Introducing the newest sheet mask ingredients: dust bunnies, human hair and insects. According to recent investigations into the packaging practices of K-beauty sheet masks, your favorite beauty ritual might be made in some seriously unhygienic conditions. Don’t shoot the messenger, y’all.
The revelation has been swirling in Korea for some time now, but it became international news after a user who goes by the alias dvaonline22 shared the findings on the popular subreddit thread Asain Beauty. She writes, “I just wanted to share that, recently, in Korea it’s revealed that sheet masks are made in conditions that are far from hygienic. I’m not sure if this issue has made international or not, but I thought I’d share it since international consumers have a right to know as well. I hope, by making this an international issue, some companies will change how they manage production processes.” She then links to a handful of articles written up on the issue. All of which are in Korean.
Videos and photos have been revealed of beauty brand workers assembling the masks not in a factory but in their homes, often without gloves. In some photos, the masks are folded on coffee tables. Another shows a recycled piece of cardboard being used repeatedly as a folding guide.
In an in-depth piece on the issue, Racked writes, “Making cosmetics in a private home without a manufacturing license is illegal in Korea, but because there are so many small cosmetic brands it is fairly common.” They go on to explain the process works like this: Sheet masks and envelopes are dropped off to folder’s homes. They fold the masks using a guide and insert them into an envelope. The envelopes are then picked up and taken to the factory. From there they are supposedly sterilized, filled with scents and sealed. However, numerous reports claim that this process does not actually eliminate all germs it was exposed to while being assembled in a person’s home.
The practice is common among small brands for which factory assembly is expensive, but a handful of bigger companies like Mediheal, SNP and Forencos have been linked to the shady practice as well. Since these findings are new, it’s difficult to tell which germs we could be exposed to, but some beauty buffs have reported finding hair, unusual black spots and even insects in the masks. I mean, we’re down with trying the snail mask but this is a whole other level.
Have you found anything concerning in your sheet mask? Share with us on Twitter @BritandCo.