The Carbonated Face Bath

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You know how, when you sit down at a restaurant, you always have to make a decision between still water or sparkling? (The answer is usually dependent on how spendy you're feeling in the moment.) Well, what if you had to make that decision when deciding how to wash your face, too? Yes, this is a thing.

Cleansing with carbonated water was first made popular in Japan and is now a commonly used method in Korea and Europe. As carbon dioxide bubbles effervesce on your skin, they act as micro-brushes that deep-cleanse pores, remove dead skin cells, and help to reduce puffiness while firming the skin. The carbonated bubbles also deliver oxygen deep inside skin barriers and in turn increase circulation—this helps to brighten overall skin tone and smooth uneven complexion.

However, regular sparkling water can be irritating for very sensitive skin types. But never fear, there's a product for that: Brilliant’s Loveheart Sparkling Powder . Recently featured on popular Korean beauty show Get It Beauty, the powder acts as both an exfoliating cleanser and facial mask. When packets A and B are mixed in 5-liters of clean water, the powdery concoction fizzes up into a bubbly, skin-purifying facial pack that you submerge your face in for 3-5 minutes (with periodic breaks to breathe, of course). The same water can be used to cleanse, as well. This vitamin-infused solution promises a 7-in-1 effect (that's brightening, hydrating, firming, balancing, exfoliating, controlling oil, and cleaning, if you're counting).

It certainly does its job of actively flushing out dead skin cells and leaving your skin smoother and visibly revitalized. The sparkling bubbles feel refreshing as they gently brush across your face, and your skin does feel somewhat tighter but not overly dry. The sparkling powder is definitely worth a try as an attempt to breathe new life into familiar (boring) cleansing methods, but at the end of the day, I would choose to use a regular facial sheet mask instead. Convenience is key.

For kicks, I looked into DIY method if you can't get your hands on the powder/don't want to spend the money. Blend a 1:1 ratio of regular water and 100 percent sparkling mineral water, and cleanse with the mixture, or soak your face in it for however long you can hold your breath. If you have sensitive, irritable skin, make sure to mix in a little more regular water to reduce the bubbly effect. You’ll experience a deeper cleanse with instant revitalization that you can’t get from a plain old face wash.

—Stella Kim

Photographed by Tom Newton.

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