Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask Review: Tested & Detested

Mid-week is the perfect time for a mini-review of the famous Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask.  (Update: my word counter tells me that "mini" review is a lie.  Eh, everything's relative!)  This mask is old news; it's a classic example of skincaretainment, and the product is more well-known for its entertainment value than the actual effects on the skin.  That's partly why I've avoided it until now, but it's summer and my skin is a slimy mess in this humidity so it's very ready for an occasional clay mask.  Why not one that inflates into a comically wide cloud of foam while on your face, making you look like a pixar character while doing double duty of first cleansing and clay mask style deep pore cleansing all in one go?

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask product, box, lid, and spatula
There is an inner jar lid/seal to keep air from reacting to the product.
Sounds too good to be true, right?  Plus, lots of people have used this mask, including fellow Snailcast podcaster Fifty Shades of Snail, so I purchased a jar of it and give it a try.  Then I dropped all irritants out of my routine and tried it again.  Sometimes, you have to just have to hurt yourself twice to confirm something is bad news.

In this post:

  • Product details
  • Ingredients
  • What it did to my face
  • What I'd rather use instead

Before using this mask the second time, I skipped anything that would compromise my moisture barrier for at least a week: no acid exfoliants, no manual exfoliants, no tretinoin, nothing to weaken my skin barrier or make me more sensitive.  I wanted to make sure there was no chance the culprit was just piling clay on top of sensitive skin.  Unfortunately, it still left my skin screaming for mercy and I smothered its cries with snail gel to recover.

Just as a quick reminder: this blog uses both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and if you choose to click the fomer before you shop, your purchase may contribute a tiny amount to the maintenance of this blog.  See full details at the end of this post! #receipts


Product details

Full product name: Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
Purpose: Supposedly cleanses, exfoliates, nourishes the skin, and does all the things a clay mask is supposed to do on the 'exorcises your pore demons' front. What its real purposes is: a super entertaining face mask that gives you a tingling bubbles feeling while forming into gray clouds on your face, perfect for taking selfies of your brand-new trollface and posting them on social media.
Scent: Pleasant, reminds me of "aqua"-themed products, not a noticeable clay scent.
Texture: At first it's a sticky, clammy clay goop that you smear over your skin, and then within minutes, it reacts with the air to form a thick layer of foam. However, it still leaves the sticky, clammy texture on the skin when you try to rinse it off.
Quantity: 100g.
Rating: 2/5, because even though using it was a declaration of war on my epidermis, I can appreciate that others are fine with it and it's fun to use, so it gets an extra point.
Where to get it: Amazon | eBay | Memebox US | Jolse | TesterKorea | KoreaDepart
Repurchase: Hell no. This wasn't the Elizavecca "Hell Pore" mask, but it sure felt like my pores were being bathed the fires of the Phlegethon.


Ingredients

Thoroughly mystified as to what might have caused the skin reaction, I checked out the ingredients list on Cosdna:
Purified Water, Cocamidopropyl Betaine, White Clay, Acrylate Copolymer, Disodium Cocoamphodiacetate, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Lauramide DEA, TEA-Cocoyl Glutamate, Green Tea Extracts, Glycerine, Dipropylene Glycol, Bentonite, Collagen, Charcoal Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Flavouring Agents, Carbonated Water, Xanthan Gum, Disodium EDTA, Allantoin, Butylene Glycol, Lavender Extracts, Monarda Didyma Leaf Extracts, Peppermint Leaf Extracts, Freesia Leaf Extracts, Chamomile Flower Extracts, Rosemary Leaf Extract
This product contains SLS, which is a huge flag for some people.  It's not an ingredient trigger for me, however, so unless this contains so much SLS it's suited to stripping crude oil out of a rig worker's overalls (do they wear overalls?) I just can't see that being the culprit.  My skin hates menthol, so it's possible it might be the peppermint. Whatever it was, my skin did nooooot like it, as you will see in the next section.

As to what causes the bubbling effect, I'd highly recommend checking out Labmuffin's post on oxygen masks, where she explains that perfluorocarbons (like the Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether in this product) are the key ingredient in self-foaming oxygen masks like this one.


What it did to my face

Warning: will feature low-res front-facing camera shots that weren't actually meant for the public, which is why I didn't bother with setting up my semi-decent camera and fussing with lighting and whatnot.  These were actually destined for the other members of the snail unit, who tend to bear the brunt of my live reporting of skincare disasters, like the time I Hanbanged Too Hard.

