episode i: hanacure

Welcome to Episode 1 of “My Mother-In-Law Tries Every Skincare Product I Share With Her On Instagram Without Me Asking”. First up: Hanacure.

Hanacure is a Korean brand who has claimed to have created a miracle all-in-one face mask that will alleviate everyone’s (yes, all humans’!!!!) skincare concerns. They have performed clinical studies that report pore reduction by up to 50% after 31 days of use; wrinkle reduction of nearly 64% after 21 days of use; hyperpigmentation reduction of 69% after 28 days of use; and luminescence improvement (aka brightness… I think?) by 71.5% with 28 days of use. Plus, they tout that you instantly notice disappearance of fine lines and wrinkles just 15 minutes after removing the mask.

Hanacure became the talk of the town when Drew Barrymore posted a hilarious picture of herself using it on Instagram. Honestly, my respect for Drew Barrymore increased ten fold––there is nothing I love more than a celebrity who shares a similar lack of pride or shame. But, that aside, I saw this picture and immediately needed to partake.

A single kit that I purchased through Violet Gray.

A single mask kit (also available at Violet Grey, $29) comes with lifting serum, a “gelling pack”, and a brush but it is recommended that you start with a set that comes with 4 uses, which will run you $110. It is recommended that you use the mask 2 days a week.

Naturally, I also informed my pending MIL who bought and tried it within a week of my Instagram share. That is saying a lot given that it was sold out for literal weeks. Below are our before and after photos, my interview with her, and our recommendation/rating of the product where 1 = total ripoff and 5 = if you didn’t buy this yesterday you’re an imbecile.

Note: I also answered my own interview questions, which has to be totally wrong, but was relevant given my experience with the mask.



What compelled you to try the mask?

Laurel: Honestly? I wanted to see what I would look like with it on. Would it give me a window into my future (old person) self?

Marta: A lot of celebrities seemed to love it so I was curious. The formula and the way it works was unlike any other facemask I had heard of, so I thought it was worth a try.

What were your expectations going in?

: Two things: 1) that I would look like my own version of Benjamin Button and 2) that my stubborn forehead wrinkles would look visibly lifted. Shout out to one of my old sorority sisters who once told me to stop being so expressive with my forehead because it would give me wrinkles. You were right, and oh how I wish I would have listened.

: Instant facelift. Joking. I was hoping to see some minimization of the appearance of wrinkles and for my skin to look more refreshed.

What did you do to prepare before using this mask?

: I took a nice relaxing bath with my favorite Epsom salts and told myself in the mirror that I was still young and beautiful and that it would only be temporary. Kidding. But I was expecting it to be a largely emotional experience, and a real hit to my ego.

: Nothing except to set aside 30+ minutes to give it a try. The most difficult step was figuring out how to open the little lifting serum bottle that you mix in. It was a dexterity nightmare for me the 1st time I used it. I was afraid I’d fail and simply spill the entire bottle into the sink.

What did you do while you were wearing this mask?

: Walked downstairs and attempted to scare the shit out of Alex. He was confused and simultaneously incredibly annoyed that I couldn’t talk. It makes your face feel like it’s covered in cement!

: I was so intrigued by how it slowly distorted my face, I couldn’t do anything except walk around without talking or moving my face (since the instructions say to try and not cause the mask to “crack” by making too many facial expressions) and kept looking at myself and taking photos (which I think I immediately sent to you). Probably TMI for my pending DIL, but you’re still here!

What were you wearing when you did this mask? How uncomfortable does that question make you feel?

: #robelyfe. Zero level of discomfort.

: Duh — my PJs. It was a weeknight after 7pm! The question does not make me uncomfortable.

Marta, why did you let me post these hilarious pictures of you? Is this your way of hinting at my small, and therefore risk-free, reader base?

M : I asked myself that same question! Apparently, I have no shame. It has nothing to do with your reader-base.

Said hilarious picture.

How do you feel when you are using Hanacure?

: Paralyzed. Trapped. All of the negative things which–in the context of a facemask–are actually proof points for feeling like it has to be doing something positive.

: A little silly, a little like something out of a sci-fi or horror movie. It really tightens and pulls your face (especially eyes and lips) in ways you cannot control which causes some very temporary deformity. Generally, I always feel good about committing to taking the time for skin care.

Name your Hanacure-wearing alter-ego.

: Ice. Not like Vanilla Ice… like cold-as-ice. It’s a resting bitch face you would never believe!

: Catwoman – the woman who’s had way too much (and very bad) plastic surgery

Ice. Not as funny as my pendings.

Would you make Hanacure a regular part of your skincare routine? How regular?

: Yes, but not even once a week. My skin is pretty sensitive and I notice I can’t keep the mask on for more than 15 minutes without getting really red (see above on my cheeks!) I do like doing it every few weeks though, it makes me feel like I am giving myself a mini facial or peel.

M: Yes, I’ve rarely used it their recommended twice per week, but I’d like to see if I get better results using it that often.

What is your favorite part about using Hanacure?

: Trying to scare Alex, which I still do every time, without fail. In all honesty, I do like how I feel, even the next morning. I feel like it gives my face a fresh start––all of the dead skin cells are gone and I am plumper and more “bouncy”. My face drinks up moisturizer afterward, which is also a great feeling.

: My skin does feel softer and brighter when I rinse it off.

What is your one piece of advice for someone who wants to try Hanacure for the first time?

: If you have sensitive skin, keep an eye on the edges of the mask. If you start to see like a dark / deep brownish red, it may be time to take it off. That’s typically when I pull the trigger.

: Be prepared for a unique experience and do NOT smile while it’s on.

Would you recommend Hanacure to a friend? Your worst enemy?

: I think it’s definitely worth a shot, but everyone’s skin is different! To that last part, I think everyone deserves feeling good in their own skin (inside and out).

: Yes and yes, but for very different reasons!!

Okay, so what’s the verdict?

: 4/5 – I haven’t used it as often as they recommend, but don’t think I could given how sensitive my skin is. That aside, I do notice an immediate difference (softer skin doesn’t translate in pictures!). It’s a very solid all-in-one mask and you can’t ignore the positive reviews on their site.

3.5/5 – It didn’t work miracles but, in fairness, I haven’t used it as often as recommended.  

Overall, if the cost is reasonable for your budget, both Marta and I agree that it’s a great all-in-one mask that makes sense as a (somewhat) regular part of your routine. And if it’s not? Think about it in lieu of getting a monthly facial. In that case, it’s a steal!

Aside: if your skin can bear the twice per week cadence, do it and then immediately report back to us with those before and afters.


1 thought on “episode i: hanacure”

  1. Wow, this is quite special. Both of you have serious problems. I say this in the most loving way…


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