S.W. Basics – Activated Charcoal Mask

Hey People!

Back in April I ordered some skincare goodies from S.W. Basics that I’m just getting around to trying. One of the items I ordered was an assortment of 1 ingredient packets. The set is comprised of 5 packets. Some are face masks, some are moisturizers, all are able to be made into DIY products (if that’s your thing).

*Photo courtesy of SW Basics website

Recently I used the Activated Charcoal mask. Let’s talk about it!

The Application…..

As you can see from the photo, each ingredient in the set comes in it’s own pouch. I found the pouch extremely convenient because for most of the mask, you’ll need to add water (or oil) to activate the ingredient which can then easily be mixed in the pouch.

I chose to keep it simple and just add water. Once mixed, the result was this cool, iridescent black liquid. I used a rubber paddle to apply the product straight from the pouch. It was quick and easy. Since the mask was only two ingredients, water and charcoal, I felt the grittiness of the charcoal however, the mask did not feel harsh on my skin. It applied easily. A little went a long way. And, it dried down quickly.

 The Downside…

I left the mask on for 15-20 to let it completely dry. Since this was a charcoal mask, I was expecting that tightening feeling as the mask dried. If you’ve ever used the Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay, you know the feeling I’m talking about. This mask never gave me that feeling.

Once the mask dried, I noticed little black specks E V E R Y W H E R E! Whenever I moved I saw little black floaties in the air. So I went to the bathroom to investigate in the mirror. What I noticed was, as the mask dried, it started returning to its powdery form. The floaties I was seeing was charcoal powder falling off my face whenever I moved my head or touched my face. It was all over me, my sink, my clothes! Ugh!

Charcoal powder all over my neck after the mask dried

As I washed my face, I noticed a lot of darkness left on my skin, so I went in for a second wash. There was clearly still charcoal residue left on my skin. So, I used toner on a cotton pad to try and remove the remaining residue. The toner, cotton pad duo seemed to work.

Notice, how much residual charcoal was still on cotton pad two. I probably could have gone in with a third cotton round. But, by this time, I’d washed my face twice and went over it with toner twice. As you could imagine my skin was pretty red and semi irritated, so I decided to stop there.

Upon inspection, my pores did not look noticeably smaller. My skin was not noticeably brighter, nor were the blackheads on my nose gone. The only thing I really noticed was my pores did feel decongested. My skin felt like it could breathe. I proceeded with the rest of my skincare routine (serum, moisturizer, oil) and let my skin rest for the remainder of the evening.

I must mention, the paddle I used to apply the mask was stained by the charcoal. I rinsed it multiple times with soap and hot water but it never came completely clean. In addition, trying to wash this stuff off my face was MESSY! Anywhere that water splashed left black speckles. The wall around the sink, the sink counter and of course the sink bowl. Once again, BLACK SHIT EVERYWHERE!

Final Thoughts…

Each pouch in the set supposedly has enough product for one use after which you are suppose to discard. After completely covering my face I still had a lot of product left, so I went in with another layer. Looking back, I think that’s were I messed up. I believe that extra layer is what caused the powdery layer later in the process. I’d suggest splitting the powder BEFORE MIXING to give yourself two uses and avoid using too much product.

I thought the mask was okay. Good, not great. I loved the simplicity of only 1 ingredient but I wanted that tightening feeling. That feeling of all the junk and gunk being sucked out of your pores. I didn’t get that. The look of the mask was more interesting than the results. Not a diss, just fact. With all that said, I would buy the mask again.

Interestingly, S.W. Basics no longer sales this particular mask individually. It’s only available in the assorted set which is $7.99 for 5 packets ($1.60 per pouch). From the website, it looks to me like the brand may be trying to move in a slightly different direction with some of its products. There is a new section dedicated to baby products, there are other new products front and center on the home page which is okay with me. With the brand promoting the new products, the OG products are all on sale! Get you some while supplies last!

If you found this review helpful, let me know in the comment section. If you’ve tried S.W. Basics products, let me know in the comments. If you’re bored and just want to talk about beauty products, let me know in the comments! Also, don’t forget to Like, Share, and Follow. Lastly, while you’re here looking at skincare reviews, check out this one I did on Tata Harper.

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