Peel-off products aren’t really anything new to the scene. Things like peel-off nose strips have been popular in the West for years for getting rid of blackheads and whiteheads, as well as having a pore refining component. Koreans have taken it a step further, though, and have come up with all sorts of peel-off skincare items and makeup, from peel-off face masks to eyebrow and lip products. Below we’ll give you the lowdown on the most common items you may find on drugstore shelves:
One of the most common peel-off skincare products is the ubiquitous nose strip. Marketed as an item that unclogs pores, nose strips are able to lift away dirt, makeup residue, blackheads and whiteheads from your nose area by yanking them out forcefully. While generally effective and satisfying (you can visibly see the results right on the strip), they can be painful to use and don’t truly provide deep cleansing. Nose strips and peel-off packs only remove a superficial layer, which means that there may still be oil and gunk lying deep within your pores that it can miss.
An alternative to these products is CosRX’s BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. It has a natural BHA component that removes dead skin cells and melts blackheads that have accumulated in the pores while providing a layer of moisture. It can even help reduce the formation of blackheads, which pore strips cannot do.
Peel-off Face Masks
Just like nose strips, these peel-off face masks are designed to stick to your skin and provide pore cleansing, as well as a host of other benefits like lifting bacteria and impurities in order to reveal fresh, revitalized skin beneath. Depending on your tolerance and sensitivity, getting them off can feel like anything from waxing your face to nothing at all. These items are often formulated with natural plant-based ingredients that provide vitamins and antioxidants, such as grapeseed and avocado, which can help repair and protect from damage. Some are formulated with charcoal, which draws out excess oils.
Peel-off facial masks can even provide a sort of physical exfoliation by removing the surface top layer of the skin along with dead skin cells. Keep in mind, though, that while it is effective in removing all of these things, it can be a little too effective – along with the dirt and whatever has been clogging your pores, it can also remove vellus hair and sebaceous filaments, a naturally-occurring hair-like formation that controls the flow of oil through your pores. Why is pulling those out bad? It may cause your sebum levels to become unbalanced, or remove too much oil, which your skin still needs a bit of in order to stay healthy.
Foot and Hand Peel Masks
You may have seen these foot and hand peel masks being sold alongside your favorite Korean sheet masks lately; they’re packaged much the same way. These products went viral for their downright crazy effect on your feet: the idea is to put your feet into these bootie-shaped sheet masks that have been pre-soaked with a solution. They’re shaped like socks and aren’t hard to use, and don’t generally get in the way so long as you don’t have to stand or walk around for a few minutes. For hands, they’re usually shaped like gloves.
After the requisite amount of time, you’re supposed to remove these masks and go about your day. It may take up to 5 days or a week to see results, but when you do it’s unmistakable – your feet will begin to peel and shed skin the way a snake changes theirs. The goal is that once all of that rough, tough and hardened skin has been peeled away, you’ll be left with softer, smoother feet and hands.
These hand and foot peel masks provide exfoliation, get rid of stubborn callouses and even out cracked skin, especially in the heel area. They are usually formulated with skin-softening and soothing essential oils such as argan, peppermint, and lavender. If you’re the kind of person who gets kicks out of watching your skin peel off in chunks or just want baby-soft extremities again in a relatively painless manner, these masks are for you.
Keep in mind though that the solution the masks are soaked in can irritate broken skin, so maybe wait a bit if you happen to have open cuts or healing wounds in your hands and feet.