I have been wanting to try Silk Whitia's Pearl Finest Powder Whitening Mask for some time now. I'm always on the search for "pearl" in beauty products. It has always been out of stock when I wanted to make the purchase, so I jumped at the chance when I found them in stock.
Just in general. Why pearl?
Before I go into Silk Whitia's mask, I want to talk a little bit about pearl. Like usual, I'm not a 100% knowledgeable about ingredients too much, but I'll share what I personally know. I'm not sure about other Asian countries (rice bran in ancient Japan) and other cultures for that matter, but in ancient Chinese history, pearl grounded to powder has been around for centuries as a whitening and anti-aging ingredient for the the wealthy, whether it is consumed orally or applied topically. In every period dramas I've watched, pearl would be bestowed as a gift to the princess, empress or a character of wealth and royalty.
Taken from Ganoskin.com, "For centuries, Asian women have used powder made from crushed freshwater pearls in an effort to maintain their youthful appearance. Royal inhabitants of the Chinese Imperial Palace swore by the miraculous rejuvenating effects of pearl powder, which they used for healing, skin brightening, wrinkle prevention, and sun protection. The last Empress Dowager of China during the Qing Dynasty not only used pearl powder on her face, but she ingested it daily. She and other women of the time found that it improved their complexion, softened their skin, and gave them a more youthful appearance. The Empress Dowager was famous for her beauty and her childlike skin even at the age of 74.
Pearl powder is recorded as a medicine in the Pharmacopoeia of the People's Republic of China, a national code of standards for the quality of drugs that serves as a regulatory basis in drug production, distribution, application, and management. It has been widely used by doctors and herbalists who practice traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). According to the July 2000 issue of Nutrition Science News , "Doctors who practice TCM believe the calcium and other valuable minerals and amino acids from pearl powder can also be absorbed through the skin. They have found pearl powder, applied externally, speeds the skin's natural metabolism to tone and rejuvenate complexion, heal blemishes, minimize large pores and reduce redness. A pearl facial pack is said to rejuvenate dry, dull skin."
In studies conducted at the Institute of Endocrinology at Zhejing Medical University in China, powdered sea pearl, mother-of-pearl, and freshwater pearl demonstrated systemic anti-aging and tonic actions. Other clinical studies in Japan and France have shown pearl powder to increase bone density and even aid in bone formation.
Although natural pearls were traditionally used in making pearl powder, the lack of supply and the high cost of natural pearls resulted in the need for an alternative. Cultured pearls are not considered to be of the same medicinal quality as natural pearls, so Chinese technicians began to hydrolyze pearls - that is, to break their protein molecules down into their component parts. Users say the resulting amino acids are easier for cells to absorb and therefore more effective.
Modern skin care companies - many of which specialize in herbal remedies - combine hydrolyzed pearl powder with herbal ingredients like green tea, gingko, and other extracts, as well as vitamins A, C, and E. This combination is used in creams and brightening lotions intended to rejuvenate dull, dry skin; reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles; smooth and firm skin; regulate discoloration and scarring; and even reduce blemishes.Does it work? Despite the mountains of anecdotal evidence - and the long history behind it - there's no proof that such cosmetics have anything other than a temporary effect. Nacre may contain some of the same proteins as human skin, but the two cannot bond, so any benefits that may come from adding it to the skin, such as firming of the cellular structure or stimulation of new growth, are likely to stop as soon as the cream is no longer used. None of this will stop the $100-billion-plus global cosmetics industry from trying. And who knows? Maybe one day pearls really will help you look younger, too."
So, putting that aside, I'll just stick to these affordable poor-woman's pearl mask. Despite affordable, they still cost around USD 2.00 for each sheet. I got them at Sasa.com for $16.60 for two packs (buy one get one free), each pack containing 4 sheets. Compared to the Silk Whitia Collagen mask that I got for $6.80 for two boxes, these are very expensive. But, I'll give it a try.
I'm not sure why these SW masks are not boxed like the other SW masks. They are just packaged in a clear bag. I'm starting to be a little dubious about SW's ingredients. They only display the active ingredients, rather than list all the ingredients. Which is why I like MBD's, they list all of them. Like other SW masks, it claims that materials are from France, but I read that from some bloggers that they are made in HK.
The individual mask is packaged in a larger package, so that the mask is folded in half, rather than in quarters. There is a styrofoam sheet in between the folded cloth mask. I take that out first and just wipe the excess serum for the back of my hands and neck.
The mask has a lot of serum. Alot. Much more than MBD masks. This mask really has enough serum for two masks. There is enough serum that one package can be used for two days: first day, use with the cloth mask; second day, apply serum topically as a mask.
One package makes two days use:
First Night of use, with sheet mask:
The serum is a clear and a little gooey. I let the serum drip into the package before I apply the mask onto my face because it will just drip everywhere and run down my hair if I lay down and be a waste.
The sheet cloth is a bit thinner than the SW collagen one, but still tougher and more woven than MBD ones. Due to it being thinner with a lot of serum, it sticks well onto my face. It's around the same size as the other SW mask, I find it a little wider horizontally, but its fine.
There is a mild fragrance, which is not listed in the ingredients.
The first time I used it I was not greatly impressed to be honest. I thought it was average. I expected it to be much much better than MBD's Arbutin Whitening Mask. When I took off the mask, my skin was noticeably much brighter and lighter, and after wash off, it was smooth and had a white transparency type of glow. However, the results just seem very temporary. I don't think it really shows the following day. I expected it to be more dramatic and longer lasting. Maybe it requires long term usage?
Second Night of use, apply excess serum topically as a mask:
After I use the sheet cloth mask, there is enough serum for the following night. I place the package in a large storage sized zip lock bag. You can also stick it into the fridge if you like.
If you have compressed facial masks, which are really cheap, ( I am currently trying to find it they sell them at my local Asian boutiques and pharmacy. They sell them cheaply on ebay, but I'm kind of on an ebay hiatus right now lol), and you would be able to create another cloth mask with them.
I just cut off the mask package and apply it topically over my face with my fingers. There is so much excess serum that it takes some time. I allow the serum to completely dry on my face. When it dries, it becomes a very tight shiny film. So tight, that you would not be able to make any facial expressions. One thing I like about this is that I allow it to completely dry and tighten a little longer so my skin gets a tightened as a result. It takes a little effort to wash off and I need to use my wash cloth to completely clean off the serum.
When I use it topically rather than with the cloth the second night, I can see the gradual lightness while I am waiting. I think the brightening and lightening results are greater when applied topically than with the cloth. But I still think that it is too short lived. However, I think that my skin is more tightened even to the following day.
|Enough serum to store in ziplock bag for the following night|
|Clear gooey like serum|
|I cut open the package to use the serum the following night|
Overall, I am not as impressed as I hoped to be with this mask. I had much higher expectations for this. It does brighten and lighten, but not as strong as I hoped for. It does an okay job for me. For the price, it would be considered 'good'. Everything always comes down to the price for me. At $2.00 each, for basically two days of use, it is moderately priced. It is better than some other $2.00 sheet mask I have used. I think it would be good as a pick-me-up type of mask. I don't think I would stock up on this, maybe only if it was cheaper, but I would buy it again once in awhile.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. I have been kind of curbing my writing and use of language for my posts now. I was just reading my old posts and the writing sounds annoying.
Also, stay tuned for more mask reviews coming up. I think I wanna finish up on a few more Silk Whitia masks before moving onto the others.
la glace masks
BSC gel mask
C+M gel mask
Wai Yuen Tong mask
Dr. BSC bio cellulose masks
It'll take some time, though.