Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask Review
If you’re a regular S&T reader and the mention of Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask is giving you déjà vu, you’re not losing your mind. I first gushed about this mask a few weeks ago in Part 3 of my skincare routine breakdown, describing it thusly:
“Then I fought the urge to run into a public place with it, like the mall or a major airport, and hold it up to people’s faces as I shook them by the collar and screamed, “MY GOD, HAVE YOU SMELLED THIS? IT SMELLS JUST LIKE STRAWBERRY PRESERVES! IT’S LIKE EXFOLIATING WITH STRAWBERRY PRESERVES!”
Today I’ll be giving it a proper review, starting with my appreciation for the product name. I often wish there was a better word for manual exfoliators than “scrub.” Scrubs are for toilets and kitchen sinks as far as I’m concerned. I like to think that Skinfood is on the same page with me here, since they’ve left the word “scrub” out of this product’s name entirely, even though that’s essentially what this mask is. Instead, they’ve opted for the much less chore-centric name, “Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask,” (or “Black Sugar Mask Wash-Off” if you want to get picky, but I prefer my adjectives in front of my nouns).
What is it?
The Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask is an exfoliating mask, which boasts Brazilian black sugar and strawberry seed oil as its “star” ingredients. It promises to clean, soften, and smooth skin.
Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride, Sucrose, Glycerin, PEG-7 Glyceryl Cocoate, Euphorbia Cerifera (Candelilla) Wax, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, Stearalkonium Hectorite, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Lanolin, Macadamia Ternifolia Seed Oil, Limnanthes Alba (Meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Fragaria Vesca (Strawberry) Seed, Sorbitan Laurate, Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil, Water, BHT, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Caramel, CI 17290, CI 17986, Parfum
Overall, this formula is a balanced mixture of physical exfoliating ingredients, emulsifiers, as well as humectant and emollient moisturizers, many of which possess antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some of the standouts:
Sucrose, better known as sugar, is the primary exfoliating component of this mask. Though I prefer chemical exfoliation methods, there are many occasions when I’m unable to resist the call of a satisfying, indulgent facial
scrub polish. It’s important to note that when I do reach for a product like this, sugar is definitely my preferred scrubbing agent. Unlike the sharp, unyielding shards of walnut shell found in common facial scrubs like St.Ives Apricot Scrub, sugar melts into wet skin, and is very effective at removing dry skin flakes without the risk of abrading to the point of irritation.
Glycerin is an odorless, colorless, viscous sugar alcohol compound. Its humectant properties make it a popular cosmetic ingredient. Pure glycerin is able to absorb it’s own weight in water over a period of 3 days, and has been shown in numerous studies to improve skin elasticity, moisture, and barrier function.
Glycerol accelerates recovery of barrier function in vivo
Fluhr JW1, Gloor M, Lehmann L, Lazzerini S, Distante F, Berardesca E.
Acta Dermato Venereologica, November 1999
Glycerol replacement corrects defective skin hydration, elasticity, and barrier function in aquaporin-3-deficient mice
Mariko Hara, A. S. Verkman.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, May/June 2003
Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter
This classic skincare ingredient is one of my all time favorites. It’s anti-inflammatory, full of moisturizing essential fatty acids, and contains antioxidants in the form of Vitamins A, D, and E.
Fragaria Ananassa (Strawberry) Seed Oil
Strawberry seed oil is just one of three antioxidant and fatty acid rich oils in this formula. Strawberry seed oil is high in linoleic acid (great for acne prone skin) as well as vitamins A & C. It’s a light, fast absorbing oil that also possesses antibacterial and astringent properties.
According to CosDNA, there are no major red flags in terms of potential acne triggers or irritants.
Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask comes packaged in a sturdy little plastic bucket. For the most part, I appreciate the old-timey-brown-label aesthetic the brand was aiming for when they designed this packaging, but I do have one complaint: I cannot abide Comic Sans in any context, except for maybe an actual comic, and this label is not an exception. The font isn’t a dealbreaker by any stretch of the imagination, but man – couldn’t they have classed it up a little? Good, old-fashioned Helvetica would have gotten the job done with better style.
Also, though the bucket is sturdy and perfectly functional, I think I would have a much easier time dispensing this product from a tube than scooping it out with my fingers – not just for hygienic reasons, but because the consistency of the product makes it a little messy to deal with at times.
The product itself is berry red, and with its visible strawberry seeds and granules of sugar, it looks exactly like a bucket of extra-sugary strawberry preserves.
The pH for Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask is ~7.0, which is considered neutral (distilled water is also 7.0). I prefer most of my facial treatments to have a pH slightly lower than that (if you’d like to know why, I talk more about that here), but a neutral pH isn’t bad, especially for a product I’m not using daily.
If there is a heaven, and if heaven has an elevator, that elevator is made out of gold, sparkling, clouds, plays nothing but your favorite songs (or possibly The Number One Song in Heaven), and smells exactly like this product. Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask smells like sweet, juicy, strawberry preserves.
I have personally witnessed no fewer than 2 sensible, grown-ass adults put this product into their mouth with the hope that it tastes as good as it smells. I 100% understand the impulse, and I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered it myself. Both grown-ass adults concurred that it does not taste good. If you have children, you’re going to want to hide this from them or, at the very least, sit them down for a serious talk about how skincare products are not food, even when the word “food” appears in the name.
When I use this Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask, I generally use it in the morning after cleansing. The instructions say to massage the product onto clean, damp skin, and then let it sit for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it away with lukewarm water. While I do occasionally follow the instructions, it’s far more common for me to massage the product onto my clean, damp skin, and then immediately rinse it away because it’s a weekday morning, or I’m in the shower, or I just don’t feel like waiting. My skincare routine already has enough waiting with all the acids and the retinoids – I’m not a patient lady so I cut corners where I can. I get the same results regardless of whether or not I wait. The primary difference is that when I wait, the sugar has had more time to melt so the rinsing process is far less abrasive.
If you’ve tried the original Skinfood Black Sugar Wash-Off Mask and found it overly abrasive, it’s worth noting that this strawberry version is gentler.
I’ve been using Skinfood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask a few times a week for a couple of months now. If I wasn’t afraid of over exfoliating, I’d probably use it every day. It gets rid of any visible flaking I have, and leaves me with clean, invisible pores, as well as an angelically smooth skin texture, all without drying my face out.
This product is easily my favorite facial scrub of all that I’ve tried. Not only have I repurchased it for myself, but I’ve bought several of them for the sole purpose of passing them out to my skincare loving friends. If you like smooth, clean skin and things that smell magnificent, Skinfood’s Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Mask is for you.
Pros & Cons
Skin & Tonics Rating
|A||20/20 Efficacy||16/20 Ingredients||20/20 Application||20/20 Wear||18/20 Packaging|
|Total: 94||Rating system details »|
Where to Buy
|SokoGlam Ships from US||$16.80||Shipping to US, Canada, UK, & Australia.||buy|
|Package-go-Fast (Amazon seller) Ships from Korea||$9.88||Free shipping||buy|
|ViewTstory (eBay seller) Ships from Korea||$11.98||Free shipping||buy|
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