Face masks are the ultimate indulgence and one that transcends generation and price point. It doesn’t matter if it’s a 99p sachet you picked up with a pint of milk, or a super luxurious pot of high-tech cream that set you back more than your monthly food bill, the joy and moment of self-indulgence they bring is incomparable. Although face mask trends come and go, the ones that hang around are those that add value and real benefit – as well as a feeling of ‘oooh that was nice!’ There’s no doubting the fact that the bubble mask has been one of the hottest and most instagrammable things in beauty during 2017, but are they worth splurging on or are they simply a comical way to spend ten minutes in the bathroom? How do they work, what do they do and should you be buying one?
The general concept behind these innovative skincare sachets, bottles and pots is that the injection of oxygen brings benefits to the skin’s vitality and appearance. Used within professional treatments and facials, oxygen can help increase blood circulation and get more
cells where they need to go – helping with wound recovery, collagen production and the general bouncy healthy texture of skin. As we age our bodies struggle to operate as efficiently as they once did, so this little oxygen boost can help increase the texture and appearance of the skin (albeit temporarily.) In professional treatments they tend to push around 95% pure oxygen into the skin’s surface, but with these home treatments the oxygen used relies on that which is produced by causing a reaction when the formula is exposed to the air around it (i.e. a hell of a lot less.)
However, even a marginal boost of oxygen is nothing but beneficial; increased circulation brings fresh blood, and that fresh blood will bring oxygen and nutrients to every skin cell. A little added benefit is also the fact that these bubble masks can help dry out dirt and get rid of pollution on your skin,
leaving your face softer and more radiant. So the science is sound and these can actually help to boost your skin’s performance and appearance, while giving you a little bit of entertainment at the same time – even if they won’t revolutionise the way it looks in the long term. But face masks aren’t meant to be long term anyway, are they? They’re supposed to pamper and delight!
I’ve tried a few different ones over the last few weeks, finally putting my curiosity to rest and seeing what all the fuss is about, and two have really stood out for me: the relatively affordable Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask (£14.99) and the slightly more premium Clinique Pep-Start Double Bubble Purifying Mask (£24.00) Both come in air tight containers (the most important part to remember, as they rely on mixing with our air to cause the bubble reaction!) and the gel-like formulas apply well to the skin without feeling too heavy or sticky. The Elf takes a little while to get going, but when it does it provides a light but rich foam that keeps on growing without making the skin feel all tingly; the Clinique version gets to work much quicker and leaves a much lighter texture behind, making me feel like it’s more effective at injecting oxygen into the surface to leave my skin feeling fab.
Although there’s a £10.00 price difference between the two (they’re both the same size,) the results and experiences are pretty much comparable. When applied half and half on my face, both sides were soft and bright with a visible difference in texture – even if the Elf left a very slight stickiness on the skin that needed a cleansing oil to properly remove. One was definitely not worth £10.00 more than the other, in my opinion. You don’t need much to get it to work effectively (rather interestingly it just keeps getting bigger and bigger until you wash it off!) so these both provide a wise and long-term investment, especially as we step into party season when we’re looking for quick fixes to keep us looking and feeling fab.
They’re fun, inject some much-needed goodness and have an immediate visible impact on skin, which is all we want from a face mask and more! Although they could’ve been a flash-in-the-pan Instagram trend that didn’t have much substance, I’m convinced these actually have a rightful place in our bathroom cabinets… Until the next big thing comes along at least.
What do you think of the bubble mask trend? Have you tried them? What do you think about their texture, appearance and results they offer?
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