However, once I got the mask off and saw that the nasty reaction I had the first go-round was not in fact due to the acid exfoliants I had been using, there was no chance I would put my skin through this again in order to take nice photos.  The lighting is different due to being in different rooms-- the results photo was taken in natural light, rather than a mix of natural and artificial like the first photo.

I have not corrected the colour or white balance of these photos, and unfortunately the camera didn't capture how dramatic the result was in real life.  My face wasn't just red, it was mottled with extra-angry patches.  You can see how angry it is compared the skin on my neck/chest.

In minutes, the anticipated cloudface forms.
It started off innocently/amusingly enough, with the foam blooming rapidly into a round cloud of tickling bubbles:

I get it, this is super fun and goofy, and it's much more entertaining than your usual clay mask.  I left the mask on for just shy of 10 minutes, and although my skin wasn't burning, it wasn't all that of a pleasant sensation.

It was an absolute pain to wash off, which is something that the Beauty and the Cat girls had mentioned (if you haven't checked out this hilarious duo, I highly recommend doing so) in their review-- they were not kidding.

Despite the bubbling, when you touch the mask or try to wash it off, it converts back into a sticky slime that defies all attempts to rinse it without either requiring a lot of manual effort or following up with a foaming cleanser.  I ended up using the latter because I didn't want to irritate my face further.

Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask irritation
I'm sucking up my hatred of posting pictures
 of my skin (or otherwise) on the internet,
just so you can see what a mess this is!
When it finally came off, instead of dragging my pore clogs to the surface and/or smoothing out my skin texture, my skin was the aforementioned mottled mess, with the areas that I hadn't applied the mask (like next to my eyebrows, and my eye sockets) standing out in sharp relief.

The worst patches had almost a purple tone to them, on top of the overall redness, as you can see in the second photo.

Incidentally, this was similar to the reaction I had to the reformulated My Scheming Snail silk masks, but that was much, much worse.  The bad patches were a bit inflamed, but nothing like the welts I had with the snail mask!  My skin definitely reacts to products often but it's almost always in the form of acne, not redness/irritation.  My skin just likes to clog and break out when it doesn't like things.

I also don't normally have an issue with clay masks, although I can find them a bit drying and I avoid them when I'm on acid exfoliants.

You can read about the acids and actives I use here: What's In My Skincare Wardrobe: Actives (Prescriptions, Antioxidants, and Acids) Edition.


What I'd rather use instead

I've tried a few clay masks, such as the Mizon Pore Clearing Volcanic Mask, and the matching Gommage version from the same line, both of which left me unimpressed.  The problem I have with clay masks is that I don't use them often enough to justify purchasing them, which is where the skincaretainment factor of this one comes into play-- the idea that something is so fun to use it motivates you to do it.
Image from  in K-Beauty & Portion Control: Why Sometimes Good Value Can Be a Bad Idea

I much prefer the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, and I particularly love that it comes in single-serving sizes, which work better than a full size for "once a season" users like me.  As I mentioned in K-Beauty & Portion Control: Why Sometimes Good Value Can Be a Bad Idea, full size clay masks will go stale long before I make a dent in them, so these are perfect for me.  There's enough in them for two uses if you want to do a spa night with a friend.

Where to get the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask capsule pods: Amazon | eBay | Jolse | Via Seoul | RoseRoseShop | KoreaDepart

I don't doubt that the Elizavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask is a great product for some people, offering them convenience and entertainment all in one, but it wasn't meant to be.  Thankfully I have a skincare wardrobe stocked with soothing snail products, so it didn't take long to coax my crying skin back from the brink of the tantrum.

Have you found a gentle clay mask?  Hit me up on Facebook or Twitter and let me know!

Have something you'd like to share with me in general?  Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram at @snowwhiteandtheasianpear because I'd love to see it!

All the best,
-Cat

**Disclaimer: All products reviewed on my blog, are 100% purchased with my own money, with a single exception of a press sample I tested & reviewed in 2015 which swore me off of them forever.  This blog contains  both affiliate and non-affiliate links, and clicking the former before you shop means that this blog may receive a small commission to assist in this blog supporting itself.  Please see my Contact Info & Disclaimer policy for more information.

17 comments

  1. Thanks for the review. I've been wanting to get it since i seen it popping up all over social media. However, I was convinced that anything that makes cute grey bubbles like that is dubious, to me at least!

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    1. I, too, was suckered into the adorable gray foam. It's just so entertaining to use.

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  2. This happened to me too! I thought I was alone in a world of smog-faced pod people. I just used it on my T-zone and then had thick red welts around my nose, chin and forehead for two days.

