|There is an inner jar lid/seal to keep air from reacting to the product.|
Sounds too good to be true, right? Plus, lots of people have used this mask, including fellow Snailcast podcaster Fifty Shades of Snail, so I purchased a jar of it and give it a try. Then I dropped all irritants out of my routine and tried it again. Sometimes, you have to just have to hurt yourself twice to confirm something is bad news.
In this post:
- Product details
- What it did to my face
- What I’d rather use instead
Before using this mask the second time, I skipped anything that would compromise my moisture barrier for at least a week: no acid exfoliants, no manual exfoliants, no tretinoin, nothing to weaken my skin barrier or make me more sensitive. I wanted to make sure there was no chance the culprit was just piling clay on top of sensitive skin. Unfortunately, it still left my skin screaming for mercy and I smothered its cries with snail gel to recover.
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Full product name: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
Purpose: Supposedly cleanses, exfoliates, nourishes the skin, and does all the things a clay mask is supposed to do on the ‘exorcises your pore demons’ front. What its real purposes is: a super entertaining face mask that gives you a tingling bubbles feeling while forming into gray clouds on your face, perfect for taking selfies of your brand-new trollface and posting them on social media.
Scent: Pleasant, reminds me of “aqua”-themed products, not a noticeable clay scent.
Texture: At first it’s a sticky, clammy clay goop that you smear over your skin, and then within minutes, it reacts with the air to form a thick layer of foam. However, it still leaves the sticky, clammy texture on the skin when you try to rinse it off.
Rating: 2/5, because even though using it was a declaration of war on my epidermis, I can appreciate that others are fine with it and it’s fun to use, so it gets an extra point.
Where to get it: Amazon | eBay | Jolse | TesterKorea | KoreaDepart
Repurchase: Hell no. This wasn’t the Elizavecca “Hell Pore” mask, but it sure felt like my pores were being bathed the fires of the Phlegethon.
Thoroughly mystified as to what might have caused the skin reaction, I checked out the ingredients list on Cosdna:
Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, White Clay, Acrylate Copolymer, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lauramide DEA, TEA-Cocoyl Glutamate, Green Tea Extracts, Glycerine, Dipropylene Glycol, Bentonite, Collagen, Charcoal Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Flavouring Agents, Carbonated Water, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Butylene Glycol, Lavender Extracts, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extracts, Peppermint Leaf Extracts, Freesia Leaf Extracts, Chamomile Flower Extracts, Rosemary Leaf Extract
This product contains SLS, which is a huge flag for some people. It’s not an ingredient trigger for me, however, so unless this contains so much SLS it’s suited to stripping crude oil out of a rig worker’s overalls (do they wear overalls?) I just can’t see that being the culprit. My skin hates menthol, so it’s possible it might be the peppermint. Whatever it was, my skin did nooooot like it, as you will see in the next section.
As to what causes the bubbling effect, I’d highly recommend checking out Labmuffin’s post on oxygen masks, where she explains that perfluorocarbons (like the Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether in this product) are the key ingredient in self-foaming oxygen masks like this one.
What it did to my face
Warning: will feature low-res front-facing camera shots that weren’t actually meant for the public, which is why I didn’t bother with setting up my semi-decent camera and fussing with lighting and whatnot. These were actually destined for the other members of the snail unit, who tend to bear the brunt of my live reporting of skincare disasters, like the time I Hanbanged Too Hard.
However, once I got the mask off and saw that the nasty reaction I had the first go-round was not in fact due to the acid exfoliants I had been using, there was no chance I would put my skin through this again in order to take nice photos. The lighting is different due to being in different rooms– the results photo was taken in natural light, rather than a mix of natural and artificial like the first photo.
I have not corrected the colour or white balance of these photos, and unfortunately the camera didn’t capture how dramatic the result was in real life. My face wasn’t just red, it was mottled with extra-angry patches. You can see how angry it is compared the skin on my neck/chest.
|In minutes, the anticipated cloudface forms.|
It started off innocently/amusingly enough, with the foam blooming rapidly into a round cloud of tickling bubbles:
I get it, this is super fun and goofy, and it’s much more entertaining than your usual clay mask. I left the mask on for just shy of 10 minutes, and although my skin wasn’t burning, it wasn’t all that of a pleasant sensation.
It was an absolute pain to wash off, which is something that the Beauty and the Cat girls had mentioned (if you haven’t checked out this hilarious duo, I highly recommend doing so) in their review– they were not kidding.
Despite the bubbling, when you touch the mask or try to wash it off, it converts back into a sticky slime that defies all attempts to rinse it without either requiring a lot of manual effort or following up with a foaming cleanser. I ended up using the latter because I didn’t want to irritate my face further.
|I’m sucking up my hatred of posting pictures
of my skin (or otherwise) on the internet,
just so you can see what a mess this is!
When it finally came off, instead of dragging my pore clogs to the surface and/or smoothing out my skin texture, my skin was the aforementioned mottled mess, with the areas that I hadn’t applied the mask (like next to my eyebrows, and my eye sockets) standing out in sharp relief.
The worst patches had almost a purple tone to them, on top of the overall redness, as you can see in the second photo.
Incidentally, this was similar to the reaction I had to the reformulated My Scheming Snail silk masks, but that was much, much worse. The bad patches were a bit inflamed, but nothing like the welts I had with the snail mask! My skin definitely reacts to products often but it’s almost always in the form of acne, not redness/irritation. My skin just likes to clog and break out when it doesn’t like things.
I also don’t normally have an issue with clay masks, although I can find them a bit drying and I avoid them when I’m on acid exfoliants.
You can read about the acids and actives I use here: What’s In My Skincare Wardrobe: Actives (Prescriptions, Antioxidants, and Acids) Edition.
What I’d rather use instead
I’ve tried a few clay masks, such as the Mizon Pore Clearing Volcanic Mask, and the matching Gommage version from the same line, both of which left me unimpressed. The problem I have with clay masks is that I don’t use them often enough to justify purchasing them, which is where the skincaretainment factor of this one comes into play– the idea that something is so fun to use it motivates you to do it.
I much prefer the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, and I particularly love that it comes in single-serving sizes, which work better than a full size for “once a season” users like me. As I mentioned in K-Beauty & Portion Control: Why Sometimes Good Value Can Be a Bad Idea, full size clay masks will go stale long before I make a dent in them, so these are perfect for me. There’s enough in them for two uses if you want to do a spa night with a friend.
I don’t doubt that the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask is a great product for some people, offering them convenience and entertainment all in one, but it wasn’t meant to be. Thankfully I have a skincare wardrobe stocked with soothing snail products, so it didn’t take long to coax my crying skin back from the brink of the tantrum.
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**Disclaimer: All products reviewed on my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever. This blog contains both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself. Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.