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The Best Charcoal Masks

🕚 Updated December 2021

Charcoal masks are a fantastic tool to keep in your skincare arsenal. They can lift away excess dirt and impurities and brighten and tighten skin. There are hundreds of charcoal masks available to suit most skin types, but here are some we recommend.

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  Best Mud Mask Best Pore Strips Best for Acne Best for Purifying Best Sheet Masks
  New York Biology
Dead Sea Mud Mask
Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips
Charcoal Black Mask
Black Charcoal Mask
Charcoal Sheet Mask
Our SummaryThis mineral-infused clarifying mask reveals fresh, soft skin and works for many different skin types.From one of the most trusted names in deep cleaning pore care, these charcoal strips clear dirt, oil, and blackheads from around the nose.This thick black mask helps to peel away dirt, impurities, and blackheads.This hypoallergenic face mask balances your skin with natural bamboo charcoal.You can quickly and effectively detoxify and balance your skin with this hydrating charcoal sheet mask set.
ProsWorks as well as some more expensive brands, noticeable improvements with regular use, removes blackheads as well as a peel-off mask.Six strips in each box, money-saving option, great results removing blackheads, relatively painless to use, good for sensitive skin.100% cruelty-free ingredients, activated charcoal is made from earth-friendly bamboo, comes with an application brush.Great option for people with enlarged pores, many people have seen immediate results, soothing face gel makes skin less prone to redness or infection.Draws impurities out of the pores, non-irritating, feels soothing on the skin, sheets for easy application, pleasant smell.
ConsWorks slower than a peel-off mask, may have a tingling effect on sensitive skin, messy.Can be difficult to apply, won't work for everyone, can be messy.Removes facial hair which can be painful, takes a long time to dry, can irritate the skin.Avoid facial hair, painful to pull off, not made specifically for blackheads.Not vegan, more expensive than some others, slippery.
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The Best Charcoal Masks

A woman rests in a robe with a charcoal mask applied to her face.

Different people have different skin. Perhaps your skin looks dull and tired and needs a little brightening boost. Maybe you spend a lot of time in the elements and need to have the pollutants and dirt cleared from your pores. Or maybe you have naturally oily skin or are prone to blackheads. There are charcoal skin masks that can help with these issues and more. Read on to see our top picks.

Buying Guide for Charcoal Masks

A man applies a charcoal mask to his face while looking in the mirror.

Why buy a charcoal mask?

Charcoal has natural purifying qualities, which is why its found in hygiene products like toothpaste and face masks. Charcoal face masks pull dirt, grime, and excess oil from your skin. You remove these unwanted contaminants once the mask is rinsed or peeled away. Activated charcoal also contains healthy antioxidants that nourish the skin.

What should you consider in a charcoal mask?

  • Ingredients: Like many other cosmetic and skincare products, some charcoal masks may include ingredients that may set off an allergic reaction. Please be sure to read the ingredients label thoroughly before using a new product. Also, some charcoal masks are made with ingredients that come from animals, so if that does not align with your values, steer clear of these products.
  • Benefits: Are you looking to decrease the shine of oily skin? Are you trying to hydrate dry skin? Do you have issues with acne? Different charcoal masks offer different benefits for various skin types, so pay attention to them before buying.
  • Application: Charcoal masks come in a variety of different applications. You will find traditional mud masks, strips, sheet masks, brush-on masks, and peel-off masks. Each application comes with specific benefits such as removing blackheads, soothing the skin, or adding needed moisture and balance.

What’s the difference between a peel-off charcoal mask and a rinse-off charcoal mask?

Peel-off masks are made with a glue-like substance that adheres to your skin as they dry. Some peel-off masks are powerfully sticky and may remove some facial hair while removing dirt, blackheads, and impurities from your skin. If you have very sensitive skin or skin prone to infections, this may not be the best choice for you.

Rinse-off charcoal masks are gentler for sensitive skin, but they may take longer to achieve the effects you’re hoping for. However, if you are willing to put in the work, many rinse-off masks contain skin-friendly, natural minerals that can balance and brighten your skin.

Our Picks for the Best Charcoal Masks

Best Mud Mask

New York Biology Dead Sea Mud Mask

This mineral-infused clarifying mask reveals fresh, soft skin and works for many different skin types.

