Review: TonyMoly Sea Kelp Mask Sheet (Whamisa Dupe) – Earth Beauty Series PART 1 + GIVEAWAY

Review: TonyMoly Sea Kelp Mask Sheet (Whamisa Dupe) – Earth Beauty Series PART 1 + GIVEAWAY

BREAKING: There is a Whamisa Real Sea Kelp Sheet Mask DUPE

Two weeks ago I was browsing on my favorite etailer, RoseRoseShop, and noticed that they stocked a new sheet mask made out of 100% SEA KELP from TonyMoly. TonyMoly released a new sheet mask line called Earth Beauty but it’s pretty much a copycat line of popular sheet masks that have changed the landscape of sheetmasking including a bubbling sheet mask, a rice paper mask with a gel essence that you pour into a tray and a mud peeling sheet mask that’s supposed to be a thin layer of mud which dries and pulls out pore gunk. This is PART ONE of my 4-PART SERIES reviewing all the new masks in the Earth Beauty line.


Whamisa Sea Kelp Sheet Mask DUPE!

One of Glow Recipe‘s cult products is the Whamisa Organic Sea Kelp Mask but it’s a very expensive one-time use mask priced at $14 USD. I jumped at the chance to try this more affordable option so I can see what this new sheet mask trend is all about. I made sure that it was a SEA KELP mask made out of sea kelp and not a cotton sheet mask with sea kelp essence. I’m going to try and compare the two as closely as I can even though I don’t have the Whamisa one. I looked like a rejected cast member from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and I certainly smelled like I came from the sewer but I’m going to let the results do the talking. Read on for the full review.

Tony Moly EarthBeautySet

The four new masks in the new TonyMoly Earth Beauty series that I’ll review in my 4-PART REVIEW

Where I Bought It

At the time, RoseRoseShop had their website renewal sale and these were only $3.71 each, regular price is $5.71. They arrived from South Korea in 11 days and I got to try my first sea kelp mask this weekend. Ebay sellers will also have these for sale if you only want to buy one and not in a RRS haul like I did. Not enabling here but the masks are so new that they have not made it to the Flagship store in NYC yet and there’s no other way to buy them except online.

What it’s Supposed to Do

This mask is labeled with a “Elasticity Boosting” effect. I would expect to see skin plumping and heavy moisturization because of this claim. The Whamisa mask promises that it would give you a glow that lasts for 72 HOURS. What? I usually see claims that effects would last into the morning but for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS? Insane. The TonyMoly promises no such thing (in English anyway) but I’m here to see if this is an affordable sea kelp alternative given that it’s a fourth of the Whamisa price tag, I’m going to expect some compromises along the way.

The TonyMoly description on the back:

The mask is made of kelp containing 90.37% eco substances rich in marine nutrients. The alginic acid in kelp absorbs heavy metals in skin, with ingredients such as minerals and effective substances delivering elasticity and moisture to skin.

The Whamisa description on Glow Recipe:

The Gist: A 100% real sea kelp facial sheet mask that is simply vitamin and mineral rich. The next generation sheet mask that will change your perspective on masks! Drench your face in ultra hydration and nutrition for instantly glowing, clear skin. Also helps to improve skin’s elasticity and firmness. For all skin types.

How it works: Formulated with 100% real sea kelp mask, 87.7% organic essence instead of water (this is why it is truly an innovation), 0% water (!!!), niacinamide known for lifting and anti-wrinkle. This first-ever true-to-organic mask adheres to skin like no other mask, and rapidly hydrates and calms dry, depleted skin. BDIH Standard Certified.

Free of: Parabens, Silicones, Mineral Oils, Synthetic dyes & fragrances

TonyMolySea Kelp Sheet Mask

They forgot to say, “cover your nose because of the pungent sea kelp SMELL”. Try not to throw up.

The Ingredients List: Whamisa v. TonyMoly

I pulled the Whamisa Ingredients list from Glow Recipe and the INGREDIENTS ARE EXACTLY THE SAME! Wow, TonyMoly was serious in making a dupe. So there are two slight differences I see between the lists. 1. Whamisa denotes which ingredients are certified organically grown, a natural preservative or Ecocert. 2. Two ingredients are written out slightly differently. “-(-)alpha-bisabolo” is on the Whamisa list whereas TM has it as just “alpha-bisabolo” and “Royal Jelly 0.05” is on the Whamisa list whereas TM has it as just “Royal Jelly”. I don’t know how much of a difference these are but to an average user, probably not so different that it will matter a lot.

So if having completely organic and eco-certified ingredients are important to you, Whamisa makes it promise to keep their lists that way as 87.7% of the list is organic. While TM does not explicitly say that they use organic ingredients, their list looks pretty darn close to it because it still doesn’t have any fillers, parabens, alcohol or silicones from what I can tell. Since the lists are almost identical, the TM mask also does not use any water, making the essence a good-for-your-skin cocktail.

