Review: isoi – Rose Refresh Mask | A Lightbulb Moment (face sauna life hack plus, a mini beauty fridge rant)

Most people seem to be masking on a weekly basis. Me, I like to go all out and I will usually use at least one type of mask or treatment product every single day of the week, be it a clay mask, sheet mask, acid peel, sleeping pack, face sauna, cellulose based peeling gel, a cleansing mask or – this here type of mask, isoi’s (pronounced like eye-soh-eye) Rose Refresh Mask, a hydrating mask that gets washed off.

Isn’t she a thing of beauty?

・What it is: ・

It’s a wash-off face mask that you put on after cleansing and before going in with all your toners, lotions, serums and creams.


It was slightly brightening and lightly hydrating.

・Price & Availability: ・

As far as bricks-and-mortar shops go, I have only seen this at Olive Young, where isoi seems to be retailing exclusively. One jar goes for ₩29,000, and on sale, it costs something in the vicinity of ₩26,000.

・Size/Quantity: ・

The jar comes with 50g of product plus a few samples of their serum as gifts with purchase.


It’s super weird, I cannot find any ingredients listings anywhere. I did not take many photos of the outer packaging as I did not see this coming. Agh!

However, I went to their Korean page and found an ingredients listing, alllll the way at the bottom. Ruddy hell!

다마스크장미꽃수(70%), 글리세린, 정제수, 베타인, 트레할로오스, 프로방스장미꽃, 붉나무충영추출물, 올리브나무잎추출물, 감국꽃추출물, 회화나무싹추출물, 꿀풀잎추출물, 밤껍질추출물, 흰버드나무껍질추출물, 병풀추출물, 약모밀추출물, 알란토인, 판테놀, 아사이팜열매추출물, 로우스위트블루베리추출물, 인디안구스베리열매추출물, 크랜베리추출물, 알지닌, 카보머, 포트마리골드꽃추출물, 잔탄검, 부틸렌글라이콜, 1,2-헥산다이올, 황금추출물, 모란뿌리추출물, 스페인감초뿌리추출물, 카카오씨추출물

Damask Rose Water (70%), Glycerin, Purified Water, Betaine, Trehalose, Provence Rose Flower, Rhododendron Extract, Olive Tree Leaf Extract, Persimmon Flower Extract, Painting Tree Bud Extract, Honey Grass Leaf Extract, Chestnut Extract , White Willow Bark Extract, Centella asiatica Extract, Herbal Wheat Extract, Allantoin, Panthenol, Acai Palm Fruit Extract, Low Sweet Blueberry Extract, Indian Gooseberry Fruit Extract, Cranberry Extract, Arginine, Carbomer, Fort Marigold Flower Extract, Xanthan Gum , Butylene glycol, 1,2-hexanediol, Golden extract, Peony root extract, Spanish licorice root extract, Cacao seed extract

I then created a new entry at cosDNA which you may access using this link and ran an ingredients analysis. Everything came back clean:


The outer cardboard box that the mask comes with is cute, as is the heavy glass jar with a plastic screw on lid, though the jar is a lot simpler than the box suggests in my opinion. It’s a nice pop of colour on your bathroom shelf, or in my case, in the fridge, as I kept mine in the fridge for that extra cooling sensation.

Side note. Who else thinks beauty fridges are a complete waste of money and marketing rip off? I have a little shelf in my fridge dedicated to only sheet masks and wash off packs that I like to stay cold, and find my regular fridge to be doing just fine. Beauty fridges, to me, are just a marketing ploy that tries to extort more money out of customers by creating a demand for a product that is, in no way, shape or form, needed whatsoever.

・What the company says:・ 

얼굴이 유난히 칙칙, 푸석해 보일 때!

수분&진정이 시급할 때!10분만에 완성하는 귀족 피부!

촉촉, 매끈하게 살아나는 생기 피부!

유럽 왕실의 로즈 페탈 뷰티 시크릿을

간편 마스크로 누리세요.

My translation – sounds clunky but that is because I translated literally and you know how some expressions sound cool in one language but rather off when translated word for word:

When your face looks unusually dull, out of shape and lacklustre!
When you urgently need to get some hydration and soothing skincare!
The skin of a royal within 10 minutes!
Hydrated, smooth, bright skin!
The European royal rose petal beauty secret.
Enjoy it in a simple mask.

If you really want to get into it, you may choose to check out their whole marketing spiel over at their official site but I felt it’d be boring to just parrot ad copy. That’s not what I am here for.


The mask itself is a gel mask with little soft bits suspended in it. I suppose that those bits are meant to resemble rose potpourri (dried petals) suspended in rose jelly. The gel is slightly watery-soft without being runny and is easy to spread. The little bits are of slightly harder consistency though still soft and do not yield easily under pressure, though you can mush them if you really, consciously put your mind to it.


