Some of you might have heard about O2 bubble packs and cleansers before but for those of you who haven’t I have one to review today! Cupidrop asked me to review something from their online shop and I had to freedom to choose something that interested me. I don’t like reviewing something that’s already been reviewed a million times on the web (unless I feel that I can add more to the reviews). I looked on their online shop and I was so HAPPY to see that Cupidrop offered more obscure brands, even brands I’ve never heard of before like Kicho and Hidemond. This is already looking great!
I chose two things from their Serendibeauty line because it offered two unique products that haven’t flooded the kbeauty market yet, The O2 Bubble Cleansing Pack and the Sparkling CO2 Mask Packs (carboxy masks). I’ll review the Sparkling CO2 Mask Packs at a later date (can’t wait)! The O2 Bubble Cleansing Pack will actually bubble up on contact with dry skin, delivering much needed oxygen to your skin for turnover improvement. Click to read more about oxygen facials and the review for the O2 Bubble Cleansing Pack.
Click on these links to skip to other parts of the review:
- About Serendibeauty
- About Cupidrop
- What is an O2 Bubble Mask/Cleanser? Science Lesson Ahead
- Product Claims
- Packaging, Size, Price, Etc.
- The Masking/Cleansing
- Ingredients List and pH Level
- Conclusion – Are O2 Bubble Masks Just a Gimmick?
What drew me to Serendibeauty is their market placement as a premium personal spa system at home. They offer professional home care products that will give you salon-like results. I’m all about DIY spa service!
I’m a little confused at their branding because although their carboxy masks say “Serendi_beauty”, the listed website is serendipity7.co.kr. Their O2 Bubble Cleansing Pack also lists both names and labels this bottle as the GOLD LABEL. On Cupidrop’s site, it’s listed simply as Serendibeauty so I will go by this name when referring to the bubble pack.
Cupidrop is a online shop with more unique kbeauty brands as well as a few lines that are becoming rising stars like Cosrx, Claire’s, A.True. They are based in New York City and ship internationally as well. They primarily sell skincare with the exception of select BB creams, BB cushions and CC creams. I was happy to see that they carried A. True as I was interested in purchasing something from them a while ago and only ONE retailer had carried A. True at the time. If you’re on the search for something “different” and apart from the usual Skinfood, Etude House or Tony Moly, definitely browse Cupidrop for some new exciting things for the wishlist.
What is an O2 Bubble Cleanser/Pack? Science Lesson Ahead
Before diving into the review. I want to explain the science behind this form of cleansing. If you’ve ever heard of an O2 (oxygen) facial or an oxygen bar when that was trending almost 10 years ago, these bubble cleansers stem from this skincare innovation.
All cells need natural oxygen and oxygen skin care systems are based on the premise that stable oxygen molecules (not free radicals) can increase skin cell metabolism. This means that skin cells can better take care of itself by self-exfoliating, repair any sun damage and produce collagen to keep skin looking young (especially important since the collagen molecules in skincare creams are too big to actually penetrate through skin cells).
Now, why would I EVER need an oxygen facial when I’m breathing in precious O2 molecules already? Well, the “normal air” we breathe in is actually comprised of about 21% oxygen, 5% inert gas and 74% nitrogen so that’s very little O2 we actually breathe in. Some would say that we’re actually deprived of oxygen! Oxygen facial facilities will blast up to 95% pure oxygen through a wand right onto your fine lines/treatment areas. Oxygen bars, when those were still around, would allow you to inhale 50% – 90% of pure oxygen (giving users a natural high).
If you remember seeing oxygen bars circa late 1990’s, the bar would hook a plastic tube from the oxygen tank (and you get your choice of fun, colorful scents) and you can sit there with the tube full of pure oxygen up your nose or breathe it through a face mask. While oxygen bars have now faded away, the science that the body can always use more oxygen to heal and help with cell turnover is still real.
There is a question of whether or not these new bubble cleansers will also introduce free radicals to your skin, thus counteracting all the positive effects oxygen is supposed to give you. It is possible that free radicals can enter into this process but it is also known that peptides can neutralize this threat which is why delivering oxygen to your skin through a liquid/serum form is best. This is exactly why companies have concocted several liquid serums that bubbles out oxygen while delivering benefits from the serum itself – making the benefits two-fold. I mean, I can’t imagine ordering a compressed tank of oxygen for my tiny NYC apt, haha.
Don’t underestimate the power of oxygen, it isn’t “just air”. The first thing the ER does is give oxygen to arriving patients. The history of oxygen use in skincare began when it was used to heal burns more quickly. Getting a real oxygen facial at a spa can cost $150 – $200 per session and Serendibeauty’s O2 Bubble Cleanser only costs $33 at Cupidrop. Bubble cleansers have been around for a couple of years already in Asia and it’s affordable and supposedly effective.
