Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask
belif’s Aqua Bomb Sleeping Mask has an amazing texture, but less-than-stellar packaging and some problematic ingredients mean it’s not the overnight sensation it claims to be.
This wear-it-overnight mask has a bouncy jelly-like texture that’s smooth and easy to apply. It’s lightweight yet hydrating formula absorbs quickly into skin for an immediate refreshing feeling.
Analyzing the ingredients, there are a lot of positives, including numerous antioxidant plant extracts, among them raspberry and turmeric. Some, including heather, feverfew, and oat, have soothing properties, too. Also in the mix are moisturizing glycerin, a silicone, and non-fragrant jojoba seed oil.
As good as all of these ingredients are, this product’s jar packaging isn’t doing them any favors. Jars expose antioxidants – which are vulnerable to losing their potency in the presence of light and air – to both elements repeatedly. Another issue is that it’s not the most hygienic option (see More Info below for details).
Also problematic: toward the bottom of the ingredient list there’s orange peel oil, lime oil, geranium oil, rosemary leaf oil and the fragrance ingredients citral, citronellol, geraniol, limonene, and linalool. The combined smell is pretty strong, and all of these put skin at risk for irritation (see More Info for the scoop on that as well).
Despite having some potential for greatness, this sleeping mask, well… bombs when it comes to delivering on all of its claims. You’ll find better-packaged, gentler options on our list of best face masks.
- Jelly-like texture is smooth and easy to apply.
- Provides lightweight hydration.
- Includes several soothing and antioxidant-rich plant extracts.
- Includes several fragrant oils and fragrance ingredients that put skin at risk for irritation.
- Jar packaging means its anti-aging ingredients lose effectiveness when exposed to light and air.
Jar Packaging & Anti-Aging Moisturizers: Beneficial anti-aging ingredients, which include all plant extracts, almost all vitamins, antioxidants, and other state-of-the-art ingredients, are unstable, which means they begin to break down in the presence of air. Once a jar is opened and lets air in, these important ingredients begin to deteriorate, becoming less and less effective. Routine exposure to daylight also is problematic for these ingredients.
Jar packaging is also unsanitary because you dip your fingers into the jar with each use, contaminating the product. This stresses the preservative system, leading to further deterioration of the beneficial ingredients.
Remember: The ingredients that provide the most benefit in addressing visible signs of aging must be in airtight or air-restrictive packaging to remain effective throughout usage. Buying products in this type of packaging means that the ingredients have the best chance of remaining effective—to the benefit of your skin!
References for this information:
Pharmacology Review, July 2013, pages 97–106
Dermatologic Therapy, May-June 2012, pages 252–259
Current Drug Delivery, November 2011, pages 640–660
Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry, May 2011, pages 4676–4683
Journal of Biophotonics, January 2010, pages 82–88
Guidelines of Stability Testing of Cosmetic Products, Colipa-CTFA, March 2004, pages 1–10
Why Fragrance Is a Problem for Skin: Daily use of products that contain a high amount of fragrance, whether the fragrant ingredients are synthetic or natural, causes a chronic sensitizing reaction on skin.
This reaction in turn leads to all kinds of problems, including disrupting skin’s barrier, worsening dryness, increasing or triggering redness, depleting vital substances in skin’s surface, and generally preventing skin from looking healthy, smooth, and hydrated. Fragrance free is always the best way to go for all skin types.
A surprising fact: Even though you can’t always see or feel the negative effects of fragrant ingredients on skin, the damage will still be taking place, even if it’s not evident on the surface. Research has demonstrated that you don’t need to see or feel the effects of irritation for your skin to be suffering. Much like the effects from cumulative sun damage, the negative impact and the visible damage from fragrance may not become apparent for a long time.
References for this information:
Biochimica and Biophysica Acta, May 2012, pages 1410–1419
Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175
Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80
Experimental Dermatology, October 2009, pages 821–832
Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, 2008, pages 191–202
International Journal of Toxicology, Volume 27, 2008, Supplement, pages 1–43
Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475
American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798
A sleeping mask with a natto-like texture that provides intensive nourishment and restores skin vitality overnight. With Napiers anti-aging formula, this mask regenerates dull and exhausted skin and improves its elasticity while helping restore firmness.
Owned by South Korean corporate giant LG (yes, the electronics company), belif is a natural skin care brand whose main selling point is the fusion of the sensibilities of Korean skin care – sheet masks and essences are featured prominently - with the philosophy of an old-fashioned European apothecary.
The result is an offering of skin care products that is best described as hit-or-miss. Most of them contain a mix of herbs based off “Napier’s Formula,” a blend of herbs concocted by Scottish apothecary Duncan Napier in the mid-19th century. Anecdotal stories tell of its miraculous effect on skin, though there’s no hard research showing this specific blend of ingredients is better than any other beneficial skin care ingredients.
There are some good products with a robust blend of antioxidants to be found, but most of belief’s lineup contains fragrance (or additional fragrance ingredients), and the brand usually packages its moisturizers in jars (which puts beneficial air- and light-sensitive skin care ingredients at risk because of exposure to both). Were it not for these two missteps, we’d be much more enthusiastic to recommend this brand as an option.
You can find out more about belif by visiting the brand’s website at https://www.belifusa.com/.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.