Skincaretainment: Shu Uemura Carbonated Whitening Mask

Shu Uemura Carbonated Bubble Mask

I love trying out new ‘cool’ stuff- the more innovative the better – the moment I get them even though I pay for that experimental and often naively optimistic impulsion in breakouts and clogged pores. Luckily, this just-for-fun review isn’t one of those times.

So I’ve had this sitting in my stash for a while and tried it out one lazy Sunday. I actually don’t know how I’ve forgotten about it given my excitement when it was first launched. I am quite Brand JudgementalTM and Shu Uemura products have always been kinda hit or miss for me. But that’s a grandmother story for another day. My point is, Shu Uemura, while I love everything Japanese and that they launch new colour cosmetics/cool skincare every season, is still a meh brand for me.

That said, the BrightSeal Whitening Carbonated Mask seemed pretty promising to me.

What they say:

CO2 sparkling whitening. instant luminosity. reveal rosy, clear skin. Inspired by Japanese carbonated hot springs. CO2 is known to enhance micro-circulation and help create instant rosy complexion. Our unique CO2 sparkling whitening mousse mask perfectly seals the entire face and delivers one of the powerful and higher penetrating whitening active, Actyl-C10x.

Ever since Bliss and their oxygen facials frothed Hollywood and the beauty industry with their fluffy awesomeness, bubble masks have been popping up everywhere in both Asian and Western beauty scenes. I’ve tried both oxygen facials where they spray pure O2 in your face and Bliss’ home pack. While the first is really, really, effective (albeit scary when they’re doing it because it feels like you’re getting smothered in oxygen), the home pack was much less impressive. Sure, it’s fun, but that seems to be operative word when it comes to bubble masks. Fun. I ramble too much.

Since it was touted to be inspired by Japanese carbonated hot springs – which fascinated me – I did a quick search on what sounded like a natural pool of soda bubbling away. I didn’t see any when I was in Tokyo last December *grumbles*

Carbonated Hot Springs

There are 11 types of hot springs in Japan, categorized by the different water content. These soda hot springs can have a pH level as low as 1.2 (which is unusual even by their springs’ standards.) Other than various health benefits, it expands your blood vessels and lowers blood pressure. While there have been claims of softer and smoother skin, there is no medical evidence to back it up. Apparently the moment you sit in it, your whole body tingles. Perhaps it’s the low pH level and frenzied bubbling that exfoliates, resulting in softer skin? For now, I’m taking this with a pinch of salt and assuming that the product is just meant to simulate the bubbling sensation and experience.

Other hero ingredients listed

Prune extract – inhibits melanin from integrating into epidermal cells which cause darkening of skin.
Souhakuhi extract – also known as paper mulberry extract. Prevents melanin signals and production.
Salicylic acid – is a BHA, aids in exfoliation and cell turnover.
Actyl-C10x – blocks melanin from producing and nips it in the bud.


Shu Uemura Brightening Carbonated Bubble Mask Review Cap

Easy. Available at Shu Uemura counters, eBay, etc. Retails USD89 for 60g.

Awesome! Super sleek gleaming navy metal bottle of badassery. Feels substantial in your hand and the pump is so… well made. I can’t describe this. All corners are perfectly rounded and feels nice when you actually pump product out.

Slightly fruity. Goes away in seconds.

Oh boy. This is so fun. As per the directions below, you squelch two ping-pong balls of product on your palm and start spreading it across your face.

Shu Uemura Brightening Carbonated Bubble Mask Review Box

This isn’t as exciting as you imagined, you say? Well the next picture will be…

Shu Uemura Carbonated Bubble Mask Swatch

This is insane! How can bubbles look so delicious?  This bubbly liquid foams up the moment friction is applied, which then results in the marshmallow face every bubble mask seems to result in.

The coolest part about this is, once it’s on your face, it’s incredibly cooling and fizzy. When I say fizzy, I don’t mean weak blobs of soap-like bubbles. I’m talking full on, ice cold carbonation, like how your skin feels when you spill a bit of Coke on it. It’s LEGIT bubbling, and I thought to myself, “This must be how it feel to dunk your entire face in a vat of ramune.” It is the most exciting thing to happen to my face in months. The dense froth fizzed away for three to five minutes, before I started massaging it in.

Shu Uemura Carbonated Bubble Mask Foam
This is how the fully formed foam looks. I was having too much fun and forgot to snap pics. C/o Tweedlet

That’s how firm and airy the foam is ~*~*~*~*~*

Again, while the sensation and experience of this is incredibly entertaining, this left a sticky residue on my face no amount of light massaging will get rid of. My skin was hydrated at first, but started to tighten after about an hour or so. There is a slight brightening effect that lasts for a couple of hours. I don’t leave this on as it’s quite uncomfortable for me; I rinse it off after about ten minutes. Perhaps long term use will reveal its effectiveness.

Have you tried this? What’s your HG bubble mask?

All products have been purchased with my own money and opinions here are 100% my own.

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Hi! I'm 26 years old and based in Singapore. When I'm not writing beauty and makeup reviews, you can find me stuffing my face with bubble tea in front of Netflix. I love well-formulated products, junk food, and photography. Email me at


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