Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask
Laneige’s Hypoallergenic Cica Sleeping Mask has some redeeming qualities, but also has enough failings to keep it from ranking among masks we can strongly recommend.
This mask has a luxurious gel-cream texture that provides rich hydration for normal to dry skin. It absorbs quickly, which is good, as this is meant to be applied just before bed and left on skin overnight.
There are some tried and true moisturizing ingredients included, among them antioxidant- and fatty acid rich-squalane, skin-conditioning panthenol, and shea butter. As the name implies, this also contains three forms of “cica” (Centella asiatica extract and two of its components) as well. This antioxidant-rich extract is a source of amino acids and also has soothing properties that can help with redness, as Laneige claims. (One side note: Laneige claims this is more effective than “traditional” cica products, though outside of the fact that it uses three forms of this extract, there’s no evidence backing this claim, plus there are other cica creams on the market with the same trio of ingredients.)
While the cica ingredients are soothing, what isn’t are the tea tree and palmarosa (listed in the ingredients as Cymbopogon martini) oils this contains. They’re not present in large amounts, but both of these fragrant oils put skin at risk for irritation – something you don’t want, especially if your skin is already compromised.
Adding to the issue with this mask is that it’s packaged in a jar, meaning many of its beneficial ingredients will begin to lose their potency as soon as it’s opened, to say nothing of the potential hygiene problem caused by dipping your fingers in the jar, especially in a water-based formula such as this (see More Info below for details).
Though this has some appealing qualities, it’s best to select an option from our list of best face masks.
- Gel-cream texture provides rich moisture for normal to dry skin.
- Includes antioxidant-rich, moisturizing ingredients.
- Contains three forms of soothing and redness-calming Centella asiatica.
- Contains fragrant tea tree and palmarosa oils, which put skin at risk for irritation.
- Packaged in a jar, which compromises its beneficial ingredients.
Jar Packaging & Beneficial Ingredients: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight is also problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, especially in water-based formulas, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin.
References for this information:
Molecules, July 2018, ePublication
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
An overnight replenishing mask that delivers intense moisture to help soothe redness and strengthen the skin barrier for healthier, less stressed skin. Formulated with our exclusive Forest Yeast extract, Cica Sleeping Mask is more effective than traditional Cica products. Applied before bed, it makes the most of your sleep time by providing deep nourishment during the hours when skin is weakened due to loss of moisture and oil.
Strengths: SPF-rated products provide broad-spectrum sun protection; utilization of some intriguing melanin-inhibiting ingredients.
Weaknesses: Highly fragranced formulas put skin at risk of irritation; use of see-through bottles and jar packaging weakens the potency of the beneficial ingredients; claims for mineral water dont stand up to the research; despite a higher-than-average drugstore price point, Laneige products arent superior to their competitors.
Laneige is a South Korean brand owned by high-end cosmetics company, AmorePacific. Launched in 1994, the story behind this brand centers around mineral waterwhich they tend to label Optimal Mineral Waterharvested from the snow-clad peaks of the Himalayas. They allegedly spent 20 years perfecting its scientifically engineered properties for skin and, according to Laneige, this superior water is the secret to hydrating, protecting, and revitalizing skin.
Heres what we really know: All water thats included in cosmetics, regardless of the source, must go through a rigorous purification process, and there isnt any research showing that water from any one source is better for skin than water from any other source. More to the point, repairing and hydrating skin is not as simple as adding water. Even Laneiges highly touted mineral water wont retain moisture in skin unless the outer barrier is reinforced with ingredients like antioxidants, emollients, and skin-repairing ingredientsall of which are required or the water just evaporates. So, does Laneige deliver in that regard? Yes and no.
The problem is that their products tend to include beneficial ingredients right alongside potentially irritating ingredients (including fragrance), which detracts from what the good ingredients would otherwise be able to do for skin. In some cases, the jar or clear bottle packaging further impedes the potency and stability of the formula because many of the superstar ingredients break down in the presence of air and/or light.
As far as Laneige makeup goes, at the time of this review they sell only a BB cream in the United States, but it is also plagued by the inclusion of potentially irritating ingredients.
In the end, despite their highly touted Korean brand prestige and steeper-than-average mass-market price point (the line is sold at Target stores in the United States), Laneige ends up being more about marketing fluff than whats actually good for skin. Beyond the mineral water, Laneige products would have merit for their anti-aging prowess, but their inclusion of potential irritants and the use of packaging that compromises the stability of the beneficial ingredients renders the products generally unworthy of consideration.
For more information about Laneige, visit www.us.laneige.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.