I tried BioFace, an at-home face mask skincare machine | Mashable

Call me lazy, but DIY'ing has never really been my thing — especially as it relates to my beauty routine. Sure, the pandemic forced me to swap my in-salon beauty visits with failed attempts of at-home versions of the same thing, but when it comes to products, I lack inspiration to make my own. Even though I don't have the time or energy to put together at-home concoctions, I have a fascination of watching social media users create enviable avocado-honey hair masks, brown sugar lip scrubs, and, more recently, face masks. This is what led me to BioFace.

Just when I thought I'd seen it all, a midnight doomscroll on TikTok had me face to face with videos of users pouring raw fruits and vegetables (and sometimes questionable ingredients like chocolate) into a device wherein minutes later, a jelly-like mask formed. Even as a non-DIYer, I was intrigued and knew I had to try it out for myself. Could this have the potential to turn me into a DIY convert? Spoiler alert: It did — but with some caveats. Face Mask Machine

I tried BioFace, an at-home face mask skincare machine | Mashable

BioFace is a device that allows you to create customized, at-home face masks using real fruits and vegetables. It comes with collagen tablets that you're meant to add into the machine along with water and your desired fruit and/or vegetable liquids. The machine mixes all of the ingredients together, then spews out the blend into the attached mold (which is shaped like a sheet mask with cutouts for your nose and mouth) for it to cool. Eventually, after five minutes, the mixture solidifies in its tray and resembles a sheet mask (without the sheet). Texture-wise, it's a cross between a hydrogel mask and Jell-O.

Using the machine is pretty straightforward. There are voice commands to guide you through the step-by-step process, rendering the included user manual unnecessary (though you'll still want to keep it handy, as it provides useful recommendations for which fruits and vegetables you can add in, plus their skincare benefits).

I've used BioFace to incorporate several ingredients into my face mask (including raspberries and aloe), but my favorite ingredient to use is watermelon for its brightening, hydrating benefits. To start, I mashed up my watermelon chunks into a bowl. (PSA: It would be nice if the machine had a mash or blend function to make this step easier.) You'll really need to liquify your desired fruit or vegetable or mash it up into very fine pieces, as the hole you'll be pouring into is fairly small. After mashing the watermelon chunks until they were liquidy and small enough to fit into the hole, I used the included measuring cup to pour it into the machine along with the recommended amount of water and one collagen tablet. I replaced the cap, pushed the start button, and the waiting game began.

Shortly after, the machine began to steam and make mixing sounds. Five minutes later, the machine prompted me to attach the mask tray in preparation for the mixture to come out. Once fully mixed, the mask was ready to go into its mold: I pushed the eject button and out came the red blend, straight into the tray that I had attached. I then used the included spatula to evenly spread the mask into the tray (FYI: You'll have to use a good amount of your active ingredient in order for the end result to fully fill up the tray). Then, I waited a few minutes for the mask to solidify and cool. The instructions say you can use the mask while it's warm, but I prefer putting it in my skincare fridge for a few minutes after it solidifies for more of a cooling skin effect.

The machine doesn't come without a few downsides. For one, the collagen tablets. There's little research supporting the benefits of applying topical collagen onto the skin, and it's unknown what else is in the collagen tablets, which could potentially lead to skin irritation and sensitivities. The mask mold tray also has its quirks — the cutouts for the eyes and nose are too small, and I found that I had to remove some pieces of the mask in these areas to make it fit my face, which can get a bit messy. Finally, as mentioned, the machine would be more user-friendly if it offered a function to blend your fruits and vegetables — one less dirty bowl is a win in my book.

Right off the bat, I see several benefits to a machine like this. For one, it's great for those leaning into a simpler skincare routine — you have full control over the actives that go on your skin (do you want the brightening effects of orange juice or the skin-evening benefits of carrots?). It also helps reduce waste, both in your beauty routine and in your kitchen, whether you're sick of denting your wallet on single-use sheet masks or have a tin of raspberries about to go bad. I also appreciate the self-cleaning feature of the machine, which you can do right after making your mask or later on as its own function.

As far as the mask itself, my skin thoroughly enjoys them. I've never experienced any irritation or redness with any mask I've made — impressive considering my skin is super sensitive. Rather, my skin always feels rejuvenated, fresh, and hydrated after using the masks, especially if I apply them cold.

Overall, the machine is easy to use, takes little to no trial and error to get right, and is a fun way to incorporate natural foods into your skincare routine. It's also just plain fun feeling like your own beauty mixologist. I don't see myself using this in place of my in-person facials with my esthetician, but it's definitely a good way to upkeep my skin in between visits, especially as I lean into a more eco-friendly beauty routine away from single-use sheet masks. It may also be a nice choice for those who don't necessarily have the budget to purchase store-bought face masks on a regular basis.

Topics Beauty Reviews Mashable Choice

We tested this because, well, it looks cool. Also, at first glance, it seemed like a great alternative to store-bought face masks that A) can get pricey, and B) aren't very sustainable (i.e.: single-use sheet masks).

BioFace was put to the test three separate times with three different ingredients: watermelon, raspberries, and fresh aloe. With each ingredient, I mashed them fine until they resembled baby food (aside from aloe, which I mixed with some water to help thin it out for easy pouring). After each use, I used the self-cleaning function and the included brush to ensure the machine was cleared of all remnants that would otherwise affect future mask-making.

Some other factors taken into account during testing were:

Ease of use: BioFace isn't complicated to use at all, and the voice prompts make it even more user-friendly. I haven't seen too many beauty devices on the market that come with easy-to-follow voice prompts, if any.

Self-cleaning function: The self-cleaning function of the machine was a big "pro" for me. After each face mask is made, the machine prompts you to clean it — the brand recommends cleaning after each use if you plan on using different active ingredients each time you make a mask. One time during testing I didn't feel like engaging in the process of cleaning the machine, and I liked that I was able to do it at a later time on my own accord.

Quality: The machine itself doesn't feel flimsy or cheap (though I would appreciate a longer cord). As for the face mask, I was impressed with how similar it felt to a typical hydrogel face mask I would buy in the store. It was easy to apply onto my face (despite the cutouts), and it didn't slip and slide all over the place, which is an issue I tend to have with other sheet masks and hydrogel masks on the market.

Price point: In a world where facial steamers and LED face masks run upward of $100, BioFace is a beauty device that comes with an attractive price tag of under $60. The only thing you'll have to repurchase are the collagen tablets (though the device comes with a pack of six upon initial purchase). These run about $15 for a box of 32 tablets.

I tried BioFace, an at-home face mask skincare machine | Mashable

Head Loop Surgical Mask Making Machine Michelle Rostamian is a freelance beauty, wellness, and lifestyle writer with bylines at Cosmopolitan, USA Today, Yahoo, W Magazine, Women's Health, and more.