I'm always excited when overseas brands join the UK ranks and Akane is a new brand exclusive to the Birchbox UK web shop. Akane is a French skincare brand and their Mask Cocoon Nocturne for Stressed and Thirsty Skin* (Birchbox*, £18) was kindly sent over for me to give a whirl and see how I got on with it. An apple infused mask, Akane have created Cocoon Nocturne with anti-oxidant rich, organic ingredients to help protect your skin against free radicals, harsh environments and the effects of a busy lifestyle. Sounds good, right? The packaging is very simple, with the mask presented in a little white, red and pink themed pot to match the Akane brand colours. I tend to prefer masks which come in tubes, as I find them more hygienic, but as I apply face masks with old foundation brush, this is still easy to apply.
Using a foundation brush I apply this mask as I would any other, and this is where things start to go downhill for me. The mask itself has a very gooey, gloopey consistency (reminds me a lot of PVA-glue) which even when applied with a foundation brush, has a habit of slipping and sliding in clumps from the brush. It's a luxuriously thick mask, so less is more and a thin-moderate layer is suffice. The mask itself is supposed to work overnight to lock in moisture, leaving you with a soft, dewy complexion and any signs of tiredness and stress disappeared when you awake in the morning. Except that isn't how this mask works for me.
Once applied, despite applying a thin layer, I find this just does not sink into my skin at all. It leaves a sticky feel to my skin and as you can imagine, that isn't ideal when you're climbing into bed - it's messy. My skin is oily, with extremely dehydrated areas (which is the cause of my oily skin, coincidentally) Usually, when I apply any kind of hydrating, moisture boosting product to my skin, my skin drinks whatever product it is up almost instantly. By morning after applying this mask, my skin no longer feels sticky, but my pillows have definitely benefited more from this mask than my skin. One massive, massive down fall for me with this mask is how it looks in the morning. Imagine waking up, going and sticking the kettle on, making yourself a cuppa, having a chat to the neighbour over your fence and when you finally go to the bathroom to cleanse and wake up your skin, you see strips of white peel hanging from your face. It's not the greatest look! For a mask which is meant to improve my complexion, I don't expect to wake up with a PVA-glue face. And I so wanted to love this mask! Every review I have seen has been marvellous, thumbs up and rave reviews every time. But for me, it just doesn't work. For someone with dehydrated skin, this should have made my skin feel really happy - but it did the opposite. I didn't notice an improved complexion, nor was my skin more hydrated and moisturised. The only plus side to this mask for me is the scent, which is fruity and lovely.
Of course, as with any skincare products, how this has worked for me may not be the case for others. This mask may be the perfect overnight hydrating face mask your looking for and with skincare, I think trying something out for yourself is the only way to ever really know if it's for you. Akane isn't for me, but it might do the job for others looking for an overnight replenishing mask. If you can get hold of a sample sachet (which may be difficult with it being a French brand) I'd say give it a go! But I'll be sticking to my ever faithful Dr Jart+ Water-Max Sleeping Mask for now.