Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Hi guys! I’m having a rough week and I really need to sleep more. It’s just one of those days where I want to curled up in my blanket all day.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask as you might guess is a cleansing mask. I’ve been using this for around 5 months now and here’s how it’s been.

I know most people love this product but I haven’t had a great experience with it. Firstly, I have dry skin so it’s probably a bit too much for me. It’s partly my fault because I didn’t read too many reviews and people with normal/oily skin seem to like it more (although the website mentions that it’s for all skintypes). I spotted the Origins counter at an airport and went into a daze when I bought this…

The mask itself is thick grey coloured paste. You need a coin sized amount which would be enough for the face and neck. Quick quote about how the ingredients work together taken from the website, “Activated Charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, White China Clay absorbs environmental toxins, Lecithin dissolves impurities.”

The first time I used it, I kept it on for 10-12 minutes. Towards the end, I could feel my skin being pulled and it was terribly uncomfortable. When I looked it the mirror, I could literally see my skin, particularly near the laugh lines being stretched horribly. I started splashing water which gave some relief. Also didn’t help that this mask takes a while to come off, even with a washcloth.

This fiasco gave me dry patches and I didn’t touch this mask for the next two weeks. Clearly, I left it on for too long. The next time I tried it, I put on a thicker layer (so it doesn’t dry too quickly) and decided to take it off the minute I felt any mild discomfort. Took it off around the 5 minute mark and thankfully, no excessive dryness. I haven’t used it on my entire face too many times, overall I found it just too drying.

Let’s talk results! I mainly get blemishes around my chin and in the next few days some of them did surface. I also had a few whiteheads, some of which weren’t visible anymore. I didn’t notice a huge brightening effect, it was very subtle. I definitely get a clearer complexion when I use my exfoliating mask, Dermalogica Gentle Cream Exfoliant. It also made the pores appear smaller but again, it’s obviously not something that lasts.

I think the mask is effective but I probably can’t get full use out of it because I keep it on for a little while. I only use it on my chin while I use another cleansing mask on the rest of my face. It’s very constricting which is something I haven’t experienced with other cleansing masks I’ve tried.

It has a nondescript mild earthy scent which I do like. I haven’t really felt a tingle while using this so it’s not very irritating. It comes in a tube packaging which is convenient. I have the 100ml version but you also get a travel size one.

Again, depending on your skintype (normal/oily/combination) you might actually find this great to use. I just just found it too uncomfortably drying. I’m still using this up by targeting it to areas where I tend to be spotty, generally on my chin. That’s worked well for me so far. I won’t be repurchasing this though. The other masks that I’m trying, Alpha-H Pore Refining & Balancing Mask and Aesop Parsley Seed Cleansing Masque are much more suited for my skintype (and effective as well).

Origins Active Charcoal Mask 1

Origins Active Charcoal Mask 2

Origins Active Charcoal Mask 4




Name : Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

Ingredients : Water (Aqua), Myrtus Communis Leaf Water (Myrtle), Kaolin, Bentonite (CI 77004), Butylene Glycol, Montmorillionite, Polysorbate 20, PEG 100 Stearate, Charcoal Powder, Xanthan Gum, Lecithin, PEG 150 Distearate, Propylene Glycol Stearate, Sorbitan Laurate, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol Laurate, Simethicone, Caprylyl Glycol, Ethylhexl Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Trisodium EDTA, Dehydroacetate Acid, Phenoxyethanol

Product Amount : 100ml

Price : $25

Available from : Origins,, Elitify

Final Rating : 3/5

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
  • Divya

    Dude! I have dry skin and the reason why most clay masks are a pain to use for me! The trick is to slightly wet your face with one of those thermal spray water(s) and apply the mask on damp face then if it tends to get top dry and you need to keep it longer, spray some water on top! I do this with “stronger” clay masks like Aesop’s Chamomile Concentrate mask ad it works like a charm! Also Parsley Seed Masque (Yes I raving about it again!) works really well with dry skin but a little thermal water spray is always welcome! Try it! :-)


    • Xuvious

      I generally do the hot-washcloth-over-the-face massage before I use a mask so it’s usually damp anyway.
      My chin isn’t dry, so the weird skin pulling doesn’t happen there and I can safely use it. Still, it’s less of a hassle to use an all over the face product and I’m glad I finally bought the Aesop one. :)

  • Linda Libra Loca

    I can Imagine these ingredients being a little too drying. Have you tried the Clarins Clay Mask? Can’t remember the exact name now, but is is very hydrating despite being a purifying mask.
    Let me know How the Alpha-H works for you, I love so many of their products.

