A good percentage of the beauty trends we see that come out of Korea are effective. Most are, at the very least, quite intriguing—this curiosity is definitely a large part of what has driven the K-beauty craze to peak levels. So whenever we hear of a new fad taking Seoul by storm, needless to say, we're going to do everything we can to try it. And that, folks, is how face slimming masks, also known as V-masks, made their way to the Byrdie offices. Like under-eye patches for your chin, these sheets promise a sharper, firmer jawline, no surgery needed.
But do they actually get the job done? Keep reading to learn all about face slimming masks and if they really work to tighten the jawline, according to experts.
Meet the Expert
- Ava Shamban, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in various skin treatments including those related to acne, acne scarring, pigmentation, rosacea, photoaging, and intrinsic as well as epigenetic aging.
- Rachel Nazarian, MD, is a board-certified dermatologist and fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. She specializes in cosmetic treatments, skin cancer, and dermatologic surgery.
- Natalie Franz is a renowned celebrity makeup artist who founded V-mask brand Magicstripes. She has worked with talents such as Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and Alessandra Ambrosio.
What Are Face Slimming Masks?
Face slimming masks are basically a hybrid between a sheet mask, an under-eye patch, and a chin strap. Their goal is to help shape the chin area while lifting and defining the lower part of the face. They improve facial contouring and tighten the face without surgery.
"With gravity over time and loss of collagen and elastin for structure, we start to see a sagging or loose jawline," explains Shamban. So you can say bye to jowls and gobble-chin: "A shaped jawline is not only desirable for Korean women, but for all women of a certain age," adds Franz.
How to Apply Face Slimming Masks
There are holes at each end of the mask, which you loop around your ears to hold it in place. The fabric is infused with firming ingredients—in the case of Magicstripes' Lifting Collagen Mask ($53), which we tried, the list includes collagen, vitamin C, vitamin E, macadamia nut oil, and caffeine. On the other hand, Whishful's best-seller Chin Lift Sculpting Sheet Mask relies on the power of niacinamide to help tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of fine lines, and adenosine and peppermint to give the skin energy and moisture with a minty feeling. Arkana's V-Shape Mask helps to model and improve the chin area as a face sculpt with hyaluronic acid and pomegranate extract—this last one working as a powerful antioxidant and cell regenerator.
But the application process itself is also definitely a factor: Like waist-training for your jawline, it sucks the skin in, which helps stimulate blood flow. "The only real rule of thumb is to apply to a dry clean face with clean hands. No product should be applied to the skin prior to application," says Shamban. Comfortable and quick, most of the masks take 20 to 30 minutes to work on your face.
It really feels like Spanx for your chin—it's that tight. But while it tingled a bit, it wasn't at all painful or uncomfortable. And because your ears keep it in place, you don't have to lie down or stay immobile, which we consider a win-win in our books. Depending on your needs, it can be worn once a day, every day (e.g., at bedtime, when you wake up in the morning, or even while you're doing your makeup).
Do Face Slimming Masks Really Work?
In a way, yes. Much like your skin is bound to feel more hydrated and replenished after using a mask, we definitely notice some immediate firmness and smoothness along the jawline whenever we use a V-mask.
Shamban says the results are temporary like a good night's sleep or a little caffeine jolt for the lower portion of your face. "They are an intensified delivery system for activities that will temporarily lift, tighten and improve one's profile," she says.
"Although they don’t always have dramatic results, they may subtly address skin concerns in the area around the lower face, jawline and neck, which are oftentimes neglected in most skincare regimens," notes Nazarian. Ultimately, expectations need to be set appropriately when using a face lifting mask.
How Long Do Results Last?
As we know, these effects are neither drastic nor permanent—just a much-appreciated, quick pick-me-up. "For clinically apparent changes, you may see a temporary improvement. Long term changes are more subtle," says Nazarian. So basically it has an immediate effect for several hours at a time for most (it might be longer for some).
To enhance efficacy and support the process, try also using a retinoid for an at-home upward facial massage.
As with most nonsurgical beauty methods, maintenance is key. The improvement from the slimming masks, such as from “slimming” ingredients such as caffeine, are only temporary and last about a day. "The ideal way to contour the lower face is really with a more permanent solution, such as lasers and radiofrequency," says Nazarian. In order to really enhance and maintain results, she indicates the masks should be used regularly, long-term.