I ran the list list through CosDNA and there are ZERO acne or pore-clogging triggers. They BOTH use the same type of sea kelp, Laminaria Japonica, but I have no idea how the ratio of ingredients differ between the two lists.

One outstanding difference is the that the TM weight is 25 grams and Whamisa knocks it out of the park with 33 grams of dripping goodness. The TM ingredients list below:

Laminaria Japonica, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Lactobacillus/Aloe Barbadensis Ferment Filtrate, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Angelica Polymorpha Sinensis Root Extract, alpha-bisabolol, Trigonella Foenum-Graecum Seed Extract, Natto Gum, Leonurus Sibiricus Flower/Leaf/Stem Extract, Dioscorea Opposita (Wild Yam) Root Extract, Camellia Japonica Seed Oil, Centella Asiatica Extract, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Anemarrhena Asphodeloides Root Extract, Bambusa Vulgaris Leaf/Stem Extract, Chlorella Ferment, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Corylus Avellana (Hazel) Seed Oil, Angelica Keiskei Leaf/Stem Extract, Citrus Junos Fruit Extract, Royal Jelly, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract, Xanthan Gum, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Plantago Asiatica Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, Adenosine, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Aniba Rosaeodora (Rosewood) Wood Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Oil 

TM sea kelp ingredients

Whamisa ingredients list dupe.

The Masking

As an affordable alternative, the TM one is already looking pretty good as a copycat ingredient-wise. Let’s rip this open to put it to test.


Remember, you’re supposed to put this on your face and not in the toilet

Seeing the green/yellowish essence in the foil packet and smelling the sea kelp activated my gag reflexes. Ugh. I guess this is what I wanted – REAL sea kelp on my face. The essence looked like watery diarrhea. The sea kelp color was not a pretty, vibrant green depicted on the packaging – it was more of a green poop-brown.

TM kelp

I carefully took it out and it was a very firm and sturdy mask. I thought that maybe this would be difficult in having it form to my face and I was right. This is not a hydro-gel mask after all. This is a REAL piece of sea kelp cut into the shape of a sheet mask. It feels rubbery and the essence is thick and feels slimey.


About to become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle!

It may not look like it, but that essence is good stuff

It may not look like it, but that essence is good stuff

At 25 grams, the TM mask barely had any extra essence left in the foil packet. The mask itself was NOT soaking in drippy face juice at all. From the reviews I’ve read about Wham-Bam’s mask, it was soaking wet and also very delicate. I see from Whamisa user pictures that the Whamisa looks almost translucent and maybe more hydro-gel-like however I have confirmations from Reddit that Whamisa also uses a whole piece of sea kelp as well, not a hydro-gel hybrid. I can see the person’s eyebrows through the Wham-Bam and you can SORT OF see my eyebrows through the TM (just squint lol). The TM mask feels hard and rubbery. There was a lot of texture and wrinkles on it but I was more concerned with it being too firm where it would be difficult to fold over to fit on my face.



It gave me “tenting” on the nose area because it was too firm and couldn’t stay on the sides of my nose, however I noticed the same thing happening on the users who took pictures using Whamisa. I mean, the ingredient lists state that both brands use the SAME type of sea kelp, so is there a real difference between TonyMoly and Whamisa? That smell though. I wonder if Whamisa smells like SHEET too. A test user from the Huffington Post said the Whamisa smelled “nicely of tea” – hmm. Really? Looks like I need to get my turtle paws on a Whammy soon.


Tenting happening around the nose. Fold-over fails.

It was able to stay on with minimal sliding but I felt that it might have been just easier to just lay down and massage the essence and kelp on my face for better absorption. Instead I took multiple selfies for this post. And breathed through my mouth. Gag.


Pet me. Love me.

As the essence began to evaporate, the fit of the mask got worse and sliding started to happen halfway through. I tried to massage whatever was left and couldn’t wait to get this sea kelp monster of my face.

Kelp Juice

Kelp Juice

After 25 minutes (I went 5 minutes longer the suggested time), I was so happy to get that SHEET off my face. The smell really bothered me and didn’t make it a relaxing spa-like experience. I usually don’t seriously countdown to when I can take a sheet mask off but the essence/mask was like having a live turtle shit on your face. Some of the essence was still on my face and you can tell from the yellow/green patches. I contemplated if I should just rinse it off since I didn’t like the smell but for the integrity of a good review, I patted in like you’re supposed to with any leftover mask essence. The yellowy color from the essence disappeared after it was patted on. THIS BETTER WORK.

Oh, hey now!

Oh, hey now!

