By: Sherelle McQueen and Ishika Bhatia

Living in such a stressful environment like High School North, skin care is something many students often forget about all together.  A proper skin care routine is not only important for brighter and softer skin, but also helps boost your self-esteem.  Though there are numerous benefits of maintaining healthy skin, teens often have trouble finding the right skin care products, best suited for their skin.  However, the most popular skin enhancing and refining product everyone is starting to use, irrespective of skin type, is a charcoal mask.

Charcoal masks are face masks that contain activated charcoal.  Charcoal is a great natural ingredient because it helps remove the dirt and toxins that build up on your skin, therefore causing acne and blackheads.  These masks have gained many sponsored posts on social media, increasing its popularity rates and encouraging other skin product brands to create variations of the Charcoal masks.  That being said, there are some downsides to this product.  Charcoal powder can possibly damage your skin, because along with removing blackheads and dead skin cells, charcoal also removes the topmost layer of your skin.  To determine which charcoal masks are the best in terms of utilization and results, we experimented with different masks, from different brands.

The first product we tried was Yes to Tomatoes, a peeling charcoal mask available at your local Walmart.  After applying and keeping the mask on your face for 15 minutes, we peeled it off and our faces felt completely smooth. The masks did not irritate our skin, unlike other charcoal based masks, that incorporate various potentially painful or irritable materials, such as bamboo, green tea, black sugar, and avocados.

We also tried another beauty product called Defining Stylez, which is available on Amazon.  We expected it to feel different than Yes to Tomatoes, since we were using a charcoal mask under a different brand.  Nonetheless, this mask was more effective, because it kept our skin refreshed and looking clean, while the Yes to Tomatoes mask, on the other hand, did not change anything visibly and returned our skin to normal after a couple of minutes.

After reviewing two different types of face masks with different ingredients, we came to an agreement that the Defining Stylez charcoal mask was preferred, because its results are much more desirable than that of the Yes to Tomatoes mask.  Yes to Tomatoes and Defining Stylez cost $8.00 and $9.95, respectively.  Though the Defining Stylez mask is a bit more expensive, this mask not only meets our expectations, but surpasses them, leaving our skin looking brighter, softer, and refreshed.



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