Like any true beauty lover, the phrase "sheet mask and chill" is the fastest way to my heart. There is nothing I love more than lounging around and letting a mask do some serious #werk on my skin while I watch Gilmore Girl's reruns (#teamJess). Considering how expensive this habit can get (especially when I decide to pair it with my other vice, Sauvignon Blanc) I decided to take matters into my own hands and try my luck at a DIY seaweed sheet mask. Let me explain.
After scouring the web for best practices, my initial intent was to make a DIY sheet mask out of rice paper, green tea, and honey, because Pinterest told me I could. But I currently happen to be living in Asia and can't read anything on the packaging in the supermarket and accidentally bought dried seaweed instead of rice paper when I went to go pick up the ingredients. My bad.
Not one to give up just because of a little hurdle, I consulted the Internet to find out if I could still do something nice for my skin with the supplies I had on hand. After Googling a combination of phrases along the lines of "Is Seaweed Good For Your Skin" and "Will Putting Seaweed On My Face Kill Me and/or Make Me Break Out," I found some of the answers I was looking for.
As it turns out, seaweed has a lot of benefits. Way more actually, than that dumb old rice paper I initially wanted to use (see rice paper! I'm over you!). It has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help fight acne, and acts as a cleanser and exfoliator by drawing excess fluid, dead skin cells, and waste products from the skin. So no — apparently covering my face in it was not going to kill me. Cool.
I started out by ripping the sheets of seaweed in half and soaking them in lukewarm water. I infused the water with hibiscus oil, which is known for its anti-aging and collagen inducing properties, simply because I had a half-empty bottle lying around and figured it wouldn't hurt.
Then, one by one, I started layering the strips onto my face.
I covered my cheeks, nose, and forehead, and didn't leave myself a whole lot of space to breathe.
It felt super slimy, but after the first two strips I figured I'd reached the point of no return.
As soon as I'd coated my entire face, my boyfriend (who I moved in with this week) walked into the bathroom I thought I'd locked myself in and asked why it smelled like a sushi restaurant, and why I looked like Old Greg.
Once my face looked sufficiently like a spicy tuna hand roll, I let the mask sit for 20 minutes while watching Rory Gilmore's high school graduation speech and trying not to breathe through my nose.
The mask smelled gross, and felt even grosser. I spent the entire time it was on me counting the seconds until I could take it off. When I finally did wash it off, there were flecks of seaweed all over me — up my nose, in my hair, stuck in my ears — and I felt like I was going to look like an escapee from Ariel's Grotto for the rest of my life.
Even though I was not at all into the seaweed masking process, I will admit that it made my skin feel very clean and hydrated after using it. To be determined on if it causes any breakouts (or fixes them, for that matter, so far, so good. But considering how many showers I had to take and other skin products I had to use to get rid of the fishy seaweed stink, I don't think it's something I'll be doing again anytime soon (or, ever.).
I did, however, munch on some of the leftover seaweed and realize what an awesome snack it is, which is a good thing considering I have 15 sheets of it leftover from the experiment. Now, I just need to figure out how to get the remnants of it out of my laptop keys.
Sea Kelp Sheet Mask, $14, glowrecipe.com
If you do want the benefits of a seaweed mask, but don't want to smell like a sushi restaurant for a week, consider buying this organic sea kelp mask instead. It's made with 100 percent real sea kelp and has anti-aging, brightening, and hydrating benefits (for up to 72 hours!)