Charcoal in your skincare? - Garnier’s SkinActive Clean+ Review*

Charcoal is no longer something that you think of when you are planning to host a BBQ - it is now an ingredient that is becoming more and more visible in the skincare aisles at your local grocery, drugstore and department store. My first experience with Charcoal in a skincare product is the Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask. It is something  I have been using now for the past 3-4 years and I'm a fan. I truly believe that my weekly to bi-weekly mask treatments with this product has reduced the amount of oil secreted in my T-Zone. In addition, when I feel a pimple coming out - especially those that feel like it'll feel stubborn and cyst-like I like to spot treat with this mask and leave it on as long as possible, sometimes even overnight. It either brings your pimple to a head faster for extraction, or it eliminates it completely.

Therefore, when Garnier contacted me to give the new cleanser and towelettes a go, I couldn't resist. Below you will find some information regarding each product, as well as my thoughts on whether I like them or not.

For those of you who are not familiar with charcoal as an ingredient in skincare, it is said to reduce acne and improve the health of skin and acts as a detox for your body. It can also be used to whiten your teeth - so don't underestimate this powerful ingredient.

1. Clean+ Shine Control Cleansing Gel
This product is said to remove excess oil and mattifies the skin. This gel cleanser is to be used daily to dissolve dirt, excess oil and makeup - and as it is infused with charcoal, it helps to draw out any impurities in your skin.The site also claims that in one use, the skin is deeply clean and shine free and after 1 week, the skin's clarity is visibly improved and pores are diminished. 

This cleansing gel is probably my least favorite of the two - it did a good job cleansing my skin - any feeling of greasiness was cleansed and washed off. However, I found it very stripping of my skin - maybe because of the menthol component that was added to this cleanser, I found that even if I applied a small amount and with excessive washing - my eyes still felt the menthol-ness and made it a bit sensitive. If you have really oily skin, this might work for you - but as I have combination skin (dry/normal for winter and oily-normal during the other months), this didn't quite work. I will not be repurchasing this.

2. Clean+ Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes
This product is said to instantly draw out pore-clogging dirt, oil and makeup while controlling oil and mattifying the skin. The site says that the soft, breathable towelettes instantly removes pore-clogging dirt, oil and makeup and like the cleanser, it is infused with charcoal to help draw out the impurities trapped in your skin. Just like the cleanser, these towelettes claim that in one use, the skin is deeply clean and shine free and after 1 week, the skin's clarity is visibly improved and pores are diminished.

I love this product! I take it with me to the gym and is effective enough to remove my day's make-up before I get my work-out on. It even gets rid of my mascara (I wear regular mascara, not heavy duty waterproof) but it removes everything else effortlessly. It stays wet for a long time, and has a good seal on the packaging. Nothing is worse than a pack that dries out halfway through. My skin did not look oily or shiny afterwards, but I couldn't comment on the product keeping my skin matte as I started working out soon after and sweat cancels out any of those product claims. 

Overall, I would say that if you were to try one product, definitely try the towelettes. It does not contain that menthol-like property in the gel cleanser, and is really effective and gets the job done. I will definitely be re-purchasing this product next time and keeping it in my gym-bag.

Until next time, XO - M.

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