This snippets was a nightmare to write and photograph! It's hard when the products aren't all from one brand, like here where I just took a themed Memebox (Bubble Pop, Memebox Superbox #32) and cobbled together a routine from the random pieces within.
|Bubble Pop Skincare Routine|
Only now that I've fleshed out the review for the Bubble Pop box have I come to realize the gravity of the situation I put myself in. I've done "random snippets" twice since I wrote this article. Give me strength, O Lord.
Brilliant LoveHeart Sparkling Powder Set, USD 31 / A: 12g x 5, B: 17g x 5
i belivyu Cube Sparkling Sugar Scrub in Rose, USD 24 / 8g x 7pcs
Oseque Melting Cleanser, USD 40 / 120g
Skineralism Ice Whitening Bubble Pack, USD 36 / 7ml x 6pcs
*Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner, HKD 170 / 500ml
Elensilia French CO2 Aqua, USD 42 / 100g
Total routine cost: USD 173, sold for USD 38.99 at us.memebox.com (excluding Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner)
Bubble Pop, Carboxy and basically any "Baking Soda based" skincare are a somewhat quiet trend in Asian skincare. The most popular and commercial bubble pop product would be Etude House's Baking Powder line, and that's barely scratching the surface of what makes bubble pop products unique.
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an abrasive powder. It's one of the finest exfoliant particles you will encounter, so it's suitable for sensitive skin or frequent use. It's often dubbed as a pore solution due to its microdermabrasive effects.
My more advanced skincare forums discourage the use of pure / household baking soda for exfoliation. Basic solutions are bad for the skin because they disrupt the acid mantle, or a thin acidic coating on the skin's surface that fights bacteria. With a pH of 8, baking soda puts your skin pH (4-5) off balance.
That said, there's not a lot of discussion on commercially available baking soda-infused skincare yet. Here are the three theories I'm considering behind Bubble pop skincare:
- Bubble pop, carboxy and baking soda / powder are hot buzz words tagged on to less appealing but more skin pH-friendly sodium bicarbonate byproducts, like carbonic acid (best case scenario.)
- There are cosmetic grade sodium bicarbs pegged at lower pH levels (is this chemically possible?!)
- Commercially-formulated cosmetic sodium bicarbs carry the same threat as household sodium bicarbonate (worst case scenario.)
How to Use:
|Brilliant Love Heart Sparkling Powder Set|
It is mostly sodium bicarb and citric acid. Going by my rudimentary chem, I believe sodium bicarb in water produces carbonic acid, which eliminates the whole pH issue. The fizzing bubbles are meant to encourage blood circulation on the surface of the skin while the acids help cleanse and soften.
Cleanser Oseque Melting Cleanser - I use about 4-6 pumps, just enough to evenly cover the face. Apply on to dry face, allow the bubbles to fizz and turn white. My photos, starting from lower left, show the appearance of bubbles after every 10 seconds. Spread the resulting foam around the face before rinsing off with warm water.
|Oseque Melting Cleanser, 10-second intervals|
Post Cleansing Pack Skineralism Ice Whitening Bubble Pack - much like the Oseque cleanser, use one full sachet over the face and leave on for 3 minutes. It will also fizz up. Not in the instructions, but I like to spread the bubbles over my face before rinsing with warm water.
|Skineralism Ice Whitening Bubble Pack|
It's a whole lot thicker to apply than Oseque, and I have to be careful not to layer too thickly because the bubbles won't set. I have too much on my left cheek and it took much longer for that area to turn white with aeration.
Scrub i belivyu Cube Sparkling Sugar Scrub - wet 1 cube, crush it and gently roll over the face. Wash off with warm water.
|i belivyu Sparkling Sugar Scrub|
I have the Rose variant, which is meant for pore control. This has baking soda, vitamins and minerals. It does have hints of rose fragrance, which I enjoy.
Toner Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner - use like regular toner. This isn't part of the Bubble Pop Memebox but I incorporated a toner a few days after trial because I felt like the cleansers weren't washing off completely.
|Etude House Wonder Pore Freshner|
Moisturizer Elensilia French CO2 Aqua - this is a gel moisturizer. Spread generously especially over dry patches.
My greatest fear with this set was that bubble pops tend to focus on abrasives. With three cleansers, one scrub and only one moisturizer, I was afraid I'd be rubbed raw this month despite not using every single item everyday:
|Per Step Schedule|
It did not kill my skin as much as I feared it would. In fact, I was able to move through the month with not much issue except for a lack of layering and irritation from unwashed cleanser residue.
Still, a full bubble pop routine is not something a person with dry skin should fall into. Though my face looked the most polished it has in my whole life, there's only so much abrasion you should have in a day. I still think layering with moisture is my best strategy, and a cleansing-centric routine as this is more suited to oily or acne-prone skin.
Quick two-liners on the experience, per step:
- Brilliant LoveHeart Sparkling Powder Set - I had the least expectations on this but apparently, an acid wash is a fantastic prep for skincare. It made my skin highly absorbent and receptive to subsequent skincare, and I was surprised it fizzed for the whole 3-5 minutes of use.
- Oseque Melting Cleanser - Left me feeling insanely clean without any sign of irritation - as long as I completely washed it off. I found it dependable, but it made my skin feel a bit raw when I go to the moisturize step.
- Skineralism Ice Whitening Bubble Pack - The ice tends to sting especially where my skin is driest. I didn't feel any particular benefit to adding this to the routine, and it was so difficult to wash out that I got stinging red patches on the days I used this.
- i belivyu Cube Sparkling Sugar Scrub - Delivers an unforgettably polished feel with a highly comfortable scrub consistency. My nose looks laminated (completely smooth, clear, shiny) on the days I scrubbed.
- Elensilia French CO2 Aqua - The gel format and light moisture weren't enough to replenish lost moisture during the scrubout phase. It sounds great for people with oily skin, except it's so sticky despite being lightweight.
The Brilliant LoveHeart Sparkling Powder Set and i belivyu Cube Sparkling Sugar Scrub are both amazing. I would repurchase them in a heartbeat if I ever see them in my travels.
If I had to choose just one, it would be the sugar scrub just by the HUGE change in my strawberry nose. It polishes my face up so much, that it shines so much and actually looks wet even after I've towelled off. I had a strong, visceral reaction when I first used it!
Beauty by Tellie score: 3 / 5 - routine has its merits but is misaligned for my needs.
Unlike other routines where I can shrug off the warm water requirement as a mere suggestion, my normally nonreactive face gets itchy or raw when traces of the cleanser or pack remain. This 3 rating is a toughie: whatever worked, worked so well and whatever didn't, had such glaring issues. I'd grade some pieces a 5, while some are just a 2.
A Bubble Pop routine can easily be a 5... if your skin tends to pack on oil / dirt and moisture isn't a huge concern. As for me, I'm glad to have the opportunity to pick my favorites from such a routine!
Hi Connie! Thanks for reminding me I'm due for this post, ahahaha!
Skincare Snippets is an ongoing monthly series on my blog where I take up a skincare set and use that for a month. My only rules are: use them at night and don't skip more than a week's worth of skincare. Click here for more snippets.