Skin Care

Best Charcoal Face Masks – Wash Away the Unkind from Your Face!

The holy grail of skincare routine, charcoal face masks reigns over the makeup industry as much-demanded product.

Written by Manal Yahya

On May 30, 2023 – 10 minutes read

Best Charcoal Face Masks – Wash Away The Unkind From Your Face!

Do you change your choice of face masks quicker than you change your socks? Given that there are tons of face masks in the market, I wouldn’t blame you if you do. Best charcoal face masks are hard to choose. If I hear the news of the introduction of one more type of face mask, my brain will stop working. Because I have stopped at charcoal face masks.

There is no room left to wonder why I stopped at charcoal face masks or, more importantly, why are they the new buzz in the world of makeup. Remove toxins from your face? Charcoal masks are here to help. Get rid of stubborn blackheads? Squeeze out the tube of charcoal gel. Clear pores and improve your complexion? The charcoal face mask it is. You get the drift, right?

Best Charcoal Face Masks – For Skincare Junkie in You!

Contrary to common belief, the instant glorification that’s worthy of an Instagram selfie is not the only reason why people use a charcoal face mask. What else could be the reason, you might ask. One of the favorite ingredients of any skincare junkie is activated charcoal. You will find it in a range of products from cleansers to shampoos.

The increasingly popular ingredient is believed to reach deep into your pores and remove impurities such as bacteria, toxins, dirt, blackheads, whiteheads, and oil from the skin, clear clogged pores, fight acne, exfoliate, and improve complexion. Hence, charcoal face masks have become popular.

Best Charcoal Face Masks - For Skincare Junkie In You

Though activated charcoal is a type of charcoal, it is quite different from the one used on an outdoor grill. You don’t have to worry about it burning your skin. So, how is activated charcoal formed? When the common charcoal is exposed to high heat, fine black powder in the form of activated charcoal is produced. It is treated with oxygen, meaning it has a much more porous structure and is not toxic to human skin. As a matter of fact, activated carbon is commonly used in the medical field to prevent toxic substances from entering the human body.

How do charcoal masks work? The heat exposure creates tiny internal spaces in the activated charcoal (also called activated carbon). This makes it highly absorbent, meaning it can trap toxins and chemicals and suck them out of your skin(1). The benefits of a charcoal mask, both clay and peel off, are plenty.

What Are The Facial Benefits Of A Charcoal Mask?

Due to the limited scientific research on the skin benefits of charcoal masks, the facial benefits mentioned below are based mostly on anecdotal evidence.

Suck Out the Buildup of Impurities

The reason for your skin to look dull is the buildup of impurities on the surface of your face. But a charcoal mask can draw out this buildup of bacteria, toxins(2), dirt, oil, pollution, from your skin with a thorough cleansing. Your face will be clean and your complexion will be clearer and healthier.

Suck Out The Buildup of Impurities

Purify Clogged Pores with the best charcoal face masks

The penetrating ability of charcoal will reach deep into your pores. As it can clear the buildup of impurities from your face, it can ensure that your clogged pores are cleared and keep them stay healthy and tight.

Brighten The Skin

Yes, a cleanser does its duty effectively. But considering the debris present on your skin, a cleanser may not be enough. By using a charcoal mask, you will be grateful for the instant boost and a face cleared of dust and dirt. The best charcoal face masks will help reduce the appearance of dull skin, increase luminosity, and brighten your skin.

Fight And Treat Acne

Acne is caused by the buildup of dead skin cells, bacteria, and excess sebum that gets trapped inside your clogged pores. Moreover, these bacteria can trigger pimples and other inflammatory lesions. The antibacterial properties present in activated charcoal can help to lift the bacteria from your clogged pores. As a result, it can fight and treat acne while drying out the active pimples.

Fight And Treat Acne

Besides the aforementioned facial benefits, charcoal can benefit you in many ways like treating insect stings, helping with kidney function, poison treatments, and reducing cholesterol levels. Another key property is that it is an effective antibacterial and antimicrobial agent.