Pros: Many people have found that this charcoal mask works as well as the more expensive brands. It’s infused with minerals and helps tighten your skin. Some people have seen improvement in their acne when using this mask regularly. It also removes blackheads as well as some peel-off options do.

Cons: It works more slowly than a peel-off mask, so you must be patient and wait for results. It may have a bit of a tingling effect, especially on sensitive skin, that some users may not like. Also, it can be a bit messy if you’re not used to using it.

Bottom Line: This charcoal mask is a great option for people who are looking for a rinse-off mask that will reveal healthier skin after several uses. It makes a great gift for people who like products made from all-natural, earth-friendly ingredients. Plus, you get a lot of bang for your buck.


Best Pore Strips

Bioré Charcoal Deep Cleansing Pore Strips

From one of the most trusted names in deep cleaning pore care, these charcoal strips clear dirt, oil, and blackheads from around the nose.

Pros: You get six strips in each box, making this a great money-saving option. If you want a more focused and easy-to-use product, this is the one for you. Many people have seen great results removing blackheads with it. For a peel-off mask option, these strips are relatively painless to use, even on sensitive skin.

Cons: There is a bit of a learning curve; you’ll have to figure out the ideal amount of water to use to make the pore strips adhere to your skin properly. Some people find them a bit sticky or messy.

Bottom Line: If you’re ready to try something new to remove unwanted oil, dirt, or blackheads from around your nose, these strips are a convenient option. The charcoal smooths the skin as it removes impurities from your pores.


Best for Acne

SHILLS Charcoal Black Mask

This thick black mask helps to peel away dirt, impurities, and blackheads.

Pros: This peel-off mask is made from 100% cruelty-free ingredients. The activated charcoal is made from sustainable, earth-friendly bamboo. And it comes with an application brush to cut back on messiness during application.

Cons: This mask is very sticky and will remove facial hair along with impurities, which can be painful. It also takes a long time to fully dry, so you’ll need to set aside at least half an hour to use this product. It’s not recommended for sensitive skin or people with a lot of facial hair.

Bottom Line: If you want to try a peel-off mask that will remove impurities from your skin, this may be an option for you. It’s easy to apply but a bit difficult to peel off, so be sure to read the directions thoroughly before using.


Best for Purifying

O'Linear Black Charcoal Mask

This hypoallergenic face mask balances your skin with natural bamboo charcoal.

Pros: This mask is a great option for people with enlarged pores, and many users have seen improvement with skin smoothness, even after the first application. The soothing face gel soothes irritated skin immediately after removing the mask, making skin less prone to redness or infection.

Cons: It’s best to avoid smoothing it over facial hair. It’s fairly painful to pull off. It’s not made specifically for blackheads.

Bottom Line: This charcoal face mask is a great option for people looking to remove impurities and see results after the first use. You get a lot of product in the bottle, so it should last for multiple uses.


Best Sheet Masks

LAPCOS Charcoal Sheet Mask

You can quickly and effectively detoxify and balance your skin with this hydrating charcoal sheet mask set.

Pros: This set of charcoal masks is made specifically to draw impurities out of the pores. It’s a non-irritating formula, and in fact, feels soothing on the skin. Since it comes in a sheet form, it’s easy to apply. Unlike many other sheet masks, it has a pleasant smell.

Cons: These sheets are made with animal collagen, which is not vegan. Some think they’re a little expensive for how many you receive. They can also be challenging to keep in place since they are slippery.

Bottom Line: These charcoal face mask sheets are an excellent option for skin that needs a little pampering. They work wonderfully to moisturize and soothe mature skin. Plus, they’re a great option for a nice, relaxing spa night at home.

Final Thoughts

Charcoal masks can successfully remove debris from the pores and give you a smoother, brighter complexion. If you want to try them out, check out our top picks.

Stacy Rounds Stacy Rounds
Stacy is a freelance writer. She has created a variety of web and print copy, from lifestyle and dating advice to small business reviews and short stories. She has a degree in business and marketing and has worked for several years as a social media manager. Through writing creative fiction, satire, and advertisements, she developed a passion for the written word. She enjoys cooking and painting in her free time. Read Full Bio »
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