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Bubble Skincare review: We try the brand’s moisturiser, face oil and more

Does Bubble live up to the hype?

Ella Duggan
Thursday 14 March 2024 10:42 GMT
I used all of these products and nothing else during testing
I used all of these products and nothing else during testing (The Independent/iStock)
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Known for the bright, fun and colourful packaging, as well as the affordable, science-backed formulas, Bubble has quickly become a popular brand among an older Gen Z audience. With products selling out frequently and more than 558k posts on TikTok under the hashtag #bubbleskincare, it certainly seems that the hype is real – but what makes the brand so special?

In terms of the Bubble’s mission, Shai Eisenman, CEO of Bubble, told The Independent that the main focus is on “long-term, long-lasting product efficacy over quick and risky results”, so all of its products are “designed to be super gentle and perfect for the needs of those with young, sensitive skin”.

The brand also strives to inspire confidence in young generations by treating them, and their skincare issues, with respect and never talking down to them. With all its products costing less than £20, as well as being cruelty-free and vegan, it’s accessible. The three words that stood out as Eisenman talked about the brand mission were “effective, innovative and affordable”, which clearly shines through.

Social media, TikTok in particular, is a key player in Bubble’s success. When talking about the marketing of the brand, the dangers of social media and having such a young impressionable audience, Eisenman felt strongly about educating and uplifting teens. “The reality is that skin can be scary and skin care can be intimidating – we all place a lot of pressure on how our faces look and feel, and we knew that if we built a place on TikTok that helped young people feel heard, informed, and happy to be there, then the virality would naturally occur,” she notes.

To really assess the quality and performance of Bubble’s skincare products, I took on the task of putting them to the test. Keep reading to find out my thoughts.

How I tested Bubble Skincare

(Ella Duggan)

As a 22-year-old, I’m in the middle of the brand’s Gen Z target audience – but even if you are not, Bubble notes that its products are suitable for all skin types and ages. To give some context to my skin, I had acne my whole adolescence and have only recently had it cleared up by an intense round of Roaccutane – so I certainly consider myself a tough critic for skincare products.

During testing, I used all of the products within this piece so that every tiny change could be attributed to Bubble. Following recommended usage from the brand’s website and maintaining the same routine. The brand is tailored towards younger skin, so I considered whether the products were gentle and kind and if they helped with prominent adolescent skin issues like oiliness, redness and acne. Similarly, I took into account how hydrating and nourishing the products felt, and if the formulas were heavy or lightweight enough for reactive skin types. Is the brand worth the hype? Take a read.

The best Bubble skincare products for 2024:

  • Best Bubble product overall – Bubble cloud surf water cream moisturiser: £16,
  • Best Bubble face wash – Bubble fresh start gel cleanser: £16,
  • Best face mask – Bubble come clean detoxifying clay mask: £19,
  • Best for redness – Bubble break even balancing toner: £17,
  • Best for instant hydration – Bubble bounce back balancing mist: £14,

Bubble cloud surf water cream moisturiser

  • Best: Bubble product overall
  • Key ingredients : Hibiscus extract, celery seed extract and syringa vulgaris (Lilac) extrac
  • Size: 50ml
  • Why we love it
    • Looks adorable
    • Great for layer with make-up
    • Ideal for oily skin

This was my personal favourite of the three moisturisers. During testing, I found that it mixed seamlessly with my SPF and certainly made my complexion look more glowy. What’s more, the formula is hydrating and I enjoyed using it as a morning cream as this is when my skin is at its thirstiest. Thanks to the addition of hibiscus extract, which controls the skin’s sebum production making skin less oily, the moisturiser addresses the appearance of pores. I also found it to be great for layering under make-up as there was no pilling. If you have oily skin, this would be the Bubble moisturiser for you.

