As anyone who's been reading this blog for awhile will know, I'm a huge fan of Dermalogica and I'm a huge fan of clay masks, so put those together and I'm in masking heaven! Although I've used lots of clay masks, I've never tried a charcoal one and so I was thrilled when Dermalogica kindly sent over a tube of their new Charcoal Rescue Masque.
Charcoal is so fetch right now, to quote Mean Girls, and it's easy to see why: over the years, researchers have learned that this humble wood by-product is in fact super beneficial for the air and your skin. You may have seen those charcoal air filters? Well, the same principle applies to your skin. You see, charcoal has a high factor of adsorption, the ability for one substance to adhere to another. Basically, charcoal acts like a magnet to impurities, toxins and dirt, drawing them to itself and thus, out of your skin.
The Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque contains charcoal, but not just any ol' charcoal! The Dermalogica charcoal is made from the Japanese Binchotan tree, which has long been used for its purifying properties. The Binchotan wood is super-heated to 1000 degrees Celsius, then quickly cooled; this process creates a vast network of micropores that increases the resulting charcoal's adsorption properties by more than 1000 times its weight! With regular use, the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque claims to give you clearer, more radiant skin free from environmental damage and needless to say, dirt!
The main ingredients in this mask are:
- Kaolin clay - a natural detoxifier that draws out impurites and dirt. One of my fave ingredients!
- Bentonite - another natural clay that does the same thing as kaolin
- Maris limus aka sea silt, extract - a deep sea mud that has natural moisturizing properties
- Sulfur - helps increase skin's radiance by increasing cell turnover and has antibacterial properties
Other good stuff in this mask include lactic acid (a chemical exfoliant), niacinamide (anti-inflammatory and fights hyper-pigmentation), witch hazel (astringent), volcanic ash (exfoliant), bamboo stem extract (exfoliant), phytic acid (chemical exfoliant), tea tree oil (astringent) and Chilean wild mint (astringent). The star ingredient, charcoal sits midway through the list.
Price & Packaging
Like most masks, the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque comes in a plain tube with a flip-top lid. A 75 ml tube costs $60 from Dermalogica retailers.
As you can see from its ingredients list, the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque is chock-full of powerful exfoliants, both physical and chemical, as well as a variety of clays, so it's pretty much guaranteed that this mask is going to suck out every single thing trapped in your pores.
To use, apply a thin layer to your face after cleansing and leave on for 5-10 minutes. If applying this in dry air, then I can only stand to keep this on for 5 minutes as it dries down super tight. If you use this in the shower though, the moist air helps make this mask more comfortable and then I can stand it for the longer recommended time.
A nice twist to this mask that I really like is that as you rinse it off, you can use your wet fingers to gently massage off the mask, giving yourself a nice physical exfoliation as well. Like all Dermalogica masks, the grains in this one are super-fine and don't feel harsh at all.
Rinsing off this mask is pretty easy and DAYUM those results! I have never had such deep-cleaned skin in my life. Ever. Seriously, this mask is amazing. My skin felt crazy tight while wearing it, but oh my goodness, I could actually see a difference in the refinement of my pores! I don't have blackheads or overly large pores so it can be hard for me to judge a real difference when I use a mask, but the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque had me gaping at how good my skin looked!
Now, gushing aside, there are a couple of things I didn't like about this mask. Firstly, that smell - this mask just smells gross! Now I'm all for natural smelling products, but this mask just stinks of sulfur and rank things from the earth. It's a bit too natural if you know what I mean, so don't breathe too deeply while wearing it. The second thing I wasn't a huge fan of with this mask is that it does leave your skin really dry, so you'll want to deeply moisturize right after and I would only recommend using this once a week, unless you have really oily skin.
Buy - another winner from Dermalogica! This mask is extremely deep-cleaning and noticeably tightened my pores.