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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.