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TheNatureLab Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask: Does It Work?

TNL (short for The Nature Lab) is a Korean brand of skincare that has recently launched one of its star products, the Oxygen Shield Mask, in Singapore. It's a foaming mask whose selling point is that it helps to deliver oxygen to your skin. This is supposed to help improve circulation, and bring about a whole slew of skin benefits, from whitening and brightening to improving skin texture.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask Box


First things first, the science is clear that injecting oxygen into your skin doesn't actually help it, so all the masks selling oxygen as an anti-aging therapy are just doing it as a marketing gimmick. Sure the mask does foam, but it doesn't deliver oxygen to your skin (it's just air bubbles, people, not special oxygen bubbles), or help improve blood circulation or anything. It's just fun to see a mask bubble, I guess.

In fact, if the mask really introduced oxygen into your skin, it would seriously damage the skin, since oxygen is a free radical and is actually aging to skin - that's why we have a whole line of anti-oxidants to combat the oxidative reactions brought about by these free radicals. So any oxygen-based skincare is just a marketing gimmick. The Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask is another such mask using a similar marketing strategy, so it's not just TheNatureLab.

Thenaturelab oxygen shield bubble mask

The mask comes in a sensible pump tube, and in a sturdy yellow plastic bottle and a brown box. All in all, the packaging is sensible and sturdy.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask pump


The mask out of the pump is a clear gel, with a few bubbles in it. Ooh, look, bubbles! The gel is clear and light, and odourless.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 1


The instructions for using this mask are quite complex. First you're supposed to apply the gel on your face, then leave it on for a few minutes. The mask then starts foaming, with little bubbles appearing. This, of course, is the "oxygen bubbles" they're trying to sell - but really, they're just air bubbles. Then again, air is 20% oxygen, so I guess they aren't entirely wrong, LOL!

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 2


After that, you're supposed to massage this foam into your face, and let your skin absorb all that "oxygen goodness". When you massage the foam into your face, it sort of breaks up, and forms a thin film on your skin, as you can see in the photo below.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 3


After this, you're supposed to wet your palm slightly and massage the mixture into your skin. The water mixes with the mask to form this thin, colourless film on your skin.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 4


Lastly, you're supposed to wash the film off. It foams as you wash it off.

To be honest, after I used this mask, I didn't feel like my skin had improved. In fact, I didn't feel any effects whatsoever. Perhaps I had too thick a hide for this mask to work, but I felt like it was more of a cleanser than a mask - it cleaned the skin and removed dirt, but didn't do anything more. So, I decided to dig deeper into the product to find out why it didn't work for me.

And as you know me, the first place I stopped to look was nowhere else other than the ingredients list. And here I think I've found my answer:

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask Ingredients


When I look at ingredients lists, I usually focus on the first 5-7 ingredients in the list, as those are the ingredients that make up most of the product, and the rest of the ingredients are usually added in tiny amounts. In this product, the first few ingredients are water, cocoamidolpropyl betain, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, chamaecyparis obtusa water, glycerin, and cocamide DEA.

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients:

Water, chamaecyparis obtusa water: Okay, we know this one as water.

Cocoamidolpropyl betain, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, cocamide DEA: These are all surfactants, which are the foaming agents in the product. They are what makes the product foam, and are most commonly found in shampoos and soaps.

Glycerin: This is a hydrating ingredient to the skin, when combined with water.

As you can see, the Oxygen Sheild Bubble Mask is really mosstly comprised of a bunch of surfactants, water and glycerin. So when you use the mask, all that's really happening is you're workiong up a lot of foam, but the only ingredients that are really working on your skin are the glycerin and water combination, which moisturize the skin. The surfactants just add to the cosmetic appeal of the product. No wonder why this product didn't work for me!

I wanted to like this product, but I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed by it. And yes, this is indeed a product that was provided by PR people for review, but I simply can't cook up a positive review when that's not my honest opinion. To me, the mask appeared to be mostly surfactants and water, and I felt that the formulation of the mask was poor, as more attention appeared to be paid to the bubbling hype, and not enough attention was given to the actual beneficial effects of the mask. The good thing about this is that it does cleanse the skin, and is quick to use - the whole foaming process takes only a few minutes. If you like the idea of cute little bubbles and want a simple basic mask, this is for you. But sadly, I can't say this mask worked for me. But if you're interested in trying this out for yourself, you can LIKE The Nature Lab Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TheNatureLab )& play the Spot & Win game to win a bottle of Oxygen Shield Mask worth S$48.90.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I got this for review, and I actually said I was disappointed by it, so obviously I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)