Bubble masks are a very distinctive Korean skincare product. I’m not aware of any Western brand managing to mimic them just yet. They look just like regular clay masks in the pot, but when you put them on your face the carbonated action starts and the mask bubbles up. Once the bubbling has stopped, you massage the mask into the face. Then leave it for another few minutes before washing off.
If you’ve not tried a bubble mask, I can really recommend it. They’re great fun. It’s quite a tickly sensation all over the face, like there are a thousand butterflies trampling over your face.
Probably the best known Korean bubble mask is the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay mask. In the UK you can often get it in TK Maxx.
The bubble mask we’re looking at today, which was sent to me by the Korean beauty website Jolse, is the Sebum Drying Black Bubble Pack by TIA’M.
TIA’M are a new Korean beauty brand, and a sister brand to the highly regarded COSRX. If you know COSRX, you can probably see some similarities here in the minimalist white packaging.
This mask bubbles up the instant it hits the face, though it doesn’t bubble up as much as the Elizavecca one does. Elizavecca makes it look like you’re growing an instant beard. TIA’M makes you look like you’ve got a weird kind of fungus on your face. Don’t answer the door like this, kids. I did and now the postman won’t speak to me.
What does it do?
Bubble masks are for cleansing and hydration. The TIA’M mask is aimed at anybody with oily skin, or overly visible pores. It contains charcoal powder to absorb black or white heads and keep pores clean. I’m not sure how it achieves its promise of absorbing blackheads etc. Does it just suck them up out of your face? The charcoal also works to adjusts the oil-moisture balance in the pores, meaning that it cleans thoroughly but it doesn’t dry skin out.
The other interesting ingredient is albumin, derived from egg white (and meaning that this is not a vegan-friendly product). The albumin forms a thin barrier on the skin, tightening the pores.
I can’t say I noticed much in the way of pore minimisation, but it’s a very pleasant mask to use, leaving the skin thoroughly cleansed but not dried out. Would use again, if only to scare the kids.
The TIA’M Sebum Drying Black Bubble Pack is available here from Jolse, currently reduced to $16.47 (around £12). Jolse is a well-established Korean beauty site which ships for free all over the world. They’re known for slipping in lots of extra freebie samples with your order. Although this product was provided for the purposes of review, I have ordered from Jolse as a customer several times with no problems.