Reviewed: e.l.f.'s Hydrating Bubble Mask Is a Refreshing Treat for Oily Skin

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e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask

E.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

What We Like
  • Lightweight hydration compatible with oily skin

  • Cooling sensation

  • Works quickly

  • Fresh, light fragrance that isn't overpowering

  • Can double as a shaving gel when rinsing

What We Don't Like
  • Hydration isn't especially deep or long-lasting, so may not be ideal for drier skin types

e.l.f. Cosmetics' Hydrating Bubble Mask does what it says with some added benefits, all at an accessible price. It's lightweight and doesn't provide an overpowering amount of moisture, which makes it ideal for oilier skin types.


e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask

E.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

We put the e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

Nowadays, a hydrating mask is as essential to a skincare routine as a cleanser and moisturizer. Even if you don't have dry skin, anyone's moisture barrier can benefit from a little extra nourishment, and thanks to the many options available on the market, there’s one for every skin type, regimen, and budget. 

Plus, the focus on masks like never before has led to products that combine benefits to become hybrid skincare superstars. One such mask is the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask, a lightweight treatment that effervesces on the surface of your skin to deliver hydration while also helping to calm your pores. After hearing it was ideal for oily skin that needs some extra love here and there, I had to give it a try. 

Did this much hyped-about mask bubble over my expectations, or did it fizzle out? Keep reading to find out. 

e.l.f. Cosmetics Hydrating Bubble Mask

Best for: Combination to oily skin types.

Uses: Hydration for dry areas that need a little attention.

Star rating: 4/5

Byrdie Clean? Yes

Price: $14

About the brand: e.l.f. Cosmetics is known for its minimal approach to maximum impact, delivering high-performance skincare and makeup products that are 100% vegan, free from most irritating or unsafe ingredients, and priced reasonably to be as accessible as possible. 

About My Skin: Oily, prone to congestion, sensitive, and moody

As someone who’s had oily skin for basically my whole life, it was only recently that I finally decided to try some hydrating masks. The truth is, after years of being on the “aggressive is better” bandwagon and subjecting my skin to daily doses of acids, retinol, vitamin C, and every headline-making scrub under the sun, I found myself with super sensitive skin in need of a little TLC. I’m also in my late 30s, so that once abundant oiliness has abated to the point where it takes my skin a few days to bounce back from even a mild clay-based mask, or after shaving the two tiny areas on each cheek above my beard. It’s then that my skin needs the moisturizing and soothing qualities of a hydration mask to help bring it back to status quo.

The Ingredients: Basic and lightweight, but gets the job done

As far as hydrating masks go, the elf Hydrating Bubble Mask doesn’t contain any groundbreaking ingredients, but that’s not to say it’s not packed with some tried-and-true heroes.

Glycerin: This natural humectant helps bind water to the skin, promoting healthy barrier function and increasing surface hydration. Glycerin is also a highly recommended ingredient in shaving gels, as it protects skin from the razor without drying it out. 

Licorice Root Extract: This naturally occurring ingredient offers several potent benefits, including healing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and helping to control oil production.

The Feel: A cooling, bubbling gel

E.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask Texture

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

The e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask comes in one of those nifty jars with the sealed tops that require you to push down on both sides to dispense product, which then whooshes out from a little hole in the middle. Out comes a clear gel to spread all over your face (or, for those with very oily skin, just in the areas that need it). The gel feels cool and light as you apply it; its oil-free formulation is definitely one of the lightest hydrating masks I’ve ever used. And no sooner do you get it evenly distributed than it starts working its magic, bubbling up into a light, frothy lather that grows the longer you leave it on. I didn’t feel the bubbling as strongly as I thought I would, but it was definitely noticeable. Toward the end of the 10 or so minutes I left it on, I noticed the base layer of the mask had dried on my skin while a remaining layer of foam began to dissipate, meaning it was time to wash off. 

The Scent: Fresh and light

e.l.f.'s Hydrating Bubble Mask does contain some fragrance, but nothing too cloying. It’s a light, floral, watery scent that fits in with the type of ambient aroma you’d like to have around during moments of self-care. It’s also the last ingredient on the list, so not as high in concentration as you’d normally find. Those who are averse to fragrance altogether might want to steer clear, but I didn’t mind. 

The Results: Soft and clean skin, but with an unexpected benefit

E.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask Results on Bryan Levandowski

Bryan Levandowski/Design by Cristina Cianci

Before I washed off the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask, I felt beneath the remaining foam expecting my skin to be soft and supple, but was surprised to feel it was dry and tacky, as if the cool gel had either dissipated completely into foam or sunk into my skin. But when I began to rinse with water, the gel resurrected, which gave me an idea. I hadn’t shaved the cheek area above my beard in a few days, and as the slip of the mask still on my skin reminded me of shaving gel—most likely due to the glycerin—I reached for my razor and gave it a go. By that time there was no foaming action left, just the slippery base, and it worked like magic. I finished shaving, rinsed off my face, and marveled at how soft and smooth it felt. 

I waited a few minutes before carrying on with my usual routine to measure the hydration factor. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being as though I’d just splashed my face with water, and 10 feeling like my skin was slathered in grease, I’d give the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask a 3. While my skin felt soft, and definitely evident that I’d just done a hydrating mask, the lightweight formula didn’t leave much of that hydration behind.

The Value: You get what you pay for

e.l.f.'s Hydrating Bubble Mask definitely falls on the lighter end of the hydration spectrum, which works especially well for oily skin types but can provide a quick refresh for anyone. At $14, it’s a good one to have around for those moments when a pick-me-up is in order and you want to save the more expensive stuff for special occasions.

Similar Products: You've got options

Glossier Moisturizing Moon Mask: If bubbles aren’t your thing, or you’re looking for a hydrating mask with a little more punch, Glossier’s iconic Moisturizing Moon Mask ($22) takes your skin on a hyaluronic acid-charged trip to the moon and back.

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating 100% Gel Mask: While Neutrogena's affordable sheet mask ($3) doesn’t come in a nifty jar, it still provides plenty of skin-quenching hydration that’s ideal for oily and combination skin.

Final Verdict

e.l.f.'s Hydrating Bubble Mask leaves skin feeling refreshed and noticeably hydrated, but I feel like some of its hydrating abilities are only at work while the mask is still on your skin. That’s not to say it’s not a great hydrating mask, but rather a very play-it-safe option, so if you’ve got oily skin and need a refreshing treatment that avoids stripping skin or leaving residue behind, the e.l.f. Hydrating Bubble Mask should be right up your alley. Overall, it's a great and accessible option to work into your self-care routine.


  • Product Name Hydrating Bubble Mask
  • Product Brand e.l.f. Cosmetics
  • Price $14.00
  • Weight 1.69 oz.
  • Full Ingredient List Water(Aqua), Lauryl Glucoside, Glycerin, Potassium Cocoyl Glycinate, Methyl Perfluorobutyl Ether, Methyl Perfluoroisobutyl Ether, Decyl Glucoside, Acrylates Copolymer, Cocamide MEA, Sodium Polyglutamate, Butylene Glycol, PVP, Disodium EDTA, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Polysorbate 20, Propanediol, Polyacrylate-13, 1,2-Hexanediol, Polyisobutene, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Sorbitan Isostearate, Fragrance(Parfum).

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