If you've spent much time on Instagram lately, you've seen the Hanacure mask — that super scary-looking face mask that tightens on top of the skin and makes the wearer look about 150 years old.

Drew Barrymore loves it, and all of social media has fallen in love with what I've heard fellow beauty editors describe as "the most intense face mask in the world." Hanacure claims the mask will "dramatically transform the appearance of your skin [and] fight the most common skin concerns with innovative age-defying technology. By removing impurities, the skin is reinvigorated to look more firm and lifted, smoother and evenly toned, for a visibly younger appearance. See your skin bloom with a radiantly youthful glow."

I mean, SOLD. I decided to buy one of Hanacure's now-iconic masks and try it out for myself.

Watch my full experiment right here; then read on for the full, 100% unbiased review.

I was not sent this mask as a PR offering; I bought this mask with my own money, and what follows is my honest opinion.

This is me, pre-Hanacure mask, with zero skin makeup on. All I have on my face in this picture is moisturizer, mascara, light lip tint, and brow pencil.

hanacure before
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

I KNOW, MY SKIN IS LOOKING ASTONISHING — but it hasn't always been this way. I've struggled for years with acne (here's how I finally cured it), and I still have quite a lot of pore-enlargement and scarring. I mention this because I often see skin care reviews done by people who *already* have totally perfect skin. That's fine, but if someone who has never had a visible pore in their life tells me that a product shrinks pores, I'm going to question it.

I'm not perfect, I don't (yet) have flawless skin, and I want to show you my face — and how this mask works — anyway.

But I needed to know how it worked for myself, so I went ahead and ordered the All-In-One Facial Starter Kit.

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

These masks are seriously, wildly popular — I placed an order for this mask in February, and didn't receive it until July. The brand can't keep them in stock, which obviously only made me want it MORE. ($29, Hanacure)

Inside the kit is everything you need for a single Hanacure-masking session: a little vial of the lifting solution, a pack of the gel, and a super-soft brush to ensure even application.

hanacure mask
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

At first I was like, "WTF, this is all I get for $30?" but after using it, I see why this is all you need.

First, you follow the very specific instructions to mix up the mask.

photo: B Fowler / Revelist

You carefully open the vial of serum, making sure you don't cut yourself on the aluminum cap wrapper. Next, you peel open ONE CORNER ONLY of the gel packet. Then you carefully tip the serum into the gel pack, re-seal the corner, and shake it like crazy.

Once you've shaken it up, the pack is ready to open.

Ta-da! There's a thick, yellow goo inside!

hanacure review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

Again, you'll look at this and think, "Holy shit, that REALLY doesn't look like a lot of product for $30."

But again: You'd be wrong.

The mask goes on as a slightly golden, but mostly clear, gel. Then the magic happens.

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

It feels cool and perhaps a little tingly, but that's all. The instructions are a little vague about application — it says "May use sparingly under eyes," but I avoided my under-eye area completely, and was really glad that I did.

After about 15 minutes, the mask started to tingle. A LOT. I noticed that it was becoming harder to move my mouth. My eyes — oh God, this is weird — seemed to be getting pulled in different directions.

Over the course of the 30 minutes the Hanacure mask needed to "set," it darkened in color and got harder and tighter. When my timer went off, the gel had turned into a shiny second skin... and this is what I looked like:

*SCREAMING FOREVER*

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

One of my eyebrows is reaching for the sky.

One of my eyes is being pulled open (I could still blink, but it was a close call).

My upper lip was being up toward my nose at the same time as it was being stretched out toward my ears; if you saw my Instagram Story, you know that the mask was SO TIGHT, I couldn't close my mouth.

And OH, YES, it looked exactly as weird up close.

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

I really see why this mask has a reputation as being the most intense in the world. I couldn't wait to get it off.

And even though this part isn't specified in the Hanacure instructions, cracking this mask off felt SO GOOD.

photo: B Fowler / Revelist

THE RELIEF.

THE SWEET, BLESSED RELIEF.

THIS FELT SO SATISFYING.

To be clear — this mask didn't hurt. But it was insanely tight, like I'd painted my face with craft glue and let it shrink up and harden. Being able to move my face again was an incredible relief.

Per the brand instructions, I properly took the mask off with a gentle cleanser and warm water. That's when I discovered the one thing nobody told me about the Hanacure facial.

All the hardened gel came off really easily — no reside left behind. As soon as the mask came off, I could feel that my skin was insanely soft.

That said, the mask left my skin BRIGHT FREAKING RED. Like really, truly, insanely red.

Actual footage of me after removing the Hanacure mask:

photo: Giphy

I may have actually been LESS red than Sebastian, honestly.

A Hanacure rep reached out to me to let me know that very pale people (it me) may experience temporary redness lasting up to 90 minutes. My redness — which was so intense that people in my office were visibly startled when they saw me — lasted about three hours.

ORDINARILY, this would be the end of the review; I'd say the mask was fun (because I like looking creepy), but wasn't for me.

But when the redness went away, I was honestly left with the most beautiful skin of my life.

This is me AFTER the Hanacure mask. Once again: I have no makeup on, save mascara, brow pencil, and lip tint. I am GLOWING.

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

Aside from the general, stunning radiance, my skin tone was more even. My one hormonal blemish (which was hanging around longer than I'd expected) was visibly smaller and WAY less red — in fact, the majority of the subtle hyper-pigmentation I have was almost totally gone. My pores looked smaller. My (admittedly minor) lines looked significantly softer. And though you can't stroke my cheeks through the screen, trust when I say that my face was as smooth as a baby's butt.

I have never, ever seen such significant, almost-immediate results from a non-professional skin care product. It's AMAZING.

And the best part: The results have actually lasted.

hanacure mask review
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

While many masks will give you a tiny boost, it doesn't last long — even professional chemical peels tend to only make me look ~radiant~ for a few hours. But I tried this mask yesterday, and my face is STILL luminous today.

So even though it was temporarily terrifying and left me redder than an animated crab for a few hours, the Hanacure mask was 100% worth it.

hanacure mask
photo: B Fowler / Revelist

I personally wouldn't use this mask more than once a week, but I will definitely be buying it again. The Hanacure mask is 100% Revelist approved.