Finally the third post in the ‘Ancient Asian Beauty Secret’ series, after Rice and Camellia oil benefits, let’s explore the anti-aging and beauty properties of Ginseng. I actually stocked so much cosmetics with Ginseng, that I will need to cut this post in two: I will start in this post with some K-Beauty sheetmasks with Ginseng, and I will later write a post about some creams with Ginseng! (please hang on there, it’s just that these multi-product posts take so much effort and time, but I promise it will come!).
Ginseng is a super popular product in Korea, and not only in cosmetics. If you watch a bit Korean dramas, you probably saw already that if the female lead wants to impress her future parents in law she will most certainly gift them with a Ginseng set. I think it is safe to assume Koreans love their Ginseng, and they are famous for it. In the past, Korea (or Goryeo before) was famous in the region for their Ginseng and its powerful properties, and it was a central good in their international trade exchanges. Ginseng has also been used in Chinese medicine for a thousands of years, and is still used to strengthen the immune system, improve blood flow and increase the production of red blood cells.
Korean Red Ginseng is rich in Saponin, a chemical component used to boost the immune system and reduce the risk of cancer, that is also believed to combat toxins caused by stress and have powerful anti-aging properties as it helps to increase the production of collagen. It also contains tons of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and vitamin C which are great for the skin. In short – Ginseng is a super ingredient that deserves some special attention. So let’s explore now some options of kbeauty products with Ginseng, I will start by reviewing some sheet masks with Ginseng and I will talk in a later post about creams with Ginseng.
The Face Shop Real Nature Red Ginseng Sheetmask
Let me start with The Face Shop Red Ginseng Sheetmasks. I use a lot of different The Face Shop Real Nature sheetmasks, because I either buy them in batches on Amazon (and it’s different kinds of masks mixed together) or I got to The Face Shop in Annandale or New York and buy them directly. These masks sell on a relatively low price, and they are a lot of different interesting in-store promotion – so I kind of see them as ‘cheap’ ones – nothing fancy. This Red Ginseng mask is supposedly highly nourishing and energising and is good to care for tired skin.
The Red Ginseng mask surprised me by its quite strong Ginseng smell, and it’s dark brown color (I even hesitated a few seconds before putting it on my face). I had a little irritation under my eye prior to putting this mask on, and I need to say that this sheet masks gave my a slightly burning sensation in my under eye area.
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol Denat., Trehalose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ceprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Phaseolus Radiatus Extract, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Bark Extract, Rumex Crispus Root Extract, Phenyl Trimethicone, Carbomer, Peg-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Triethanolamine, Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Methyl Paraben, Propyl Paraben, Fragrance
While researching this mask online, I found another version of what seems the same mask from The Face Shop (but with a different packaging image) but the ingriendts on the list were on a different order – notably the Panax Ginseng Root was closer in the front, which could indicate that a new formulation of this mask contains more Ginseng. Immediately after taking it off, the mask does leave a brownish residue, but I need to admit the effects are quite bluffing.
Results: Immediately after taking it off, the mask does leave a brownish residue, but I need to admit the effects are quite bluffing. The mask does deliver on its promise to relieve tired skin. I have quite pronounced under eye circles, but after removing the mask these circles faded a bit. My skin also felt softer and and moist.
Where to get it? I usually buy my The Face Shop sheetmasks from Amazon, but you can also find them in The Face Shop directly if you happen to live close-by.
Missha’s Red Ginseng Sheetmask
Next comes the Red Ginseng Sheet Mask by Missha. This is a 3D masks, and it actually took me some time to figure out how to put it on, as it looks at first like cut in the weirdest of ways. Its supposedly cut in a way that better embraces the face curves, especially on the nose and face area. Fortunately once on my face, it’s 3D shape made this mask adhere closer to my skin, but nothing crazy. Most of sheetmasks, as they are very moist and flexible, already adhere well on the face so the 3D wasn’t anything too special.
The mask is also a bit ticker than most sheetmasks I use, which makes it actually more resistant (I hate to tear the masks apart when trying to fit them on my face). Unfortunately the nose part was really too long for me, which made it even difficult to breath in it. I would show you pictures, but really this mask just makes you look beyond ridiculous, so please allow me to preserve some self dignity.
Water(Aqua), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Carbomer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Triethanolamine, Allantoin, Red Ginseng Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Disodium EDTA, Methylparaben, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, Fragrance(Parfum)
In terms of ingredients, this Missha mask contains 345 mg of Ginseng, Aloe Vera and very surprisingly Anise. I didn’t now Anise or Illicium Verum Fruit extract, was a thing in skincare, but ok. This sheet masks doesn’t have a specific smell, maybe something slightly sweet but that didn’t bother me, and stayed well moist at least the recommended 15 minutes.
Results: This Missha mask was quite gentle, and din’t give me any irritation or redness. Immediately after I took it off, my skin looked brighter, and bah… maybe even more firm? I read some reviews, that this mask gave people some allergic reactions – so better check the ingredients list for any potentially triggers for you.
