In a country where annual plastic waste generation stands at three million tonnes, it seems trivial to include one-time-use, non-biodegradable products, such as sheet masks and makeup wipes, in our routine.
So we looked around for some green beauty products. An Indian product that caught our eye was the Bio Cellulose Face Masque by ITC’s Dermafique. Sheet masks are often made of non-biodegradable polymers, and even the cotton ones go straight to the trash unless you are someone who sincerely segregates. This is why bio-cellulose masks, which are commonly derived from coconut water and jelly are kinder to the planet. What makes them better are that they don’t slip and slide and you can comfortably wear them for longer.
K-beauty brands such as The Face Shop have been retailing these at the same price point in India (Dermafique’s cost ₹299 each; there are three variants). The packaging tells us that these masks are made in Korea. ITC also mentions the ingredient list, which is more or less similar for all three. The three options include a charcoal mask, a pore tightening mask and a tone perfecting mask. The outer packaging is recyclable, but the mask also comes with a layer of protective plastic film and a non-woven film. So it’s still half the battle won.
We tried all three masks with a gap of a week in between each, starting with the charcoal one, which has been designed to rid the skin of pollutants. It also has other skin-clearing ingredients such as honey, green tea salicylic acid (in lower proportions, plus it’s a short contact treatment, so it won’t irritate your skin) and lactic acid.
We left the mask on for more than 30 minutes and it stayed put while we did our chores. We also found time to run a roller over it for a few minutes to help the product go deeper into the skin. The charcoal mask turned out to be our favourite, as it surprised us with a visible difference in the skin, which appeared a lot brighter and softer.
The pore tightening and tone perfecting masks have similar ingredients, with niacinamide as the second ingredient in both. The pore tightening mask left us with soft skin, so did the tone perfecting mask.
If you need to improve your skin’s tone and texture in the long run and see visible results, you need to use active ingredients such as niacinamide regularly, rather than it being just a weekend indulgence.
Dermafique does a decent job with its ingredient list, and the cellulose mask manages to stay longer on the skin. So if you really like masking and wish to buy a product that is relatively more green than sheet masks, we would recommend the charcoal bio cellulose mask.
Available on ITC Estore, Nykaa and Amazon.