When it comes to Instagram beauty trends, everyone loves a spectacle. The latest comes from South Korean brand Hanacure, a gel mask that pulls so tightly on the skin when it’s dry that it totally warps your face and, when you move even the tiniest bit, forms cracks all over.
It’s weird, but people love it. Drew Barrymore was an early fan, posting a selfie of herself in the Hanacure All-In-One-Facial last February, writing “when you take it off you are 10 years younger” and “it makes you look so fresh when you wash it off.”
After scrolling through even more impressive befores and afters on the addicting account @thehanacureeffect, I was convinced I had to try it. The brand claims its mask can tackles all the big skincare concerns–reducing pores, hyperpigmentation, and wrinkles–in one month (used once a week). It’s powered by botanical ingredients including lotus leaf extract, oriental raising tree extract, green tea extract, honeysuckle flower extract, rosa canina fruit oil, peony root extract, sophora root extract, and peptides. It comes in two parts, a serum and a sealed solution you mix to form a gel you paint on your face with a brush, then leave on for 30 minutes.
When I tried it, I immediately felt a tingling sensation and slight pulling. Over the half hour, my face started feeling petrified–I couldn’t even smile or otherwise move any facial muscles because of how tight the mask was getting. Around the 14-minute mark I started questioning whether I’d be able to stand it for the full half hour. My face was warm and I could feel it pulsing beneath the mask. I was getting fidgety from not being able to move. I also looked 100 years old thanks to the wrinkle-like cracks and sunken effect of the mask (see the second photo below).
I indulged myself with slowly cracking the mask by smiling and it felt as satisfying as it looked on all the Instagram pictures I’ve seen. With the mask off, my face and neck were super red, splotchy, and irritated. I gave my skin a 10 minutes to calm down, then came the real results. My skin felt totally resurfaced and baby-soft to the touch as well as plumper. On top of that, while I’m not at the age where anti-aging is a concern, the couple of fine lines I have–one on my forehead, on my laugh lines–were visibly less apparent.
I took photos directly in harsh sunlight to really put it to the test and my skin really did seem to “glow”. This is with no makeup, moisturizer on top, nor Insta-filter (my usual crutch) so I was thoroughly impressed. Even when I did apply some tinted moisturizer and concealer, the liquid formulas went on my skin smoother than ever before.
Believe the hype.