It’s gentle enough for use in the winter, too.

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I’ve Tried More Than A Dozen Charcoal Masks and This Is Still My Favorite
Credit: Instagram/@origins

I like to think I was an early adopter of the self-care movement. In elementary school, I insisted on weekly spa nights, complete with cucumber slices on my eyelids, an excessively fuzzy robe, and a mud mask slathered on my skin. The green, goopy mask was, of course, purely for aesthetic reasons. It was glamorous! And I loved it. But as my teenage years crept up and real-deal acne made its dreaded appearance, my face masks from Limited Too became a thing of the past as a routine of Proactiv and the like took their place out of necessity.

That said, I’ve always loved the little bit of luxury one can add to the everyday and I’ve remained a face-mask loyalist. Since, thankfully, my acne has subsided aside from hormonal bouts every few months and times I (regrettably) sleep in my makeup, I mostly just need a mask to keep my pores de-gunked and other things in check, which is why I favor charcoal masks. It’s safe to say I’ve tried just about every face mask, pore mask, and scrub with charcoal in its formula on the shelves of Sephora and beyond, and can say Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask is the only one I swear by.

Living in a city with toxins galore, I find my pores are clogged up more often than not, and it happens fast. Formulated with the holy grail of detoxifiers, bamboo charcoal, it’s a relief to know that I can always count on this $26 mask to reset my complexion. By essentially acting like a magnet to deep clean out the impurities, dirt, and oil that decided to move into my pores, the mask makes a noticeable difference, even by using it just once a week.

What I love most about the Origins mask is its gentle nature. Its powerhouse detoxifying properties are balanced with gentle white clay, which stimulates circulation to the skin, exfoliates, and cleanses without stripping it of much-needed oils. I’ve found that this mask is the only one that’s suitable for consistent use during winter when my sensitive skin is at its driest. While other masks I’ve used in the past have left my skin dry and red, causing a slippery slope of skincare woes, this one never leaves it feeling dried out or irritated.

The cucumber slices may be a little too extra for me these days, but I’m happy to report my ‘spa nights’ still consist of self care in the form of a holy-grail charcoal mask once a week. I either apply an even layer of it straight out of the shower when my pores or open or use my steamer for a little more oomph. Each time, I can count on washing off the dried clay to reveal a clearer, gunk-free complexion, so it’s safe to say I’ll never detour from the tried-and-true staple.

Shop the one face mask I buy on repeat on Nordstrom right now.

Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores
Credit: Courtesy

Shop now: $26;