Where to get it? I got mine from Amazon.
It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng Bio Cellulose Mask sheet
I bought this It’s Skin Jeju Wild Ginseng sheetmask, because I have already adopted and I love the Wild Ginseng cream from the same line. This sheet mask is made of ‘bio cellulose’ which quite frankly is probably almost the same (at least sensation wise) than a hydrogel mask. I love these types of masks because they feel so nice an cool on the skin. The ‘cooling’ effect also somehow lasts longer so it is a very refreshing experience. This mask was so relaxing I almost fell asleep. The mask claims to have multi-care properties: it is supposed to give you a moist, firm, nutritious and vital skin. The mask contains wild Jeju Ginseng extract (note: from my understanding the more ‘wild’ the Ginseng the better – but there is no way to prove that here).
Water, Panax Ginseng Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, PEG/PPG-17/6 Copolymer, Glycereth-26, Trehalose, Citrus Paradisi (Grapefruit) Fruit Extract, Alcohol, Bis-PEG-18 Methyl Ether Dimethyl Silane, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Carbomer, Xanthan Gum , Phellinus Linteus Extract, Dioscorea Villosa (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen Seed Extract, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Potassium Hydroxide, Sodium Hyaluronate, Arnica Montana Flower Extract, Artemisia Absinthium Extract, Achillea Millefolium Extract , Gentiana Lutea Root Extract , Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Fragrance.
Panax Ginseng extract comes on the second position on the ingredients list, which means there is a quite high concentration of it, supposedly it contains as much as 20% of this ingredient – this is a good sign. It also contains Mushroom extract that has moisturising and vitalising effects on the skin, as well as Wild yam extract for vitality, and Coix Lacryma-Jobi Ma-yuen seed extract for a brightening effect. I also noticed it contains Arnica Montana, which is an ingredient often used in Homeopathy to heal bruises and relieve pain.
This mask has a light floral or sweet smell that is very relaxing (smells the same as the cream from the same line). Having a relatively bigger face, I find that this mask fits quite well and embraces the face very closely (I guess is the bio cellulose effect). It is a mask that is a bit more expensive than let’s say The Face Shop masks, but I think it is worth the price. It is more of a spa-like experience if you really want to reward yourself.
Results: Immediately after taking it off, my skin looked kind of white. But after a while it was just glowing nicely and regained its normal color. Also, maybe it is Placebo effect – but I feel this mask has faded some of my early dehydration wrinkles. For me this mask is a keep.
3W Clinic Fresh Red Ginseng Mask Sheet
Another Korean sheet mask with Ginseng I tried is the 3W sheetmask. It is the first time I am trying a 3W sheet mask. This mask is thick, made out of cotton soaked with essence and has quite a strong smell. This mask contains 23g of essence but it is unclear what is the concentration of Red Ginseng, especially that this ingredient is listed quite far on the ingredient list. They also claim that this sheetmask contains some ‘aesthetic ingredients’ but that sounds like some very bad translation from Korean, and I can’t figure out what this is. A part of Ginseng root, there is nothing too exciting about the list of the ingredients.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Polysorbate 60, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Sorbitan sesquioleate, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Allantoin, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Disodium EDTA, Perfume.
There is a weird disclaimer on the packaging saying that you should avoid using this mask on blemishes, pimples, irritated or sunburn skin – this even make me hesitate to use this mask, because honestly how can you be free of all these skin conditions at once. Anyway, in the name of science I still tried this mask.
Results: Nothing special really. I don’t think I will go for this mask again, waste of time.
Soo Ae Red Ginseng sheetmask
Last but not least, the Soo Ae Red Ginseng sheetmask. Again here, this is the first time I use a Soo Ae mask. For a change everything on the packaging is in English and written in a comprehensible manner (youpi!). Its purpose is to slow down the signs of aging and to maintain a beautiful skin – sounds good to me. The mask doesn’t have a strong smell, which is also great considering that natural Ginseng doesn’t smell that great. The mask is very concentrated in essence and fits well. This Soo Ae sheet masks also stayed moist for a very long time, great news for those that like to go beyond the standard 15-20 min.
This mask has a concentration of 1% of Ginseng and contains some other great ingredients such as Vitamin E, Witch Hazel, Natto Gum and Wheat Amino Acids that promote hydration.
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Hyaluranote, Red Ginseng Extract (1%), Hydrolyzed Collagen, Rosa Centifolia Flower Water, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Natto Gum, Wheat Amino Acids, Betaine, Allantoin PEG-60, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium PCA, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tocophery Acetate, CArbomer, Triethanolamine, Dissodium EDTA, Methylparaben, Fragrance.
Results: I liked the results of this mask, my skin was brighter and felt hydrated. This sheet mask has a good list of ingredients, Ginseng is close to the beginning of the list and its concentration is clearly indicated, and the mask is relatively cheap (around 3 USD) – making it one of the bests masks of the list.
Did you try any Sheemasks with Ginseng? Which ones are you favorite?