Saturday, November 28, 2015

Try This: Chilled Eye Masks

I love teaching writing, but I don't love the endless eye strain that results from staring at PowerPoints for 5 hours straight and reading dozens and dozens of essays. Sometimes I come home and my eyes are so sore, they almost feel swollen, and the pain makes my head throb.

On days like that, I'm happy for hydrogel eye masks. Now, I've always enjoyed masks, but I haven't used them as much as many other beauty addicts; the effects are only temporary unless you mask regularly, which can make costs skyrocket. But I was placing an order on for the Korean Beauty giveaway, saw these, and decided to give these a shot.

The SNP Bird's Nest Aqua Eye Patches contain various oils and plant extracts, plus--you guessed it--bird spit extracted from birds' nests. Sounds disgusting, I know, but Korean beauty is infamous for using all kinds of icky-sounding but weirdly-effective ingredients, like snail mucin and bee venom. Personally, I'm open to most things until we get in to fecal territory--unless it makes me look as good as Charlize Theron, that's where I draw the line.


The SNP patches are slippery little hydrogel suckers; they give you a plastic spatula to scoop the things out, but even then, it can be a struggle. Once you've got two separated, however, you can apply them to your eyes and let them sit for 15-20 minutes.

Now, because I'm Queen of Eye Strain, I like to give these patches an extra "boost" by putting them in the fridge for 15 minutes or less before applying. When I first drop the chilled patches on to my undereyes, I get a bit of a shock. But the coldness of the patch helps sooth my undereyes and decrease puffiness. After a few minutes, the patch will warm up a bit from the heat of my skin, though it remains cooler than and therefore quite relaxing.

I dislike wearing my glasses while these are on, and you kind of have to lay back to keep these slippery suckers from sliding off of your face, but I don't mind. I either put on a TV show I've seen so many times I don't have to see it (South Park is usually my first choice), or I just enjoy the silence and give myself time to think.

When I remove the patches, I pat the leftover essence in to my eyes. The eye area looks brighter, feels softer, and has fewer visible fine lines, though of course, these effects are only temporary. But the real benefit, both for my brain and my sore eyes, was those 20 minutes of ice cold relaxation.

PS: Don't feel the need to buy hydrogel eye masks just for the sake of trying this out. You can test it with other cream/gel masks you own, sheet masks, and eye creams: refrigerate them for a few minutes and slap 'em on! If all else fails, you can always keep spoons in your freezer.

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