In our quest for glowing, youthful skin and hair, we’ve tried it all. We’ve consulted skin care savants, we’ve oiled our pubes, and we’ve spelunked through Sephora sales. We’d also like to think we’re pretty on-the-ball when it comes to separating good derm advice from pseudo-scientific, viral skin care remedies. So, needless to say, when we heard about the K-beauty mask that recently took over TikTok and Instagram, we were a bit skeptical—that is, until we saw some pretty strange (yet also oddly convincing) pictures. We present: the Hanacure face mask.
Until recently, my bedframeless skincare routine
involved rubbing an old onion on my face and drying off with a towel I found in a subway station wasn’t great, so when we decided to give the Hanacure mask a try, I immediately donated my face to science. I vaguely knew that it was supposed to make you look old while its powers are working, but I tried not to read too much about the mask beforehand so I could have an unbiased review. Had I read Drew Barrymore’s viral Instagram endorsement, though, I would have been prepared for the wild feeling that the mask gives. In her post, she notes how as the mask dries, “it gets so tight that it literally pulls your face. See above.”
Barrymore also writes that “when you take it off you are 10 years younger. Well, I’d rather not be a teen again, but I definitely agree with the tightness part. This shit was NUTS. I’ve slapped on a few face masks in my day, but I’ve absolutely never had one that felt this insanely tight. Twenty minutes after applying, I couldn’t close my mouth, my face was tingly, and I felt like I was caked in a thin layer of cement.
Before (left) and after (right) applying the Hanacure mask.
Remember when you were a kid and they’d have you use Elmer’s glue for projects and the best part was peeling the dried glue off of your fingers after class? The Hanacure mask is kind of similar—if that bottle of Elmer’s glue got sent to boot camp, did a few tours overseas, and hit the juice hard when it got back to the States. This mask is not for the faint of heart, but it does feel strangely good, in my opinion. It’s “good-painful” in the same way the elbow of a skilled masseuse feels as it works a knot out of your back.
Basically, you’re supposed to wash your face, open the packaging, mix up the ingredients according to the instructions, and use the included, ultra-soft brush to apply a globby coating of the thin, Jell-O-like paste all over your face. (I made sure not to get in on my eyebrows or lips.) Then, you wait 20 minutes, rinse your face, moisturize, and enjoy the purported results. I have to say, I think it worked pretty well.
After rinsing off the Hanacure mask and moisturizing with the brand’s face cream.
Hilary Pollack, Lord of the Rec Room High Command, also tried the mask, after a friend gave her the kit with the disclaimer that while it offers great results—refined pores, smooth texture—it does create the temporary effect of looking like a haggard old witch or slightly off reptilian shapeshifter. "I was hesitant to use the mask for months for fear that my face might 'get stuck like that' or something," Hilary told me, but when she eventually took the plunge, she found that despite the harrowing effect of seeing yourself turn octogenarian in rapid time, it does do some very nice things for your skin.
"For a couple of days after I did it, my face felt super smooth, like it was drinking up my moisturizer," Hilary said. "That helped me cope with the trauma of seeing myself turn hideously ugly for 20 minutes." (She took before/during/after pics but has declined to share them with me because she "wants to move on from that moment of my life.")
The mask did leave a little redness on my cheeks and forehead after I rinsed it off, but the instructions say that’s normal, and it went away in about ten minutes. I probably won’t be cranking Hanacure masks on the reg, but I can totally see myself doing these once or twice a month. What I do use everyday, though, is Hanacure’s moisturizer. It’s non-greasy, smells great, and doesn’t make my wimpy, sensitive face skin irritated.
If you decide to crank a Hanacure mask—whether for skin care purposes or to sneak into a liquor store whilst underage—let us know how it goes. Until then, stay smooth, dudes.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.