Masks, Origins

Origins Clear Improvements Active Charcoal Mask


Sephora, $23

When Biore strips came out, my sisters and I were sticking them on everything. We hit the clogged pore gold mine one afternoon when we happened upon our dad, snoozing/watching TV, in the living room. The removal of his Biore strip was so disgustingly successful, it has become the stuff of family legend. We never even talk about how the strips went for us, all we remember is that dad had a forest of blackheads on his nose. And that’s how we describe it to each other, “They were like little trees,” we muse, still so impressed after nearly 20 years.

In the genetic lottery, I won my dad’s giant nose and cheek pores. Keeping those bad boys cleaned out is high on my list of skin care priorities. If one of them gets too noticeable, I’ll fuck up my face trying to dig it out. It’s better to take a less violent approach. I’m real delicate, you know?

Since I’ve been using that Fresh Soy Face Cleanser and my Sephora Pore Pad, my skin has actually been really nice. But, although they are far less noticeable, I still have those blackhead creepers hanging out on my nose.

My sick nose. The true test of any product that dares to claim to “clean out pores.”

It’s been my experience that mask like this can be drying, and since I’ve been burned bad before, I hesitated to use it on my entire face. I settled for forehead, nose, chin, and selective spots on my cheeks.

The consistency was really nice. I was expecting something clay-like, similar to that of the Queen Helene Mint Julep Mask. What I got was a product much smoother and creamier than that. It made application very quick and easy. I let it dry for 15 minutes, washed it off, and……it worked great! The pores on my nose were much clearer. Some of them were even empty! That NEVER happens. The skin under the other application areas reached similar levels of success; clear, clean, tightened, but not dry.

Several people have told me that they get scared to use masks like this because it gives them more pimples. I can’t guarantee I can stop that, but I can give you some tips that might help.

  • I always apply my masks after a long shower. The steam in the shower opens your pores and softens all that gross stuff inside them; making it easier for the product to work.
  • Wash your face with cleanser before and AFTER you remove the mask! That way you take off any remaining traces of product residue, and you wash away any of the bacteria or debris that may not have been pulled completely away. I can’t stress this enough. Just wiping, or rinsing off clarifying masks can leave those products in your pores, where they’re still kind of doing their thing, bringing junk up to the skin’s surface but not pulling it out completely. That equals eruptions. We don’t want that. We want that opposite of that.
  • When you’re done, keep those filthy paws off your silky pores. Don’t make me come over there and spank your hands.

After what happened last time I used an Origins mask, I was a little apprehensive, but this one was great! I really liked it a lot. It did what I was hoping it would do, and it didn’t wreak havoc on the more sensitive parts of my face.

Thanks to smart cookie and independent woman, Jaime S. for the killer recommendation.

Buy it HERE