Ah, Exuviance. This brand, along with its sister, Neostrata, makes so many great products and I love that they don’t shy away from using high concentration retinol and alpha hydroxy acids. Exuviance’s new Bionic Oxygen facial mask (R855, Dermastore), however, had my brain reeling trying to wrap my head around its oxygenation benefit.
According to the brand, it delivers ‘a triple oxygenating blend that infuses the skin with molecular oxygen to detoxify and eliminate dullness, stimulate vital cellular energy and provide essential support for optimal collagen levels’. Thing is, I have no idea how you would deliver oxygen to your skin. I mean, sure, your skin gets the oxygen it needs from your blood supply. But how do you deliver it topically? I mean, right now, there’s oxygen swirling all around your cheeks as you read this. Also, we’ve been taught that oxygen is the bad guy, the very reason we slather our skin in antioxidants. So what’s happening here, people? How do we wrap our minds around this?
After extensive googling, I got a lot of conflicting information but managed to answer some of my questions by reading up on perflourocarbens, one of the main ingredients in Exuviance’s mask. It’s a safe synthetic substance with an ability to dissolve (absorb) high amounts of oxygen and, when it breaks down to release them, does it in a way that’s totally stable. This means you don’t have to worry about any oxidative damage.
So sjoe! That’s one concern to bed. But what about its benefits? More googling has told me perflourocarbens able to help temporarily increase your skin’s moisture levels but I have no clue if this does this in the same way or any better than hyaluronic acid. Also, when these perflourocarbens release their oxygen (they do this the moment they escape the airless bottle), are these merely bubbling on the surface of your skin or actually penetrating it?
In short, I still don’t have all the answers I want so I’m going to reserve judgement on the oxygen aspect of this treatment and chat about why I like it. Yep! Despite my pedantic nature, I really do like it! After it bubbles up on your skin, you wipe it away and you’re left feeling baby smooth and looking rested. Part of this has to do with the mask’s film-forming property that acts a little like a primer but it also contains a good concentration of two other rather lovely skin smoothing ingredients – gluconolactone and lactobionic acid.
Gluca-what?! Gluconolactone and lactobionic acids are naturally occurring substances that act a lot like alpha hydroxy acids, but penetrate the skin slowly in way that makes them less irritating so you get to enjoy the benefits of mild exfoliation without the fear of redness or burning. (Exuiviance have also included soothing cucumber extract in the mix regardless.) Both acids are also good antioxidants that can help stimulate collagen production, speed up recovery time and, thanks to their water-binding abilities, can help hydrate your skin.
If you’re looking for a fun-to-use bubbling mask that can be used daily to help smooth and plump your skin, Exuviance’s newbie is a spoilicious pick.