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Style & Living Beauty

This is the Quickest Possible Way to Brighten Your Skin This Winter

Your skincare routine just got reduced to 15 seconds.

By Jenny Berg

We've tried bubble masks, weird plant nails, and, um, dragon's blood in 2016. But now that wintertime's set in, we're all ears for new beauty tips—especially when it comes to keeping our skin bright and dewy despite the deep freeze. And lately, we've heard tons of talk about "splash masks." So, what exactly is this (really fun-sounding) product? And, do we need to add it to our beauty routine this instant?

To find the answers, we went straight to the OGs of splash. Christine Chang and Sarah Lee are the C.E.O.s and co-founders of Glow Recipe. "We're so excited to see splash masks take off in the U.S. Glow Recipe initially created the term 'Splash Mask' in 2015 as we helped launch Blithe into the U.S. market," Christine told The Lookbook. "Blithe Splash Masks were originally called 'Patting Water Packs' in Korea, which didn't necessarily translate here. So, we coined the term 'Splash Mask' to help communicate the fun way these easy in-shower masks could be used."

So, how do you use the splash masks? A tutorial on Blithe's website instructs users to pour a capful of the mask into your hands in the shower, then—you guessed it—splash and pat it onto your face. Repeat the process a few times, and voila: you're good to glow. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, though.

"Splash Masks are super loaded with high concentrations of actives, some of which need to be rinsed off rather quickly, such as alpha hydroxy acids," says dermatologist Marina Peredo. Sheet masks, by contrast, have "prolonged contact with skin, [and] can’t be loaded with AHA’s or other irritating ingredients." Blithe's founders also recommend following a Splash Mask application with a moisturizer or serum.

Blithe products are now carried at high-end beauty boutiques, as well as in ritzy hotel chains such as The Ritz Carlton and Banyan Tree Spa. And it makes sense that travelers would gravitate toward Splash Masks, as opposed to a more time-consuming treatment.

"Splash Masks are essentially mask treatments in a liquid form that instantly retexturize, soften and hydrate," Christine shared. According to beauty vlogger Cassandra Bankson: "The splash mask craze...can be traced back to the [Korean] bathhouse tradition of splashing botanicals on one's face before or after a treatment. But this beauty innovation is made for the modern day, real-life woman." To wit: "I don't always have time to put a sheet mask on my face, and leisurely sip imported tea in a candle-lit bubble bath for 20 minutes," she joked. "If I'm lucky enough to use a sheet mask, I'm simultaneously attempting to cook dinner, while on the phone for a conference call, trying to pay attention to the news, and half the time it's sliding off of my face into my food."

Cassandra first discovered splash masks after a snowy trip to a cabin in Lake Tahoe. Cue the dry skin. After trading in her traditional oat-based mask to give the Boscia Tsubaki Splash Mask a go, "I was pleasantly surprised," she recalls. "Not only was it extremely hydrating, but the hydration lasts. I could use it to prep my makeup to help foundation apply smoother over my dry patches, as well." In the summertime, the beauty pro will switch up her routine a bit to include Blithe's green-tea mask, which is suited to acne-prone skin.

As 2016 wraps, the trend is just getting started. "Splash Masks are just beginning to hit our cosmetic counters," Doctor Peredo says. "As the trend catches on, there will be a wider selection." That's one more thing to look forward to—and keep refreshing our newsfeeds for—in 2017.

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