Free. The real crime would have been NOT buying 50 sheet masks. Well, now thanks to the lovely folks at Leaders USA, I have been gifted the entire line of First Ampoule Masks to review! Although I was sent product in exchange for my honest review, all written content is my own.
So, when it comes to sheet masks, I am annoyingly picky. It takes very little for me to declare a mask a disgrace. Being given the honor of a repurchase is a rare compliment. Very rare. When I’m deciding if a mask makes the grade, I’m looking for: packaging, sheet material and fit, ingredient potency and safety, wear time, effect, price and availability. I told you… Annoyingly. Picky. Also, for those readers planning on visiting in the future, these standards will be applied to all future sheet mask reviews for consistency of evaluation and comparison.
So let’s talk packaging… how legit and official does this tube look? I was way drawn to this packaging, long before Leaders Cosmetics USA” target=”_blank”>Leaders reached out to me. The packaging is also super functional considering each mask I’ve used came with a substantial amount of extra essence. The screw top makes it’s really easy to save the extra essence, which I end up using within my evening skincare routine for 5-7 additional nights.
The mask is wrapped around a plastic stick, inside the tube. At first I was having a ton of trouble with the center of the mask being much drier than the rest of the mask. I quickly learned, that if I stand the mask on the cap and let all the essence drip down, and then stand it back up, that it really helps more of the essence stick on to the mask. When you unroll the sheet onto your face, you can maneuver the essence around a bit. Needing to work to ensure proper coating of the mask is a little annoying, but for me, the ability to keep and use the essence, more than makes up for it. Also worth noting, these bottles are made from recycled materials. Brownie Points!
Next let’s look at sheet material and fit. These 100% premium cotton sheets are super flexible. The mask is made with enough slits for a custom fit, but not so many that it’s hard to work with or you spend too much time arranging the thing. The mask is soft and flexible, thin enough but never at risk or accidental tearing. The material is biodegradable which is nothing I would ever imagine to ask for out of a sheet, but makes my little hippie heart so happy.
So far these masks rate well, but digging into the ingredients is where I really start to fall in love. Each of the four flavors has between 15-17 ingredients. The majority of the masks I have in my collection have twice that number. Most masks also contain water as their number one ingredient. This line of masks is water free, and in each case, one of the two advertised ingredients is listed first. These things are potent. In the Snail Therapy Mask, Chamomilla extract is listed first, with snail secretion filtrate listed second; in the Aquaringer Mask, Aloe Leaf is first;the Mela-Tox Mask has Evening Primrose as it’s main ingredient; the Wrinkle-Tox Mask has Rosemary Extract first.
The other thing about the these essences that has me impressed, is how clean all the ingredients are. I researched every single ingredient in all four masks on ewg.org’s Skin Deep Database, and each of the masks rates under a 2 (on a scale from 1-9) in regard to ingredient safety. Technically, since the site will follow general rounding rules, these masks would be listed as 1’s, but for the sake of being conservative, I thought I would round up. Nevertheless, a product with a rating of 2, is something I would consider safe enough to use on my six-year-old. Potent and clean? Well done, Leaders Cosmetics USA” target=”_blank”>Leaders.
The wear time on these masks is advertised as 10-20 minutes, which I absolutely agree is what you get from them. I usually pay no mind to suggested wear times, and really tend to want a mask to last for 30 minutes plus. So, with that in mind, I will say I was a little disappointed at first. However, once I learned the brand themselves only advertises 10-20, I was good with it. After all, in my mind there are really two major categories of sheet masks: experiential and impact oriented. Some masks deliver an enjoyable wearing experience but may not actually deliver amazing results. These babies fall into the impact category. We are here for a full-on infusion of great ingredients into the skin!
In regard to effect, I will only comment on the Aquaringer and Snail Therapy masks, as I am fortunate enough to not require, and therefore not notice the effects, of lifting or whitening masks. For me the Aquaringer Mask is on point; the aloe, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate absolutely do their job. But for me, the star here is the Snail Therapy Mask. My skin is crazy smooth, and wonderfully hydrated.
Price and availability have been elements of sheetmasking that can end up being serious let downs. What’s a good mask really worth if you can’t get your hands on it, or if you can’t afford to use it with any regularity? The First Ampule Masks are absolutely accessible directly from the Leaders Cosmetics USA” target=”_blank”>Leaders website, where the line retails for $10 each. (Yes, $10, 1 mask). Will I mask with something in that price point daily? No. Do I believe, considering the recycled packaging, biodegradable sheet, and potent/clean ingredients, that these masks are worth it as a weekly splurge mask? Hell yes.