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belif

Pore Cleaner Bubble Foam

3.38 fl. oz. for $ 36.00
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In some cases, old school approaches to skin concerns can yield some beneficial results. That is absolutely not the circumstance with belif's Pore Cleaner Bubble Foam, a mask-like product that applies outdated ideas to try to help oily skin, with the potential result being the exact opposite.

What's unique (and somewhat fun) is the delivery system of Pore Cleaner Bubble Foam. Housed in a container with a pump dispenser, it starts out as a thin gel that you put all over your face. After a couple of minutes, the gel becomes a foam, apparently to show it's "working." Massage the bubbles into skin, then rinse, and you're supposed to have less visible pores and decreased oil production. Sounds pretty cool, but…

The formula is loaded (and we mean loaded) with potentially irritating ingredients. First and foremost is a high amount of the drying type of alcohol. It might temporarily seem to reduce oil, can eventually lead to an increase in oil production (see More Info for details).

As if that wasn't enough, this contains eucalyptus leaf extract and oil, apple mint extract, bergamot oil, geranium oil, rosemary oil, and lime oil. All pose a strong risk of irritating skin, which causes even more problems for oily skin (see More Info for the scoop on that as well).

Even though this is a rinse-off product, belif still instructs you to leave it for a few minutes before doing so, which isn't good news for skin, not to mention the problematic ingredients have no research proving they address concerns around pore size.

When it comes to masks for oily skin, you can find far better than Pore Cleaner Bubble Foam—just check out our list of best face masks.

Pros:
  • None.
Cons:
  • Contains a high amount of drying alcohol.
  • Contains numerous irritating ingredients.
  • Doesn't contain any ingredients proven to reduce enlarged pores.
  • Cannot impact oil production for the better.
More Info:

Alcohol-Based Skincare Products: Research makes it clear that alcohol, as a main ingredient in any skincare product, especially one you use frequently and repeatedly, is a problem.

When we express concern about the presence of alcohol in skincare or makeup products, we're referring to denatured ethanol, which most often is listed as SD alcohol, alcohol denat., denatured alcohol, or (less often) isopropyl alcohol.

When you see these types of alcohol listed among the first six ingredients on an ingredient label, without question the product will irritate and cause other problems for skin. There's no way around it—these volatile alcohols are simply bad for all skin types.

The reason they're included in products is because they provide a quick-drying finish, immediately degrease skin, and feel weightless, so it's easy to see their appeal, especially for those with oily skin. If only those short-term benefits didn't lead to negative long-term outcomes!

Using products that contain these alcohols will cause dryness, erosion of skin's protective barrier, and a strain on how skin replenishes, renews, and rejuvenates itself. Alcohol just weakens everything about skin.

The irony of using alcohol-based products to control oily skin is that the damage from the alcohol can actually lead to an increase in breakouts and enlarged pores. As we said, the alcohol does have an immediate de-greasing effect on skin, but it causes irritation, which eventually will counteract the de-greasing effect and make your oily skin look even more shiny.

There are people who challenge us on the information we've presented about alcohol's effects. They often base their argument on a study in the British Journal of Dermatology (July 2007, pages 74–81) that concluded "alcohol-based hand rubs cause less irritation than hand washing…." But, the only thing this study showed was that alcohol was not as irritating as an even more irritating hand wash, which contained sodium lauryl sulfate. So, the study is actually just telling you that one irritant, sodium lauryl sulfate, is worse than another irritant, alcohol.

Not all alcohols are bad. For example, there are fatty alcohols, which are absolutely non-irritating and can be beneficial for skin. Examples that you'll see on ingredient labels include cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol, and cetearyl alcohol, all of which are good ingredients for skin. It's important to differentiate between these skin-friendly alcohols and the problematic alcohols.

References for this information:

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology, November 2008, pages 1–16

Dermato-Endocrinology, January 2011, pages 41–49

Experimental Dermatology, June 2008, pages 542–551

Clinical Dermatology, September-October 2004, pages 360–366

Alcohol Journal, April 2002, pages 179–190

Irritating Ingredients: We cannot stress this enough: Sensitizing, harsh, abrasive, and/or fragrant ingredients are bad for all skin types. Daily application of skincare products that contain these irritating ingredients is a major way we unwittingly do our skin a disservice!

Irritating ingredients are a problem because they can lead to visible problems, such as redness, rough skin, dull skin, dryness, increased oil production, and clogged pores, and they contribute to making signs of aging worse.

Switching to non-irritating, gentle skincare products can make all the difference in the world. Non-irritating products are those packed with beneficial ingredients that also replenish and soothe skin, without any volatile ingredients, such as those present in fragrance ingredients, whether natural or synthetic.

A surprising fact: Research has demonstrated that you do not need to see or feel the effects of irritants on your skin for your skin to be suffering, and visible damage may not become apparent for a long time. Don't get lulled into thinking that if you don't see or feel signs of irritation, everything is OK.

Generally, it's best to eliminate, or minimize as much as possible, your exposure to ingredients that are known to irritate skin. There are many completely non-irritating products that contain effective ingredients, so there's no reason to put your skin at risk with products that include ingredients research has shown can be a problem.

References for this information:

Journal of Dermatological Sciences, January 2015, pages 28–36

International Journal of Cosmetic Science, August 2014, pages 379–385

Clinical Dermatology, May-June 2012, pages 257–262

Aging, March 2012, pages 166–175

Chemical Immunology and Allergy, March 2012, pages 77–80

Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, June 2008, pages 124–135

Food and Chemical Toxicology, February 2008, pages 446–475

American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, 2003, pages 789–798

Jar Packaging: No
Tested on animals: Yes

Formulated with an antioxidant-rich sebum control complex comprised of Eucalyptus, Rose Hip and Apple Mint, this gel-to-foam mask also clarifies and minimizes the appearance of enlarged pores.

Water, Cellulose, Alcohol Denat., Butylene Glycol, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Cyclohexasiloxane, Moringa Oleifera Seed Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Extract, Rosa Canina Fruit Extract, Mentha Rotundifolia Leaf Extract, Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Leaf Extract, Avena Sativa (Oat) Kernel Extract, Nepeta Cataria Extract, Baptisia Tinctoria Root Extract, Stellaria Media (Chickweed) Extract, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantium Bergamia (Bergamot) Fruit Oil, Pelgargonium Graveleons Flower Oil, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citrus Aurantifolia (Lime) Oil, PEG-8, Coco-Glucoside, Tromethamine, Carbomer, Acrylates/Beheneth-25 Methacrylate Copolymer, PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Methyl Gluceth-20, Propanediol, Dipropylene Glycol, PEG/PPG-17/16 Copolymer, Trisodium EDTA, Perfluorohexane, Perfluorohydrophenathrene, Perfluorodecalin, Perfluorodimethylcyclohexane, Limonene.

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.