In my mid-twenties, I had to come to terms with a difficult truth. At some point around age 25, my skin took a turn for the worse. My once blemish-free, pale Irish skin was suddenly a ticking time bomb of irritation, with random red dots and a forehead prone to bumpiness. To make matters worse, my skin is combination, with both oily patches and spots of dryness. Until then I’d never had to do more than splash some water on my face and keep on moving, but suddenly, I had to figure out how to take care of my increasingly finicky skin.
But luckily, I discovered the wonders of charcoal. It might sound a little la-di-da Annie Hall, but charcoal works miracles on my face. So when Ayelet Naturals asked if I’d like to try out a new activated charcoal face mask, I was over the moon! They also sent along a bar of charcoal soap, which smelled of lavender and was just a little exfoliating. For the past month, I’ve been using both as directions dictate, and I’m excited to share my experience.
Ayelet Naturals specializes in holistically formulated, all-natural beauty and skincare products. All ingredients are certified organic and food-grade. Their products are also designed to be immune boosting and preventative in nature, minimizing damage to skin by cutting down on irritation and inflammation.
The new Clarifying Activated Charcoal Mask ($40) includes zinc and willow bark, and is formulated to exfoliate and penetrate skin for a deep clean. Charcoal absorbs impurities and whisks them away from the skin, leaving your face totally fresh. Although this face mask smelled a little like pumpkin seeds, I could barely wait to try it out.
For those with combination skin, it can be hard to find products that strike the right balance between deep cleaning for oily spots and gentle washing for areas prone to dryness. A couple years ago I started using Lush’s Dark Angels face scrub on a daily basis, another charcoal product that worked well for my skin. But I wasn’t sure how a mask, which is left on the skin for 15 minutes before being wiped away with cold water, would agree with my skin. Would it be too much? Would it actually clog my skin?
In the case of Ayelet Naturals’ Activated Charcoal Mask, the answer was no. After wiping away the dark mask, which is allowed to dry on the skin, my face was bright, clear, and so soft I couldn’t stop touching it. I used the mask once a week, as directions suggest, and found that my skin reacted well every time. I wrapped up with a light, Lush facial moisturizer, and couldn’t be happier with how my skin felt.
The soap ($7), on the other hand, I used every day. Made with activated charcoal, olive oil, and essential oils like lavender, the bar smells amazing and is formulated for a deep clean that doesn’t leave skin too dry. It also features a genius groove so that it fits right in your hand.
The first time I lathered up I was surprised by the abrasiveness, caused by the tiny pieces of charcoal in the soap. It left my skin a little red, but as someone who doesn’t usually exfoliate anything but my face, I was surprised by how much deeper the clean was. I did find that it made my skin a little dry, but that was easily remedied with moisturizer when I got out of the shower.
If you’re struggling with combination skin, I would definitely recommend Ayelet Naturals Activated Charcoal Mask and Activated Bamboo Charcoal Soap, or other charcoal-based products. My skin feels clean and healthy, with minimized irritation and far fewer blemishes. Charcoal, and now Ayelet Naturals mask and soap, are my personal beauty must-have.