I have a bunch of Too Cool For School masks that I’ve been using, all in the $4-9 range, and so I wanted to talk about them all in one place. I’m lucky enough to have a Too Cool For School storefront nearby in New York City but a growing collection of their products are also available at Sephora, while the rest of the others are definitely available from various places online (particularly Amazon). I’ve become a bit of a sheet and sleeping mask nut and really enjoyed trying all of these from a fun brand like Too Cool For School.
I’m gonna jump right in and talk about the fanciest of the masks first. The Pumpkin 24K Gold sheet mask glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, pumpkin fruit extract, arginine, vitamin A, colloidal platinum (10 ppm), and gold (10 ppm). The coconut-based bio-cellulose sheet is also supposed to help skin by adding some natural fermentation to the mix. These are $9 each at Too Cool for School, which officially makes it the most expensive mask I’ve tried, but I do see you can order a pack of 10 for $39.62 at BB Cosmetic. It’s an adorable package and came highly recommended by the TCFS sales associate.
I’ve tried this one twice. It’s a little bit complicated for me, as it’s a very thin, translucent, almost plastic-feeling second-skin type of mask. You have to separate it out from a sandwich of tougher paper that keeps it folded nicely, and it’s difficult to keep the actual mask from folding in on itself as you lift it to your face since it’s so thin. I like the way it smells, and the essence is slightly milky but has a mostly translucent gel consistency. It doesn’t drip coming out of the packet, and there’s plenty of extra serum in the packet once the mask is removed.
Because the sheet feels somewhat plasticky, it doesn’t dry out in 15-30 minutes the way a paper or fabric mask would, and the sales associate had told me that I could leave this on for hours if I wanted to. The first time I used the mask I waited maybe 30 minutes before removing it, but the second time I left it on through the night. Not long after the 1-hour mark the mask starts to feel pretty dry, and at that point it stays very firmly on the skin and was easy to sleep in.
When used as a normal sheet mask it feels like … a pretty normal sheet mask. After leaving on my skin for about 8 hours, it made my skin feel very smoothed and calmed without being the least bit wet or sticky. I think the effect is really nice, and I think it’s cool that I can put the mask on my face and not think about it for a while. Does gold and platinum have a big impact on skin, or is it just a wow factor? From a little bit of research it sounds like the inclusion of platinum might be more beneficial than gold, but I personally expect that it’s mostly a gimmick. However, I still think the mask is pretty cool.
Pumpkin 24k Gold Sleeping Mask
($13.12 on Amazon)
Between two purchases at Too Cool for School, I also collected a generous handful (5 or 6, I think) of Pumpkin 24k Gold sleeping pack sample packets so I had the opportunity to try it a number of times. It contains a number of plant extracts (Ulmus davidiana root, Amaranthus caudatus seed, Centella asiatica, Portulaca oleracea, Pueraria thunbergiana root, licorice root, Paeonia lactiflora, Cnidium officinale root), fruit extracts (fig, pumpkin), as well as soluble collagen, aloe, sodium hyaluronate, and squalane.
I enjoy the creamy consistency of it. Some sleeping packs I’ve tried are more gooey gels, but this one feels closer to a night cream and dries down better. It has a gentle fragrance that’s clean and pleasant without being too much. And, I find this really hydrating and the overall effect is really great. I own a few too many products in the sleeping mask category to buy another one right now, but I’ve really enjoyed this one and would absolutely be interested in picking it up at some point down the line. I think it’d be a great buy. It seems like a better deal than the sheet mask.
Of the two, I tried the Oil Serum mask first. It has a strong, delicious coconut scent that makes the experience feel very luxurious. The mask itself is very thin that hugs on the skin really well, so it hits the mark on quality. The serum on the thicker side with a milky color, and there was tons of essence left in the packet after I removed the mask.
The essence contains coconut water (30%) and coconut oil (0.2%), glycerine, niacinamide, arginine, and adenosine. I’ve been struggling with dryness, especially around my eyes, and I thought this did a pretty nice job in terms of plumping and hydrating.
The scent of the Coconut Ceramide mask still smells like coconut but is a bit more perfume-like. This serum was also lighter weight than the Oil Serum but does have some nice slip when I feel it between my fingers.
This one is labeled as having “whitening and wrinkle improvement function” with coconut water (30%), glycerin, sodium hyaluronate, niacinamide, arginine, panthenol, adenosine, licorice and ginger root extracts, and a few other plant extracts. Ceramide appears toward the end of the ingredients, and considering that niacinamide and licorice root are higher in the ingredients, I feel like addressing skin tone is perhaps a prioritized function for the mask. In addition to the hydration effect, of course, which may help plump fine lines, at least in the short term.
Both of these had really thin sheets that held onto the skin well, and I really liked the effect of these serums, which left my skin feeling hydrated and plumped but also dried down on the skin and didn’t feel particularly gooey or sticky. The hydration lasts a long time for me, as well. Hydration is a big deal for me and that makes both of these masks winners in my book.
I tried the Hydration mask first, which had a very light fresh fragrance, pleasant but subtle and the kind that I find to be pretty typical of a lot of Korean skincare. The Hydrating mask “is concentrated with egg yolk extract (110ppm) and coconut extract (1,000ppm) to revive and nourish rough skin, and give moisture and radiance.” A glance at the ingredients also reveals the inclusion of niacinamide, sodium hyaluronate, arginine, and camu camu, as well as some panthenol, linoleic acid, ceramide, and camellia toward the end of the list.
I tried the Firming mask just after, and found that it looked and felt quite similar, I just don’t think it had as much of a scent to it (if any?). The Firming mask boasts, “highly concentrated egg yolk extract (1,000ppm) and enriched collagen deliver deep nourishment to sagging skin to increase elasticity and firmness.” The ingredients also show safflower seed oil, sodium hyaluronate, shea butter, arginine, and ubiquinone (CoQ10).
These masks are quite wet and gooey. Not dripping, but wet enough that they’re a little annoying to unfold and get on the face, and I have to lie somewhat still to keep them perfectly in place. They’re a little gross to handle but I typically enjoy what a wet gooey mask does for my skin because hydration is my primary goal.
I like these a lot and found they were quite comforting and hydrating. In a blind test I wouldn’t be able to tell the Hydration and Firming versions apart aside from the scent, and I’d buy either one again. I’m glad they’re available at Sephora—there, they offer the Egg Cream masks in Hydrating, Firming, and Pore Tightening.
Multivitamin masks: Vitamin E and Vitamin A
($4.32 at Korea Depart)
I wanted to try these, but was kind of amused that the sales associate trying to guide me through the mask selection seemed quite “meh” about this line.
The two of these look, feel, and smell basically the same, and they each come with two pieces to fit over the top and bottom halves of the face. This serum is quite thick and creamy, and the sheets don’t feel dripping wet in the slightest, which makes them more pleasant to handle. Inside the packet, they’re kept wet between two pieces of plasticky paper and there’s no leftover serum left inside the packet once I’ve taken the sheets out.
The sheet pieces fit incredibly well to my face and didn’t move one bit once I applied them. Both the fit and the thicker fluid helps the sheets stay put. They also smell really good, there’s a sweet botanic scent which I think is lemongrass. I love the serum, sheet texture, scent, and the effect seemed really nice.
The Vitamin E mask says, “vitamin E derivative 5,000ppm and propolis recharge lacking nutrients in skin to form a strong moisture barrier,” while the Vitamin A mask says, “vitamin A derivative 650ppm and beta-glucan complex improve skin elasticity and help tighten sagging skin.” Though, really, they both perform similarly for me. I think you’d probably need to use them repeatedly over time in order for those highlighted ingredients to shine.
I would say these did a nice job of hydrating and plumping my skin and helped the texture of my skin (including pores and fine lines) look more smooth the following day. It wasn’t the longest lasting hydration I’ve experienced, as my eye area still started to feel tight and dry within the next 24 hours, which is something I struggle with in general. Considering I have other masks to choose from, I wouldn’t necessarily pick these particular ones up again, but I still liked them. I’d recommend them to those who don’t struggle with hydration as much as I do.
All in all, I think the ones I’m most excited about are the Coconut masks and the Pumpkin 24K Gold sleeping pack. Have you tried any of these yet? Are there other great Too Cool For School products you’d recommend?