The Clinique Pep-Start™ Double Bubble Purifying Mask is a refreshing gel-to-foam mask that claims to “bubble away” debris while also purifying and energizing the skin. I’m a fan of masks but rarely have the time. Since this cheery little tube claims to work its magic in just 2 minutes, let’s see if it’s worth adding another product to my regimen.
Find it HERE
Tested October 2019
This is the first bubble mask I’ve ever tried; truthfully it was part of a set that Clinique was offering last month when I picked up my holy grail eye cream (Clinique usually has better sample offers than Sephora so I go straight to the source for their products). I have to say, it’s fun! After one go I don’t think it transformed my skin in any magical way, but what does? It started as a pink gel with no real scent (per Clinique standards and part of why I like using them-no irritating fragrance), and true to the label within 2 minutes the gel had transformed into a blanket of tiny bubbles. They tickled and made me smile. Upon adding water the bubbles morphed into a thick cleanser which felt luxurious and left my skin feeling clean but not stripped. As for feeling energized, I typically think of citrus when I hear that so I was a little let down in that respect (what’s a girl have to do to get some lemon around here?!)
One thing I couldn’t figure out just from trying it was the mechanism of action. Why does it bubble and does that actually do anything for your skin? Turns out it works a lot like carbonated water. Perfluorocarbons (harmless man-made chemicals) are especially efficient at dissolving oxygen gas, similar to the way water dissolves carbon dioxide gas to make soda. Somewhere in Clinique’s factory, oxygen gas must be pumped into the gel mask under pressure after which the masks might be sealed into pressurized packaging. I learned certain masks are thick enough that pressurized packaging isn’t required and I’m not totally sure into which category Pep-Start falls. So when I smoothed the mask onto my skin, the oxygen that was trapped slowly turned back into gas…think bubbles escaping from carbonated water or soda. Since the mask also contains foaming ingredients as with a cleanser, the bubbles don’t pop but form a foam. Ta-da, bubble mask. I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole far enough to figure out who discovered this method, but I wouldn’t mind knowing…
Novelty aside, I don’t believe this had the capability to oxygenate my skin in any way. In theory, oxygen could kill acne-causing bacteria but if it’s only on for 2 minutes and most of it reacted and was washed away, I doubt this has any benefits other than being a fun, gentle cleanser.