All information above has been paraphrased from here and here. I’m not a scientist but I can find pretty good articles.
The Serendibeauty O2 Bubble Cleansing Pack claims to provide “deep cleansing and pore tightening. The oxygen bubbles will deep clean and increase skin’s elasticity.”
It does not claim to remove blackheads, whiteheads, exfoliate or remove makeup. Because of this I used my normal cleanser and before using any mask/pack, I also use a toner to make sure my skin is prepped to receive the goodness of whatever product I’m about to use. You need a clean face as this product is full of good ingredients that you’d want your skin to absorb.
At first, I wanted to do a comparison battle between the Caolion Where is Pore O2 Bubble Pack but after digging in each of the product’s claims, I decided it wasn’t a fair battle because Caolion claims that it will “deep clean pores, removing trapped dirt, blackheads and whiteheads, all while exfoliating and hydrating to leave skin brighter, smoother and moisturized.” Since the claims aren’t really the same, I will review the Caolion as a separate review.
Packaging, Size, Price, Etc.
This is $33 for 1.7 fl oz or 50 ml. It comes in a sleek white bottle with silver accents. I love the recessed button and curved design placement for your finger. #Fancy. There’s a little plastic cover nub that you need to take off of the nozzle opening. I suppose once you starting using the product, you can just throw that piece away but if you’re not going to use it regularly, best to keep it on to prevent clogging and letting in any unnecessary air. There is also a cute little insert in the box with diagrammed instructions on how to use the product but that is in Korean as with most of the packaging but you can get English translations on Cupidrop.
The instructions on Cupidrop say to pump 2-3 times and spread on forehead, cheeks and chin on a dry face. I did this and there wasn’t enough product to onto my entire face. The second time I used the product, I pumped it 2-3 times for each part of my face: the left, right and forehead so this really took about 9 pumps in total for the entire face.
The product is a white, pearly gel-like texture. It’s a medium consistency and starts bubbling almost immediately! Because I didn’t have enough product to barely spread onto my forehead the first time, it later bubbles out and only looks like I spread it onto my cheeks.
You’re supposed to leave it on for 5-7 minutes until it fizzes out completely. It’s tingly and ticklish feeling but nothing too distracting to have on while being on your computer and it does its thang. Very fun and entertaining to wear for 5 minutes!
You’ll start to notice patches of the bubbling go away and the fizzing would stop within the recommended 5-7 minute time frame. Wash off by gently massaging it away with lukewarm water then follow with your normal routine.
It does not say how frequently you should use this for but I would personally space this out every 2-3 days probably because the smooth effects last for about two days. I tested this for three weeks, once a week.
Outcomes – Baby Smoothhh
It left my skin feeling very clean and smooth. Skin was babyyyy soft and omg, just so smooth. It did not clear away any blackheads but the product didn’t claim that it would do so. I can see why this product claims to tighten pores because I waited for my skin to dry after rinsing and without using any moisturizers from my routine and it felt so clean and smooth that it felt tight too. I decided to put on my routine to make that that feeling go away and sure enough it felt fine, in fact application of my serum and emulsion was smoother because of the bubble pack. If you hate that tight feeling, put your routine on right away after rinsing the bubbles off like the instruction say.
The next morning I woke up with the same firm, bouncy skin. I did my morning routine with serum and emulsion and the application was smoother than usual as well. It did feel as if there was some renewed youth. Skin was supple and happy. The product did not promise to brighten so you can use whatever serum/lotion you have in your routine to target your specific concerns. My before and after photo doesn’t really show any noticeable difference in brightening or a more even complexion but it looks more hydrated. Although I can’t see any differences, I can certainly FEEL it in the texture of my skin.
The Ingredients List & pH
Now my favorite part! Ingredients and most of the packaging is in Korean but Cupidrop has the ingredients listed in English on their website (hallelujah!). I uploaded it on CosDNA and they are also below:
Water, Acrylates Copolymer, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Propylene Glycol, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, TEA-Cocoyl Glutamate, Glycerin, Cocamide DEA, Sodium Hyaluronate, Triethanolamine, Xanthan Gum, Allantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Simmondsia Chinensis (Jojoba) Seed Oil, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Acetyl Hexapeptide-22, Caffeoyl Tripeptide-1, sh-Octapeptide-4, sh-Decapeptide-7, sh-Pentapeptide-19, Oligopeptide-28, Oxygen, Mineral Water, Snail Secretion Filtrate, Portulaca Oleracea Extract, Butylene Glycol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract, Garcinia Mangostana Peel Extract, Euterpe Oleracea Fruit Extract, Lycium Barbarum Fruit Extract, Morinda Citrifolia Fruit Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Oil, Perfluorodecalin, Polyhydroxystearic Acid, Isononyl Isononanoate, Ethylhexyl Isononanoate, Sodium Cocamidopropyl PG-Dimonium Chloride Phosphate, Methylparaben
Here’s what I have to say with a few key ingredients:
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
This ranked as a level 3 irritant for acne-prone skin. Sodium Laureth Sulfate (or SLES) is a milder cleansing agent than Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. Although this is a common ingredient used in many personal care items, some consumers choose to stay away from sulfates altogether because it can be harsh on the skin and have possible carcinogens in it. It’s a personal choice to avoid sulfates but SLES has been reviewed by many industry experts and it’s deemed safe to use if kept in low concentrations.
