My friend visiting from Hong Kong last month gave me this Kao steam eye mask she purchased on her trip to Japan.
It’s like a eye sleep mask. My friend told me it magically heats up and releases steam when you wear it. Where this steam comes from puzzles (and concerns) me.
Photos of the package.
Unfortunately I can’t read Japanese. My friend told me they were lavendar scented, which was confirmed by the picture in the corner. But these were the instructions my friend bestowed upon me.
- Remove from package.
- Place on eyes.
- Wrap handles around ears.
- Mask will heat up to 40°C (104°F).
Doing some research online, I also found out that I should remove all eye makeup, and leave on for 10 minutes. Also, this will cause me to fall asleep very quickly! Wow just what this insomniac needs!
Here’s a photo of myself in the mask. It was really hard to take a photo of myself blindfolded!
During the duration I wore the mask, I didn’t feel any steam being emitted by the mask. The mask did heat up, to a warm comfortable level. No where close to heat levels that would be dangerous. I wore it for maybe close to 20 minutes, I was getting extremely sleepy and after I removed it I went to sleep right away! When I removed it, I did notice that the area on my face the mask was covering was damp! Was the mask warm enough to cause my face to sweat or did it release steam? I think I need another mask to figure out, but I had only one! I’m definitely going to try to get more of these masks!
I did some research on what causes the mask to heat up and release steam. The mask is air activated, so it works similar to air activated hand warmers or therapeutic heating pads (for example the ones from BodiHeat), which are also one-time use. The heating pads are sealed in a package, similar to my mask. When removed from the package and exposed to air, the iron particles inside the mask reacts (exothermically) with air, causing the iron particles to rust and also releasing a heat by-product.