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    1. Ouch! No, you're not alone... I think it's actually fairly common that people have irritation with it, because I've seen references to it not working for some people quite a bit now that I'm looking for it.

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  3. So sad that it was such a bad experience. I also tryed this product for the first time like 4 weeks ago and I didn´t get irritations. It just felt a bit dry.
    One of the reasons why I ordered it was the review on youtube from TheBeautyBreakdown. I really like her reviewing style and although I don´t have "dry" skin (as the definition would say), I trust her words. She has dry ski and said it was nice for her.
    Well actually, the mask itselfe does what it promised, but it really felt dry afterwards. Since I thought she would say if it felt dry for her or not, I was a bit disapointed from her review. -.-

    After all, I think this mask will not be one of my favourites. So I can at least agree with your opinion to not repurchise it.

    Thank you for your alternative suggestions. I´m also interested in the innisfree volcanic pore solution edition, but couldn´t try them out yet. I think that´s going to be my next try. ;-)

    Gerrtings, Violetta from http://twinblogg95.blogspot.de/

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    1. The ymmv nature of skin care is such a drag, unfortunately it's almost impossible to tell how a product will react based off someone else's review. You just never know because of that will work for you until you try it, which is really frustrating part of skin care. 😭

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  4. Thanks for the review! I've found that I can't use this on freshly washed skin or it burns and turns my face red. >.< If I use it before I wash my face it doesn't burn at all or turn my skin lovely shades of red. I tried twice to use it after I washed my face and nope, nope, nope. It burned like a mofo and my face looked bright red and inflamed.

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    1. Yikes! I actually used it as a first cleanser in both cases, because I wanted to test to see if I could use it as an alternative to oil cleansing. Oil cleansing is really problematic for me, so I'm always on the hunt for a good alternative option. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been if I had cleansed first! Your poor skin.😢

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  5. Wow! I knew some users didn't had the "fun" experience I had. I saw that April Skin launched a carbonated clay mask that has "safer" ingredients but also three kinds of Mints appeared.

    I have a need/hate relationship with clay masks, since I need those for my oily T zone, hate to put a thing that will hard and crack later, and hate the rinsing part. Lately, my skin isn't bearing clay masks. Not the Skin79 or the Elizavecca at least, are too drying for me with this dry/cold weather... I'm thinking about go back to the good ol' Innisfree one.

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    1. I have a confession: I hate wash off masks. They're so messy, and annoying to use, and require so much rinsing so they don't make my skin break out... it's just such a pain in the ass. I feel your pain!

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  6. I have not tried this mask nor do I have terribly reactive skin, but I do like the Neogen Canadian Clay Pore Cleanser which also bubbles but rinses off really easily. My absolute favorite hands down clay mask is the Mamonde Lotus Micro Mud Mask. It is nice and light, washes off much easier than the Innisfree Super Volcanic Clay - and not only has the typical clay mask properties of temporary pore tightening, but also brightens my skin.

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    1. Ooo, you had me at Lotus. I'll have to check that out!

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  7. Ah I feel bad for you ;< I wanted to try this mask since it's quite popular but when I saw inc of it I gave up on that idea. I feel the same about clay masks, had full size of innisfree and I needed to throw half of it becouse it dried up ;D. Despite this I'm quite tempted to try Bonvivant Mellow mask.

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    1. It really seems like it's hit or miss with this mask; some people love it but my skin sure didn't! D:

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  8. Wow. I know skincare is YMMV but with this mask, people seem to either have a 100% or 0% opinion. I had a great time with it but ouch, you poor people getting welts! I wonder if it is the combination of mints and stripping SLS?

    (If you like the mask and are stuck at the ButItWon'tComeOff part, the secret is to leave it the heck alone until after it's finished bubbling and dried down, then lean over a sink/hop in a shower and rub it with your palms. It comes off in strings like eraser dust and it's not slimy to wash your face after. I use it before my shower and wash my face in there.)

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    1. I'm really not sure what caused it, especially since my skin is normally fine with SLS. It's really perplexing! It does seem like this is a polarizing product for sure. That's a great tip for getting it off, but I'm lowkey screaming in horror over the idea of leaving this on longer than 10 minutes so it dries. D: D: D:

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  9. Really sorry to hear that as I love this mask! It appears my combo skin acts as a safe barrier.

    A gentle clay mask that I found is the Strawberry Baviphat Toxifying Clay Mask. I love the smell, think strawberry yoghurt, and it's much more gentle than the Innisfree and Elizavecca for me. I did a full review with ingredients on my blog if you were curious. Though I've also found it hard to source.

    Sophie | MapleTreeBlog

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