Before going away on holiday I ordered a set of 10 samples of Etude House Magic Bubble O2 Water Peeling pack - we were going by train so I had to travel light this time!
This product is a non-grainy exfoliator which works by creating foam on your face which removes dirt, dead cells and other particles from your skin, leaving it smooth and purified.
What you find in the sachet is a clear, runny gel substance which you need to massage over damp face, wait for a couple of minutes till froth forms on your face. During this time you'll feel a kind of tingling sensation as if you had champagne on your face, when you look in the mirror you'll see that you look like you're wearing shaving foam all over your face. Then rinse your face and the immediate results will be there for you to see. This exfoliator leaves skin visibly smoother and brighter and my pores seem smaller.
I love the results and how easy to use this is, however, I have reservations about the active agent that makes this product work. I'm not new to these Korean bubbly exfoliators, I've used samples of them before, and I liked them and it never -until now- occured to me that O2 water might not be that good for the skin.
The thing is that there is a lot of controversy about the way O2 water - hydrogen peroxide, to be more specific and scientific- works.
When I was a kid this was the basic antiseptic held at home. All mothers used this to treat our wounds and scratches. We used it also to gargle out throats and bleach our hair without asking our mums' permission. Some people also believe this solution to be an effective acne treatment. However, modern medicine questions the efficiency of hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant and warns about the side effects of its use. While its anti-bacterial properties are not as strong as expected, it turns out that it actually slows down the healing process and may lead to scarring because it destroys newly-formed cells.
How does O2 water work? Well, it's a very simple mechanical cleanser. By creating the fizzy effect it lifts dirt and removes it from tiny little wounds, cavities etc.
So this is also how Etude House Magic Bubble works. By foaming up it removes dirt from those hard-to-reach areas like pores, curves etc.
Upon contact with skin hydrogen peroxide creates a local skin capillary embolism (tightening and making them appear smaller) and hence its immediate, but temporary whitening and brightening effect.
So, I must say I'm in two minds about this product (and other enzymatic peels that contain O2 water). I like the way it works and makes my skin look, but given the scientific feedback I wonder whether in the long run it would be more beneficial or harmful to use such products. This seems to be a two-edged sword, which while keeping it clean actually has a strong, abrasive influence on my skin, while fighting the bacteria that cause acne, this solution may contribute to scarring. My skin is neither sensitive nor prone to breakouts, but if I suffered from acne, I'd seriously reconsider using Magic Bubble.
And finally, if hydrogen peroxide is what makes this product work, then maybe it would be just as effective to get a tube of hydrogen peroxide gel for a fraction of the price.
Disclaimer: I bought the product myself for my personal use and I am not affiliated with any company. I am not paid to do this review and everything I said here is my genuine opinion.