Three Really Good Face Masks for Congested Skin

Blocked pores and bumpy skin texture are daily struggles for those of us with more oily skin. To be fair, it’s on the less traumatic end of the acne scale but it can be frustrating nonetheless, and luckily it’s fairly easy to treat. Ingredients like salycilic acid, glycolic acid and other gentle exfoliants are a great way to reduce and prevent clogged pores, but a good blackhead-busting face mask can also be wonderfully effective. Here are three of my favourites:

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

One of Dermalogica’s latest releases is this clay-and-charcoal-packed exfoliating mask which adsorbs impurities like a magnet while polishing the skin with a combination of super-gentle volcanic ash, sea silt, bamboo extract and AHAs. It detoxifies the skin and helps to brighten so if you suffer from dullness this is definitely for you. It also contains “Chilean wild mint” (fancy!) which tingles ever so slightly and leaves you skin feeling really fresh. As far as Dermalogica’s pricing goes, I think this is one of the better value (and more worthwhile) products in the range. Check out this post to see what else I rate from the brand.

Price: R790

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Purifying Polishing Mask

The Body Shop Chinese Ginseng & Rice Clarifying Polishing Mask

If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to the Dermalogica mask, this new one from The Body Shop is worth a look. It has a similar, slightly grainy texture (but not so scrubby that it’s harsh on the skin) and is formulated without parabens, paraffin, silicone or mineral oil. Made from a glycerin (hydrating) and kaolin (purifying) base, with ginseng (improves skin tone), salicylic acid (exfoliating) and rice extract for grit, it’s a crowd-pleasing glow-getter at a great price. Also check out the rest of the “Recipes of Nature” range, which includes a Himalayan Charcoal mask that’s next on my shopping list.

Price: R300

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Last, but certainly not least, is this skincare classic which totally lives up to the hype; if you’ve ever wondered if it’s as good as they say, trust us, it is. There are a few reasons that I love this mask: firstly, it’s got a lovely, rich, cooling texture so it feels luxurious to apply. Secondly, it contains all of the big guns you would expect: bamboo charcoal (absorbs 100-200 times its weight in impurities), white China clay (deals with environmental toxins) and lecithin (softening and soothing). Thirdly, it works! Not only does it free your face of clogged pores but it’s also amazingly anti-inflammatory, reducing redness and calming angry spots instantaneously. It is well worth trying to get your hands on, even though you have to source it overseas. Origins is available from and delivery to SA is free. Just saying.

Price: £24

What other purifying and detoxifying face masks have you tried and would recommend?

*PR samples