Face masks are having more than a moment—they’re enjoying a full-on renaissance. They used to be a goopy, mud-like substance that you’d buy at the drugstore to use on a boring Friday night or as a last ditch effort to control a monstrous breakout the day before an important event.
We’ve come a long way since those Queen Helene masks; now sheet masks reign supreme, and luxury skincare companies are crafting mask formulas that can instantly solve any of your skin woes. Pimples? Dryness? Fine lines? You name it, there’s a mask for that.
The problem with investing in multiple masks for every skin situation, though, is that it gets pricey quickly. Granted, most are meant to be used only one or twice a week, so you won’t blow through a $68 jar in a month. But to get the most bang for your buck, make your mask of choice work overtime by adding one little ingredient into the mix: Activated charcoal.
Charcoal, the secret ingredient
Yep, we’re talking about the same stuff that’s getting mixed into green juices and beauty water. Activated charcoal is clutch for detoxifying your entire system—skin included. Basically, the charcoal is able to absorb tiny molecules of toxins. In your body, it carries those toxins and nastiness through your digestive system to be eliminated. When applied to skin, it sucks up dirt and bacteria in pores.
How to mix ingredients
And supercharging your favorite facial mask is so easy, you can’t mess it up. All you need is a bottle of activated charcoal tablets, your favorite mask, and a glass of organic wine (hey, you’ll need to do something while that mask is drying…). In a ceramic bowl, add the base mask and carefully open up one charcoal capsule. Mix the charcoal into the mask, and add water or liquid until desired consistency is reached. Voilà! Now you can reap all the original benefits of your mask plus the detoxifying power of charcoal.
Our favorite masks
You can add activated charcoal to pretty much any formula, but we like it best in clay-based masks. They seem to penetrate skin the best, and clear and minimize pores effectively. Here are a few of our very favorites to get gorgeous, clear skin.
Painting this rich mud mask all over is like a dream—it goes on smoothly, smells divine, and leaves skin looking clearer than ever. We love that it comes in single-use pod form, so you never need to worry about your favorite skin potion drying out before you can use all of it.
Buy it here.
It seems like everywhere you look, there’s a new Lush store popping up. The non-toxic bath and cosmetics company is known for their sweet-smelling bath bombs and aromatherapy bath salts, but their lesser-known skin- and haircare lines are the real MVPs. The Sacred Truth Mask is loaded with nutrients that help plump and moisturize dry and mature skin.
Buy it here.
Honestly, we’re not entirely convinced that this mask doesn’t have superpowers. It seems like no matter what our problem is—acne, redness, wrinkles, dry skin—this mask comes to the rescue. With 39 different vegetables packed into the jar, it’s basically like a green juice for your skin.
Buy it here.