Charcoal face masks are all the rage
In recent years, charcoal face masks have gained in popularity because of their detoxifying power. Here are just a few of many charcoal face mask benefits:
- They deep cleanse and shrink your pores.
- They balance out oily skin.
- They soothe and heal skin irritation.
They also prepare your face to receive other cosmetic products better (I don’t wear makeup, so that’s not an issue for me), and they can even help prepare your underarms for the switch to natural, aluminum-free deodorants and antiperspirants. Why would you want to switch to natural deodorants? One word: cancer. Some studies have shown that the aluminum that is in many popular brands of deodorant/antiperspirant is linked to increased breast cancer risk, although the research isn’t conclusive. Still, as far as I’m concerned, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so I made the switch to natural aluminum-free deodorants a couple of years ago. And I’ve never been sorry. One of the best brands I’ve found comes from my favorite online shopping club. One tube lasts for almost SIX MONTHS, and it’s as effective as most aluminum-laden brands I’ve tried. But this isn’t a post about deodorants. It’s a post about charcoal face masks, so back to those…
The Charcoal face mask I chose
As a Gemsta/Jewelscent consultant, I want to really believe in and know about the products I’m selling. I’ve known about and loved the Jewelscent candles for years now, but I’m not as familiar with all the Gemstra partner brands. As I mentioned before, I don’t wear makeup, so I’m naturally not going to spend much time examining the world of Pulse Cosmetics, for example. But one thing I do care about is my skin, and especially the skin on my face. So the Measurable Difference face masks were the perfect choice for my first foray into the broader Gemstra universe. The Measurable Difference line offers cruelty-free, mostly natural products aimed at making women feel like their most beautiful selves, both inside and out. With that in mind, I had no problem putting this activated charcoal mask on my face, and I was more than a little curious to see what it would do for me. Here’s the complete ingredient list. The only marginally questionable things on here are the “fragrance” (we can’t really know what’s in anything that has this catch-all term in the ingredient list), “methylparaben” (the EWG lists this as a moderate hazard, but it’s low on the ingredient list, so we can assume there’s not that much in the masks), triethanolamine (again, a moderate hazard, but it’s higher up, so there’s more of it), and diazolidinyl urea (moderate risk of a formaldehyde allergy, but it’s pretty low on the list):
- Water (Aqua)
- Butylene Glycol
- Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract
- Centella Asiatica Extract
- Portulaca Oleracea Extract
- PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
- Diazolidinyl Urea
- Charcoal Powder
The Charcoal face mask Experience
Here’s my “before” picture. Every post like this needs a “before” picture, right? Here’s mine. Obviously, I’m not well versed in the art of taking selfies. Here’s a picture of me with the mask on. I did this on a Saturday morning, and my girls were both awake. They weren’t at all sure how they felt about the creepy black thing hanging off of Mommy’s face, but I assured them it was supposed to help me look better and was easy to remove (all you have to do is peel it off, and the thing was literally about to fall off of me at any moment, anyway). That seemed to ease their minds a little. As you can see, the one-size-fits-all approach takes a little adjusting. I had to keep moving it over slightly and slapping the bottom and sides to my face to help it hold a little better. The Measurable Difference Detoxifying mask set comes in two versions – cucumber and tomato. I chose the cucumber set because I thought it had obvious skin advantages over the tomato one (although I could be wrong about this). I just hear more about people putting cucumbers on their face than I do about people splattering tomatoes all over their faces. Just the thought makes me laugh! The cucumber scent was strong on this mask from the time I pulled it out of the package, so if you’re not a fan of the cucumber scent, you might not enjoy that. I didn’t mind it so much, but I can’t imagine how strong the tomato scent would be on the tomato version on the mask. Now I want to buy some of the tomato masks just to see what they’re like! The mask is wet and a little slimy, and very, very cold! I was surprised at how cold it felt going on my face. I imagine this would be an especially lovely treat on a hot summer’s day. In the winter time, though, it’s a bit of a shock to the system. You keep the cold, cucumbery-smelling mask on your face for 15 minutes, and then you peel it off. When I did that (and then massaged the excess liquid from the mask into my skin, as you’re supposed to – you don’t rinse anything off!), this was the result. I didn’t see a great big difference when I looked in the mirror. A little bit of the oily sheen was gone, some of my natural redness was gone, and I think I saw some pores that looked a little bit smaller. I felt a big difference, though. My skin felt tighter and cleaner, so I really think the mask did something – even if it wasn’t totally conspicuous. The detoxifying masks come 5 in a package, and at just $10, that’s not a bad price at all for an at-home beauty treatment. Visit my Gemstra site today to buy some masks for yourself, and take a look at all the other amazing products we have to offer.