Another day, another strange beauty trend from Korea. As if egg white cleansers and hair shading weren’t enough, we’ve now got the sparkling water cleanse.
Popularised by South Korean actress Kim Hee Sun – who admitted to the practice on a talk show – the sparkling water cleanse basically involves washing your face with bottled sparkling water rather than your bog standard kitchen tap.
Sparkling water is also used in spas across Korea and Japan, according to Alicia Koon, founder of Korean Beauty site site Peach & Lily told Coveteur. “Sometimes it’s soaking the face in this water, or the aesthetician may recommend soaking cotton pads with carbonated mineral water and dabbing them onto the skin (no tugging or rubbing) after cleansing.”
We’re not going to lie, when we heard about this trend, we thought it was well and truly bonkers.
For starters, who even buys that much fizzy water? If we splurge an extra quid on a snazzy Pret sparkling drink, it’s definitely not going anywhere near our faces.
Plus, we’ve been splashing plain old tap water on our faces for the last, well, forever, and it hasn’t done our skin any harm.
However, maybe the trend is less bonkers than it would first seem. In an interview with Cosmopolitan US, cosmetic dermatologist explained the practice has a manifold appeal for the skin.
“Sparkling water not only helps cleanse your skin in a deeper way—its carbonation helps to break up the dirt and oil embedded in your pores—there are real benefits aesthetically,” she says.
“For example, at room temperature, carbonated water becomes a vasodilator [normal water needs to be heated to have a vasodilation effect], meaning it triggers your blood vessels to open up, bringing the blood supply to your skin’s tissue.
“This, in turn, enhances nutrient delivery, like oxygen, to the dermis [skin]; and the better your circulation is, the better your system will function, and the healthier your skin will look.”
It also keeps your skin’s pH at the optimal level. While tap water has a pH of 7, carbonated water has a slightly more acidic pH of 5.5 – exactly the same as your skin. This could potentially mean less dryness and fewer breakouts – now we’re listening.
It’s worth mentioning you don’t have to use shop-bought bottled water in order to get on board with this Korean craze.
Japanese consumers, also fans of the trend, are using fizzy water maker Sodastream to make their cleansing water. The brand has observed skyhigh sales in this country: “One of the biggest reasons that SodaStream sells so well in Japan is because people use it to wash their face,” explains Bev Sylvester, who works on the company’s marketing team.
Well, that’s one use for the SodaStream that’s been gathering dust in the kitchen cupboard.
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