After patting in the essence while grimacing, I noticed how dewy and glowy my skin looked. The essence wasn’t too sticky but the slight kelp smell did linger a bit. Throughout the rest of my Sunday afternoon I would get small whiffs of it and remind me of the self-torture-for-beauty experiment.

The results show that I don’t like sea kelp. (Like that wasn’t clear before.)

But seriously, It is now Sunday night where I’m about to go to bed and my skin is so so smooth and plumped up. I can already tell that when I wake up, the effect is going be there in the morning as long as I follow with my normal emulsion.

The Next Morning

Update: My skin is noticeably more plump and smooth. It retained it’s dewy glow and there’s a bounce to my skin. It’s happy and ready take on the day! The most moist areas were in my forehead and nose which is surprising since I had tenting around the nose but I made sure to keep massaging the mask in since it needs contact with my skin. I followed up with my normal morning routine and used just an emulsion to seal in that dewiness. I noticed that it was much easier to apply my emulsion – it was a smoother application and I couldn’t help but to smile about the results.


Would I repurchase this again?  I already bought 5 and wished I didn’t! I personally did not like the sea kelp smell and would not go through 25 minutes of smelling the ocean again. I think there are other more pleasant smelling masks that will give me this plumped and absolutely smooth complexion. It was fun to try something different but this won’t be in my list to re-buy.

Since Whamisa and TonyMoly use the same sea kelp type in their mask, I imagine that the Whamisa smells very similar to the TM one. Given the chance, I would try Whamisa’s mask just because I’m curious to see how they both compare. I already know that the Whamisa has 8 grams more essence in its package than TM and that alone may make Whamisa win the battle in best sea kelp mask even though it’s $14 a mask.

For those who are more budget conscious, the TonyMoly sea kelp mask did a very good job in giving a dewy glow. My skin is bouncy and oh-so-smooth, like I can’t stop touching my nose and cheeks. I recommend following up with your regular serum, moisturizer/emulsion and enjoy the youthful skin you just un-masked! This may also be a good way to determine if you want to eventually try the Whamisa one if you liked the effects from this TonyMoly enough. It will probably be 100x better since there is more essence for your face to absorb it. I didn’t expect TOO much from this cheaper alternative but the ingredients list is impressive (coming from a non-scientist) and the effects are also two wiggles of a turtle tail in approval (if you think you can withstand the sea kelp smell and slime-like texture from the essence).

Subscribe to my posts via email or BlogLovin and read my other posts in this 4-Part Series on TonyMoly’s new Earth Beauty line.

Comment below! What do you think of this 100% real sea kelp sheet mask? Do you DARE to try one? What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever put on your face in the search for perfect skin?


To kick off this 4 PART REVIEW SERIES for the TonyMoly Earth Beauty line, I’m going to give away THREE of the TonyMoly Sea Kelp masks to THREE lucky winners to try (if you DARE)! You must first comment on this post and the giveaway app will unlock other chances for you to win! Each winner will win one mask.

TonyMoly Earth Beauty Sea Kelp Mask Giveaway

Giveaway Rules:

  • Three winners will be chosen randomly by Each winner will receive one TonyMoly Sea Kelp Sheet Mask valued at $5.71 each.
  • Giveaway ends July 27, 2015 at 11:59:59 PM EST
  • Must reside in the United States and have a US mailing address
  • Must be 18 years or older or have expressed, written permission from a parent or legal guardian to enter and receive the giveaway.
  • 3 random winners will be chosen and contacted within 48 hours of the drawing. If you do not respond with a mailing address within 48 hours, another winner will be chosen.
  • There rules are also in conjunction with Terms and Conditions.
  • The winner is responsible for verifying the products and their contents and to determine the suitability of those products for their own needs. CECIBEAUTYTHERAPY is not responsible or liable for the actual products and ingredients.
  • CECIBEAUTYTHERAPY is not responsible for damages due to shipping, lost, stolen packages or any other issues.  Once the parcel is mailed out, it is out of my hands but I will do my best to package the prize to prevent damage.

I am also on Reddit and /r/asianbeauty !

  • You do look all kinds of radiant, though!

  • Thanks for the review! I have been wanting the Whamisa but haven’t pulled the trigger because of the price. Thanks for the caveats about smelling like the sea, definitely gives me pause, although the ingredients list is beautiful.

  • The results are lovely. Might be worth it to brave through the pungent smell.

  • I heard there was a dupe for the Whamisa kelp… Glad it was good to you.

  • I remember seeing this mask and wondering if it was made of real sea kelp and not just soaked in sea kelp essence, but was too lazy to investigate. I really, REALLY like the Whamisa mask so I’m extra tempted to try this now!

