Product Review: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

Full disclosure, I have only used this a few times, so I will come back and update it once I’ve used the whole tube. But, I’ve used a lot of masks in my day and do think that the initial use is worth the review.

I bought this mask because of all the skin care steps, a mask is the one I probably lack on using enough and the ingredients were impressive. I am prone to clogged pores and milia (those little white bumps you get) due to my large pores yet dehydrated skin that produces and traps oil or heavy products, so I’m always on the hunt for something that is either a miracle worker or fits well into my current routine. Enter Dermalogica’s Charcoal Rescue Masque.

Texture – This goes on as a smooth, yet grainy mask due to the physical exfoliating properties in it. Unlike a mud mask, or other clay masks, I did not get an immediate cooling sensation with this one. It spread easily, and came out of the tube in the appropriate amounts. It went on as a sort of wet(ish) grainy mask that is a mud green color.

Ingredients – wow, wow, wow my acne-prone skin did one of those double takes when you see someone too hot to be real.  Lots of clays to pull out the gunk (kaolin and bentonite), lactic and mandelic acid and physical exfoliators to tackle that glow, acne fighters like witch hazel, charcoal, volcanic ash, sulfur and tea tree oil…I mean…drool.

Full list of ingredients here:

Water/Aqua/Eau, Kaolin, Bentonite, Maris Limus (Sea Silt) Extract, Sulfur, Lactic Acid, Niacinamide, Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hamamelis Virginiana (Witch Hazel) Water, Butylene Glycol, Mandelic Acid, Calcium Sulfate, Bambusa Arundinacea Stem Extract, Tocopheryl Acetate, Charcoal Powder, Volcanic Ash, Peumus Boldus Leaf Extract, Phytic Acid, Naringenin, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Mentha Arvensis Leaf Oil, Panthenyl Triacetate, Glycerin, Galactoarabinan, Glyceryl Polyacrylate, Xanthan Gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol, Benzoic Acid, Phenoxyethanol.

Application – was easy. I used about a quarter size to cover my face. My skin is feeling winter dry, so I only applied it to my T zone area. I made sure to be gentle when putting it on due to the exfoliators in there. It covered adequately, not too thin and not goopy.

Experience – it took about 10 min for it to really start to dry down. It dried to a light, sandy green and once it started drying felt really tight. Although I have sensitive skin, I am well acclimated in physical and chemical exfoliators, so I did not get a tingle that was of any intensity and my face did not turn red, but I would caution anyone with very sensitive or dry skin against using this, at least for any extended period of time.

Washing it off – unlike some of the other masks that I’ve used, this was fairly easy to get off. I appreciated the physical exfoliators and liked that this product included a lot of things I needed in one. My face looked smooth and evened out. Blackheads were less but not completed decreased.

To Sum It Up: This is not a mask that you’ll feel pampered using. It’s a POWER WORKER to get all dirt and grime out of your face.  It certainly doesn’t feel luxurious, but hey, if you’re blasting through my acne problems, who cares. The ingredients are known to be effective, and smell. The sulfur smell (think rotten eggs) wasn’t intense to me when I put it on, but it did linger all night. You might not want to use this one before a romantic night! I used a rather heavy duty moisturizer last night, but my t-zone area feels dry/tight today, a little roughed up albeit squeaky clean. Those with oily skin may want to use this a few times a week, but for me, this is no more than 1 x per week or after a heavy makeup day.

I’m very impressed with the heavy-duty ingredients in this one mask and would highly recommend it.

Overall Rating – 4/5


Packaging – 4/5

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