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Bubble fresh start gel cleanser

  • Best: Face wash
  • Key ingredients : Spearmint extract, aloe leaf juice and red algae extract
  • Size : 125ml
  • Why we love it
    • Trustworthy
    • Gentle and kind
    • Does a good job at removing makeup

This face wash actually made its way into our review of the best facial cleansers, recommending it as the best face wash for teenagers. Washing away the oils and grime from the day helps to keep skin clean and therefore reduces acne-causing bacteria, this one is a great one to start with. Designed to both exfoliate and calm skin, the gentle formula did a decent job at removing make-up and left my face looking and feeling smooth and refreshed, with no leftover residue. While it’s not the most hydrating product, it was by no means stripping. One slight gripe is that while the bottle looks nice, it took several pumps before the right amount of product came out. But overall, this is a safe and gentle choice for temperamental skin.

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Bubble break even balancing toner

  • Best: Toner for oily skin
  • Key ingredients : Sea water, sodium PCA, niacinamide, willow bark extract and green tea extract
  • Size : 95ml
  • Why we love it
    • Does away with any grime or make-up clinging on post cleaning
  • Take note
    • Could be a little harsh on some skin types

For some, toners are a harsh, sometimes stripping or unnecessary part of a skincare routine. But, the extra feeling of cleanness could be helpful for teenage skin prone to oil and breakouts. This toner is decent with fun packaging and a springboard-like application – which, be aware, will spray all over the place if you’re anything like me. Applying it using a cotton pad, it penetrates into the skin fast and removes dead skin cells – during testing, I saw the remnants of my make-up that I hadn’t quite removed.

Owing to being an exfoliant, it’s not the most gentle toner I’ve tried (if you have particularly sensitive or reactive skin, I’ve found the Bioderma sensibio H2O micellar water a great choice), so I’d recommend avoiding it if you have sensitive or reactive skin. Instead, it works to balance oiliness and produce a more even skin tone. 

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Bubble bounce back balancing mist

  • Best: For instant hydration
  • Key ingredients : Sea Water, sodium PCA + niacinamide and willow bark extract
  • Size: 55ml
  • Why we love it
    • Easy on the go use
    • Refreshing

I loved keeping this at my desk for the occasional spritz, to wake me up and hydrate my skin. It claims to reduce the appearance of pores via mattifying sea water, while I didn’t notice much change to my pores, my skin did love it. Three spritzes of the product was plenty and I could see this product truly suiting all skin types. It’s especially nice to use in the mornings, plus, it smells like a spa product.

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Bubble day dream tone and texture serum

  • Best: Vitamin C for newcomers
  • Key ingredients : Vitamin C + niacinamide, plant derived ceramides and alpha arbutin
  • Size : 30ml
  • Why we love it
    • Absorbs into the skin with ease
    • Great for vitamin C newbies

Vitamin C is a great product for protecting the skin from daily aggressors, such as pollution, but it is also designed to rejuvenate skin, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

This Bubble serum is incredibly gentle and kind. The serum is lightweight, non-sticky and absorbs quickly, melting into the skin with ease leaving behind a velvety finish. As for the results, they were by no means drastic – I can’t say it reduced any old acne hyperpigmentation but it did give me a bit of a glow. This would make a good choice for those looking to dip their toes into the vitamin C world.

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Bubble float on soothing face oil

  • Best: For locking in moisture
  • Key ingredients : Safflower seed oil, neem seed oil, prickly pear oil and buriti oil
  • Size : 30ml
  • Why we love it
    • Fun to use
    • Great for locking in other products
    • Nourishing
  • Take note
    • Runny
    • Not great for oily skin

Something about using a pipette makes me feel like I’m really taking my skincare seriously. This oil was my favourite packaging of the bunch, which is really saying something. Apply with caution though as it is very runny.

The product itself was enjoyable to use. The hydrating formula helped to lock in the other steps of my Bubble skincare routine and left my skin feeling supple and rejuvenated. While a great pick for those with dry or combination skin, it may not be best suited to those with oily complexion.

