Sofina Whitening Masks in the follow packaging was released around early 2010 (and it still looks like this for 2011 too). With most Japanese brands, they tend to revamp the packaging from year to year but the product is often very similar to previous versions (usually they say it's 'upgrade' to new ingredient or whatever additives is popular in that year).
Each box pack contains 5 sheets of mask I think. They are around 25-38USD depending on whether they are on sale or not. It is common for Sofina brands to be a bit more heavily discounted in Japanese drugstores.
The packaging is a lot prettier than my photo- it's a silvery blue centre.
Back of the sheet mask. It says use after cleansing your face and after your toner.
I find it interesting how a lot of sheet masks always say use after toner- if I was using a sheet mask I would want all the active ingredients to go directly to my cleansed face so I never prep with a toner.
However I always try to do a light scrub either the night before or right before I use any face masks. I have combination skin with a bit of oilies back in my teens and early 20s, now after 25 my skin is normalising and have far less oilies. However it is now more sensitive and prone to clogging. Therefore having cleansed skin is quite important for me before using face masks as they are often very nourishing and may just be a tad pore clogging.
Each sheet mask is infused with a whopping 24ml of serum inside.
Here's what it looks like- it is actually a 2-section sheet mask. Like this. Top half and bottom half.
The liquid is a milky liquid, not runny at all but not too thick. The material of the mask is a firm sheet mask feel, heavy enough to feel substantial on the face, yet not so thick as to feel all the serum's being wasted.
You apply the top portion of mask and fit around your forehead and upper face. Then you apply the lower sheet on around cheek and chin area. You can see there's some overlap (side of my face below).
However it is this design which I love! My cheek area is slightly drier so the overlap gives some extra oomph. Having the bottom sheet over the top sheet also means it sort of 'lifts' the face a bit and make sure the mask stays put. Having 2 separate halves also means it fits your face much much better. This is the few face mask which does not have air bumps here and there once applied to my face and it just gives such good coverage.
p.s. the eye area is just hollow, I know some brands don't trim out the eye area entirely and leave a foldable flap there, so you can mask your eyelid (with closed eyes) as well. However I don't really mind.
The mask is the signature Sofina scent. It's light and pleasant and doesn't give me a headache.
I apply for a generous 20min after shower. During which time I can do pretty much everything else and walking around the hosue with the mask on if I want. (Some masks are too slippery that you have to stay lying down). Then I remove the mask and leave it on my knees or arm as a quick body mask again. There's also enough serum left in the sheet package even after taking the mask out, which is enough to be used all over body as a quick moisturiser.
The after effect is I get immediately plumped and hydrated skin. I think this mask is marketed as being hydrating and whitening and I do feel it does both quite well.
It doesn't give me super clear, radiant skin- but my skin just looks so well rested the next day (despite I may have only slept for 3 hours). Sometimes I sleep really late and I still slap a mask on for 15-20min before I sleep, and it's quite amazing what it does the next day. I still feel tired but my face doesn't look anything like I haven't had 8 hrs sleep.
After removing this mask, it doesn't feel sticky (slightly tacky light I applied a night moisturiser that's all). Feels comfortable, pleasant to use, gets 5/5 from me. I don't follow with a separate moisturiser or serum liek the packaging suggested, because this mask is not so runny and filled with liquid only, like some other masks, that you need to seal the moisture in with something else. I go straight to bed =)
I've bought about 4 boxes to date and will continue to use this. (I also use a lot of other masks but come back to this one quite often). Great for emergencies! A little bit pricey to be used regularly like 2-3 times a week so I only use this about once a week or fortnight, other times I go with other masks.