Hello y’all! Today I’m bringing this (sort of) complete review on this novelty that y’all probably been seeing around in social media: a mask with activated charbon that is intended to get rid of those pesky blackheads most of us deal with me and all the yucky impurities our faces have built up with time.
Here’s the mandatory pic with a glance of the product I’m talking about:
A BIT OF BACK INFO
This is what Saint Google shows as result when typing in “Activated charcoal” (the term I originaly learned about removing blackheads almost miraculously) in the search box:
“Activated carbon, in powdered form, should be in every medicine cabinet and first aid kit. It is also known as activated charcoal. It is used around the world as a universal antidote for hundreds of poisons, including arsenic, mercury, pesticides, strychnine, warfarin, hemlock, E. Coli endotoxin, and gasoline.”
But somewhere, somehow, someone also discovered that activated charcoal pills, which obviously are, too, made of that same ingredient can, too, be used as a skincare agent to (finally) give a solution to a concern to people like me (with tons of them) have: blackheads. Those grossly-looking dark points on the nose that are believed to be sebum and dirt mixed up with dead cells.
As always, what we almost all think when hearing a new skincare breakthrough is South Korea. Korean skincare is always on top of the list when it comes about, well, skincare. From their BB Creams to the so famous Cushion technology on foundations, who hasn’t seen nice results with at least one of their products? (I did with two and I talk about one of them here if y’all like to give it a peep), and this product I’ll show is no exception on associating it with Korean skincare.
HOW DID I FIND OUT ABOUT THIS MASK?
Although I don’t know if the language in the package is actually Korean (my apologies for ignoring this), I read in the same place where I found out about this product, that it proceeds from the wonderful world of Korean Skincare. And I found out about its existence on Facebook.
Y’all know those sponsored ads Facebook that magically show us something that might interest us according to our browsing and online shopping (creepy, isn’t it?)? Well, that same algorithm made me once see an sponsored ad promoting what looked like a black cream a the model in the video showing how to applying it was getting all over her face.
In the video, the woman also showed how she, after following all the steps, started peeling off what it looked like a heavy black mask that cream made and finished showing, to my weird satisfaction (don’t judge me!), the disgusting small stick-shaped pieces of gunk the mask got pasted on that came out not only from her nose, but from all her face.
I tried to see if this product worked like the video was claiming it did by reading the comments in the post, which where thousands of them and the majority was from people tagging friends to show them the video and encouraging them to give both (the tagger and the tagged) a try together. I didn’t see but just one single comment telling her experience and results with this mask, and it was a positive one.
Since I didn’t intend spending my day retrieving comments to find my answers, I went to eBAY as the post told to do so and searched for the company selling the product. At 12 bucks with free shipping it seemed like a fair investment if it ended up not working. Good thing I got not mistaken on this thought, because this specific product from this specific, unknown brand (Mengkóu Beauty), DID NOT WORK FOR ME AT ALL.
So I placed my order and I received my package 3 weeks later. Curiously enough it arrived from China. It came wrapped only in a bubbled envelope that made the box get a bit damaged, but luckily not the content (the products).
The mask consists in a treatment of 3 steps: a preparer (or primer, not sure if it is correct to call it that way) to loose all the sebum and dirt from the pores; the activated charcoal mask that does all the work of removing and unblocking the pores from the impurities and a toner to tighten up the pores, preventing blackheads from building up again.
Now how do I know these are the steps if I don’t understand the language in the product? The video in the sponsored ad showed step by step with subtitles in English what to do. And the tubes that come in the box are placed in the order (we westerns understand) they have to be applied.
Step 1: Preparing the skin
Wash the face as usual, then apply the skin preparer, which is marked as the step one in the bottle (shown below). Massage it all over the face on the areas we desire to apply the black mask later. Rinse. The video didn’t specify the temperature of the water, so I personally used warm water because it is my understanding that it helps to open up the pores.
Step 2: applying the star product (the activated charcoal cream or black mask)
Here it was when my problems started: the mask itself is really messy to apply. Like big time messy. Besides looking like tar, it feels like I’m handling one of those goo toys that came in a container that almost could be molded in our hands like clay (does anybody remember those or am I that old already???) but that can leave a lot of dirtiness on the hands: its thick consistency leaves a lot of black residues that are difficult to remove if y’all don’t allow it to dry completely in 15 minutes, so napkins are useless to clean your hands after y’all apply it.
You have to apply it all over your face in order to make it pull out all the blackheads and sebum from your face, because applying just a li’l bit on y’all noses wouldn’t work, as the mask needs a lot of forcing from our hands to pull the gunk.
And finally after applying the mask and surviving the remains of it on our hands (and any other body parts), after up to 30 minutes (20 minutes minimum) allowing it to finishing dry completely, we proceed to see the magic by removing the mask, pulling it off from our face, in a single piece, which should be showing then all the horrible pieces of black stuff that were stuck in our nose and face.
But oh deception, it didn’t happen for me! The mask that initially starts as a very thick black gel, ends up being a really thin, plastic-like mask, without enough capacity to make all the blackheads to stick to it. I could even see the tiny holes they did in it where they were supposed to be stuck. And the blackheads in my nose looked blacker than ever.
I rinsed my face to remove the remains of the mask. Then the thoughtful moment arrived: “if this mask is actually not leaving the pores completely free of what is stuck in them, what’s the point of closing the pores by tightening them up with the step 3 if they weren’t even open in first place and the blackheads are still there?“
But I said to myself: “myself, do the third step anyways, doesn’t matter if y’all didn’t see instant results as this mask promises, but don’t let it make you think you’re the one to blame for not following the instructions step by step“, so I ended up doing the 3rd step anyways.
I used this mask for 4 nights straight. Crazy me thought I was going to have better luck with time.I didn’t. I got the exact same results every friggin’ time. I went to the same sponsored ad (which btw is gone from my activity log and useless me forgot to save it to see later) and let them know what happened and the person running the page at that moment told me to 1) cleanse the face with step 1, 2) apply the mask… I told them they were insane if they thought I was gonna get different results out of something I already tried 4 times following the same instructions. It is like expecting a strawberry cake coming out of the oven when what you put to bake was batter to make a chocolate cake, if that makes any sense (although I don’t think it does for y’all, but I like cake very much I couldn’t think about a better analogy for this).
And as I said, good thing it was just $12… wait, nobody gives me $12 dollars just because! Then after putting it in that perspective, yes, there were $12 useful dollars that went down the drain for purchasing this….thing.
As always, what doesn’t work for me could work for y’all and vice versa. So lets share them results in the comments if y’all ever tried this product or alike, maybe I’m really useless and this actually works! Let me know!