Charcoal is the ultimate detoxifier- something I’ve talked at length about on both this blog and on Instagram. I’ve also talked about how heavily I rely on masks as an instant skin refresher, ipso facto there is NOTHING better than a charcoal mask for post-party skin.
A bit of background. Charcoal, when applied topically (so, in skincare for those playing at home), draws bacteria and grime out from beneath the surface of the skin, making it the perfect cure for skin congestion and excess oil build up. Charcoal works a bit like a magnet, extracting oil and pulling grime towards it so it can be wiped off the surface of the skin, rather than staying stuck within the pores.
Another ingredient that has similar detoxifying ingredients to charcoal is clay, both Bentonite and Kaolin, which are both found in my new favourite skincare saviour- the Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask.
I’ve routinely recommended charcoal masks to anyone suffering from an excess oil build up or party-induced congestion, however (in my experience) most charcoal masks are made from a predominantly clay formula. I imagine you’ll have seen or used masked like this before- they apply as a paste then dry quickly, soaking up all that excess oil and bacteria. While it’s a treat to see a mask working, masks like this will often leave your skin feeling tight, tingly and uncomfortable (it’s important to note that your skin tingling doesn’t necessarily mean a product is “working”- it’s your skin reacting and sending you a signal to remove it asap). This makes many drying masks unsuitable for already dry skin and even more difficult for sensitive and reactive skin types.
This new Paula’s Choice mask is the first charcoal option I’ve come across with a gel formula, meaning it has a primarily aqua base so it applies as a gel and stays that way for the duration of the treatment (Paula’s Choice recommend 10 to 15 minutes- if you have sensitive skin I’d always start with a patch test, but I’ve been using it for 15 minutes at a time with no issues). The gel has a cooling effect on the skin, so when you wipe it off your skin doesn’t feeling flaky or tight. While I find this to be the perfect mask for a festive season detox, the gel formula lends itself to a pre-makeup application too if you want to really prep your skin ahead of a night out- this is something I’ve been unable to do with regular clay masks as I feel I need to apply a heavy night cream immediately after.
You guys know I work a lot with Paula’s Choice but this is, genuinely, my new favourite mask. It extracts all the bad stuff but doesn’t strip the skin of the good stuff, and it performs as well as a skin detox as it does a makeup primer. These all seem like fairly simple requests, but they’re almost impossible to combine into the one product as each criteria is a bit contradictory.
The Paula’s Choice Pore Clarifying Charcoal Gel Mask has just landed online in Australia and it is HEAVEN. I had a Christmas party on literally every night of the week last week and did not have one breakout (touch wood). I may have left this post a bit late, but this mask will SAVE your skin these holidays. Charcoal is my best friend and I’m willing to share it with you (because the festive season is about generosity and that’s who I am).
This post is sponsored by Paula’s Choice Australia, however all views are, as always, my own.