If you are a face-mask junkie (like yours truly), chances are you already have more face mask than what is considered normal. However, sometimes a face mask crossed your path and you just automatically found reasons to add it to your exponentially-growing collection. I know that feeling so well, comrades.
The Green Leaf Face Mask is not a new discovery for me, although I found out about it pretty late compared to its sister, Utama Spice Temu-Temu Face Mask (I have reviewed it here). For some unknown reasons, Sociolla (where I usually got my Utama Spice fix) do not carry it. Only when I idly browsed Utama Spice official website, I found it, sitting unassumingly in face mask category
My reaction? Why, I have to try it of course.
My experiences with Utama Spice products so far has been (mostly) lovely. Their products are 100% natural, paraben free, synthetic-free, and cruelty-free (which are really nice, but not a requirement for me), and I appreciate their effort in utilizing local resources and empowering women in Bali. If buying = supporting, well, their clauses are ones that I would gladly support (click here to learn more about Utama Spice)
As if I needed more reason to buy this mask, this mask’s name reminded me of Legolas Greenleaf. I cannot resist anything Legolas Greenleaf. Thus, into the shopping cart it goes.
Identity Crisis : Face Mask or Face Scrub?
The packaging said ‘Face Scrub’. Utama Spice official website put it in ‘Face Mask’ category. The instruction said to mix it with fresh water (or boost it with rose water, as I prefer) to form a light paste and apply evenly on face, let dry, then rinse by softly massaging the skin.
So the answer is : Both! How convenient (if both face-masking and scrubbing are your things)!
Claims and Ingredients
This product is basically dried, finely grounded guava and jackfruit leaves, plus rice powder. It is like the raw vegan option for your skincare woes.
On the packaging, the face mask/scrub claim is to brighten and exfoliate the skin. The product description on Utama Spice official website added “treating acne” to the mix. I think the brightening would be due to rice powder, which is widely used in Asian natural products as skin lightener. I think “exfoliation’ means the physical exfoliation from softly massaging the mask while rinsing it off. So…what are the roles of guava and jackfruit leaves, then?
Research indicates that aqueous extract obtained from guava leaf has antifungal and antibacterial properties. This research by Richard, Joshua, and Philips (2013) found that it is effective to prohibit the growth of organism responsible for skin disorders such as fungi Microsporum gypseum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. I have not found any research about its effect towards Proprionibacterium acnes (which -surprise, surprise- is mainly responsible for acne), but I am wishing hard it prohibits their growth too.
In addition to its antifungal and antibacterial properties, guava leaf extract also shows possible whitening, antioxidant on skin exposed to UV damage, and anti-wrinkle, as indicated in this research by Yang, Kim, and Park (2008). The full research paper is in Korean, though, so I haven’t gotten the full story.
As for jackfruit leaf, it appeared that there are less research about skincare usage of jackfruit leaf. It is also not a popular ingredients for local, traditional medicines/skin care (at least not in where I live), so I am not really familiar with its benefit. If any of you know something about skin care benefit of jackfruit leaves, let me know!
Because there is a jackfruit tree grow right by the door of one of my university building and I would love to use it if it is proven beneficial, haha
The Masking Experience
The direction suggested to use mask brush for more even application. WRONG. Nothing I do could make me spread this more evenly. The texture is far clumpier than Temu-Temu Face Mask, and I have difficulties determining the ideal formula for it (not too clumpy, not too runny). As of now, my preferred formula is 1 tea spoon of mask + 2 tea spoon of rose water, plus some spritz of rose water on the clumpier part, so I can spread it out easier. I prefer to apply it with my (clean, duh) hands
It smells like
burned sun-dried leaves of Mirkwood. Not particularly pleasing, but considering the ingredient list literally consists of dried leaves and rice powder, it would be unnatural if it does have sweet fragrance in it, wouldn’t it? Besides, if you do not like the smell, you can always mix it with rose water for enhanced masking experience. My rose water of choice is the cheapo Mustika Ratu Air Sari Mawar Putih (reviewed here, in Bahasa).
It is even messier than Temu-Temu Face Mask. Since it is a bit clumpy, it does not adhere to face as well as I wanted it to be. Of course I can make it more runny, but then it would drip down to my clothes, leaving a green stain. The green stain is very easy to remove, but still. It is definitely not my choice for mid week quick-masking session.
I suggest to use wash clothes to remove the mask. Rinsing with water works too, but if you use cleansing toner with cotton pad afterwards you can see that it left a bit of green residue. Well, I am glad that I finally found a use for my neglected Emina The Bright Stuff Face Toner (reviewed here, in Bahasa)
After my skin is properly cleansed, I notice a slight brightening, which is expected since it is physically exfoliating. For the long term brightening and anti-wrinkle, the potential is there according to the papers I read, but as of now I cannot attest to that claim. Let us just hope it is true
For face mask products, I think the experience is very important. The texture of this as a mask is kinda okay-ish, I am also not complaining about the
burned dried leaves smell, but ohhh God I don’t like that no matter how gentle I tried to remove this, it still felt like I was scrubbing my face. Sure it does not feel like a rough, jagged apricot scrub or something, but…face scrubbing is not really my thing.
However, I like that it delivers immediate brightening after just one usage. Long-term result should only be expected if the product is used regularly and accompanied by daily skincare usage (AND SUNSCREEN). The potential benefit of this mask is pretty awesome though.
Would I repurchase again? Yes, but the probability is low. I am not aversed to this product (as I said, the potential benefit is pretty awesome) but the face-scrubbing part is not one I really looking forward to do in my weekly masking session. Face scrub fans might love it way more than I do.
Where to get this product
This mask is a bit difficult to source compared to other Utama Spice products I used. Utama Spice official website carries this (of course) and it might be available in brick-and-mortar stores selling Utama Spice products, which you can check in Utama Spice Store Locator. At the time when this review is written (June 2017), the Green Leaf Face Mask and Scrub is available in 50g jar and retailed for Rp 60.500.
Go get’em scrub lovers!