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Bubble super clear blemish prevention serum

  • Best: For breakouts
  • Key ingredients : Salicylic acid, squalene, neem seed oil, colloidal oatmeal and willow bark extract
  • Size : 30ml
  • Why we love it
    • Great for spot prevention
    • Can also handle spots that pop up unexpectedly
  • Take note
    • Won’t tackle serious acne

Breakouts are pretty much guaranteed throughout life, so having a spot cream that you like and trust is a must. Having previously struggled with chronic acne, I am critical of any product’s pimple-popping claims, so naturally I was dubious of this serum. Unlike other blemish-busting products, this one has been designed to prevent spots. But, eager to see if it works on breakouts, I tested it on a small spot before going to bed and woke up to see it significantly reduced in size and redness.

The salicylic acid works to rid pores of acne-causing bacteria and the willow bark extract gently exfoliates to reduce redness and oiliness from the skin. If you are struggling with serious acne, this won’t do the trick, but if you’re battling the occasional spot this is a great pick.

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Bubble level up balancing moisturiser

  • Best: Hydrating moisturiser
  • Key ingredient : Zinc PCA + Niacinamide, Yarrow Extract and superfood proteins
  • Size : 50ml
  • Why we love it
    • Protects against bluelight
    • Super hydrating
    • Lightweight
    • Great packaging

The real stars of the show, and the products that made the brand so TikTok famous, are the moisturisers. There are three available in the UK, all tackling different skin issues, but all in the same fun packaging. Level-up is all about hydration, using yarrow extract to help heal and restore the skin’s natural moisture. The lightweight gel moisturiser was non-sticky and gave my skin a nice sheen – but did take quite a while to fully absorb into the skin.

Interestingly, this moisturiser promises to protect against blue light by using a superfood protein compound that helps protect against and restore damage. Studies have suggested that overexposure to blue light can cause premature signs of ageing and clusters or patches of hyperpigmentation, so it’s definitely something we need to start considering in our skincare.

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Bubble slam dunk hydrating moisturiser

  • Best: Everyday moisturiser
  • Key ingredients : Aloe Leaf Juice and hoya lacosuna flower extract, vitamin E and avocado oi
  • Size : 50ml
  • Why we love it
    • I loved the packaging
    • Great for mixing with other skincare
    • Gentle

If there was a hero product, it would have to be slam dunk – the moisturiser started it all. It went viral in 2023 with over 5.7 million TikTok views. Of course, its success is due to the ingredients – vitamin E, aloe veta and avocado oil – as well as targeting Gen Z consumers. But also, it’s the packaging that sets this moisturiser above the rest – and I for one can see why. The springboard mechanism is not only adorable (the moisturiser comes out in the shape of a flower) but it’s also functional – the platform can be used to mix other products into the moisturiser with ease (for example face tanner).

The product is a creamy, nutrient-heavy concoction that leaves skin feeling calm and restored. It’s a perfect gentle but hydrating first moisturiser for those figuring out what their skin type is.

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Bubble morning rays brightening eye cream

  • Best: First eye cream
  • Key ingredients : Vitamin C, turmeric extract, green tea extract and resveratrol
  • Size : 15ml
  • Why we love it
    • Unproblematic
    • Creamy
    • Includes Vitamin C
    • Includes UV protection
  • Take note
    • Did little to tackle dark circles
    • Hard to control how much product you use

Most dermatologists recommend starting to use eye cream in your 20s, so this product is certainly aimed at those in the higher age bracket of the Gen Z age bracket. My only real issue with this product is strangely the packaging. While it looks adorable, the pump is a little too forceful for an eye cream – you end up using a big blob rather than the dainty amount needed. Other than the small gripe, I found it to be gentle and unproblematic. The formula is very creamy, felt hydrating on my under eye area and reduced puffiness, however, I found it did little for dark circles or hyperpigmentation despite its use of brightening vitamin C. It does also offer some UV protection which is always appreciated.

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Bubble come clean detoxifying clay mask

  • Best: Face mask
  • Key ingredients : Brazilian purple clay, vitamin E, melia azadirachta flower extract and azelaic acid
  • Size: 45ml
  • Why we love it
    • Adorable
    • Easy to control how much product you want to use
    • Battles bacteria and pollution
    • Non-drying

Whether it’s, sheet, clay, bubbling, exfoliating or peeling, I’ve introduced face masks into my skincare routine – so, when I saw Bubble had three masks on offer I was intrigued. The clay mask has quickly become my favourite for many reasons. Firstly, the design. It’s shaped to look like a bubble and comes with its own applicator, reducing any mess often associated with clay masks.