    • Xuvious

      Ohh, I haven’t heard about the Clarins one, will take a look. :)
      I like the Alpha-H one. Very strong lavender scent. For me it’s a more intense version of the Aesop one but still not very drying.

      • Linda Libra Loca

        I reviewed the Clarins one on my blog last year somewhen.
        I never tried the Aesop, so I can’t compare.

  • Kiss & Make-up

    I have a love-hate relationship with clay mask… I love that it cleans my pore but I hate that it dries out my skin. I wonder how my skin would respond to this mask.

    • Xuvious

      Since you have dry skin I Aesop or Alpha-H is the way to go. I haven’t really tried any other. :)

      • Kiss & Make-up

        My skin isn’t dry but definitely dehydrated.

  • nausheen

    I don’t wanna dry out my skin.

    • Xuvious

      Wouldn’t recommend this for dry skin.

  • Corinne C

    I really want to try this but I’m a bit scared of the drying aspect of it!

    Corinne x

    • Xuvious

      I’m not sure of the skintype but if you don’t have dry skin, I think it’ll be fine. :)

  • Sunny @Mostly Sunny

    Ouch, I’m so sorry to hear this didn’t work out that well for you! I tried this years ago (when I was in college), and I remember liking it. I have no idea how my skin will react now that I am older and living in a drier/colder climate tho. Glad to hear you have found other stuff that works great in the meantime! Nowadays, the only clay type of mask I like is the Omorovicza one. I can leave it on for half an hour, and still it wouldn’t dry my skin out!

    • Xuvious

      Half an hour?! Wow, that’s great! I haven’t tried Omorovicza and it’s a bit too expensive but the other day I was looking at the gift set with a bunch of their products, I might try it sometime in the future. :)

  • fiona furtado

    I do have the same mask Advaita and I agree it’s a tad bit drying but apply it on moist face this was the trick told by Kiehls SA for their deep pore cleansing mask. Not only is it easy to apply but you end up using a lot less product.

    • Xuvious

      Yep, I keep my face damn before masks in general but this was just too drying. I find it alright to use on my chin because it’s not dry at all. :)

  • Kristen / Glambunctious

    As someone with oily skin, this sounds like a great product for the warmer months but I could see it being a very painful test-drive for someone with dry skin! Ouch!

    • Xuvious

      Yes, I think that’s where it gets all the praise but just wrong for my skintype.

  • Jessica

    this is a classic example of cult beauty products not working for everyone, and it’s so important to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t so there’s always going to be a learning curve with some products. i’ve not tried that alpha-h mask but i’ve got the aesop one as well as origins and i think the aesop one will suit drier skins better because it’s definitely more gentle. one way i do like to use the origins mask that might work for you is just as an overnight spot treatment when i’ve got a blemish because it sucks up all the gunk and really reduces the inflammation by the morning – worth a try!

    jessica –

    • Xuvious

      True but I find a lot of conflicting reviews even for people with dry skin! My chin generally isn’t dry, so I find it alright to use there.
      Thanks for the tip, I’ll try it next time! :)

  • Miss Makeup Magpie

    I’ve been wanting to try this for such a long time but I love my GLAMGLOW so much that I’ve not tried it yet, maybe I won’t now :) xx

    Gemma |

    • Xuvious

      Ohh, Glam Glow reviews make it sound pretty spectacular! I guess if you don’t have much trouble with clay masks in general, you will like this. :)

  • Krithi Marla

    U might like it during summer gal
    I agree this may not be d best normal skin
    I’m liking IT though :)))

    • Xuvious

      Possible but in general I find it ok to you on chin and neck. Will stick to that for now. :)

  • Jennifer Monforton

    Ah, sorry this wasn’t a great experience! I’ve found this mask fun to use, yet it’s drying, even on my oilier skin. I can understand why it’s not your favourite!

    • Xuvious

      Ohh, didn’t realize it did that for oily skin too. I finding it ok to use on my chin and neck though. :)

  • Natasja

    I have not tried many clay masks… but ever since I got rosacea on my face I’ve been avoiding as many products for on the face as possible. If I were to get a mask, I’d probably go for natural products (so a DIY). Have you ever done that? I’m sorry to read this wasn’t for you.

    • Xuvious

      When it comes to DIY the only one I usual regularly is a turmeric one. It’s great for brightening and getting rid of a tan. :)

  • Jaa

    Skin pulling?! Ouch! I’d so totally freak out if that ever happens to me! xD At least your skin recovered with some improvements so it’s not a wasted effort. I’m not big on clay masks since they tend to dry out my skin too much. :)

    • Xuvious

      Oh god I was so worried! I spent an hour staring at my skin. I’m glad I’ve found better options though. 😉

  • Pingback: Alpha-H Balancing and Pore Refining Mask()