Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Charcoal Masks Craze!*

As of late, charcoal has made its way into our masks and has played a great role in providing the perfect ingredient to keep our skin looking radiant and healthy. In the past month or two, I was able to give different masks a try and the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, Derma E 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask and the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque made the cut! They all have a different texture and feel to the skin, but the results were amazing for all these items!

You wouldn't think to use charcoal in your skincare routine, but charcoal was initially used in medical practices with the purpose as an absorbent in such cases of treating alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works as a magnet to draw out the toxins and impurities from the stomach and attaching itself to it so it can be absorbed before the bloodstream can get to it. When used in beauty products, it does a similar job. Once charcoal is activated as an ingredient in masks, it acts as a medium for drawing out impurities such as dirt, oils, unwanted residue on the skin and gets rinsed away when you wash the mask off your face. Besides cleaning your face, it also has other proven benefits such as;

  • treating acne
  • cleaning out pores
  • shrinking pores
  • controlling oily skin
  • soothing cuts, bites and skin irritation
I have normal to combination skin, where during the Winter time (as it is, here, in Sydney), your skin tends to become starving for hydration and depending on your skin type, it will react differently. Something like a charcoal mask helps to maintain healthy, clean skin without the excessive treatment. My skin has been good to me lately and it's because I have religiously added charcoal masks into my skincare routine. It's a great type of mask to use 1-2 times a week, especially when you're in your downtime. 

Left to Right: Origins, Derma E, Dermalogica
Product when smeared on skin
Product when dried and set

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

The Origins Charcoal Mask is the most consistent in formula and is the smoothest in application as well (in comparison to the others). It is darker in colour and is thickest of the three - almost like a loose moisturising cream. This creamy mask claims to contain white china clay to quickly absorb oils from the skin, treating oily skin and acne. It also has lecithin which is an ingredient that keeps the skin clean. The lightweight formula maintained an opaque coverage over the skin, while having the right thickness to allow the rinsing process to cleanse and deep clean the skin. There was no physical exfoliating, in comparison to the other two masks but it does a good job at removing the dirty layer of skin. 

Over time, I noticed my skin stayed cleaner for longer. And I went from using this 3 times a week to once a week. My skin was visibly looking smoother and the texture on my skin minimised. I have the most impurities around my T-zone and after the first use, I clearly noticed how soft and clean my skin was. There was still some blackheads present in my pores, but the ones on the surface were gone. There was no tingly or minty feeling on the skin, so it's suitable for all skin types - from dry to oily. Great choice for a mask! It dries completely smooth and you will feel a tightening feeling as it dries (as expected). It was easy to remove, even with a generous amount of product smeared across my face. I extremely liked the experience this mask gave me. It was just a simple and great way to clean the skin. 

Derma E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask*

This award-winning charcoal mask is proven to be one of the best charcoal masks for that deep clean. This product is not just a mask but also an exfoliant as well! It dries as a clay with some beads to help the process of exfoliating. The natural clay is said to be infused with Kimarine Wakame and Bladderwrack to help the charcoal be more efficient and lift out the impurities from the skin and decongest the pores as the mask dries as well as protect the skin from environmental pollutants that could over time leave long-term damages and hydrate the skin. It also contains apricot seed powder that help to exfoliate the skin. 

I personally would only use this no more than twice a week. The beads that are present in the mask aren't very gentle but it gets the job done very well. On application, I felt a slight tingly sensation, especially in the areas where my pores are prominent. After the first use, I notice there was little to no blackheads around my nose and forehead. I also could see that it also took away my dead skin and my skin was looking more radiant and brighter. The product dries very fast. Once it reacts to the oxygen in the air, it starts to dry so you would have to work quickly. It does claim to make my skin feel hydrated and nourished but since the exfoliating treatment was a little abrasive, a moisturiser was much needed. I would personally use this as a deep clean treatment for those desperate times when my skin needs a boost or restart. 

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque*

One of Dermalogica's best sellers is the Charcoal Rescue Masque. It is a mask that not only takes away the unwanted impurities like dirt, oils, pollutants, but it also works to brighten and radiate dull skin. It contains activated Binchotan Charcoal that works to deep clean the skin and sulfur to command the skin to promote a cell turnover that works to brighten the skin. There are visible small beads present in the product that also work to help remove dead skin cells. Out of the three masks, this was the most hydrating and nourishing on and after application. It contains the most water content and had helped the skin to not feel overly dry. This mask had addressed the dullness and aging sections of my skin and the cooling sensation had calmed down the redness around my nose and cheek area, while opening up my pores. 

At first use, it was extremely runny. There was more water than product coming out of the tube. But after the excess water was removed the product was working great. It was patchy to apply, so you would have to build it up in generous layers. There was a faint tingly feeling around the face as you applied it on the skin, especially on the apples of my cheeks but nothing that was near uncomfortable. This actually helped to open my pores and made the mask the more effective. This mask did do a good job at tightening the skin, but not as well as the other two. It claims to be easy to remove, but with just my hands, it took too long for me! I used lukewarm water to rinse off the mask but most of the product remained on my face. But once I exfoliated and removed the mask off, my skin felt very soft and noticed less texture on the skin as well. I actually really enjoyed the results of this mask even after the long removal process, my skin will still feeling nourished. This mask is so gentle and skin-friendly on all skin types, including those with rosacea, eczema and sebaceous dermatitis.

I greatly enjoy using charcoal masks and noticed a great deal of change in the texture and feel of my skin. Depending on what I need during that week, I would rotate between these three masks. Where the Origins would be used when my skin is normal, Derma E for that intense deep clean and Dermalogica when my skin is dry and unbalanced. 

Origins Charcoal Mask  can be purchased from Mecca Cosmetica Stores or online. Derma E 2-in-1 Purifying mask can be bought in Priceline stores. And Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque can be seen at David Jones or Dermalogica stores. 

I know there is a lot of different types of masks on the market, especially with the charcoal craze, but I hope this post has helped you narrow it down to just what you need. If you have any questions, or comments, please leave them down below! 

Disclaimer: The Derma E and Dermalogica were PR samples given to me to try. I was not sponsored, nor compensated to make this post. All opinions and thoughts were based on my personal experience. If you have an allergic reaction to charcoal or any active ingredients mentioned, please do not attempt to try these products. Everything said is genuine and 100% honest. 

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