This is the salt form of skin-identical ingredient, hyaluronic acid. It can hold 1,000 times its weight in water and great in keeping skin hydrated and plump. It’s naturally found in the skin barrier. Over time, we start to slow down production in this ingredient so skincare with Sodium Hyaluronate is always a star ingredient and welcomed in my book.
This is a skin conditioning ingredient used for soothing and anti-inflammation.
As I touched upon the possibly of introducing free radicals to your skin, it can be neutralized by the help of peptides and antioxidants. The serum contains a whole slew of them including Acetyl Hexapeptide-22, Caffeoyl Tripeptide-1, sh-Octapeptide-4, sh-Decapeptide-7, sh-Pentapeptide-19, and Oligopeptide-28. The “sh” prefix indicates that it’s a synthetic form of peptide made in a lab. In order for CosDNA to read it as a match in its system, I had to delete the “sh” out in my entry there.
Peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of proteins in the skin. When peptides form a long chain of amino acids, they become proteins. When they are in a short chain of amino acids, they are able to penetrate the top layer of our skin and send signals to our cells to let them know how to function, like hey, make some more collagen please!
Snail Secretion Filtrate
There’s snail! Great ingredient to fight anti-aging, moisturization and even out skin tone. The list doesn’t say how much snail slime is in here however.
Along with peptides, it has a boatload of botanical extracts including Jojoba Seed Oil, Moss Rose Extract, Aloe Leaf Extract, Mangosteen Peel Extract, Açaí Palm Extract, Goji Berry Extract, Beach Mulberry Fruit Extract and Grapefruit) Peel Oil. These plant and fruit extracts also help with neutralizing possible free radicals and help with inflammation, hydration and conditioning the skin. The additions of these extracts with peptides provide a balanced system in delivering more oxygen to your skin.
The pH reading I got was a 6 however I’m not sure if my pH strips are working that great in thicker solutions. I tested a strip with vinegar and it instantly turned to a pH of 2 so they should be working. It’s a little higher than our skin’s natural pH level of 4.5 – 5.5 but I’m not too much of a pH level nazi. pH level of 6 is fine with me. Others will say this is too high for them and prefer a max of 5.5 but that choice is up to you. See how you skin reacts to other pH 6 products and you can decide.
Conclusion – Are O2 Bubble Masks Just a Gimmick?
While this product is made to deliver more oxygen to your face in order to increase cell metabolism, I just don’t know HOW much more oxygen it really creates in order to make a real effect. Even if it does, it’s only on the skin for 5-7 minutes while oxygen facials in spa facilities will give you sessions much longer than that.
Still, the ingredient was quite impressive to me as it was a peptide and botanical extract bomb with a sweet side of snail slime. The smooth and soft effects probably all come from the Sodium Hyaluronate and Allantoin. It’s hard to determine whether or not the extra oxygen did anything to my cell turnover when the mask gel has all these great ingredients. I smell a gimmick. However as an at-home-spa alternative, I got really good smooth results.
As for its deep cleaning and pore tightening claims, I’m not sure if it really did any deep cleaning. It does not promise to remove blackheads or makeup but it did remove the oil in my T-zone. Skin definitely FELT clean, smooth and conditioned though. For fun, I decided to use it as actual cleanser and used it on a full face of makeup. It left me with panda eyes and I saw plenty of BB Cream left over on my cotton pad when I ran it over with toner. Definitely use a cleanser and toner first then use this as a mask post-cleansing so your skin will absorb all those great peptides!
Would I repurchase? It’s fun to try this if this is your first ever O2 Bubble Pack but there’s a lot of other things I want to try too! I really like how it has a lot of peptides and plant/fruit extracts and might come back to this if I feel I can’t find another product with as many peptides as this one. Whether or not this delivers more oxygen to your face, I know peptides and botanical extracts play a big part in anti-aging and I may repurchase based on that. My cheeks though, are like baby bums.
Rating: 4/5 – Stands in a good place on the shelfie but I’d still want to explore what else is out there.
This product was provided by Cupidrop for review and the opinions and research was done on my own. I was not obligated to give this product a positive review. I am not getting referral credit for this post or link clicks.