Carbonated Water Could Be The Best-Kept Face-Washing Secret Weapon

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Just when you think you've researched everything you need to know about mastering the best face-washing routine to achieve your most perfect skin, something else out there proves there's always more to learn. Regardless if you are a firm believer in following the 10-step Korean skincare regimen or consider yourself a minimalist with your skincare routine, there's a game-changing step you're likely glossing over that can potentially lead to your best skin ever: carbonated water. 


It may sound strange to untwist a bottle of Topo Chico and pour the carbonated beverage on your entire face instead of simply taking a few sips, but, there's something magical about this unorthodox skincare staple many people swear by. Are you anxious to see how this simple face-washing treatment can potentially change your skin's life? Here's the rundown on why carbonated water may just be the one secret weapon your skincare routine desperately needs.

The origins of carbonated face washing

Commonly referred to as the "sparkling water facial" or "fizzy face cleanse," this cleansing method, which involves using carbonated water to treat skin, originated in Japan but eventually peaked in popularity in Korea. Alicia Yoon, the founder and CEO of the clean beauty brand Peach and Lily, says that using mineral water on the face is a common practice in South Korea, as well as an overall simple treatment.


"I see women making DIY facial mists with mineral water and even mixing it into bath water," Yoon tells Coveteur. "I've seen some dunk their whole heads into it to help improve scalp healthiness [and] there are also mixes now that brands are making that include skin-benefitting ingredients mixed with carbonation." She further adds that the idea of using carbonated water, as opposed to just plain mineral water, is an extremely beneficial treatment because it is proven to offer more substance.

Regular water vs.carbonated water

Of course, there are plenty of ways to wash your face; you can use regular tap water, filtered water, or even micellar water. Still, carbonated water is having a moment right now. The special thing is that while regular water has always done the job of rinsing the face after applying your cleanser, it simply can't get as deep of a cleanse as carbonated water does.


"What I love about it is that it gives a deeper cleanse because it [carbonation] traps oil and dirt that's deeper in pores," Dendy Engleman, M.D., tells Refinery29. "Nitrous oxide increases blood flow and nutrient delivery so it can help those with acne and acne scarring," she continued.

Additionally, Dr. Kavita Mariwalla of Mariwalla Dermatology explains to The Cut that tap water has a pH of 7, which is why you may notice an immediate dry feeling after rinsing your face and potentially experience other skin irritants as a result (however, she also mentions it can also mean your cleanser is too harsh or it can be a combination of both). Since tap water doesn't provide any minerals or has carbonation, it simply provides the basic benefit of rinsing away your cleanser, whereas applying carbonated water to the face offers many benefits.


Benefits of using carbonated water on the face

Regular water has always been more commonly used mainly due to how easily accessible and convenient it is. Understandably, tap water may be tried and true for some people; however, skin enthusiasts in Japan and Korea go a bit further to cleanse their skin. Carbonated water is their preferred beverage of choice when face-washing, and the benefits appear to be worth it.  


While the carbonation may take some time to get used to (especially depending on the skin's level of sensitivity), it actually won't alter your skin's pH and can result in clear pores, a healthy glow, and supple skin. Carbonated water has a pH of 5.5, which coincidentally matches the skin's natural pH. Dendy Engelman, M.D., a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist, tells Cosmopolitan that washing your face with carbonated water contributes to having an overall clear complexion, which proves that this face-washing method can work wonders on the skin.

Why it works

Alicia Yoon further explains to Glamour the reason why carbonated water works so well, saying that it's because, in addition to its lower pH, it helps to wash out the pores without being too harsh. Additionally, it can improve the effectiveness of the other products in your skin care regimen. There are more ways in which this face-washing method works so well. The bubbles from the sparkling water deliver oxygen to the skin's barrier, which helps reduce puffiness and also acts as a vasodilator, which helps improve the blood supply to your skin, resulting in a healthier and brighter complexion.  


"At room temperature, carbonated water becomes a vasodilator [whereas tap water needs to be heated to have the same effect]...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," Dendy Engleman tells Cosmopolitan.

How to use carbonated water in your skin regimen

If you're ready to start using carbonated water in your skincare regimen, it's actually quite easy to do. Of course, you can always head to your nearest store and stock up on your favorite carbonated water; however, if you want to make a serious commitment to using sparkling water, it may be best to invest in a sparkling water machine, such as the SodaStream


From there, you can opt to splash your face with sparkling water or submerge your face into a bowl of carbonated water for 10 seconds. Next, you'll simply massage your facial cleanser into your skin and then proceed to wash away the soap with more carbonated water. Finally, dab your face with a towel and apply your favorite moisturizer. 

If the fizziness is a bit much, Sarah Lee, CEO and co-founder of Glow Recipe, tells Cosmopolitan, "If the foaming effect is too strong, mix equal parts sparkling water and mineral water to dial down the fizz for a gentler rinse." You also don't need to use carbonated water in your everyday routine, instead doing it a few times per week.