Despite switching up the products in our beauty routines, we might be overlooking the most important one: water. While we normally just turn on the faucet to wash and rinse our faces, skipping convenient tap water for its carbonated cousin might be the key to a better cleanse. Washing up with sparkling water is all the rage in Asia (and our feeds), but is it a waste of our beloved La Croix? Or is there evidence that it could amp up our skincare routine? Below, we look at just what makes this method stand out.

How Carbonated Water Can Deliver A Deeper Clean

The concept of a “sparkling water facial” originated in Japan, but the ever-evolving K-Beauty community in Korea has taken a liking to the method as well. The basic premise is this: The difference between standard H2O and carbonated water is all about the bubbles, and it’s believed that they can aid in lifting oil and dirt particles up and away from the face. The bubbles aren’t meant to replace your cleanser, but to assist it in rinsing any grime away from the skin’s surface. (Photo via JGI/Jamie Grill)

The science behind this trend shows that it might be worth putting to the test. According to studies done by SodaStream Japan, carbonated water is able to dilate blood vessels without being heated, which in turn increases blood flow and circulation. This allows for an increase in oxygen and nutrients to the cells that can help skin look healthier and smoother, as well as improve upon its overall texture, tone, and evenness.

The pH level of sparkling water usually falls between 5.5 to 6.5, lower than that of tap which can be anywhere between 6.5 and 9.5. Because the pH of the outer layer of our skin is 5.5, using the similarly acidic sparkling water is preferable. According to Rhea Souhleris Grous, an aesthetics specialist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City, this can be a major benefit, especially for anyone struggling with sensitive skin. “I like the idea of staying within the skin’s pH. We are coming across many people with disrupted acid mantles due to over-cleansing, exfoliating, or other extrinsic factors, which can leave skin dry, red, sensitive, and acne-prone,” says Grous. “Studies have shown that CO2 in water, turning into carbonic acid, contributes to vasodilation and blood releasing O2, therefore helping increase cellular metabolism while keeping bacteria at bay.”

Another benefit of a similar pH level is that you can use sparkling water as often as you’d like without fear of irritation. According to Dendy Engelman, a dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology in New York City who teamed up with SodaStream to promote the Fizzi Face Cleanse, we can achieve the most optimal results by incorporating sparkling water into our cleansing routines as frequently as possible. As for how long the benefits last, Engelman notes that, as with any cleansing technique, “the clean state lasts until the skin gets dirty again.” However, the enhanced blood flow and increased oxygen and nutrient delivery can and will offer greater beauty benefits over time — including minimizing the appearance of scars — if used daily. “This leaves skin in its most natural and healthiest state and maintains the microbiome, so it’s not really a question of how long the effects lasts,” says Engelman. “It provides a deeper cleanse and enhances blood flow to the skin, both of which are quite beneficial.”

When And How To Try It

A healthy, enhanced complexion is always a yes in our book, so, how can you give this trend a try for yourself at home? All you need to test out this method is to wet your face with sparkling water, apply cleanser as usual, and rinse it from your face using the sparkling water once more. Granted, it’s less convenient than using water straight from your sink, but filling a bowl full of sparkling water in advance helps streamline the process.

If you’re already a regular carbonated water drinker, you might have some cans on hand to use for your first initial cleanse, and if you like the results, stocking up on larger bottles ensures that you’ll have enough water for carbonated cleansing throughout the week. If you can really see yourself making this a dedicated part of your daily face washing routine, consider investing in an at-home sparkling water maker like the SodaStream Fizzi One Touch ($119).

Would you ever consider making the switch to carbonated water? Tell us @BritandCo!

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