Long title ahoy! As someone who wakes up being mined by the oil industry due to the sheer amount of slick on my face, I don’t really gravitate toward cosmetic oils. However, I recently tried TonyMoly Floria Nutra Energy Mask Sheet with argan oil. And surprisingly, it was all a decent slippery slope from there. (Ooh. Sorry for the gross imagery.)
The TonyMoly Floria product line is actually notable for its whitening/brightening properties and the variety of flower-/plant-based ingredients, some of which you’ll see below; some products from the line include the Floria Whitening Capsule Essence and Floria Whitening Cream. Then, there are the TonyMoly Floria Nutra Energy products, which share a name and some common ingredients but touts argan oil as its primary ingredient instead. Not sure if I’ll ever fully understand South Korean cosmetic marketing and naming tactics, though.
The Benefits of Argan Oil, a.k.a. “Liquid Gold”
Argan oil is extracted from the nuts of the argan tree, native to Morocco. It’s popular for use on the skin and hair due to its naturally-occurring nutrients like vitamin E, which is an antioxidant that protects against aging and restores skin elasticity, and fatty acids, which “are responsible for the health of the cell membrane,” are a barrier against harmful things, and help both nutrients and waste products to go in and out of cells. The effects are comparable though not identical to tea tree oil’s.
Argan oil is great at absorbing into your skin; plus, it’s not excessively greasy and not a common irritant. It is used for preventing stretch marks and sagging among pregnant women, balancing the skin’s moisture, preventing dryness, and soothing irritation. All in all, it’s excellent for dry skin, conditions like eczema, reducing inflammation due to acne or skin damage, and even healing.
As mentioned, argan oil mostly comes from Morocco, but please note: it can also come with a slew of humanitarian issues regarding working conditions for women. Fortunately, the situation—while not yet perfect—is certainly improving with women-run argan cooperatives in Morocco. To read more about the work behind producing argan oil, check out this New York Times article on Moroccan “liquid gold”!
On the bright side, Google “argan tree goats.” Go ahead. I won’t spoil it for ya.
Now, back to TonyMoly Floria Nutra Energy Mask Sheet! While I’ve been hearing/reading about argan oil for a while, this is actually my first time using a product that features it. This was a sample I couldn’t find in-store, so I couldn’t find a product page to refer to. Here’s what the description on the back says:
“With Argan Oil, Healthy face made by highly nutritious & energetic skin power”
Yarp. I assume the “nutritious and energetic” alludes mainly to argan oil’s properties mentioned above. Let’s see if they check out.
From the back of the packaging, also found on Cosdna. Those with 1 or higher “Acne” or “Irritant” value, as well as a red “Safety” value, are bolded*:
Water, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Alcohol, Xanthan gum, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Sodium Citrate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Adenosine, Panthenol, Disodium EDTA, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Extract, Myrothamnus Flabellifolia Callus Culture Extract, Pseudozyma Epicola/Soybean Flour/Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil Ferment Filtrate, Rose Canina Flower Oil, Borago Officinalis Seed Oil, Oenothera Biennis (Evening Primrose) Oil, Calendula Officinalis Flower Oil, Althaea Rosea Root Extract, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Fragrance.
*Note that these values do not indicate universal truths. The amount of ingredient actually in the product, as well as the product’s overall formulation, greatly affect the potential for irritation. Not everyone will be sensitive to these bolded ingredients, and you may be sensitive to ingredients that are not bolded. Every individual’s skin may react differently. Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV).
Now, I don’t actually sheet mask very often. I’ll sometimes make a DIY sheet mask using a dry Daiso face sheet capsule with Hada Labo Shirojyun Arbutin Lotion. This is also my SO’s first-ever sheet mask; he has normal skin with occasional dryness. A proper sheet mask tends to be more soaked in essence and is finer in quality than DIY sheets, and that’s certainly the case with these masks.
The masks unfold alright, and the fit is decent. There are 1-inchish-long slits all around the mask: 2 above the temples, 2 at the cheekbones, 2 at the jawline, and 1 at the chin. It feels rather tight around the small mouth hole, but that’s probably because we sometimes like to talk while watching Twin Peaks. That’s easily solved by cutting slits at the mouth corners. My SO has a larger face than me; while the mask’s size is just right for me, it is too small for him by maybe 1/5-inch all around his face. I think we could have cut his in half horizontally or vertically for better coverage. He also refuses to look in mirrors or get his photo taken with a mask on because he thinks he looks like a murderer. Which isn’t completely false.
