Thursday, 16 August 2012

Rachel K Radiance Illuminator Collagen + Lotus Stem Cell Hydrogel Mask Review and Pictures

[EDITED 25/4/2013]

Based on what I've read recently, topical and edible collagen do not really work on the skin. This mask is good for its moisturising properties, but collagen doesn't help the skin via collagen products, as the collagen molecules are far too big to penetrate the skin. Read this article for more information on the collagen beauty myth.


I always try to look my best, especially for special events in my life where I'd be meeting people and taking many photos. That's why in preparation for my 21st birthday celebration, I decided to try out the Rachel K Radiance Illuminator Collagen + Lotus Stem Cell Hydrogel Mask, which I kindly received from Rachel K Cosmetics. Since Rachel K and Rachel T only differ by a letter, so I figured I'd trust my almost-namesake and hope for radiant skin on my birthday after using this face mask!

When I first received it, my interest was piqued by the benefits listed on the packaging:
  • Intense oil-free moisture
  • Brightens dull skin
  • Tightens pores
  • Refines fine lines
  • Controls sebum
  • Calms & Soothes
  • Tones and Refreshes

I've never heard of a mask that uses stem cells as part of the ingredient list, so this was a bonus. Moreover, the mask contains 30g of face mask essence, substantially more than the usual 24g of face masks of other brands.

Here's more information on the back and the application instructions:

Sounds really great for the skin, doesn't it? The stem cells extract is from the lotus flower and is supposed to promote the division of skin cells, enhancing the skin's ability to renew itself. Let's take a closer look at the ingredients:

I did a quick search on the scientific name of the lotus flower or "Nelumbo Nucifera", and noticed that it is listed as the 16th ingredient (about halfway down) in the list. Based on this, I'd say that the amount of stem cell extract is significant enough, and should be adequate to test for its effect on the skin. Collagen follows closely behind, so logically speaking, I should expect supple skin after applying this mask. Based on what I've read recently, topical collagen does not make much of a difference to the skin, and neither does edible collagen. So much for collagen products!

I also noticed that there are many plant extracts in the ingredients, including licorice, sesame, lichen, cordyceps, shea butter and aloe vera. If I'm not wrong, licorice and sesame have whitening properties that help the skin look more radiant, shea butter moisturises the skin deeply and aloe vera has healing properties. These extracts promote clean, radiant, oil-free and moisturised skin, and the best thing is that they're all included in this mask along with stem cell extracts which promote supple and self-repairing skin. Imagine using a 30g bottle of facial essence for at least S$10 - expensive, you say? This mask costs S$5.90 and contains the same amount of essence, but is applied to your skin in the form of a hydrogel mask which ensures that the essence is absorbed into your skin during the 30-40 minutes that it is in contact with the mask.

After carefully reading the instructions, I put the mask on. The mask comes in two parts - the upper half for the forehead, eyes, nose and cheeks and the bottom half for the jaw and the mouth. I noticed that the two halves somehow did not overlap on my face, causing there to be two small spots uncovered by the mask that no amount of adjusting could change. You can enlarge the picture to take a look. The two bare areas of skin are beside my nose.

Try to look past how creepy I look with a transparent mask sheet on my face - I know I look like I belong in a Lady Gaga video here. As this mask is a hydrogel mask, it's completely transparent and has an almost jelly/gel-like texture that melts into your skin when you apply it. My first impressions were that the mask was very cooling and smelt quite pleasant. It fit the contours of my face rather well (I have a small face) except the two bare spots near my nose and the mouth area, where I felt like I had to constantly keep my lips away from the damp mask.

After 40 minutes of luxuriating on the couch with the mask on, I removed it and massaged the remaining mask essence that was in the package on to my face and neck. I love the cooling sensation that masks give, and this was no exception. In my opinion, putting on a face mask is probably one of the best ways to de-stress after a long day.

I didn't apply additional moisturiser after the face mask was done as I already massaged the extra mask essence into my face. The next morning, I awoke to beautifully supple skin on my birthday. I was very surprised by the difference, and even though my usual Naruko Tea Tree Oil Out Night Gelly leaves my skin feeling very moisturised, this face mask left my skin feeling supple and oil-free to a much greater degree. I can't say anything about the reduction of fine lines as I don't have many fine lines at this age, but the mask definitely tightened my pores.

I was so glad that this face mask did its work while I was asleep, as my skin was in a wonderful condition - oil-free and intensely moisturised - and didn't need much make up to look its best on my birthday. Here's my face on my birthday with only my trusty Naruko Narcissus Defense BB Sunscreen SPF50★★★★ and under-eye concealer on:

I think I look quite radiant in this picture, if I may say so. This is testament to how good the Rachel K Radiance Illuminator Collagen + Lotus Stem Cell Hydrogel Mask was at repairing my skin so that I had smooth, supple and oil-free skin on my special day. It lived up to my expectations and even went beyond them, pleasantly surprising me with beautiful skin. At S$5.90 per mask in Watsons stores, it's really quite a splurge, but I would continue using it for special occasions when I need my skin to look extra supple and healthy.

If you haven't already seen this product in Watsons, that's because Rachel K Cosmetics has just released it as part of a new skincare lined titled "See the Difference" at Watsons yesterday and there's an introductory offer that is too great to miss - buy S$30 worth of any skincare products and receive Rachel K Radiance Illuminator Collagen + Lotus Stem Cell Hydrogel Mask for free! To snag this deal, head down to your nearest Watsons store and also check out Rachel K Cosmetics on Facebook for more updates and promotions.

Hope you've enjoyed this post; stay tuned for my next post on the Korres It's a Wild, Wild World with Wild Rose Party that I attended a few weeks ago!

Let's Break It Down

Product Name: Rachel K Radiance Illuminator Collagen + Lotus Stem Cell Hydrogel Mask
Product type: Face mask
Amount of product: 30g of mask essence
Price per product: S$5.90
Comments: Very moisturising, oil-free, controls sebum, tightens pores, slightly expensive, collagen doesn't work on the skin, so that part is a bit of false marketing there
Where to buy: Watsons
To buy or not to buy: I'd recommend it for special occasions due to the slightly steeper price. The effects are very visible, though! Just note that they have nothing to do with collagen.

Product Approved 4/5

Disclaimer: I received this product for review. My opinions are completely honest and 100% my own. No compensation was received for this review.

Rachel loves sharing about the beautiful things in life from different perspectives. She writes on beauty and lifestyle in Cherchez Beauté , and does more abstract stuff on Antelune . When she's not writing, she's playing with her dog Holly, doodling and reading fiction. You can follow her on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram .