Masks have always been around, but I think they've really hit a new level of popularity lately, especially as they are a staple in Korean skincare routines which have finally hit state-side. You have no idea how elated I am that I can easily buy my skincare staples from Amazon now, with 2-day shipping. But being Korean, of course I've been into "Korean beauty" long before it became trendy. (Let's be honest though, Korean "beauty" is often purchased from a plastic surgeon in Gangnam).
I've been using charcoal soaps since I was in junior high, so I didn't really need to be sold on the idea of a charcoal mask. It's a great way to keep oil and acne at bay. This product, Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask, is a little bit pricier than what I normally buy (about $25 for a 1.7 oz tube from Sephora), but I like the company and their products are generally highly rated, so I went for it.
I used the entire tube before making a judgment.
I think this product is pretty good, but not any better than the other (often cheaper) charcoal masks out there. I have no problem with dishing out more money for better results, but this was not worth the price tag when I could have paid $10-$12 for the same results (there will be future posts about the masks I DID end up loving, as I did try out a ton of them). Maybe my expectations were too high. It's not a bad product at all, but I've been spoiled by east Asian skincare.
I did feel like it tightened my face, and it dries quickly. You don't need much. The tube lasts a very long time. If you have a pimple, you can even just dab some only on your trouble spot, and it helps dry out the blemish, so it's also good for just small problem areas.
But don't expect this to help with oily skin in general, or to help decrease the amount of breakouts or pimples you get.
Basically, it's a fun way to pamper yourself, maybe help expedite the healing of a few pimples (so this is a great pre-date-night step), but you can also use a cheaper product and likely get the same results from simply switching to a charcoal based facewash/soap.
I also think that because I've been using charcoal products for so long, that my results just weren't that dramatic since my skin is already used to it, so it may work much better for someone who hasn't already been using active charcoal products. Kind of like how someone who is already in good shape is not going to have dramatically different results from doing an exercise boot camp as someone who was sedentary and did the same boot camp.
Would I buy this again? Sure. It is a bit expensive, but expensive is relative. I am okay with paying that price tag. Not everyone is, and that's fine. There are a lot of really good masks out there are reasonable price points (I will share my favorite K-Beauty products, all of which are surprisingly affordable, in a future post).
Is this a regular part of my routine now? I love face masks. They're ALL a part of my routine.
I am a firm believer that the best thing you can do for yourself is take care of your skin. It all starts there. Enjoy your weekend! So far my weekend has been deep cleaning all three of my bathrooms, and then catching up on sewing projects. All this sobriety is making me really, really productive. I am partying like a rock star over here.
And yes, I'm feeling a little more human today. I have gotten over the worst of my virus, and I don't think I'll perish today. I'm also really bitchy though. Like, bitchy even by MY standards. I actually said to myself (right after sending off some very angry texts involving the middle-finger emoji), "Wow, Tracy, you're being a thunder-cunt, what the hell?" I think giving up coffee and alcohol, while also detoxing, and then fighting off the flu, has pretty much done me in. I am being a total twat, and I apologize to anyone at all who has to deal with me in the next three weeks. I am soooo sorry. I promise to not use emoticons, okay?