With this being my favourite face mask, and having raved about it in both my October Favourites and Current Skincare Routine videos on Youtube, as well as my Top Ten Hero Products of 2012 video, I was sure that I'd already written a rave review on here to share this little treat with you. But when asked about this mask during the bbloggers chat on Twitter this Wednesday, I went in search of the link, only to find that I'd made a huge faux pas and not given this gem the write up it deserved.
So, in light of that, I thought it was probably time to rectify the situation and share my thoughts.
A bit of background on Origins as a brand.
Their products are formulated with cerified natural and organic ingredients, as well as 100% natural essential oils, and without parabens, phthalates, mineral oils and other nasties. They also manufacture using a combination of renewable resources, wind energy and earth-friendly practices.
If you're a regular reader then you'll know that I'm a huge fan of natural and naturally derived skincare, which is one of the reasons I love this brand as much as I do.
The Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask is a detoxing mask designed to give your pores a good, deep-down clean, removing all the dirt and debris deposited by environmental pollutants that leave the skin looking less than its best. Containing the active ingredient charcoal, which acts like a magnet to draw out pore-cloggers, this mask also packs white clay to absorb pollutants, and lecithin, which will help to dissolve any impurities.
Having felt quite let down by many a face mask in the past, repeatedly feeling that they hadn't lived up to their claims, I was keen to give this one a go and see if it could impress.
Well, it certainly did that.
The product itself is thick in consistency, and comes in a transparent plastic tube, making it easy to squeeze out the amount you want. It is unscented, meaning it smells like most clay masks - in my opinion, not the most pleasant of aromas, but I'm glad to know that I'm putting something fairly natural on my skin as opposed to something packed full of additives. In order to get the best results, Origins advise that you steam the skin before use, opening the pores and making them more receptive to the active ingredients. You can do this by either popping a towel over your head and standing over a bowl of boiling water, or simply by laying a hot wash cloth over your skin for a while beforehand. I must admit, I do prefer the former method, as I find that it yields far more impressive results.
Next, you pop a thick layer of the mask onto the skin, avoiding the eye area, as always. The product takes about ten minutes to dry, hardening a great deal in the process - so much so that I struggle to move my facial muscles at all with it on. Personally, I rather like that, as I feel that it's really getting to work on my skin.
To remove, soak a wash cloth in hot water and lay it over your face, allowing it to soak up the charcoal mask. This will require repeating a fair few times, but is the best way to remove the product as it will have left your skin feeling quite sensitive, meaning scrubbing it off is not advisable. I do usually use a clean cloth to remove any remaining residue in the end, before popping on some toner and moisturiser to finish.
The results of this mask are quite incredible compared to anything else I've used, leaving pores I didn't even know were blocked suddenly looking clean as a whistle. I love the look and feel of soft, smooth, purified skin it leaves me with, and it has fast become a weekly staple in my skincare routine, helping to keep any nasty toxins at bay and avoid blemishes and breakouts. Any excess oil is absorbed, and pores appear toned
The one thing this couldn't do for me was completely clear the stubborn blocked pores on my nose, which have been lurking around since time began, but is does make them vastly easier to remove manually (sorry, I know it's not the most pleasant of thoughts!). I usually do this after removing the mask, and before toning.
In all, this is a fabulous mask, and one I will buy again and again. I would highly recommend it to anyone wanting to give their skin a really good detox, or who is tired of disappointing clarifying masks.
Final rating: 9/10