I managed to get my hands on a sample sachet of Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque, as I wanted to compare this to Freeman Beauty’s Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask. Both of these masks (or masques) contain activated charcoal which powerfully draws out excess oil and impurities in the skin.
In addition to the activated charcoal, Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque contains volcanic ash, sea silt, bamboo extract, sulphur and alpha hydroxy acids to brighten and exfoliate skin, Niacinamide calms the skin and combats redness while reducing congestion, Chilean Wild Mint Leaf extract helps to refine pores and improve skin texture.
The sample sachet was big enough for a single use (the full sized masque is packaged in a white plastic 75ml tube with a charcoal grey flip top lid). The masque has a smooth, slightly grainy consistency and dries quite quickly so you have to be quick when spreading it on the skin.
The masque needs to be applied to freshly cleansed skin. Apply it generously with your fingertips (or a foundation brush) to your face and throat, avoiding the eye area. Leave the masque on for 7 to 10 minutes before wetting your fingertips and lightly massaging your face to exfoliate it. Rinse the masque off and apply moisturiser.
According to Dermalogica’s website, this masque can be used up to four times a week, but personally, I feel that that’s too often and it will start to really dry out even the oiliest skin causing further problems like excessive dryness or skin overcompensating and producing even more oil. I tend to exfoliate and use a mask only once or maybe twice a week, otherwise my skin does go into ‘overdrive’ and produces even more oil and I tend to break out.
At the time of writing this post, Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque (75ml tube) was retailing for $89 and Freeman Beauty Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask (175ml tube) was retailing for $10.
So, to compare the two, Freeman Beauty Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask comes in a bigger tube, is more affordable, is available from selected online retailers (smaller sachets are available in selected pharmacies and department stores), is suitable for all skin types, contains activated charcoal which adsorbs (attracts and holds onto) excess oil and impurities as well as black sugar for exfoliation. It has a thick, sticky consistency with large sugar particles and is little messy to apply and difficult to spread but it remains ‘wet’ while on the skin and there is no dry feeling once it’s washed off.
Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque comes in a smaller tube, is more expensive, is available from selected pharmacies, salons and online retailers, is suitable for all skin types, contains activated charcoal which adsorbs (attracts and holds onto) excess oil and impurities as well as volcanic ash and sea silt for exfoliation. It has a smooth, slightly grainy consistency with tiny exfoliation particles and is easy to apply and spread but dries like a clay mask, so work quickly.
Both masks feel warm on the skin when first applied and when they are wet and gently massaged onto the skin afterwards to exfoliate. Both wash off easily with warm water and leave the skin feeling smooth, clean and soft. The Dermalogica masque left my very oily skin feeling dry and chalky after use and I had an urge to wash my face with foaming cleanser to try and get rid of this feeling.
To be honest, in this case, expensive doesn’t necessarily mean better. The Freeman Beauty mask works just as well as the Dermalogica one, its more affordable, you get a bigger tube and it isn’t as drying on the skin. It all comes down to a the matters of personal preference; sticky paste vs smooth paste, the feel on your skin and how much money you can afford to spend on a face mask.
Personally, I won’t be buying or recommending the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque.