I seem to have a bad habit of buying and reviewing masks right as they’re discontinued, and this is no different – Holika Holika discontinued the Sweet Tea Cafe line of their sheet masks some time ago. However, since the masks are still relatively easy to get ahold of online since a lot of retailers stocked up, I figure a review could still be useful to some people, right?
I bought the Rosy Peach “flavor” from the Sweet Tea Cafe line. I really wanted the Milk Tea variety, but that’s sold out everywhere as far as I can tell – most retailers seem to have all the other kinds for now, though.
“Rosy Peach” is meant to help clarify acne-prone skin while adding moisture and aiding circulation. You can see the details of each sheet mask variety in this graphic from Holika Holika’s official website:
Read on to see how effective I found this particular sheet mask!
First of all, I used this sheet mask on a day that I felt totally zombified. I had flipped my entire sleeping schedule within a two-day span (from night shift to daytime) and then spent all of the prior day driving to and from another city a few hours away, going on several-hours-long walking tour and then spending a lot of time doing home/decor shopping at Ikea. I was running on like 3-4 hours of sleep and so I’d drank like 10 cups of coffee, easy, over the course of the day… which means that when I finally got home, I could not sleep soundly and was waking up constantly.
So the morning that I used this sheet mask, I felt dried out and barely alive, basically.
I washed my face, used my toner, and then applied this sheet mask and laid down for 20 minutes to let it do its thing while I caught up on some Mighty Avengers goodness (Monica Rambeau for the MCU, please!).
I have to say that this was a really relaxing experience – in part because I felt like this sheet mask fit my face far better than most other brands that I’ve tried (they’re usually wayyy too big for my face, so I have to scrunch them and I end up with the essence dripping down the sides of my face and neck because of the ill-fitting sheet part) and I felt like it was saturated with just enough essence to totally immerse my face in the goodies while preventing it from getting all runny and drippy.
The scent is a very strong peach, really candy-sweet Bath & Body Works style synthetic peach rather than fresh peach skin, so if you like that you’ll enjoy this mask. It was a bit sweet for my taste, but after about 10 minutes I started smelling the rose petal note prominently, which tempered the fake peach and turned it into a really pleasant scent.
I feel like this was a really therapeutic sheet mask session, when I got up to remove the mask and pat the remaining essence into my face and neck, I felt like I’d gotten a nap or something – I was considerably more relaxed and alert. On the zombie scale, this mask took me from totally dried out, braiiinns-starved, slow Romero-style zombie to fresh, fast-moving L4D version!
Okay, that was one of the weirder metaphors that I’ve used on this blog. Anyhow, moving on.
Here’s a shot of the mask sheet all laid out. I think what works for me is that it’s more of a broad shape, whereas a lot of other sheet masks are really long. I have more of a square-shaped head and broader cheekbones, so often a lot of sheet masks are just enormously long on me, with way too much material on the jaw area and in between my nose and lips, resulting in an overall ill fit and the essence dripping down my neck and sides of my head while I’m trying to relax. So it was a delight to find a brand whose mask fit actually seems cut with my face shape in mind!
The sheet was easy to unwrap, didn’t tear, and was well-saturated with the essence. Nothing to complain about here.
As with pretty much all sheet masks, the instructions are to wash your face, use any toner/first essence type products, then put the mask on and lie down for 15-20 minutes. After that time, you remove the mask and pat the remaining essence into your face and neck until it’s fully absorbed.
This mask absorbed very easily and quickly for me, I think it only took a few minutes after removing the sheet for it to absorb and stop being sticky. The above is a shot of my cheek after the essence had been patted on, you can see that my skin looks nicely hydrated and somewhat radiant and dewy. I don’t think that it made me look quite as amazingly radiant and healthy as My Beauty Diary Sake Yeast Sheet Masks do, but to be honest I’ve yet to find any sheet mask that really compares with my beloved sake yeast goodness! I think that frequent sheet mask users probably understand what I mean, right? Some sheet masks just make you look incredibly radiant and alive – while being a nice sensory experience, this one wasn’t quite on that level.
I will say that I also didn’t feel as completely hydrated after this mask compared to the MBD mask. This mask has alcohol relatively high up on the ingredients list, which explains the quick-drying effect but also may have contributed to it not being as moisturizing. This may lead to the mask being really unsatisfactory for dryer skin types, which I suppose makes some amount of sense as the Rosy Peach variety is intended for acne-prone, oilier skins.
Here’s the ingredients list, thankfully they include it in English as well for their Western audience!
Water, glycerin, alcohol, sodium hyaluronate, peg-60 hydrogenated castor oil, phenoxyethanol, carbomer, triethanolamine, allantoin, disodium edta, fragrance, adenium obesum leaf extract, prunus persica (peach) fruit extract, phyllanthus emblica extract, artemisia vulgaris extract, arnica montana flower extract, gentiana lutea root extract, achillea millefolium extract
I’ve gone ahead and uploaded it to CosDNA as well, you can visit its page here. As usual, Carbomer is a very low-level irritant, and triethanolamine can be clogging/acne-inducing for some people.
- The plant extracts are as follows:
- phyllanthus emblica is Indian Gooseberry
- adenium obesum is known as Desert Rose or Impala Lily (weirdly, its root sap is used as an arrow-coating poison… but don’t worry, they used the leaf extract here)
- artemisia vulgaris is Mugwort
- arnica montana flower is commonly called Arnica or Wolfsbane
- gentiana lutea is Bitterwort
- achillea millefolium is Yarrow
- prunus persica is Peach
…just for anyone curious!
I did experience very minor clogging that cropped up the evening that I used this, but they were just very tiny closed comedones and easily extracted – I gently extracted them and slapped on some anti-blemish serum (right: my initial feelings on the blemish serum from this Memebox are veeeeeeery positive, though obviously it’s only preliminary given that I’ve been using the serum for just under a week at this point) on top of my usual night routine, and by the next morning you couldn’t tell that there had been any problem. My guess is that the concentration of triethanolamine was just high enough to give me those baby clogs, as I’ve experienced this before with other sheet masks with triethanolamine higher up on the ingredients list. It’s present in some products that I really love, so for me it’s an ingredient that I don’t actively avoid and just kind of see how it works out on a case-by-case basis.
Because of this, I probably wouldn’t repurchase this exact sheet mask, but I’m still interested in trying other Holika Holika sheet masks for sure, especially if they retain the same shape as it was such a joy to have one that actually fit my face for once! Plus, the sheer relaxation and sensory experience was so nice and really helped to revive me from feeling like I was just about dead.
My Holika Holika Rosy Peach Tea Cafe Mask Sheet review is going to be medium positive. It’s not a drop-everything-and-track-it-down-before-its-gone type of product at all, but it was very pleasant to use – and if you have similar issues about most sheet masks’ shapes being too long for your face, you may want to look into the Tea Cafe line. As for this specific variety, I’d say that for those with dry skin it won’t be anything special, and if you’re sensitive to triethanolamine you may want to pass, depending on how serious your reaction tends to be when using that ingredient.
I’m definitely interested in trying more Holika Holika sheet masks after this just by virtue of the sheet’s cut alone, but I know now that I need to check their ingredients list specifically for where triethanolamine is placed (if included) before buying.
WHERE TO BUY
- Starting at… $995 for 5 sheets on Amazon – seriously, I just had to include that link because lol wtf?!
- $2 per sheet at Pretty & Cute
- $2.36 for 3 sheets at Rose Rose Shop
- Starting at $4.29 for 3 on eBay
There are referral links present in this post. Please visit the site disclaimer for more information, and THANK YOU if you choose to buy anything via these links – I love you much!