If you live in Kenya and you regularly browse through this Internet streets, you have probably encountered the Garnier skin active intensive 3 in 1 charcoal mask. Its literally the celebrity of masks. Its impressive the work loreal East Arica has done to make skin care accessible for a lot of us. So this is their flagship product that is found in many states and on the Garnier official store on Jumia. But is it worth the hype?
I have a couple of thoughts on it. To begin with is its ingredients. How it is marketed. So its a wash, scrub and mask. Garnier seems to intimate the fact that its an a three in one product or at least can be used as an all in one product. The most notable of its ingredients are the charcoal, salicylic acid and Kaolin clay. While there is very little evidence to support the efficacy of charcoal in skin care, it remains an ok ingredient just simply because its not harmful.
967132 11 - Ingredients: Aqua / Water, Kaolin, Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Zea Mays Starch / Corn Starch, Decyl Glucoside, Ci 77499 / Iron Oxides Ci 77499 / Iron Oxides, Perlite, Sodium Laureth Sulfate, Peg-7 Glyceryl, Cocoate, Carrageenan, Charcoal Powder, Citric Acid, Phenoxyethanol, Polyglycerin-10, Polyglyceryl-10, Myristate, Polyglyceryl-10Stearate, Propylene , Glycol, Pumice, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Dehydroacetate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sorbitol, Tetrasodium Edta, Tocopherol, Vaccinium Myrtillus Fruit Extract, Xanthan Gum, Zinc Gluconate, Parfum / Fragrance. (F.I.L B182925/1).
I would however argue that its not the real reason this mask seems to be a favorited among us…the unspoken star of the show is arguably Kaolin clay…which works well for oil control and the salicylic acid which helps with clogged pores and exfoliation. Salicylic acid has been praised by those of oily and acne prone skin. Other notables are the zinc gluconate and citric acid. Though their primary use is not for actives on the skin, they can exfoliate and soothe the skin respectively… But lets talk about its use
As a wash
I trie severally to like this product as a wash but I just couldnt. The pellets/ pumice granules that are supossed to be for physican exfoliation do not make it suitable for daily use let alone twice. Every time I tried my skin got really irritated and raw so for a wash it just not it. Is it still a 3 in 1 in that case?
As a scrub
if you are still into physical exfoliation, this product will definitely work great. of course with the addition of the stars of the show…. its nice to scrub while ggettig added benefits. In fact the real reason that this product is still in my arsenal is because it was the first product that my skin started showing signs of improvement after I used it. (actually it was its sister product)
As a mask
Of course this is where the juice is at. Because that’s what everyone uses it for. The Kaolin and Salicylic acid make it an actually beneficial mask to use. That and coupled by the fact that it can work as a little stay on treatment (for the duration of the stay of the mask). Unfortunately, it use as a mask tends to cause the most damage (or have the potential of causing the most damage). This is because of the duality of the product. The pumice pellets as much as they form a good scrub, can be overused in the application of the product as a mask that can lead to damaging the skin barrier.
So how can you use it responsibly to max out the benefits?
I share these simple tips that are not so obvious that can improve your overall experience with the mask.
- Don’t wash your face before masking
When you wash your face before masking, you run the risk of over drying your face. Remember this product is formulated as a as also. It has SLS that is a surfactant and is supposed to help you wash your face. In fact, in the video I demonstrate how the actual product lathers, So no need to wash your face first, Instead just simply apply it to your face and let it sit for the stipulate time.
2. Use it 1-2 times a week
Since the product has elements that make you exfoliate especially physically, its important to give your skin time to heal and rest from damage. Remember over exfoliating runs the risk of destroying the skin barrier which comes with a host of its problems.
3 Don’t leave the mask on for too long
Did you know the mask has a stipulated time of stay on the directions? Check it again next time you use it. It says 5 minutes not 15. This is especially important to prevent over exfoliation and to ensure you easily get the product off, Letting the mask stay for 15 minutes doesn’t make it any more efficient.
4. Use a brush to apply
There are make up brushes and special mask brushes that will make for better application than your fingers. This will prevent you from pre-scrubbing and unnecessarily over exfoliating your face.
Does this sound like a lot of work? Not up for it?
Here are other masks that can give you the same benefits without the potential damage or the effort.