One of the most popular skincare products in the drugstore beauty aisle is the charcoal beauty mask. These masks are made up of food-grade activated charcoal that is safe to use on the skin. L’Oréal, Freeman, and Dr. Rashel are three of the most economical brands that sell charcoal masks at reasonable prices in Pakistan. The mask works great for most people and improves the texture of their skin but is it for you? Read further to decide on whether you should buy one or not.
Pros & Cons
Clears out pores
Draws out impurity buildup
Makes skin smoother and clearer
Painful while removing
Overuse can cause dryness
The peel-off variety might make the skin go saggy overtime
Affordable Brands in Pakistan
While there are countless brands selling these masks at various price points in Pakistan, the most affordable and effective products are L’Oréal Pure Clay Charcoal Mask- Detoxifying & Clarifying, Freeman Facial Charcoal and Black Sugar Polishing Mask, Bamboo Charcoal Eye Mask Anti-Wrinkle Moisturizing Patches, Dr, Rashel's Black Peel Off Mask Collagen & Charcoal and Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask.
What to Look For
Charcoal facial masks come in either powder, clay or paste formulation, that is left to dry out on the skin before being peeled off or washed after drying. They are also available as compressed facial mask paper, body bars, scrubs and facial cleanser. These masks pull out dirt and oil from the skin and enhance its youthfulness and clarity. They instantly brighten up your complexion especially if your skin looks dull after pulling an all-nighter. While using a charcoal or clay mask can do wonders to your skin, overuse may lead to redness, dryness, irritation and skin sagginess.
How to Use Charcoal Masks
First, find out your skin type. For oily skin go for a clay charcoal mask. People with dry skin can opt for masks that contain hydrating ingredients such as jojoba oil, hyaluronic acid and olive oil.
Step 1: Cleanse your face with a mild cleanser to get rid of dirt and debris and give the mask a clean surface to work its magic on. The best type of cleanser before this mask would be a cleansing facial scrub that has charcoal and sea salt in it.
Step 2: Apply the mask on your face and neck, avoiding the eye area. Wait till it dries out completely and makes your skin feel tight.
Step 3: Peel or rinse off the product thoroughly with tepid water. Pat your skin dry.
Step 4: Apply a lightweight moisturizer to restore skin's hydration and ph balance.
Do not, in any case, use the charcoal that's used on an outdoor grill. Activated charcoal is different and safe to use while the one used in grills is extremely harmful. Always read labels before buying masks from various sellers and go for the most natural products used. Beware of the harmful chemicals used in these products such as parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. The best way is to purchase the activated charcoal powder and make your own mask at home. That way you can be sure there are no chemicals or toxins in your mask that could damage your skin. Never use these masks more than once a week as overuse can do more harm than good.
DIY Charcoal Mask
To make a do-it-yourself mask at home, all you need is 3 to 4 ingredients such as:
- 1 tablespoon activated charcoal powder
- Half tablespoon natural clay such as bentonite clay
- Few drops of organic rose water
Mix them up to form a thick paste and apply to your face and neck. Let dry for 10 to 15 minutes and then either wash it or peel it off if you are ok with the painful procedure. Don't forget to apply a good moisturizer after removing the mask. Apply this once a week to gain maximum benefits.