Here at POUND®, we’re passionate about products that are just as good for your body as the workouts you endure in our classes, on your yoga mat, or at the gym. With so many balms and serums, wipes and sprays, supplements and healthy snacks on the market, though, we’re all supposedly being exposed to “the best of the best.” But if that’s the case, then why can it take a lot of tedious trial and error (and cash) before you actually find what works best for you?
To take a little bit of the guesswork off your plate, we’re introducing a new monthly blog series called ‘HQ Tries,’ where we’ll deliver real reviews, not advertisements, of all the things you’re curious about. From beauty products, to workouts, to the latest food trends across social media, we’re putting whatever’s trending to the test so you don’t have to.
Interested in something specific? Write in and tell us about it! Once a month we’ll be trying out whatever it is you’re curious about, and documenting our experiences, so we encourage you to keep us in the know.
Our first installment to the series is a review on some of the most talked about oxygen facial masks (aka bubble masks) in the beauty space. You might recognize these fizzy formulas from your Instagram feed, but while they might make for an epic selfie opportunity, are their supposed skin-loving benefits actually effective? Read on to find out.
1. Bliss Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Mask
$22, blissworld.comMarketed as an at-home treatment mimicking the brand’s iconic facial, Bliss’ Triple Oxygen mask is a spa treatment in a bottle and features key ingredients like vitamins C & E to brighten the complexion, as well as grapeseed and green tea extracts to naturally protect skin against free radicals and environmental stressors.
A combination of rice bran extract and aloe leaf juice provides a generous burst of hydration, but what really sets this five-minute mask apart from the rest is its exclusive complex of EUK 134, Fluid 02, and Hydrolyzed Soy Protein that together collects free radicals attacking the skin, and converts them to healthy oxygen. From there, the treatment works to cleanse, exfoliate, and detoxify the skin for a glowing complexion that feels good because it’s been nourished with good-for-you ingredients.
HQ Review: 4.75/5
“Ooo!! I love the bubbling sensation! I also love how it went on like a clear gel like texture, then quickly turned into foaming bubbles! Also, it smells like freshly squeezed grapefruits. YUM. And to top it off, my skin feels baby soft!“ -Lori
“Loved this mask. It smells really fresh, and the way it fizzes is super fun. It feels like it’s getting deep into your pores when it bubbles, and feels clean and fresh after rinsing!” -Nicole
“I was expecting more of a transformation once I washed it off, but minutes after I realized how fresh and bright my face looked! Bliss delivers on most of their products and this was no different. I’d definitely use this before a birthday dinner or event where I know photos will be taken.” -Hubba
2. Elf Hydrating Bubble Mask
$14, elfcosmetics.comElf’s ge-to-bubble mask can be applied two ways: all over for a full facial treatment, and in specific areas to target dry patches. The Hydrating Bubble Mask—one of three in the brand’s carbonated collection—applies as a gel, fizzes on impact, and is ready to rinse off in just 5 to 10 minutes time. By extracting dirt from the pores and naturally brightening the skin, the treatment is described to be just as detoxifying as it is refreshing.
HQ Review: 3.5/5
“Went on smoothly and left my skin feeling super soft, but didn’t seem to get down deep into my pores.” -Brooke
“Maybe my skin is just too sensitive, but my face itched the whole time and then didn’t feel particularly clean or smooth after. I added a point for the cool dispenser it came in!” -Alexis
3. Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
$9.51, amazon.comElizavecca’s foamy mask took the internet by storm in 2017 when PopSugar redirected everyone’s attention to Reddit user ZeApollo’s photos of a new oxygen mask she’d been testing. As you can see, the Milky Piggy Carbonated formula forms massive bubbles on your skin in a matter of minutes, and though it may look a little silly (albeit Insta-worthy), the cloudiness of your complexion indicates that it’s working.
Made with a base of carbonated water and mud, and enhanced with skin-loving ingredients like green tea, pomegranate, charcoal extract, and collagen, the oxygen mask acts as a gentle detoxifier so you don’t have to scrub away dirt and stubborn makeup. It does that groundwork for you and, bonus, tightens the pores, too.
HQ Review: 1.5/5
“This felt sticky on my face, and was a little hard to rinse off my face.” -Nicole
“I was excited to try it, but it ended up feeling a little itchy for me. I have sensitive skin so this wasn’t for me, but it might be good for people who don’t have such sensitive skin!” -Ana
4. Pixi Skintreats Glow O2 Oxygen Mask
$24, pixibeauty.comLife gets busy, you grow tired, and as a result, so does your skin. For washed out complexions that need a boost, Pixi’s O2 Oxygen Mask is literally a treat for your skin that’ll cost you less than five minutes per treatment.
Per the product’s description, you can apply the gel day or night, once per week or as-needed. Once you’ve added a layer across your face, you can expect a slight tingle to wake up your skin. Unlike other oxygen masks that are formulated to cleanse and wash off the day, Pixi’s mask has the opposite affect—the goal is to awaken your complexion with a mix of vitamins and caffeine, and prep your canvas for makeup application.
HQ Review: 4.6/5
“Perfect for the morning before a shoot or a big day.” -Kirsten
“Tingly! An instant difference in overall tone.” -Chelsea
“Saw a difference once I took it off, it was awesome! “ -Shannon