Exfoliate Dead Skin Cells and Blackheads

Due to its coarse texture, a charcoal mask, particularly a peel-off mask, can act as your exfoliator and slough off the dead skin cells and blackheads. This exfoliation will make your face clear, bright, and beautiful.

Mattify Oily Skin with best charcoal face masks

Activated charcoal is highly absorbent and its mask can balance the oil secretion on the skin. This mask is more beneficial to oily skinned faces as it can remove excess oil from your skin. Use a charcoal mask if you have blemish-prone and oily skin, especially in the hot summer months.

Best Charcoal Face Masks You Should Try

There are countless charcoal masks in both forms in the beauty world. You can even make DIY charcoal masks at home with a few ingredients. But if you don’t want to make the effort, buy any of the best charcoal face masks mentioned below and treat your face! Time to dial up your glow and soften your skin ladies! Now, let’s see the best charcoal face masks (chosen with difficulty).

Skinesque 3-Step Brightening + Charcoal Mask

With this one, you get a foaming cleanser, hydrating essence, and a brightening face sheet mask, all in one easy-to-use travel-friendly kit. You can deeply hydrate, cleanse, and clarify your skin within 15 minutes. Skinesque’s three in one charcoal mask is the ultimate trifecta in Korean pore-cleansing.

Skinesque 3-Step Brightening + Charcoal Mask

Price: $30

Because it is made with ingredients like brightening birch tree sap and clarifying oak tree charcoal and without any harmful chemicals like parabens, phthalates, synthetic dyes, and mineral oil.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

This purifying charcoal face mask is one of the best charcoal face masks for people with oily and acne-prone skin. This clay and bamboo charcoal mask from the Himalayan foothills contains green tea leaves and organic tea tree oil which will make all the difference! What does this mask do?

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

Price: $49.95

Aside from absorbing excess oil from the skin and treating acne(3), this powerful mask will draw out dirt and impurities from your skin. After the slightly intense exfoliation, your skin will instantly feel tingly and refreshing while giving you a glowing look. All in just 10 minutes!

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

Clinique promises a powerful slathering of goodness to help mattify oily skin while sucking out deep-seated impurities to purify pores. It is highly recommended for both oily and combination skin types. Because the oil-free mask will leave your skin smooth, fresh, and renewed with noticeably refined pores.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

Price: $29

There is no fretting over the presence of parabens as well. Since we trust it for effectiveness, you can unclog your pores and detoxify your face with this promising charcoal mask!

Best charcoal face masks: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

This is indeed a cult favorite. And the number one best-selling mask in America. What’s so special about this one? Formulated with very fine and highly porous bamboo charcoal and white China clay, this charcoal mask acts like a magnet with your skin.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores

Price: $29

It can not only purify and unclog your pores but also deeply cleanse your skin to give you revitalized and clear skin. You can rely on Origins’ face mask to absorb and remove environmental toxins and impurities from the surface of your skin. Why wouldn’t this detoxifying agent be a favorite?

Gemmaz Purifying Black Mask Peel Off Mask

To naturally detoxify your skin, you cannot go wrong with Gemmaz Purifying Black Mask. This mineral-rich mask is one of the best charcoal face masks adored by all its users for the softening effect it imparts on their skin. After helping you with peeling your deep-rooted blackheads and exfoliating dead skin cells, it will provide an effective yet gentle and hydrating detoxifying experience.

Gemmaz Purifying Black Mask Peel Off Mask

Price: $17.99

It can balance your skin with radiant and visibly refined pores. One feature that stands out with its formulation is that along with bamboo charcoal, it includes collagen and vitamins for moisturizing and smoothing effects. You get the best of everything with Gemmaz!

Best charcoal face masks: O’Linear Black Mask + Face Care Gel

There are countless ineffective masks in the market that remove just the top of blackheads together with hair follicles. But with a proactive blackhead remover mask as O’Liner’s Black Mask, you draw out impurities entirely altogether. The toxins will be gone for good. This mineral-rich charcoal mask turns your face rids you face from blemishes and wrinkles, offering a clarified face. Additionally, it can stimulate cell regeneration, treat the redness on your skin, and improve the texture and tone of your skin, thanks to the face care gel quality.

