Discover the “Dry Mask” Trend With The Nannette de Gaspé Youth Restored Collection Of Restorative Techstile Masques
When you think of a “sheet mask,” do you picture a soppy, goopy, serum-infused, flimsy piece of paper-like fabric with cut-outs for your eyes, mouth, and nostrils? Well, what if someone invented a mask you could place on your skin — or, on targeted area like the neck, eyes, and mouth, for that matter — without having to deal with the messiness of traditional sheet masks? Before your eyes widen and you start sketching, tinkering with formulas, investigating patents, and signing up for a Shark Tank appearance, allow me to introduce you to the visionary who beat you to the punch —and did so with panache: Nannette de Gaspé.
Described as “wearable technology meets luxury cosmetics,” Nannette de Gaspé’s masks are completely novel in that they feel dry to the touch and yet they’re embedded with age renewal actives. These masks, then, feature a unique delivery system whereby active ingredients penetrate the skin through an activation process that involves massage. In other words, when you place one of these masks over the area it’s intended to cover, you can “activate” it by lightly massaging its surface with your fingers, making sure to cover the entire surface area and then repeating the process about 3 to 4 times.
Each mask is made of a unique Techstile fabric sourced from Japan that’s at once sturdier than most sheet masks (be they made of plant cellulose, bamboo fiber, or any other material) but also incredibly soft to the touch. The brand describes the feel as “intimate” and there’s some truth to that description — there is something almost seductive about the tactile sensation of these masks (but don’t confuse that with the mask being conducive to some hanky-panky because, as with any face mask, you will look a little crazy during each pampering session!).
As to why the masks are waterless, the answer isn’t limited to concerns about neatness — the fact that it’s mess-free is actually a secondary matter. The main reason why the formula is waterless is that it allows for a more efficient and continuous delivery of active ingredients. When sheet masks feature water-based formulas (and note that I’m referring to water as opposed to, say, aloe), some of the plumping, firming, rejuvenating active ingredients suspended in the aqueous formula can lose a great deal of their efficacy as a result of being exposed to the oxygen in the air. Also, once the water evaporates, there’s no way for the ingredients to work their magic. Ingredients with a small molecular weight, of course, have the best shot of actually penetrating the deeper layers of the skin before the water base evaporates, but there are some other ingredients that can’t reach those deeper layers of the epidermis. And, of course, there’s also the fact that skin can only absorb but so many nutrients at once and so, with traditional sheet masks, many ingredients wind up simply sitting atop the surface of the skin. In contrast, the waterless formula powering the Nannette de Gaspé masks can not only penetrate the skin more effectively, but it can do so over longer periods of time due to a continual release of actives.
The Nannette de Gaspé masks, then, are part of a movement towards” infusers,” which are advanced skincare treatments consisting of waterless balms imprinted onto fabric applicators. In the case of her masks, the active formula contains 87% anti-aging ingredients and emollients that gradually penetrate the different layers of the epidermis, with a sustained release of ingredients for 6 to 8 hours beyond the contact period. The key, of course, is massage, as it’s the heat produced by that motion (and the circulation boost) that will really kickstart the release of ingredients.
Thus far, I’ve tried two Nannette de Gaspé masks and have loved both. The Nannette de Gaspé Youth Revealed Mouth Masque ($85 at NannettedeGaspe.com and Barneys NY) is meant to strengthen the collagen network along the upper lip area and the corners of the mouth so as to keep your pout from looking prune-like and puckered. The nude-colored mask has a beautiful print reminiscent of butterfly wings, and it covers nearly the entire bottom half of your face, extending from your cheekbones down to your jawline, but it’s amazingly comfortable — particularly since it has slits along each side that are meant to be slipped over the ears to ensure a secure fit. That said, even with the adorable print, you do look a bit like Hannibal Lecter while wearing it. Behold exhibit A:
My husband of course teased me mercilessly whenever I wore this mask, repeating the “it places in the lotion in the basket” line from Silence of the Lambs and snickering. Not that I pay any attention since my skin looks supple and line-free, and I’ve definitely noticed a difference along my upper lip area, which looked a bit dry due to all the years I spent waxing the area (lasers are the answer, ladies!).
Next, I tried the Nannette de Gaspé Youth Revealed Eyes Masque ($90 at NannettedeGaspe.com and Barneys NY), which again contains ingredients meant to support the skin’s collagen while stimulating the production of new collagen and elastin. It also contains a peptide sequence meant to fortify the skin and make it more resilient. Other ingredients include shea butter, olive oil, camellia seed oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, plankton extract, and rosemary leaf extract.
When wearing this one, you’ll resemble Zorro — it literally covers the whole eye area and leaves only two holes for your eyes — but, again, it’s totally worth any quips about “Justice for all!”
All in all, these masks are easy to use (and you can reuse up to 3 times!), and they do work as promised.
It will be fun to see whether more dry masks begin to launch or whether Nannette de Gaspé will continue to single-handedly rule over this skincare space.