TheNatureLab Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask: Does It Work?

Sunday, July 17, 2011

TNL (short for The Nature Lab) is a Korean brand of skincare that has recently launched one of its star products, the Oxygen Shield Mask, in Singapore. It's a foaming mask whose selling point is that it helps to deliver oxygen to your skin. This is supposed to help improve circulation, and bring about a whole slew of skin benefits, from whitening and brightening to improving skin texture.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask Box

First things first, the science is clear that injecting oxygen into your skin doesn't actually help it, so all the masks selling oxygen as an anti-aging therapy are just doing it as a marketing gimmick. Sure the mask does foam, but it doesn't deliver oxygen to your skin (it's just air bubbles, people, not special oxygen bubbles), or help improve blood circulation or anything. It's just fun to see a mask bubble, I guess.

In fact, if the mask really introduced oxygen into your skin, it would seriously damage the skin, since oxygen is a free radical and is actually aging to skin - that's why we have a whole line of anti-oxidants to combat the oxidative reactions brought about by these free radicals. So any oxygen-based skincare is just a marketing gimmick. The Bliss Triple Oxygen Mask is another such mask using a similar marketing strategy, so it's not just TheNatureLab.

Thenaturelab oxygen shield bubble mask

The mask comes in a sensible pump tube, and in a sturdy yellow plastic bottle and a brown box. All in all, the packaging is sensible and sturdy.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask pump

The mask out of the pump is a clear gel, with a few bubbles in it. Ooh, look, bubbles! The gel is clear and light, and odourless.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 1

The instructions for using this mask are quite complex. First you're supposed to apply the gel on your face, then leave it on for a few minutes. The mask then starts foaming, with little bubbles appearing. This, of course, is the "oxygen bubbles" they're trying to sell - but really, they're just air bubbles. Then again, air is 20% oxygen, so I guess they aren't entirely wrong, LOL!

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 2

After that, you're supposed to massage this foam into your face, and let your skin absorb all that "oxygen goodness". When you massage the foam into your face, it sort of breaks up, and forms a thin film on your skin, as you can see in the photo below.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 3

After this, you're supposed to wet your palm slightly and massage the mixture into your skin. The water mixes with the mask to form this thin, colourless film on your skin.

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask 4

Lastly, you're supposed to wash the film off. It foams as you wash it off.

To be honest, after I used this mask, I didn't feel like my skin had improved. In fact, I didn't feel any effects whatsoever. Perhaps I had too thick a hide for this mask to work, but I felt like it was more of a cleanser than a mask - it cleaned the skin and removed dirt, but didn't do anything more. So, I decided to dig deeper into the product to find out why it didn't work for me.

And as you know me, the first place I stopped to look was nowhere else other than the ingredients list. And here I think I've found my answer:

TNL Oxygen Shield Bubble Mask Ingredients

When I look at ingredients lists, I usually focus on the first 5-7 ingredients in the list, as those are the ingredients that make up most of the product, and the rest of the ingredients are usually added in tiny amounts. In this product, the first few ingredients are water, cocoamidolpropyl betain, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, chamaecyparis obtusa water, glycerin, and cocamide DEA.

Here's a breakdown of the ingredients:

Water, chamaecyparis obtusa water: Okay, we know this one as water.

Cocoamidolpropyl betain, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, cocamide DEA: These are all surfactants, which are the foaming agents in the product. They are what makes the product foam, and are most commonly found in shampoos and soaps.

Glycerin: This is a hydrating ingredient to the skin, when combined with water.

As you can see, the Oxygen Sheild Bubble Mask is really mosstly comprised of a bunch of surfactants, water and glycerin. So when you use the mask, all that's really happening is you're workiong up a lot of foam, but the only ingredients that are really working on your skin are the glycerin and water combination, which moisturize the skin. The surfactants just add to the cosmetic appeal of the product. No wonder why this product didn't work for me!

I wanted to like this product, but I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed by it. And yes, this is indeed a product that was provided by PR people for review, but I simply can't cook up a positive review when that's not my honest opinion. To me, the mask appeared to be mostly surfactants and water, and I felt that the formulation of the mask was poor, as more attention appeared to be paid to the bubbling hype, and not enough attention was given to the actual beneficial effects of the mask. The good thing about this is that it does cleanse the skin, and is quick to use - the whole foaming process takes only a few minutes. If you like the idea of cute little bubbles and want a simple basic mask, this is for you. But sadly, I can't say this mask worked for me. But if you're interested in trying this out for yourself, you can LIKE The Nature Lab Facebook ( )& play the Spot & Win game to win a bottle of Oxygen Shield Mask worth S$48.90.

(Product was sent for review. Review is my complete and honest opinion. I got this for review, and I actually said I was disappointed by it, so obviously I am not affiliated with/compensated by the company.)


  1. amazing review.. sucks taht it didnt work out. i dont think id be trying this now lo

  2. this is so thorough i had my mouth open all the way through.

    this is an aamazing post, i wana thumbs it up but theres no button :(

    thank you for this :)

    BreezeyBee Blog

  3. So happy to see you being so honest! I wont be purchasing this item.

  4. read ur tweet: I'm reading all these raving reviews for a product I tried that sucks. How some bloggers abase themselves for samples is beyond me.

    -totally agree! some give bias review just coz they got freebies. absurd.

  5. This sounds just like the Bliss Oxygen mask. Have you tried using a very thin layer..?? I found the Bliss mask worked better when I didn't put a lot on, maybe it would work for this too.

  6. @Tammy: It's similar because both masks work on similar principles, and have similar ingredients to a certain extent. Perhaps I should try a thinner layer with this mask again.

  7. From: Dim Dim Sum

    Hi babe, love the honesty and how thorough you are. So you din buy the product is it? I saw it at Watsons, was tempted. Did it have any other effect on your face?

  8. @Anonymous: No, I didn't buy the product, but I did receive a sample to review for the blog (that's this post you just read). In general, I felt like it didn't have any effect, whether good or bad. It just felt like it really didn't do anything, and I felt like it was a bit overpriced. But I did read a couple of other blogposts saying that the product worked for them, so maybe it's just me.


Thank you for commenting! I read each and every single comment! If you ask a question in your comment, please check back to this post, as I will reply in a comment to this post as well :) Please note that comments with soliciting links to shops or websites will be removed. Thanks!


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