Activated charcoal is one of those hero ingredients that we can’t get enough of here at Refinery29 — and we certainly use the beauty products to prove it. From deep-cleansing face masks that reset our complexion after accidentally falling asleep in our makeup (yes, it happens) to acne-fighting pore strips that banish any pesky oncoming breakouts, our top shelves are stacked with more than a few detoxifying charcoal buys.
That being said, we asked our fellow R29 staffers to dish on their all-time-favorite charcoal beauty picks from
CVS. Because with the stress and long days that come with the busy fall season, we need all the at-home TLC we can get. Check out the spa-worthy charcoal products they swear by ahead — from purifying shampoos to cleansing micellar water — and bookmark this page for your next trip down the beauty aisle.
“I love using this K-beauty mask to reset my skin after a particularly stressful week. I’ll apply and let it dry for a few minutes, then enjoy the most fun part: taking it off. Working from one side, I’ll peel the thin layer off my face in one gradual go — literally pulling out any impurities from my pores. Trust me on this one: It’s weirdly, insanely satisfying.” —Jen Anderson, lifestyle writer
Peach and Lily Charcoal Crystal Peel Off Mask, $9.99, available at CVS
“I honestly didn’t know what to expect from a bubble sheet mask. It looks like every other sheet mask, but then it starts to foam and bubble — making my face feel like it’s covered in little Champagne bubbles. After just 15 minutes, my face is clean and refreshed, without feeling stripped or dry. Not to mention, it also makes for a great impromptu IG Story filter.” —Emily Mannix, associate director, talent castings and partnerships
Masque Bar Masque Bar Oxygen Bubble Bamboo Charcoal Sheet Mask, $3.49, available at CVS
“I love products that are multipurpose — and this guy provides not two but
three different services. How killer is that? I love how this face wash, scrub, and mask really clears out my pores and caters to my oily complexion. My skin always feels amazing after using it.” —Anissa Richmond, supervising producer, branded video Garnier Garnier SkinActive Charcoal 3-in-1 , $7.99, available at CVS
“I’ve used charcoal
everything: face masks, washes, toothpaste — you name it. It seems only natural, then, that my next charcoal obsession would be shampoo. I am always looking for ways to give my hair and scalp a good detox after product overload, and the fact that this one is color safe is an additional bonus.” —Isabella Alesci, associate photo editor Herbal Essences Herbal Essences Bio:Renew Detox Black Charcoal Shampoo, $6.99, available at CVS
“This is the perfect travel face mask to help de-stress my skin and rejuvenate my natural glow. I love the compact size, which makes it an easy grab for any girl on the go. The stick packaging also makes for a
way less messy application, which any bathroom sink will appreciate.” —Lilac Perez, associate casting director Olay Olay Mask Stick, $12.99, available at CVS
“Adding this charcoal cleanser to my beauty regime has been a complete game changer. I love that it makes my skin feel squeaky clean while also clearing up and preventing any low-key breakouts. The built-in brush is an added bonus that I didn’t even know I needed! Next on my charcoal endeavors: charcoal toothpaste.” —Hannah Bullion, associate social media editor
Yes To Tomatoes Charcoal Oxygenated Foaming Cleanser, $9.99, available at CVS
“Whenever the season changes, my skin tends to freak out a bit. I’ll use this clarifying charcoal mask to give my complexion a little extra love, rid my pores of any dirt or bacteria, and gently even out my skin’s texture. It’s perfect for a wind-down activity at night or on a Sunday afternoon with a good book in hand. I’m feeling Zen just thinking about it.” —Carolyn Negri, associate project manager
JOAH Skin Polish Charcoal Wash Off Mask, $5.99, available at CVS
swear by micellar water for giving me a deep cleanse without ever leaving my skin feeling tight or dry, and this charcoal option from Bioré is particularly top-notch. The activated charcoal leaves my pores feeling ultra fresh, gets rid of any and all traces of makeup, and gives me that natural, lit-from-within glow when I’m done.” —Paulina Canini, senior project manager Biore Charcoal Cleansing Micellar Water, $7.99, available at CVS
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