Recently, Truth In Aging offered me a trial of Skinvel's Bio-Cellulose Facial Mask ($45) - yes, that Skinvel! I had read Marta's review and reader comments on the LED Mask back in February and though it was fascinating, I'm not interested in encountering my inner Darth Vader. I was quickly assured that this mask is not a device, but just a disposable product. So onward I went.

The product comes from Taiwan and when I got the package - three masks are included in a box that seems to retail from around $45 to $50 online - I recognized the delivery design. I've tried similar Japanese products: the product is saturated on a sort of paper cloth that the user arranges on her face; it has helpful cutouts for eyes, nose, and mouth. Each mask is packaged between two sheets of protective paper inside a foil package, so everything stays stable until you open the foil, remove the outer paper, and apply.

The mask is very well-saturated with a slightly gel-like liquid, so it's a bit messy to use. It does adhere reasonably well, so during the 15 to 20 minutes you're instructed to leave it on you can go about your business. After removing the paper, the instructions suggest massaging the remaining fluid into the face. (I used it at night, and followed it only with eye cream.) The directions suggest that the mask should be used two to three times a week.

The mask is meant to be both lightening ("superb whitening essence," in the words of the package) and hydrating. This is due to its chief ingredient, tranexamic acid, which thanks to TIA I know is very widely used for fading pigmentation and common in Asian products, along with niacinamide. The other ingredients, including sodium hyaluronate, are hydrating.

I did find Skinvel's Bio-Cellulose Facial Mask hydrating, though just one box (3 masks) didn't produce any significant change in terms of brightening or pigmentation. But I don't think I'd be likely to give it another try. I don't really like the applied-mask technique - I find it messy - and I just don't think that a weeks' treatment is worth more than $40. I'd rather put that money towards several good brightening serums (and of course my trusty UltraRenew) for more even skin tone.


Ingredients in Skinvel La Pure Bio-Cellulose Facial Mask: Tranexamic Acid, Water(Aqua), Pentylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Hydrolyzed Royal Jelly Protein, Glycosyl Trehalose, Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Hyaluronate, Phenoxyethanol, Allantoin, Peg-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Fragrance