Beauty trends come and go (remember – unibrows, vacuum lip plumpers, and the fish-eating pedicure) but when Korean skin care burst onto the US retail scene about a decade ago, I knew it was no trend. The sheet-mask-based, 10-step regimen was all the rage stateside for the right reasons. Perfectly blending tradition and innovation, efficient results and affordable prices, result-driven actives and ease of use even for skin care neophytes, Korean skin care is the great democratizer for clear pores and bright, dewy complexions at all price points. How can we even begin to appreciate the skin care revolution of late without acknowledging the influence of this Seoul-based industry? Lapcos, one of the earliest movers in that watershed moment and purveyor of sheet masks for every skin care need, has just pushed the needle further with its latest launches: Milk Feel Body Exfoliating & Cleaning Pad, Hydra Collagen Neck and Gel Masks.
One of my favorite anecdotes from the annals of celeb beauty gossip is the rumor that diva of divas JLO uses a $1000 face cream on her legs. Indulgent? Yes. But she had the right idea. Shouldn’t the same actives we rely on to keep our foreheads and cheeks plump and moisturized do the same on our legs and arms? Lapcos answers in the affirmative. The Milk Feel Body Exfoliating & Cleaning Pad is designed to make the removal of dead skin on the knees and thighs and nourishment of the baby soft cells underneath as easy and routine as on the face. The 2-part self-care process is ingeniously designed to do both with a single mitten. The packaging instructs us to first use the mesh-textured yellow side and a bit of elbow grease to slough off the gunk and grime of dead skin. Once clean and exfoliated, the skin is primed for the second side, a soothing emulsion of antibacterial tea tree and nourishing milk protein. After use, my legs and arms were smooth – strawberry skin tendencies temporarily diminished.
The next offerings in the latest Lapcos launch might not strike one as a big deal – who doesn’t make neck and eye sheet masks these days? – but these are special, upgraded with the addition of collagen and effective mask design. For years, derms have been warning us not to waste cash on topical collagen because the molecules are too big for our pores – no matter how enlarged – to absorb. To my great relief, low-molecular marine collagen is at the top of the ingredients list for both masks for maximum absorption of the tightening and lifting actives. Rounded out by a multi-peptide cocktail, and skincare MC hyaluronic acid, the formula covers all the bases for anti-aging and hydration, without a whiff of fishiness. The Hydra Collagen Neck Mask, infused with 24K Gold for maximum lift, is sheet mask selfie-perfect.
The Hydra Collagen Eye Mask boasts a similar ingredient profile of low molecular collagen and peptides, with the addition of Vitamin C to keep the under-eye area bright, as well as firm, lifted, and crinkle-free. Most notably, this treatment is a twofer. With sheeting for both upper and under-eye areas, maximum hydration and tightening is delivered from the upper cheek to the crow’s feet and brows. With time as precious as my waning collagen reserves, I tend to cheat, and clock in at just 12 of the 20 minutes necessary for most sheet masks, but not with these. The Lapcos Hydra Collagen series is worthy of the fully-recommended 40 minutes.
Both masks rock a thicker, almost silicone-like sheeting that renders them less likely to roll down and leak serum, the bane of seasoned sheet masking addicts like myself. After close to an hour of self-care, I discarded and fell asleep without checking. My first gaze in the mirror the next morning and I thought I’d slept in the masks – the results were again like silicone sheeting. A Korean skin care brand has again raised the bar for innovation and tradition, efficiency and affordability, and I am now more a stan than I was 10 years ago.