Lately, I’ve been really curious about skin care products with charcoal or “black and sticky”. It started off with a bottle of Boscia® Luminizing Black Mask that my friend from Sephora® gave me to check out. It’s a peel off mask that is super messy and thick. My bathroom sink ended up with a lot of black goo because you have to so much on in order to be able to actually peel it off (if not, it’s an even bigger mess to remove it). My skin felt very soft afterwards, but there was a slight residue left on my face. Verdict – it is not worth the mess.
These “black products” and those with charcoal are suppose to help with oily skin like mine and shrink pores. The charcoal is suppose to make your face feel tingly as it helps your pores! So, I decided to check some of these guys out:
From the same line as a the Luminizing mask, is Boscia®’s Detoxifying Black Cleanser. It’s a face cleanser that warms and foams as you rub it into the skin. The warming is a signaling that it’s active and does not activate with a brush. There is a tingly feel at the end but I didn’t really feel like my skin was that clean.
A big winner, in my opinion, by Boscia® is their Charcoal Pore Pudding. It’s a thick mud like mask that you leave on and wash off. It’s messy but no where near as messy as their Luminizing peel off one. I did feel the drying effect with skin tightening about 5 minutes after application. Washing it off did make my sink turn a bit black, but WOW, did it clean my face! It was like all the dirt and oil was completely sucked out of my face! Make sure you use a serum afterwards.
Boscia®’s also got a Charcoal Pore Minimizing Hydrogel Mask, which is not messy at all. My skin, however, felt wet and sticky after I took it off. Since it is a gel mask, it did not dry up my face. My skin did feel firmer afterwards but not clean.
Boscia® also makes Pore Purifying Black Strips. You only put it over your nasal bridge but it did not leave the sticky residue as the gel mask. My skin felt and looked the same before and after use, so not sure if it helped or not.
Boscia® makes Black Charcoal Cleansing Cloths as well. They are not very moist and are completely dried out after one swipe around my face. There is a mild tingle after use with only a minimal residue but my skin does not feel clean after use at all.
And finally, Boscia® also makes Black Charcoal Blotting Linens. You can see little black flecks on each linen with a nice smoky smell. It does give your skin a refreshing tingle with use as well as a good removal of the oil on your skin.
So besides Boscia®, what other brands at Sephora branch out into the charcoal world?
Peter Thomas Roth® makes an Irish Moor Mud Purifying Mask . It’s a mask that is washed off after 10 minutes with warm water. It does not completely dry and so my skin did not get the tightening effect with use. But, it is a mess to wash off. Not as messy as the Boscia® one but it leaves just as much residue.
Origins® makes a Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask that is thinner than a mud mask but no where as thick and gooey as the Boscia® Luminizing mask. This does dry on your face within about 5 minutes but a mess to wash off. It does, however, leave a nice clean but make sure to use a serum afterwards to keep from drying out.
Dr. Jart+® makes a Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal sheet mask that actually looks like a piece of black cloth. It left my face with a tingly feeling from the charcoal and sucked out the oil as the mask dried out. My skin felt more refreshed and clean than with Boscia®’s hydrogel one but drier – make sure to use a serum afterwards.
Peter Thomas Roth® also makes an Irish Moor Mud Purifying Cleanser from the same line as their mask. This foams better with a brush but my skin did not feel clean afterwards.
Clinique® makes a City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel that is not messy at all. It gives an OK clean, about the same with and without a brush, but not a deep clean and no tingly feeling.
Sephora® makes Charcoal Exfoliating Wipes to “purify and detox”. Unlike the Boscia® one, these wipes are very moist but leaves your face a little sticky afterwards. The exfoliating part is a rough texture over one side of the wipe. There is some tingling but it’s hard to notice against the residue it leaves on your face.
Sephora® also makes charcoal blotting papers. It doesn’t have a odor like the Boscia® ones and you need to use a few to get all the oil off and to get a tingly feel on your face.
Do my pores feel smaller? Does the tingly charcoal really clean out my pores? Some products do and some don’t. But Boscia®’s your best bet with the widest variety and range of products.
** Disclaimer – my skin is very oil and not sensitive to anything. Try products at your own risk.