This open mindedness may explain why my skin is varying degrees of “problematic” at all times, but after decades of trying and failing to put together a royal flush of a skincare regimen, I’ve somewhat resigned myself to the whims of Lady Luck in hopes that I’ll strike on some random winning combination.
And every so often a trump card does indeed come across your desk. The latest for me? Context’s White Charcoal Detox Mask.
The mask is formulated around the key ingredient of Binchotan white charcoal powder, a form of activated charcoal primarily from the Wakayama prefecture of Japan that’s reportedly prized for its ability to remove toxins.
How, you ask? The highly porous nature of the charcoal apparently allows it to absorb dirt and excess oil that intends to do your dermis harm—similar to the way activated charcoal is used to treat poisoning. It’s a shitty-stuff sponge, if you will.
Context goes even harder by adding sodium bicarbonate, which is also purported to absorb excess oil and clean out pores. It’d be reasonable to assume that this two-pronged attack in a mask would leave your skin totally sucked dry, but the addition of glycerin does some serious work on the hydration front—this, coming from someone with extremely thirsty skin.
After applying the mask for 10 minutes and rinsing it away, my skin was left super glowy, hydrated, and presumably, detoxified. And while I’m a big believer in the placebo effect when it comes to some masks touting surprising ingredients, the varied sensations of the Context mask at least give the illusion that it’s doing some fancy footwork.
Out of the jar, the texture of the gel is quite stiff—like a super firm icing. But once you start spreading it on your face, it begins to melt almost immediately, into more of an oil-like texture.
Stranger still, it becomes a bit tingly and creates a warming sensation like—bear with me on this one—someone is breathing on your face. But in a good way.
The warming sensation fades almost immediately, but returns a bit once you apply water to remove it. All of which makes for a curious but oddly fun experience—a little mini drama unfolding on the surface of your face. That it’s so effective at giving you a toxin-free glow at the end makes it even morepleasing.
A two-ounce jar of Context’s White Charcoal Detox Mask costs $45 and can be purchased here.