“(all photos property of whereabigailwent.com)
The instructions from Wonect and on the back of the mask pack both indicated that I would need to submerge my face in a bowl of bubbling water for 3 to 5 minutes. So, after hunting down the largest bowl we had in the house, I pulled out my snorkel gear, only to find that the bowl was too shallow to accommodate both the mouthpiece and my face. Given the lack of straws in the house to function as a suitable replacement, I wound up having to use this exfoliating mask the old-fashioned way: By repeatedly dunking my face in the solution.
Argan oil and Vitamin C extracts aside, the main draw of this mask pack are the powerful streams of carbon dioxide that it produces, which is meant to help deep cleanse the skin. You’ve probably heard about charcoal facials by now, or even carbon laser peels, but the use of carbon dioxide as an exfoliating agent is still a fairly new concept. Tansan Kakumei (炭酸革命) has been leading the way in Japan and Korea for the past 3 years, selling almost a million of their Sparkling Gorgeous! Carbonic Acid face mask packs to skincare addicts desirous of smaller pores and softer skin.
Preparing the mask feels a little like you’re about to conduct some kind of simple, but slightly mad chemistry experiment. The ingredients have been divided into two pretty pink sachets. First, dissolve the powder in Pack A (Which consists of a number of different gentle acids, including citric acid and malic acid) into your bowl of water. I used warm water as a personal preference since I was going to have to soak my face in it, but it also helped the powder dissolve a little faster:
The mask isn’t called “Syuwa Syuwa” (or Shuwa Shuwa) for nothing. You’ll realize the onomatopoeic genius once the ingredients in Pack B hits the acidic solution, and the frothing starts.
Top tips when using the Synapse Sparkling Gorgeous Mask Pack:
1. Don’t let it get in your eyes
2. Don’t ingest any of it
3. Remember to breathe
The resurfacing properties of the mask works this way: the carbonic acid produced is meant to be absorbed by the skin, dilating your arteries to increase the blood flow to your face, and enhance the delivery of oxygen to your skin. Tansan Kakumei do indicate on their site that your face will very likely turn red as a result of this. You need to wash your face before you use this mask! The strength of the bubbles streaming against your face does seem like it might be powerful enough to dislodge specks of dirt, but it’s not meant to be used as a cleanser.
The tingling sensation was the first thing that clued me in to the mask doing its work, but it wasn’t a painful feeling at all – rather pleasant in fact. Having to repeatedly get up for air was a little bizarre at first, but took on a rather meditative quality after a while, since you need to focus on your breathing. It was certainly quite a calming exercise. After five minutes of this, I very gently patted my skin dry, and pressed in the extra moisture. My skin was a little flushed, but not angrily blotchy the way it gets during exercise or medical strength chemical peels. One pack is good for only one use, so I used the remainder of still firmly bubbling solution as a foot bath, and it certainly helped soften a few callouses. You’re meant to use this mask on a regular weekly basis to experience prolonged benefits to your skin, but a one-off is enough if you just need a little pick-me-up for the day.
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