Do you ever find a product that even on first try you've fallen in love with? For me, I have to say that I don't have that kind of experience a lot because of how picky I am with skincare. Sometimes it takes 3-4 times to try a product for me to really fall in love with it. I don't think it's because of high expectations I have, rather I really am in tune with my skin and what it needs, likes, and wants. It's taken me a long time to come to this point as I used to just use so many products without really understanding them, and that ended up hurting me in the long run. I'm still trying to deal with the mistakes I naively made in the past (and sometimes still make!).
The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Mask* was introduced into my routine about a month ago and I fell in love with it from the first try. As I've mentioned before, I'm a biiiig fan of face masks, especially clay (mud is also another one!). This mud mask takes inspiration from Ayurvedic traditions by using ingredients that release impurities and toxins for healthy, youthful skin. It includes ingredients like Himalayan bamboo charcoal, drawing out excess oils and gunk, green tea leaves, rich in antioxidants and catechins that treat and nourish the skin, and organic tea tree oil, helping to clear skin. This is also a 100% vegan product!
Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask
3.0 oz | $28.00 | (Buy here)
This mask is part of their Expert Facial Masks that recently came out, a line that is sourced from all over the world and created with Community Trade natural ingredients. The Body Shop claims that this mask instantly leaves the skin deeply cleansed, detoxified, and smooth. It also effectively unclogs your pores and refines its texture for glowing, rejuvenated skin. I agree with all of those claims except for glowing skin, I did not find that my skin looked very different afterwards. It did very well at exfoliating and detoxifying my skin but I wouldn't use this mask to get any substantial of glow. Regardless of that, the rest of its qualities really prove it to be such a great product!
The Body Shop says that this mask should be on for about 5-10 minutes, and then needs to be washed off with warm water and a muslin cloth. I tried not using a muslin cloth and used my hands with water but it wasn't as effective as using the cloth. This mask is quite rigid once fully set and is full of bamboo granules, so I've found that using a muslin cloth is preferable (and quicker!). The best thing about this mask is that it doesn't dry out your skin even though it does dry rigid, it balances the moisture and doesn't strip it away. You will feel some tingling sensations as the mask does its work, mostly because of the Ayurvedic ingredients included. It was not anything too excessive or irritating but I definitely felt it throughout the time I had it on. After you've fully wiped the mask off, your skin will feel thoroughly refreshed and smooth! Exactly what I expect and love out of using a mask.
It was easy to apply, too. Even though it may look like a thick mud, it has oils (tea tree, eucalyptus, argan oil, etc) in it to give some slip during application. The best way to apply it would be to use a brush, some recommendations would be May Lindstrom's Facial Treatment Brush (which is what I use for my masks) or The Body Shop's Facial Mask Brush. Both are synthetic. I think it may be a no-brainer price-wise which one to get (May $30 vs TBS $15) but I think it depends on your own personal preferrence. I like the May Lindstrom brush but it can get a bit tricky sometimes to clean it. The application is really nice and picks up a good amount of product while keeping its shape, but I'm not sure if it's anything really special compared to others. Since this is the only face brush that I own, I can't really say whether it's worth it or not, especially for the price. It is aesthetically pleasing, however!
The first ten ingredients aren't necessarily all that 'clean,' with the inclusion of Magnesium Aluminum Silicate (smectite clay, this is naturally occurring as a mineral but the aluminum might be concerning, although it has been deemed safe to use), Alcohol Denat (SD alcohol, known to be drying as a "topical penetration enhancer," which lowers the skin barrier function, but when used in combination with other ingredients it may not dry out the skin as it would being used alone, more information here), PEG-40 (a polyethylene glycol, made from ethylene oxide and water), and Phenoxyethanol (a preservative). This product also contains fragrance, but I'm unsure if it's naturally sourced or not.
There are three types of clays/muds in this: Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay, and Smectite. Along with charcoal powder, this packs quite a punch for really getting the gunk and impurities out of the skin. Although I do think this is why it is so intense once it is dry, those with normal-dry skin might find this mask pretty irritating to them, even though it does have non-irritants included. It includes possible harsh components that sensitive skin may react to, like Limonene, Linalool, Citral, Geraniol, and more. Like I said before, I have oily (currently on the combination-side) skin, so I really enjoy masks like these but I can't use it more than once a week. I also have to say that the mask smells very strong of tea tree, so be aware of this too. I enjoy the smell of tea tree as I use it all the time, but some may not enjoy it!
I really appreciate The Body Shop's support of global initiatives and organizations, like their Community Trade with Kenya Organic Oil Farmer's Association. It helps to support local farmers and educate them about sustainable farming, which also helps the community as a whole. Their tea tree oil is made with hand harvested leaves and is steam-distilled within 12 hours afterwards to create the essential oil. The extraction and distilling of botanicals is very important, as you can easily lose a lot of the vital properties this way.
Ingredients: Aqua/Water/Eau, Kaolin, Moroccan Lava Clay, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Alcohol Denat., Camellia Sinensis Leaf, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Pumice, Argania Spinosa Shell Powder, Phenoxyethanol, Xanthan Gum, Parfum/Fragrance, Charcoal Powder, Ethylhexylglycerin, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Argania Spinosa Kernel Oil, Butyrospermum Parkii Butter/Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea) Butter, Limonene, Linalool, Methylpropanediol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder, Menthol, Disodium EDTA, Tetrasodium Pyrophosphate, Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil/Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) Leaf Oil, Eucalyptus Globulus Leaf Oil, Citric Acid, Menthoxypropanediol, Citral, Geraniol, Coumarin, Caramel
I hope that my review helped some of you to get an accurate knowledge of this product! I really enjoy this and I want to try the other masks in this line, especially their British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. I'm seriously obsessed with rose at the moment!
If you've tried any of them, let me know what you think!
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*This product has kindly been PR gifted. All opinions are my own. See my disclaimer for more information.