People are washing their faces with sparkling water and seeing results. Here’s why.

7 November 2018
By Fashion Quarterly

How do you take your face-cleansing water? Sparkling, still or from the tap?


Cleansing our face, like brushing our teeth, is something we routinely do twice daily, and yet, is subject to ongoing exploration as to the most effective way to do it. There was the cleanse, the double cleanse, the no-rinse method, the stick cleanse, the oil cleanse, the soap-free cleanse – the list goes on.

In recent times, the discussion has moved on from what products you wash your face with to ~what~ withThat’s right, the very water in which we turn to has come under fire as the key to our dream clean complexions. As of 2018, the new rinse in town is sparkling water. Lock up your SodaStreams ladies. These puppies are about to quadruple in demand.

Allegedly heralding from the lands of skincare secrets Korea and Japan, the practice of cleansing with carbonated water is a routine at-home K-beauty/J-beauty path to healthy feeling and looking skin.

Okay, do we have your attention now? Here’s everything you need to know about cleansing your face with sparkling water: 

What’s with people’s obsession with cleansing with sparkling water?

Like most trends, this one could not have travelled beyond Korea and Japan without the help of the internet. Claims support that the fizziness found in carbonated water provides a much more powerful cleanse than regular tap water, and as a result, produces smaller-looking pores, firmer and more taut skin and that oh-so-sought-after glow.

A quick visit to YouTube and you’ll discover that tutorials on cleansing with sparkling water have been in circulation for a couple of years. So why now? Well, it seems the trend is merely paralleling the US’s obsession – and ours, really – with sparkling (or seltzer) water.

And if you’re more of a tap water kind of gal, you can still jump on this wagon. You’re not, we repeat, you’re not required to drink it.

Is there science to back up the cleanse-with-sparkling-water trend?

Here’s the kicker for all of you cynics out there… (Yes, there is science to back up the efficacy of cleansing with carbonated water).  According to The Cutdermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman confirms that cleansing with carbonated water increases blood flow and circulation via dilating the blood vessels and arterial end of capillaries. Once blood flow is increased, more nutrients and oxygen are fed to your skin assisting with cell regeneration. In other words, marks and scars will disappear sooner and your skin will be more glow-stopping than Cardrona skies on a cloudless night.

Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, however, suggests that these results can be achieved with regular at-home exfoliation. “This trend simply allows the bubbles or fizz to help dissolve dirt from the superficial layers of skin in a gentle way, without needing a washcloth,” she says.

WATCH: Are You Making These Common Cleansing Mistakes?

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“Most of the benefits of this routine come from the fact that the water being used has soothing minerals in it.” That is to say, your skin definitely prefers San Pellegrino to tap #amiright?

However – and that’s a big however – sparkling water still has one up on regular cleansing because of its ever-so-slight acidity. Its pH of 5.5 (pretty much the same as human skin), means that one-and-done exfoliation can occur via carbonated water without irritating the skin. To put this into context, water fresh from the tap has a pH of 7 and may very well be behind that dry, stripped feeling on your face after you cleanse. That or a way harsh cleanser… Or both.

How do you cleanse your face using carbonated water?

If you’re looking to make a habit of this beauty routine, it’s high time to invest in a carbonated drink maker like the aforementioned SodaStream and a large bowl you can submerge your face into. It’s 2018, we can’t encourage you to take crates of store-bought sparkling water into the shower and shake ’em up like you’ve just won the Grand Prix.  War on plastic, remember?

Once you have a large bowl, pour in your carbonated water. You don’t want it super fizzy so feel free to top up with some flat water to avoid harsh bubbles going into your eyes. We know, it sounds pretty badass, eh?

Next, lower your face into the bowl and keep it submerged for 10 seconds allowing the bubbles to do their thang. Remember, breath out of your nose. This routine may come as a shock to some and will guarantee to leave you feeling wide awake.

Once you come up, apply your cleanser as per and rinse off using the carbonated water in the bowl.

Alternatives: You can also try splashing the water onto your face (like you see on the Neutrogena ads on TV), or by soaking cotton pads and dab all over your face. The former can get super messy, and the latter, while the cotton pads may seem like an unnecessary waste, uses significantly less carbonated water, so you do the math.

Words: Terri Dunn
Photos: Pinterest


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