Skincare doesn’t have to be dull – half the appeal of many skincare products on the market nowadays is the ‘fun factor’ that they promise, with peel-off masks, rainbow masking, and modelling masks all holding a dear place in many skincare aficionados’ hearts, more so for the experience that they promise rather than how effective they really are. Perhaps one of the most famed of the ‘fun factor’ products out there is the bubble mask. I mean, putting on a layer of clay or gel, and having your face bubble up into mushroom-like dimensions is never going to be boring, is it?
I’ve honestly not tried too many bubble masks, mostly because they’re usually made from a substance resembling a clay mask, and I am incredibly lazy when it comes to taking that kind of thing off. I have a foaming mask from Too Cool for School which I enjoyed, the mousse texture convincing me that this was definitely my style of bubble. As soon as a fun mask becomes a chore, I’ll be turned off.
Today we’ll be looking, however, at the b.liv (said like believe) o2 Bubbly Bright Oxygenating Mask, which was created with the very idea of ‘fun factor’ in mind. This bubble mask is a purifying, brightening, and exfoliating mask, which bubbles up after application, giving an amusing but hopefully functional cleansing experience. After all, as fun as something is, it should work too, shouldn’t it?
About the brand
b.liv’s founder has a salon background, and created the brand to provide an affordable pore management solution which was easy to use. They started in certain Asian countries such as Malaysia, Macau, Singapore and Hong Kong, but now sell worldwide and ship out from Kuala Lumpur. b.liv’s philosophy is that healthy pores create healthy-looking skin, and their products have won awards for their cleansing solutions (for example, Singapore Cleo Clear Skin awards). They also offer worldwide free shipping, which helps with affordability.
Aqua (water), triethyxlhexanoin, methyl perfluorobutyl ether, cetyl ethylhexanoate, butylene glycol, caprylic tryglyceride, glycerin, sodium myristoyl glutamate, xanthan gum, cetearyl alcohol, stearic acid, clyceryl stearate, rice powder, panthenol, sorbitan olivate, betaine, helianthus annus (sunflower) seed oil, sorbitan stearate, hyaluronic acid, gingko biloba leaf extract, soybean oil, origanum vulgare flower/lead/stem extract, thyme extract, rosemary extract, lavender extract, willow bark extract, chamaecyparis obtusa leaf extract, origanum vulgare leaf extract, portulaca oleracea extract, manitol, cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, tocopheryl acetate, scutellaria baicalensis root extract, cinnamomum cassia bark extract, lactobacillus/soybean ferment extract, liquorice root extract, bixa orellana seed extract, tocopherol, CI 77491
The main ingredients highlighted on the box are the o2 bubbles, and the rice powder. o2 bubbles penetrate the skin in order to wash away impurities, and de-clog those pores. I actually don’t have pores which are too difficult to manage, so I was interested to see what this would do for my skin. While they can serve to de-clog pores, the o2 bubbles can also get rid of excess sebum and dirt. If you live in a hot country (like me) this could be good for getting rid of the sweaty, dirty feeling often experienced at the end of the day.
Rice powder works to moisturise and brighten the skin, and is a popular choice in many skincare products for cleansing. It helps to leave skin feeling smooth and soft, while not stripping the skin. I’ve used a few products with rice powder in, with success – it’s quite commonly used in Japanese cleansing products thanks to its efficacy.
One interesting thing about the product is the small beads that are held in it in suspension – these are actually where the cellulose in the ingredients list comes in to play. These tiny red beads melt while you use the product, releasing vitamin E oil, and provide a small amount of exfoliation while not stripping the skin. They’re not harsh like a scrub, and they won’t be giving you a strong exfoliation, but for everyday use a little is enough.
Texture and application
The product is quite like a light gel/cream, which glides onto the skin and feels a little sticky. It’s pink in colour in the tub, but goes onto the skin clear. You have to be careful with it in the tub, as it has air bubbles in and if exposed for a long time with the lid off, these bubbles start to pop. So air exposure is something to bear in mind with the texture.
You smooth the gel onto your face, and start massaging it into the skin. After a few minutes, small bubbles will appear and it will start to foam up lightly. A few minutes after that, the bubbles all foam up to create a thicker film on the skin and a decent amount of foam appears – which is where the fun factor comes in. It does look appealing and those little bubbles give a sparkling sensation, like washing your face in a soda water bath.
After about 5 minutes the foam begins to disappear bit by bit (the box advises to leave it for 5-10 minutes, but I find it’s closer to the 5 when it starts to go down significantly), and you can massage it again for deeper cleansing and exfoliation. It will still begin to foam and bubble even after massaging again, but not as noticeably and with a thinner layer of foam this time. After you’ve massaged it again, you should rinse it off with warm water. Because of the gel texture, it sticks a little to the skin, but it doesn’t take too long to come off, which is preferable to me over a clay-style mask which can be a bit of a nightmare to get off. Once it’s washed off, you can pat your skin dry and go on with your routine.
As stated, I don’t have huge pores which are incredibly noticeable – the only time I really get bothered them is in summer when they do produce a bit more sebum than my dry skin usually does. But I’ve never had a problem with blackheads and stubborn pores.
This mask worked really well for me on hot days, and after visiting the gym – it helped to get rid of that sweaty, dirty feeling and give me refreshed, revitalised skin. I don’t really think that it helped to moisturise my skin, but I feel that about any wash-off mask. What I look for more in this case is if the mask doesn’t strip my skin and make it feel tight – this is what I think ‘moisturising’ is for me with cleansing products. This mask gently cleansed my skin and gave me a great base for starting my skincare routine. It was also fun to use and I really enjoyed the sensation of the bubbles fizzing away on my skin.
Price and packaging
The mask comes in a little tub with a spatula to apply the product. The little tub has an inner lid which you should keep, as it helps to keep the air out of the packaging and provides an extra protective barrier. Without this, the mask will not last as long and you’ll be wasting your money.
The retail price is $39, but there is often a sale on at the b.liv website. At the time of writing, the mask is $35 with 3 freebie masks thrown in, and as mentioned before, free shipping. In my opinion, if you’ve ever tried the Caolion masks, this one works equally as well and has a similar price point compared to Sephora prices. It’s also easier to get off and has that extra fun factor behind it. I do think this would be a fun mask to do with friends, especially if you’re wanting to get them into skincare.
The pot is 50g and you don’t need to apply a lot for it to be effective, so it should last a while providing you don’t throw away that inner lid. However, I’d still advise to use it relatively quickly as I don’t believe it would keep for a long time. I use it three times a week and I still have a substantial amount left.
Overall, I’ve enjoyed this product and while I don’t think its shelf-life is incredibly long, I think you could get a month’s worth of use out of it, if not more, and it’s effective as a cleansing product. It’s certainly raised my interest in other b.liv products, and I think I’m going to have to watch them more closely – the promise of free shipping is all too tempting for someone like me!
Disclaimer: this product was provided to me for review purposes but all opinions are my own, and no links in this post are affiliate, meaning I receive no monetary gain from referral.