I've always loved playing with clay, especially when it means making is a healthy, smooth complexion on my face. When I heard about the black clay mask by FIG+YARROW specifically geared towards oily, acne-prone skin, I decided to give it a shot. Not only do I love clay, but I also happen to have a particular affection for face masks in my beauty routine. The sign of a good face mask is if it doesn't cause irritation (I hope you know by now to do a test patch), an eruption of pimples, or excessive dryness. This black clay mask is made from charcoal and palmarosa essence, two ingredients I had yet to put directly on my face... until now.
Introducing new products can always be a little nerve-wracking; we've all heard that using new products can cause your skin to breakout, due to all the impurities you'll purge. However, in a 2011 interview with Beautylish, NYC dermatologist Dr. Anne Chapas assures us that this misconception is completely false. We have kidneys and livers to flush out impurities. Our skin isn't interested in doing the job of other organs because the skin has a very important job of its own: Blocking free radicals and toxins seeping into our pores in the first place.That being said, since I'm allergic to a stupid amount of natural things on this planet, I still had to build up the courage to break away from my trusty masks and activate my new charcoal clay mask.
So, what's the big deal with using charcoal for skincare these days? Well, charcoal is carbon made from the absence of oxygen and when you activate it WITH oxygen, you get more than a set of tasty ribs. According to sources at How Stuff Works, activated charcoal can block carbon-based impurities. This makes for one helluva mask. I don't want to be a gossip, but sometimes my face is incredibly lazy when it comes to keeping out impurities on its own, so I can always use the help of an activated charcoal mask to help my skin do its job.
The mask comes in powder form so, when Mask Monday rolled around, I activated my charcoal with jasmine green tea. Unlike other powder masks I've tried, this one didn't form a thick paste, so if you're working with charcoal for the first time, don't get crazy by adding way more powder than you need. Two great things came from using this mask: 1. I was able to take about 20 creepy selfies. 2. My oil production felt like it was under control the entire day afterward. Finally, street lights weren't reflecting off my forehead!
If you are looking for a serious oil-controlling mask that won't end in serious tragedy, I definitely say spring the $18 this clay mask runs for on Fig+Yarrow's website. The only warnings I have is to make sure you haven't just painted your nails white — the charcoal will ruin your manicure!
Image: Fig & Yarrow, KristinCollinsJackson