Clearly, I missed out on greeting y’all a merry Christmas, so here’s your Gregorian and Chinese new year greeting, a’ight? OK, I realize Chinese New Year was also a month ago, but don’t think too hard about that, OK? It’s the year of the fire rooster, A.K.A. Lily’s year!
As 2016 was my Year of the Sheet Mask, I wanted to transition into 2017 by starting it off with a set of sheet mask reviews: The Zoo Pack Special Mask Box from Skin18. I’m fortunate to be picked as part of their Skin18@USA review program as their Hawai’i reviewer!
Now, this review set will be a bit different since I’m hitting four masks out of the review park at once. Because I don’t want this review to read like the Epic of Gilgamesh, it’s in a slightly different and simpler format than usual. Basically, here goes nothing.
This product was provided by Skin18 for review as part of their USA Review Program. All content on A River Lily reflects my honest opinion. This post contains some Amazon Associate links, which support this blog’s content. Check out my Policies and Transparency page for more info.
This 4-pack mask set is intended to be used for, well, 4 days straight as a “Daily Skin Care Product.” Many southeast Asian skincare brands that produce sheet masks have been advocating daily masking within the past few years to help promote your skin’s health. While this angle definitely sells more masks, it also isn’t completely wrong—after all, using a skincare product on the regular is a surefire way to ensure it affects your skin more deeply. And this is why many of us try to mask several times a week, even daily if we can!
As you could probably tell from the name “Zoo Pack,” four star ingredients are animal-derived: Horse fat, goat milk, donkey milk, and snail mucin. To be honest, I am not all too chuffed about anything horse fat, but this is my first time trying anything featuring the increasingly-popular donkey milk! Anyway, I’ll go into more detail about each ingredient’s claimed benefits in The Evidence section below.
The ingredient lists are nearly identical across each mask, except for the featured ingredient as bolded in parentheses below:
Water, Glycerin, Niacinamide, Butylene Glycol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Tocopheryl Acetate, Nelumbo Nucifera Root Extract, Hydrolized Collagen, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Nelumbium Speciosum Flower Extract, Adenosine, (Horse Fat/Goat Milk Extract/Donkey Milk/Snail Secretion Filtrate), Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glyceryl Linoleate, Glyceryl Linolenate, Glyceryl arachidonate, Dimethicone, Panthenol, Polysorbate 60, Xanthan Gum, Polyacrylate-13, Polyisobutene, Polysorbate 20, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Chlorphenesin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Propanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Illicium Verum (Anise) Fruit Extract, PEG-14M, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin Disodium EDTA, Fragrance (Parfum)
To be honest, I’m a little wary about the nearly-identical ingredients lists. I would think there would be at least slight differences in formulation because each featured ingredient and mask purpose is different. But hey, I’m no scientist. I just do the Googling and then the masking.
Unlike in most of my other mask reviews, I would much rather showcase these masks themselves than highlight each star ingredient. This will make it much less novel-like and much more readable.
Day 1: Horse Oil
- Horse Oil Benefits: Anti-inflammatory; protects the skin by helping to bolster the skin barrier; relieves dry skin; thought to be similar to human sebum
- Heavily moisturizing, great for dry skin
- Somewhat greasy after-masking residue, which is understandable because the star ingredient is derived from fat (oil)
- Mild, clean, “shower” scent
Day 2: Goat Milk
- Goat Milk Benefits: Contains lactic acid, an alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) which can increase skin cell turnover—basically, help remove dead skin cells from the top layer of your skin more quickly. Due to this, AHAs also greatly improve skin texture. However, I’m not sure how much you will benefit from only essence from a one-time sheet mask.
- Brightening effects are OK; may need to use multiple times for long-term effects (as with most sheet masks)
- Also slightly greasy after masking
- Mild clean scent as well
Day 3: Donkey Milk
- Donkey Milk Benefits: Thought to have properties and nutrients similar to human milk (although this article is more about ingesting donkey milk than topically applying); soothing and hydrating
- Feels less sticky than the horse oil mask. Yay!
- Moisturizing is OK; brightening not as prominent as the horse oil and goat milk masks, but still present
- Mild scent of soap left in a medicine cabinet for a couple of months
Day 4: Snail Mucin
- Snail Mucin: My personal favorite ingredient this past year! A powerhouse for healing, soothing, moisturizing, and reducing redness; also improves elasticity
- Very soothing! Moisturizing, like most snail masks should be
- Smoothest, thinnest essence texture
- Mild scent of cleanliness/soap, too
If, like me, you’re used to them silky translucent Taiwanese masks, these will feel somewhat thick. These masks are all made of the same papery cotton material, which is soft enough for the face but not quite silk. They feel like, hmm, between tissues and very thin paper towels. Not uncomfortable! But they are thinner than my personal preference. It is also better for smaller faces. I have a smallish-medium face (what sizes do faces come in???) and you can see that my eyes are a bit uncomfortable and nearly outside of the eyeholes.
I usually use the Daiso
serial-killer silicone mask when I sheet mask, but I did not for these because I wanted to see how long they lasted on their own before drying out. I masked for 45 minutes comfortably! That’s my usual, after all.
There’s also enough extra essence to use on my arms and legs, which are desperately desert-dry. Be sure not to pull a dumb like me and try to use the mask essence over your regular body lotion. Also, the horse oil, goat milk, and donkey milk mask essence are a bit on the oily/greasy-residue side, so be sure to use only a light layer on your body. Unless you like to slither around in greasy sheets at night.
You can usually get this as an 8-pack on Skin18.com (which is this 4-pack × 2), or as individual sheet masks for about $4.
Honestly, it wasn’t the most spectacular masking experience I’ve had, although to be fair I’ve used some really fabulous masks. However, the Zoo Pack Sheet Mask Pack was really quite nice for a daily mask regimen. It included . My main gripes were with the mask fit/thickness, and with the very slight post-masking greasy/sticky sensations. The latter would have been totally fine for the last step in my routine, but was inconvenient because it sometimes became uncomfortable to use layers of lotions, essences, ampoules, or moisturizers after masking which I usually use in my Asian Beauty-based routine. Perhaps I should have used these masks after my moisturizing lotion and essence, and before toner. My bad!
Like most sheet masks, as I always say, you won’t truly reap the benefits of each of the above “star” ingredients unless you apply that ingredient with more regularity than a one-use sheet mask. With daily masking, I honestly personally prefer using the same mask a few days in a row instead of a variety.
Otherwise, people with any skin types and concerns can use this mask pack. They’re also great if you’ve ever been curious about these animal-derived ingredients and only want to sample each ingredient, without having to spend a lot on a whole 5-pack of donkey milk masks, for example. If you’re having an especially rough week, want to give your skin a mini-vacation, or just want to try something new, I would recommend trying this mask pack!
Overall Rating: 3.75 / 5
5 / 5: HOLY GRAIL STATUS. I dare you to pry this from my cold, dead, kpop-glowy hands.
4 / 5: I really liked this! Would repurchase until I find a better alternative.
3 / 5: So-so. Unimpressive results, but may work better for others with different conditions.
2 / 5: Would not repurchase. Possibly caused some issues for me, but may work for others.
1 / 5: This lied to me. It did nothing that it said it would, and caused some issues.
0 / 5: Do not buy this. No one should have to suffer the way I did.
What are your thoughts on mask packs? Have you tried anything from Skin18.com yet? Let me know! 🙂