Secondly, the formula includes Brazilian purple clays, which gently pull out any impurities and clear congestion, making it a perfect weekly deep clean and skin reset. While after the first use, I did not see any improvements to my complexion, my skin was a lot cleaner and had a velvety shine. The antioxidant aspect of the mask helps to rid the skin of acne-causing bacteria and provides an extra layer of protection. And thirdly, unlike other clay masks, it is not at all drying.

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Bubble deep dive AHA+PHA exfoliating mask

  • Best: Exfoliant
  • Key ingredients : AHA+PHA, fruit enzymes blend, azelaic acid and willow bark extract
  • Size: 45ml
  • Why we love it
    • Refreshing
    • Nice smell
  • Take note
    • Too strong for young and or sensitive skin

Although Bubble states that most of its products are suitable for young skin, a few of them are acid-based formulas, so are recommended for slightly more mature skin. Case in point with this mask, which contains powerful exfoliants including AHA. As such, those with young sensitive skin should avoid using it.

That being said, I had absolutely no irritation and enjoyed the product. It isn’t the most visually interesting mask as it goes on clear, with a very thick consistency and calming waxy oat scent. It absorbs quickly but will still need rinsing off after 15 minutes. While I found the mask refreshing, I can’t say I noticed much difference beyond a subtle new glow and brightening in tone.

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Bubble overnight hydrating sleep mask

  • Best: Overnight treatment
  • Key ingredients : Maple Sap, mandelic and kojic acid, sodium PCA, biosaccharide gum and arnica
  • Size : 50ml
  • Why we love it
    • Super hydrating
    • Works while you sleep
    • Smooths complexion
    • Evens redness

I really liked the addition of this overnight mask to my sleep routine. Think of it like a super rich and creamy top coat for all your other skincare products, helping to lock in all the goodness while you sleep. The mask uses maple sap to protect your skin barrier and biosaccharide gum to create that moisture-binding layer over the face that leads to a smooth feeling in the morning. It also uses arnica to help soothe any red and inflamed skin that is so common in adolescent faces. During testing, my skin felt hydrated and I woke with a noticeably smoother complexion in the morning.

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Bubble skincare FAQs

What are skincare products and ingredients that young people should be looking out for, and what should they be avoiding?

When speaking to Bubble’s founder Shai Eisenman, she made it clear that certain ingredients are not suitable for young skin, even some that feature in the brand’s products. “Unless otherwise indicated by a dermatologist, most young faces don’t need products with active or acidic ingredients before they hit puberty (around 13 or 14),” she noted.

“Faces under 14 have the best skin they are ever going to have, and if they were to use products such as acids or retinoids to speed up cell turnover, they could cause damage to their skin barrier and create far more skin concerns at a younger age,” She also adds, before agreeing teens do not need to use an eye cream. Instead, all they really need is a good routine of a gentle cleanser, moisturiser and SPF.

The verdict: Bubble skincare

Overall it’s safe to say that Bubble is definitely a brand that has the best interest of Gen Z at heart, with their finger on the pulse of what will make for a viral skincare product. While I’m not sure we should be encouraging teens to think that they need Vitamin C and eye cream at the grand old age of 13, I do appreciate how gentle and kind all of Bubble’s products are, while still being able to achieve results. Making it a good brand to kickstart a relationship with skincare.

In particular, the fresh start gel cleanser is a great all-around face wash to suit all skin types. And while I would happily recommend all of the moisturisers, the cloud surf water cream has to be my personal favourite. I’m also positive you will be much loved by any teenager you buy the come clean detoxifying face mask for, it’s too cute not to.

If you’re struggling with those pesky breakouts and looking for a solution, check out our article on the best spot treatments of 2024

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