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This may be gross, (or perhaps, TMI at best) but, am I the only skincare connoisseur who admittedly finds the sheer satisfaction of pulling off a charcoal peel-off mask utterly delightful? I mean, I love seeing all of the dirt, grime and white residue emerge from pores after a treatment, and I have a hunch that I’m not alone in this my enjoyment of this twisted pleasure. Aside from the visceral glory of seeing all the impurities and blackhead-causing gunk effectively removed my pores, there’s also something to be said about the visual splendor of seeing visible results from using a charcoal mask for clogged pores, and seeing your endeavors pay off instantly right in front of your eyes. There are very few at-home and over-the-counter skincare products that offer the same level of instant gratification that pore-cleansing mask is capable of.
As a side note, I should probably mention that I’m actually not a huge fan of face masks, in general. I know, I’m in the minority on this view. Call me pessimistic, but I find the mask craze to be rather underwhelming. I’d rather reach for my trusted retinoid creams and anti-aging serums to work their magic over time, rather than expect a mere 15 minutes with a sheet over my face to make some sort of lasting difference in my skin. However, I’ve been told I’m wrong and just simply haven’t used the right products, and I also know that charcoal masks are the one sub-sect of the category that, in my humble opinion, truly do deliver. These are the masks that I turn to when my pores are clogged and my skin needs a good detox.
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1. L'Oreal Pure-Clay Mask With Charcoal
L’Oreal’s charcoal-infused clay mask draws out dirt, grime and other pore-clogging impurities without over-drying the skin. The creamy formula dries down quickly, but doesn’t feel tight and uncomfortable like other clay masks. It’s gentle enough to use up to 3 days a week and you only need to leave it on for ten minutes or so to see instant results.
2. Vassoul Purifying Peel-Off Mask
Vassoul’s pore de-clogging “suction” peel-off mask works well, just the way it sounds. It penetrates deep into the pores and draws out impurities while absorbing excess sebum. It also offers an “off-label” use of gently removing unwanted peach fuzz and facial hair.
3. Pop Modern C Black Mask
This thicker peel-off mask absorbs better than other formulas on the market, and it also comes with a tool kit for DIY extractions and a brush for mess-free application.
4. Freeman Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Facial Mask
Unclog pores, smooth over skin texture and make your skin feel super soft and supple. The mask should be worn for about 10 minutes before washed off. With its black sugar, this mask will be more moisturizing than other charcoal options.
5. Blackhead Remover Mask
This activated charcoal mask will target your problem areas. It contains ingredients like grape seed, oat extract, rosmarinus, calendula, citrus nobilis fruit and activated carbon. Make sure to apply a thick layer over your skin, so it’ll be easy to peel off.