Popmasks Are Warming Eye Masks Designed to Help You Disconnect and Relax
Sometimes, we all need a little break from everything going on in the world around us—and that's okay. No matter how engaged you are, taking time to practice self-care remains super important for your well-being.
But it can often be tricky to disengage yourself, even for a few minutes, when your mind is busy. It can help to play music or white noise, or find a spot where you can block out the light, in order to find that rest or meditative state that your body needs. Popmasks can help, too.
The company specializes in steam masks for the eyes that are designed with relaxation in mind. The folks behind Popmask reached out so I could try them firsthand, and I was eager to see how they might impact my self-care routine.
Popmasks were originally designed to make it easier to fight sleeplessness on long flights, replicating the warm, cozy feeling of a hot water bottle, without the hassle of heating or lugging something heavy around. They consist of a vegan cotton mask containing heat cells made from iron powder, vermiculite, activated carbon, salt and water. When you open the mask's package, the iron powder reacts with the air to create a reaction, heating the eye mask to about 100.4° F in less than a minute.
The result is a warm, steamy mask for the eyes that's great for de-stressing as well as reducing puffiness. That warmth lasts for about 20 minutes and is great whether you're just reading and closing your eyes, taking a nap or going to bed for the night, meditating or simply pampering yourself. They come in three varieties—Starry Eyes, Sleepover and Jet Setter—and individual masks sell for $5, five-pack boxes sell for $20, and a variety pack of five of each style (for 15 masks total) sells for $50.
I began with the non-scented Starry Eyes Popmask for my first foray into the brand, and decided to crack one open on a particularly sleepless night. To start, I simply ripped the top off of one of the mask pouches, removed the cotton eye mask and placed the loops around my ears to secure it to my face before lying down. It was only moments before I began to feel the heat of the mask, which was welcome, because it was a chilly night.
The heat over my eyes gave me an unusual feeling, but it wasn't an unpleasant one. The temperature was on the high end of warm without ever getting uncomfortably hot, and I did find the experience luxurious and relaxing. The heat really lasted, too. It often takes me a long while to fall asleep, and it did this time too, and by the time I started to feel the heat fade, I was very soothed and pretty close to sleep. While I wish it would have lulled me entirely to sleep, few things can. It was no miracle cure, but I loved it nonetheless, and I even kept it on afterward because I thought it was a great blocker for the light.
Popmasks only works the one time, but that doesn't mean you have to toss them when you're done with use, because they continue working as a light-blocking eye mask even when the heat has been used up. I was also a little concerned about disposal. This wasn't something I wanted to sit for years in a landfill. However, according to the Popmask website, the mask and its ingredients are biodegradable, and its foil pouch and box are recyclable, addressing each of those worries.
On a separate occasion, when I was experiencing some pretty bad period cramps with my Starry Eyes mask at my bedside, I also decided to do a little experiment. I opened up the mask, rested it across the affected area, and felt relief almost instantly. I realize that's not what they're for in the slightest, but it worked in a pinch, and I was thrilled with the results.
Later that week, I had a pretty bad headache on one of my days off, and wanted to see if I could address it with another one of the masks. I rested in bed, put on the mask and waited for it to do its thing. The Sleepover mask is basically identical to the Starry Eyes mask, except that it's rose-scented. I liked how strongly fragranced this mask was, with a bright and fragrant floral scent adding to the feel of indulgence without overpowering. That was good, because I often find that strong scents can make my headaches even worse.
While my throbbing head felt a little strange at first when the heat was applied over my eyes, it took only a couple of minutes for that sensation to change over to something that dulled and relieved the pain. Again, it didn't make me fall asleep, but it did alleviate my headache substantially (though I have to admit I also took a couple of ibuprofen before putting my head down).
Last but not least, I actually used the Jet Setter in more of a setting for relaxation, placing it over my eyes after getting into a steamy bath salt-infused soak in the tub. The Jet Setter mask felt just like the others, except it had a jasmine scent—my favorite of the three. While I actually would have liked it to be more fragrant, it was delicate.
I loved using a Popmask in the bath because it's pretty chilly where I live, and while I can submerge my body in a steaming hot bath, there's not much I can do to keep my face just as warm and comfy. This mask finally gave me that opportunity—and also acted as a nice build-in timer to get out of the tub after about 20 minutes. When I got out, it even looked like the bags under my eyes had been reduced. I can't say whether it was the heat of the mask or the overall relaxation, but I did see results.
If you love warmth and enjoy the cozy sensation of heat for relaxation or sleep, you'll probably adore Popmasks. While these might not be the first products I reach for now that it's getting closer to summer, I thought they felt (and smelled) amazing, and loved what they added to my relaxation routine. The fact that they're also vegan and eco-friendly is another added benefit.
Of course, cost is also a factor when it comes to any at-home relaxation treatment. While I'm not sure I would buy the single masks for $5 each, the $20 five-packs come out to $4 per mask, which feels much more reasonable to me (and if you're willing to buy 15 at a time, they become even more affordable per unit). However, I don't think Popmasks will appeal to everyone. If you find heat uncomfortable, are prone to getting sweaty or just don't like different sensations around your eyes, these may not be for you. If you're on the fence, you might want to try it once and find out how they work (if at all) for you.
Need more ways to rest and relax? Click HERE for a list of our favorite oh-so-satisfying peel-off face masks.