This smells beautifully of freshly picked roses. It is a gorgeous, natural scent that I can accept even though I have kind of started taking a dislike to fragranced products. In this instance, I can accept it because it is derived from the ingredients themselves. It is medium strong but pleasant. It stays with you throughout the application and it does linger until you wash it off completely.


  • This is a mask that I would personally use at night, after double cleansing (or in my case, triple cleansing, as I like to use an eye makeup remover and a micellar water, followed by an oil cleanser and then a pH neutral foam cleanser) but before toners.
  • If you like, you could mist your skin with a face mist or wipe it with a toner before applying the mask, but you don’t have to.
  • I liked to keep it in the fridge, which is what I do with almost all of my masks because I like a cooling sensation on my skin regardless of the time of year.
  • Personally, I enjoyed using this following a face sauna. Here’s what you do for that face sauna life hack:

(I) Prepare a large glass or china bowl and add some tea that you are not particularly fond of (I have some weird Korean flower teas that taste like skunk carcass but smell good, plus some weird green tea that I was gifted as a souvenir but that tastes weirdly of spinach. Waste not, want not.) You could just use hot water though.

(II) Cover the bowl with a largeish hand towel.

(III) Cleanse your skin. Whether that’s a first cleanse or a double cleanse is up to you but I would most certainly recommend a double cleanse.

(IV) While you cleanse, boil some water and add it to your bowl, but keep the bowl covered while you return the kettle to wherever you keep your kitchen appliances.

(V) Don’t dilly dally between your cleanse and getting your face over that hot steamy bowl though, or else your skin may dehydrate. I can attest to this from first hand experience, plus some skincare blogs that I read have mentioned it. Apparently, the technical term is transdermal water loss.

Or else, you could keep skin moist (many people hate that word, I don’t) by spritzing a facial mist on your mug in the interim. Do check out Paris B’s post on the importance of damp skin in skincare if you can.

(VI) Lift the towel to check that the temperature is not too hot, then hover over the bowl with your face while keeping your shoulders and head covered with the towel. The towel should be large enough to keep the steam in. Your face should be getting steamed like a dumpling at this point.

(VII) Wait for 5-10 minutes depending on your preference.

(VIII) Apply a mask or just your regular skincare regimen after this. I really enjoyed applying the refrigerated rose mask after this as the cold gel felt wonderful on my hot, steamy face and I felt as though I was able to reap more of its benefits that way as my skin was flushed and more thoroughly hydrated thanks to the steam.

Benefits that I personally derive from this – remember, I am an English teacher, not a dermatologist nor any kind of doctor:

  • I feel as though the skincare routine that follows goes on smoother and that products are absorbed better.
  • I like the aroma therapy benefits of breathing in steam that’s been scented with green tea, weird Korean tea or Early Grey or whatever else that you like.
  • I feel as though regular use during cold season has helped me not yet get sick this year (touch wood – looking at you, Corona virus that is currently ravaging my current home country here in Korea haha!).
  • I have the impression that this face sauna cleans my skin better and ups its hydration levels.

As you can see, most of the benefits of a face sauna are probably in my head but I like doing it anyways.


Let’s be honest, shall we? I did not feel as though the mask was a complete life changer. It felt nice and cooling because it came out of the fridge, and it was lightly hydrating. I also thought it helped brighten the hyperpigmentation around my eyes just a bit.

Looking back however, I feel my hyperpigmentation was stronger in the summer, so it might just be that when I was using the mask during the colder months, my hyperpigmentation was fading naturally. It’s hard to tell and the brightening effects might be all in my head after all.

It was hydrating but more on a surface level type of way, it seemed to stay on top of the skin without delivering any deeper hydration or nourishing benefits.

Fine lines were slightly less visible but still there. Pimples and acne marks looked pretty much the same before and after. Overall, I did imagine my skin to be a bit brighter but then again, that could just be the surface level hydration talking.

・Final Thoughts:・  

Sometimes, writing your thoughts down – or just externalising them in general – really helps you clarify your intent and organise your random opinions. It also helped me make up my mind in regards to this mask.

This mask was nice, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a must. Don’t expect life changing results. It is alright to have and is a gorgeous treat, in the olfactory sense in particular. However, I daresay that the world will keep turning even if you don’t buy this mask.

© 2020 The Empties Diaries All Rights Reserved

7 thoughts on “Review: isoi – Rose Refresh Mask | A Lightbulb Moment (face sauna life hack plus, a mini beauty fridge rant)

    1. Oooh I used to hate ginseng but then I drank it a few times and now I love it. Maybe give it a few more tries?

      Is it ground up root, extract or some kind of powder/syrup?

      I have read that ginseng is purported to have so many health benefits too. My husband has hot ginseng tea every morning (ginseng extract diluted with hot water, to be precise) and then at night he has another sachet of ginseng extract and he ABSOLUTELY swears by it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ooh actually I like ginseng in general and have a nice extract syrup from 정관장 … but there’s a particular tea that is terrible by the brand 쌍계, it’s the red ginseng tangerine peel tea in pyramid bags.

        Liked by 1 person

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