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Yep! This IS a cheaper alternative for almost 1/4 of the price but as a trade-off I guess you get 1/4 of the quality? I’m in the opposite situation where I need to try a Whamisa one now!

  • did you at anytime say ‘Silence…of the Lambs?’
    I’ll give a kelp mask a try

  • Oooh…I want to put kelp on my face (lol)!

  • Oh man, not sure how I feel about putting seaweed on my face XD The things we do for beauty, eh?

    • cecibeautytherapy

      In my PERSONAL opinion, I won’t do this again because I see sheetmasking as a relaxing and pleasant experience! I was squirming too much and thinking too much about the slime and texture to truly RELAX. I think I can get a better experience with other sheet masks that will deliver the same effects. But this ingredients list was truly nice! I can’t argue about the top ingredients even if they may not be organic.

  • Really nice to know these are made from real kelp. Have you tried the other masks in the same series? I’m really interested in the rice and mud ones, as well as this one.

    • cecibeautytherapy

      The other masks are in transit from RRS! I couldn’t order the other ones as those weren’t on the site 2 weeks ago but now they are! I’m to do a 4 PART SERIES on this Earth Beauty line since it’s interesting how TM is copying the different masks that have made it on the market! Follow me to see the reviews on the other masks!

  • Ugh, I’m a little afraid of trying this now but I’ll do it in the name of beauty, lol!

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Hi Krystyn! “Try anything once” I guess?! Um, just breathe through your mouth is my advice LOL.

  • I think this mask looks really cool. I’ve never tried a sea kelp mask before, but I’d love to try this one, just to say that I got to experience it, and see what it might do for my skin.

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Yepp! It’s affordable enough to try at least once and say if it worked, was weird, was nasty, etc! Now that I’m so deep into the rabbit hole, I might pull the trigger and get the kelp mask from Glow Recipe (along with some other goodies probably) but I’m way over my kbeauty budget for July.

  • I’m down to try it at least once. The comment about the turtle had me legit laughing as I read it at work.

    • cecibeautytherapy

      You’re a brave one! Well, it legit smelled like turtle poop! LOL

  • This mask looks awesome. Thanks for the great review!

  • I feel equal parts fascinated and disgusted by this mask, haha.

    • cecibeautytherapy

      LOL! AS WAS I! I had to think about it a little bit and see if I could use my other masks but I decided that I like to have “spa-like” experience instead of gagging ones. If you win a mask, maybe you get to feel good/gross too!

  • I look forward to the other parts of series.

  • Kelp sounds so interesting! Need to find me some. Thanks for the giveaway.

  • I’ve heard so many good things about the Whamisa mask; I can’t believe TM made a dupe of it! But from your review, everything about the appearance of it seems so unattractive ;; I’m used to the smell of the briny ocean and raw fish and whatnot, so I don’t think that’d be too bad–I’d be more squeamish about the texture (on my face nonetheless!!) than anything else.

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Yes, in summary, 1/4 the price = 1/4 the value and experience. Things are going to get compromised when companies offer a more affordable alternative! I’m glad I was able to try it once (and perhaps not again unless it’s a Whamisa one).

  • I’m so glad I found your blog! Only recently have I started learning about Asian Beauty, and I’m in the NYC area, so the shopping guide you have linked is super helpful for me. I haven’t tried many masks yet, but this would certainly be an interesting introductory experience. x)

  • Wow, this looks interesting! Would love to try one~ Just curious, how slimey is this mask and can you move around with it on or is it a sit/lay down type?

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Hi Michelle! (I read your blog too!) Good question! The essence was slimey enough to have the sea kelp stick on and I was able to sit upright and continue to take selfies for the post and do regular browsing on the computer but for MAXIMUM effect, since the mask is NOT soaking wet in essence and you’d want to make the best of investing in any sheet mask, I would lay down and give yourself a facial massage to make sure you’re getting the most out of this great ingredient list. So you can definitely move around/go to the bathroom, etc while masking but my recommendation is to lay down and massage that essence in!

  • I have the Whamisa but have yet to use it. I’d love to try the Tony Moly as a dupe. Will let you know how the Whamisa turns out. 🙂

  • I’m curious about the texture of this mask I just want to touch I would love to try 🙂

  • I would love ti try this mask even though i am not sure that i like the smell of the sea))
    Nice review!

  • I just want to see what this is like in real life.. LOL

  • Whoa they’re making so many different kinds of sheetmasks now! I feel so late because I didn’t even know there was such a thing as sea kelp masks! It looks so cool on you hehe :). I’m sad it smells so bad though… I wanted to try, but now I’m kinda scared LOL. Lovely review! <3

    • cecibeautytherapy

      Yea, I was excited until I ripped the package opened and got a whiff of the smell… ಠ╭╮ಠ