Anyway, here is me smoothing the mask down and smearing essence down onto my neck. I didn’t premeditate the pose, I swear.
SO: (takes photos) Okay, I can’t look at this. Too scary.
There is plenty of oil left in the package, which is enough for perhaps 1-2 days of use on your face and neck. For sanitary reasons, I actually wouldn’t use it longer than that. If you do save the essence, store the packages in an airtight Ziploc bag!
The mask went on smoothly, and felt very moisturizing, rejuvenating, and fresh, in a way. It was a hot day and my skin welcomed the cool mask. Sheet masks directions usually say to leave on for 15-20 minutes. As per many folks’ recommendations, I left it on for nearly 45 minutes. Please note that keeping a sheet mask longer than directed can supposedly risk drying out or bogging down your skin, causing more issues; the mask does dry out, especially under the nose where your breath passes. An hour might be too much, but not unheard of. 45 minutes worked out well for this mask.
After taking it off, I patted some excess essence on my face, then pressed the mask on my arms and legs. Heh, cheapskate here for sure. Because its prominent ingredient is oil, I decided to experiment and not put anything over the mask’s essence; it felt moisturizing enough alone. In the morning, as expected for my particular skin type, I woke up as an oil slick. (Don’t worry; that’s my normal state.) More significantly, my skin was brighter, plumper, and smoother than it usually would after a typical evening routine. Considering I didn’t do anything but cleanse and sheet-mask, this was pretty good. It was a relief when I rinsed my face, though; I could still feel a little essence sitting there. Perhaps using the excess essence was, err, excessive.
That next evening, I used more of the excess essence, but this time it was part of my regular routine under my moisturizer and repurposed spot treatment. I did not use a BHA or vitamin C serum. Then, the next morning, the effect was similar to the mask but lessened: Not as oily, a bit less bright and plump, but still quite hydrated. I would have used an occlusive, but it’s just so humid lately. I just can’t even.
The scent isn’t strong, but it does have one. It reminds me of a mild shampoo and, well, oils. Not cooking oils, fortunately. This smells pleasant, fresh, and not edible at all.
I got two of these sheet masks for free at TonyMoly Ke‘eaumoku St. when my significant other (SO) and I bought his TonyMoly Regencia Homme Multi-Fluid (which he says is amaze-balls, by the way). While it’s generally cheaper to buy TonyMoly online, you can’t deny the convenience and experience of handling the actual products in brick-and-mortar stores. The salesperson who’s usually there when I go is really sweet and helpful. She practically recognizes us by name already—I signed up for their membership thing, because points and freebies—and I suspect that’s why she gave us two masks instead of one. Teehee.
For me, TonyMoly Floria Nutra Energy Mask Sheet did the basics of what it claimed it does, but it wasn’t as awe-inspiring as argan oil itself tends to be. Clouds didn’t part and mountains weren’t moved. But that’s perfectly fine. I cannot deny how bright and simply hydrated my skin was the day after. Granted, this is not a purely argan oil mask. And because this is only a single-use sheet mask, there’s no way for me to tell whether or not this has a considerable effect on skin elasticity and aging from just this one use. On the other hand, it is pretty good for a free sample. And it got me more curious about argan oil, now that the seasons are (supposedly) changing.
I might not recommend argan oil masks for oily skin types’ regular use, except maybe during a dry season or in a dry climate. This mask would be significantly better for normal to dry skin types, as per argan oil’s usual users.
Me: How do you like it?
SO: (feels up face, grins) I like it.
Me: Would you sheet mask more?
SO: Yeah…Yeah, I’ll sheet mask again!
SO: But no mirrors.
Overall Rating: 3.75 / 5
Possibly repurchase (or re-acquire). It would be cool to have it again, but I’d rather get a sheet mask better suited for my skin type and targeting different concerns.
The SO rates it 4 / 5. “Not 5 because it’s spooky.”
Have you tried this sample sheet mask before, or any argan oil products? Any recommendations for my next sheet mask? 🙂