Learn the science behind the fun plus, the benefits of these face masks.
Have you used a bubbling oxygen mask before? These masks—like Elizavecca’s Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask and Caolion’s Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack apply like a regular cream mask, but magically start to foam themselves into a bubbly lather within seconds. They feel tingly, look awesome, and it’s nigh impossible to not Snapchat a selfie while wearing one. But the questions that have been popping in our heads are: How do these bubbling oxygen masks work, and what benefits do they bring to your skin? We’re here to answer them!
How Do Bubbling Masks Work?
Bubbling oxygen masks work a lot like carbonated soda water. These masks contain hi-tech ingredients called perfluorocarbons that dissolve oxygen gas really well, much like how water dissolves carbon dioxide gas to make soda. Oxygen gas is pumped into the liquid mask under pressure and then, the mask is sealed into a pressurized packaging (sometimes if the mask is thick enough, pressure isn’t even required). So when you smooth the mask onto your skin in a thin layer, the trapped oxygen slowly turns back into gas like bubbles escaping from a soft drink. Since the mask also contains some foaming ingredients like those found in cleansers, the bubbles don’t pop but form a foam instead. Voilà, bubbling mask!
[ Image from Shaaanxo YouTube channel – click on the image to watch the video on YouTube ]
What Are the Benefits of Using a Bubbling Mask?
Unfortunately, like a lot of other cool and fun products, there isn’t much evidence that the oxygen in these products does anything special. Theoretically, though, there could be some benefits, like potentially deliver extra oxygen to your skin—something required for the production of collagen, for example. Collagen is an important structural component of your dermis, where it fills out skin and holds onto water, making it look younger, plumper and less wrinkled.
Oxygen can also kill acne-causing bacteria, calming down current breakouts and stopping future ones in their tracks. It’s also possible that these masks can work its way into your pores then foam up, pushing out dirt and clogs, which would explain why reviews of these masks often say that they have brightening effects. However, there aren’t any studies on humans where oxygen has had any demonstrated benefits for the skin.
On the bright side, these masks are usually formulated to be as hydrating as any other mask, which make them great for winter skincare. With the benefit of the extra entertainment and the possible anti-aging effects, bubbling oxygen masks are definitely worth trying even if it’s just for fun!