I love when companies revive products that they killed years ago, and the Self Heating One Minute Mask from Biore is no exception. I used the original years and years ago and it disappeared from the market circa 2010. Recently relaunched as part of their Charcoal / Don’t Be Dirty line, the Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask looks like this:
The new variety contains four foil packets (though oddly spelled, “packette,”) for $7-8 and is available at drugstores, mass merchants, and drugstore.com. Back in the day (at least circa 2007), it looked like this:
The mask came with eight single-use blister-packs and retailed for roughly $7 (a better value than today!). You were instructed to wash your face, leave it wet, open a blister pack and smear the contents onto your face. Once it made contact with the water, a chemical reaction would occur and warm your face. After a minute or so, it would turn blue to show you when to rinse.
I actually received a sampler kit of the Self Heating One Minute Mask courtesy of Biore’s Prove it Rewards program on Facebook. They had a temporary offering where you could redeem a ludicrously low amount of points to get it, so I jumped on it. A couple weeks later, this arrived:
Let’s crack ‘er open!
Again – my unbearably awesome photography. Improvement is a journey, not a destination, right? So on the underside of the lid of the box, it says there are six $1.00 off coupons for the product – one for me, five for friends. Awesome, I love passing the savings on – except there was only one coupon after all.
So here, Biore tries to play the Self Heating One Minute Mask off as a completely new offering. Cute guys, but I know what you did there – and I bet a lot of other Biore fans do, too. The new one does have the addition of charcoal which (I hope!) causes it to be even more effective than its predecessor – but you know we’ll be trying that for science. The collateral says it will help remove two times more dirt, oil, and, “gunk,” (is that a technical term, guys?) but specifies in itty-bitty print that that 2x more is only over a basic cleanser.
You mean doing more work and using advanced treatments will do more than a cleanser by itself? Golly gee. Moving on:
Under the insert are the samples! On the left there is what you would get if you bought it in the store, retail packaging and all. There are four packets inside. On the right, there are five individual packets to give out. The packets inside the retail box are identical to the packets on the right. Here’s a closer look:
After washing my face in the evening, I decided to give it a shot. Leaving my face awkwardly wet from rinsing, I dried my hands, violently tore open the package, and squeezed it onto my fingertips. Unlike its predecessor, it is a blue-grey and looks like this:
Obviously, that was not an action shot – I don’t bring my electronics into the bathroom. Anyway – I smeared it all over my face and had some leftover in the packet (hence the above photo), enough to perhaps even be a second application if stored properly, or at least a targeted/spot application (hindsight is 20/20). Less than one second after contacting the water, the pleasant-smelling mask warmed rapidly as it claims to and as its predecessor did. You are instructed to massage the mask in for one minute and then rinse – by the end of the minute, the heat has dissipated. I found, however, that this iteration is grittier (but nothing like St. Ives Apricot Scrub gritty) than its former version, and you are directed to massage it because it is truthfully a gentle exfoliant. It smells and warms the same was as its predecessor, but this is more of a scrub than a mask like the previous one was.
I did not find that it worked to remove impurities noticeably better than my cleanser did on its own, but that estimate may be geared towards those who are a bit more lax in their skincare practices. In all, while I find the product pleasant and am happy to have tried it out, I personally will not be buying the Self Heating One Minute Mask, not even with the $1 off coupon. In reality, it is not a mask, merely a warming exfoliant – and I am happy with my current exfoliation routine. It would be a fun addition to, say, a DIY spa night, but not cost-effective enough (or, shoot, effective enough), to warrant regular purchase and/or use.