O’Linear Black Mask + Face Care Gel charcoal

Price: $9.99

Are you still wondering why charcoal masks are popular in the beauty aisle? Hopefully not! Despite the insufficient research to back up the facial benefits of charcoal masks, its use merely increased tenfold. The users had more positive reviews for this detoxifying agent. So you can bag the incredible range of benefits charcoal masks offer you within a 10-minute wait. And, here is a quick reminder of the drift: apply, rinse or peel, and glow!

But, what are the risks of using a charcoal mask?

Considering the limited research on the risk of using a charcoal face mask, there is no reason to put it in the trash yet. Charcoal is inert and hence does not cause irritation or allergic reactions. But you cannot completely overlook the not-so-widely discussed risks either. Although these masks generally appear to be safe, a person with skin dryness, redness, and sensitivity must be cautious of using it. There is a reason for this mask to be more beneficial for oily faces. Since activated charcoal is absorbent, it has the opposite effect on people with dry skin and worse on rosacea. An ingredient like activated charcoal with the ability to remove excess oil will only create a deeper imbalance on dry skin that lacks sebum.

But, what are the risks of using a charcoal mask

Another concern is about how you remove the charcoal peel-off mask. The peel-off process, although incredibly satisfying (cannot deny that), can damage your skin as it is harsh especially on sensitive skin. They are ripping the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin quite aggressively. This may result in ripping healthy skin cells and sebaceous filaments (a collection of sebum surrounding your hair follicles to bring oil to the surface of the skin) along with facial hair. Continual use of the mask can harm your skin’s natural barrier. And as a result, you are risking getting sensitivity, dryness, redness, and even breakouts. Yes, the qualities of the best charcoal face masks are pretty strong.

How to By-Pass the Risks?

So, you can opt for a gentle charcoal clay mask instead of peel-offs. Wash-off masks can also give similar results but without damaging the skin. Additionally, be sure to not use the mask with products that are drying or irritating — with fragrance, dyes, parabens, and other chemicals. Because charcoal itself can remove oils from your skin, all thanks to its detoxifying ability. Also, like before using any new product, test the charcoal mask on a small patch of skin on the inside of your elbow. Make sure of no itching or dryness within a few hours.

What to look for in a charcoal face mask?

Ultimately, the type of charcoal mask you must use depends on your skin type. If you have oily skin, look for a charcoal mask with clay as one of the ingredients to help absorb any excess oil from your skin. It may also help prevent acne breakouts and clean out your pores. On the other hand, if you have dry skin, try a mask with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, jojoba oil, olive oil, honey, or glycerin. Different brands have different ingredients. So, you must read product labels carefully without cashing out from your wish list.

What to look for in a charcoal face mask

How to apply a charcoal mask?

  1. Use a cleanser and clean your face for the mask to work its magic, especially penetrating your pores.
  2. Apply the mask evenly on your face including your forehead, nose, cheeks, and chin. Gently massage the mask into your skin using your fingertips.
  3. Let the mask sit on your face for 15 minutes until it’s dried.
  4. Rinse off with warm water. If you are using peel-off, start at the bottom of the mask and slowly peel upwards towards the top of your face.
  5. Pat dry your face and follow up with a moisturizer.

How often should you apply a charcoal mask?

Find out the best charcoal face masks for you and apply it once or twice a week. But if your skin is sensitive or extremely dry, apply it once a week or every couple of weeks. If you are applying it in the morning, do it before getting in the shower. But it would be best if you include it in your nighttime skincare routine.

How to apply a charcoal mask
  1. Royal Society of Chemistry. (2020). Preparation and antibacterial properties of an activated carbon sphere. [online] Available at:!divAbstract
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information. (n.d). The Use of Activated Charcoal to Treat Intoxications. [online] Available at
  3. Elsevier B.V. (2020). Adsorption capability of charcoal: A comparison study of some activated and non-activated charcoal samples. [online] Available at:

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Manal is a lifestyle influencer who has spent years delving into the world of beauty, fashion, and wellness- a pro when it comes to anything woman.

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