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Forget glycolic acid, retinol and vitamin C for a moment, because there’s a new complexion-perfector on the block.
Enter sodium bicarbonate. You might know the not-so-humble effervescent ingredient as the stuff that gives your morning Berocca its lively fizz, or, if you fancy yourself as a bit of a Mary Berry, baking soda. But what if we were to tell you that it has the muscle to give you clearer, more radiant skin?
Carbonated skincare has been taking Japan by storm for a while, but it looks like more and more of us are catching on to the radiance-enhancing effects of the bubbly component. In fact, Think With Google recently revealed that searches for carbonated products rocketed in 2017, with ‘carbonated clay mask’ up an enormous 5030% and ‘carbonated bubble clay mask’ having increased by 2188%.
Brands such as DHC and Odacite have also jumped on board the sodium bicarbonate bandwagon, serving up Instagram-worthy bubble masks and face washes packed with the ingredient. So why is it trending and how does it work? Well, take your seats class, because it’s time for a chemistry refresh.
Sodium bicarbonate performs in a similar way to your favourite exfoliator or foam cleanser. When activated (usually with water) the powdery white substance transforms into an airy whip that has the ability to gently dislodge make-up and deep-set grime, slough away dead skin cells and unblock congested pores, leaving skin smooth, clear and squeaky clean.
In our experience, carbonated skincare is a little gentler than most acids and physical exfoliators – great for those with sensitive skin. It doesn’t sting, scratch or leave skin feeling tight and uncomfortable and works a treat to keep both spots and oil slicks at bay. The best part? The sparkling feeling is akin to a mini facial.
Sold? Here are five of the best carbonated skincare products to have on your radar.
Just a couple of pumps of this foaming cleanser breaks down blackheads and cuts through excess oil to leave skin clean and refreshed, not parched.
A few drops of water transforms this moss-green powder into a fizzy foam. You can almost feel the sodium bicarbonate chipping away at dead skin, while the addition of antioxidant matcha protects skin from free radicals.