Everyone knows the power of a pristine white sheet mask: they hydrate, soothe and, when used regularly, promote a more radiant complexion (plus they make for a brilliant selfie – just ask Chrissy Teigen).
But if your complexion is on the oily side, these kinds of sheet masks probably aren’t doing your skin any favours. If you’re plagued by congestion, oily skin or larger-than-life pores, it’s time to take a trip to the dark side: charcoal masks.
Although not quite as photogenic as their pure white cousins, charcoal masks are made for oily skin types, giving skin a much-needed refresh by drawing out toxins from clogged pores and helping to keep shine at bay.
Summer’s triple special of sunscreen, sweat and aperol spritzes provides perfect conditions for congestion, making a charcoal mask a skincare essential for the season. These are our favourites right now:
This mask is my go-to whenever my skin needs a refresh; I’ve made a habit of applying it after long-haul flights and weekly in summer. It clears up blemishes and detoxes like a charm: apply for 10 minutes then massage away with wet hands for extra exfoliation.
Bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay enhance the purifying potential of this Clinique newbie, while silica exfoliates. Leave on until the mask turns pale blue (you know what that means - double the selfie opps).
This certified organic wonder is the newest addition to the charcoal mask category and can be used as an overnight spot treatment as well as an all-over quick fix. It’s enriched with argan oil to leave skin feeling soft as well as squeaky clean.
A favourite of beauty editors across the globe, the Origins version contains white China clay as well as charcoal to absorb oil, unclog pores and reduce blemishes. It’s designed to be applied once to twice a week.
Another cult-status beauty buy, this Glam Glow treatment mixes activated charcoal with kaolin and eucalyptus to clear skin, downsize pores and combat shine.