10 Best Charcoal Black Masks that clear pores, acne and blackheads

Activated Charcoal has resurfaced in the skin-care community as one of the most hyped ingredients to fight oily skin, acne and particularly blackheads.

If you want to learn more about this skin clarifying ingredient and return radiance back to dull, lackluster skin, you should tune in on this post and try one of the Black Charcoal Masks I have to recommend you, only from trust-worthy brands.

First, let me bring some focus on why you’ll absolutely fall in love with charcoal and share some of its particularities that will be beneficial to your skin care routine. Activated charcoal is the result of common carbon being heated in such a way that it develops a porous surface which helps trap 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities and toxins.

Similarly to its medical use in treating alcohol poisoning, infections, tummy aches and nausea, this ingredient works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and adsorbing them before the bloodstream gets a chance to.

For those of you who missed that lesson in chemistry class and aren’t sitting in your lab coats right now, here’s what that means – adsorbtion, as opposed to absorption – works by electrical attraction, by pulling and binding molecules to its surface.

The theory behind using activated charcoal in your beauty routine is due to its increased ability to attract and absorb dirt, oil, makeup and other impurities that might clog your pores. Aside from this quality that already make black charcoal masks the perfect product for those with oily or combination skin, activated carbon has both antibacterial and antifungal properties, which make it a great ingredient for those who are prone to breakouts, blackheads and blemishes.

Here are the top benefits of using carbon black masks:

Clearing Blackheads

Most of the Activated carbon products out there are peel-off masks, which come in a gel-like consistency and solidify after application. Not only are they fun to use, but they deliver incredibly satisfying results once you peel them off and behold the strip of dirt and blackheads that have been easily removed with the help of carbon.

Sebum Control

Those with oily and combination skin can use activated charcoal as a mask or a facial wash to help draw out impurities and excess sebum. Some products use kaolin and other types of clay that mattify the skin and prevent oiliness throughout the day.

Acne and Blemish Treatment

Black masks have proved to be highly efficient for those that are following a skin treatment to treat acne and blemishes. Not only do most of the products I suggested go hand-in-hand with your treatment, but some actually contain Salicylic Acid, alpha hydroxy acids, plant extracts as well as types of clay that keep breakouts under control, target new blemishes and treat them overnight.

Because you have the added benefit of exfoliating ingredients in some products, dark marks, old acne scars and dead skin cells are also cleared away fasted, pushing through radiant, clear skin.

Pore Reduction

Unclogging pores of debris, blackheads and oil is the only way to visibly reduce the size of the pores that usually tend to appear larger on your T zone and around your nose. Activated carbon is a great ingredient that will primarily target that and improve your skin texture.

Whether you’re fighting off a batch of blemishes, suffering from oily & combination skin, or simply want to unclog your pores and make them appear smaller, there’s a version of black mask that will improve the ailments of your skin.

My TOP 10 Charcoal Black Masks out there are:

Boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment

One of my favorites out there, the Boscia Pore Pudding combines black and white charcoal to maximize results and eliminate blackheads and impurities from your skin. These two are layered in the jar, so you have to mix them together upon application.

The formula also contains Kaolin Clay that gently exfoliates and cleanses without irritating sensitive skin, visibly giving the impression of smaller pores.

It’s a wash-off treatment that slides right off the skin easily with water, but I recommend you use a warmed moist cloth or towel to open pores before you apply it as well as when you remove it. You don’t want to pay the price of clogged sink pipes for unclogging your pores.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

If you’re more into peel off masks and you have combination skin, you’re going to love this, because it will solve most of your skin needs in one go. The charcoal removes dirt and impurities, while absorbing excess sebum on your T zone, while the rosemary leaf extract acts as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, boosting skin clarity, calming redness and blemishes and minimizing the appearance of pores.

And because most of us with combination skin still have to deal with dry patches, fine lines, wrinkles and a dull complexion after we’ve dealt with the issues I mentioned above, the Luminizing Black Mask takes care of that too. Because it’s rich in anti-aging vitamin C, this formula reduces hyperpigmentation and provides radiant, baby soft skin.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

Clinique is one of the masks I most often recommend to those that are a bit intimidated by the black mask phenomenon and have oily skin. This product is grey in color and has a smooth and light texture that is easy to apply in as thin of a layer as you want.

The activated charcoal eliminates any dirt and impurities that clog pores, while the mineral clay absorbs excess oil and has a mattifying effect. Skin feels smooth and pores are visibly more refined. The added benefit for those with oily and very oily skin types is that it does have an impact on excessive sebum.

Peter Thomas Roth Irish Purifying Mask

As always, the PTR option is dedicated to those with sensitive skin that are prone to breakouts and a few other skin imperfections. The purifying black mask is perfect for getting rid of blackheads and helps clear bacterial acne as well.

The mineral-rich Irish moor mud purifies and refines the skin, while the Hijiki Seaweed hydrates and the volcanic ash revitalizes. The formula contains activated charcoal that draws out toxins and impurities, minimizing the look of pores, fine lines and wrinkles. This really is a product for every need, which is why it is so popular.

I recommend you use it before bedtime, as its formula increases circulation and your face will be temporarily flushed after removing it. Follow with a soothing serum or moisturizer to replenish the skin’s protective barrier.

Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal

These creepy but practical sheet masks are preferred if you don’t want to deal with the mess that charcoal masks usually imply. I also think that they are a great idea for those traveling and yearning for a spa day or for those that woke up with a massive pimple on their face before a big event and need a fast solution.

A box of Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist contains 5 single-use sheet masks that are well saturated with activated Korean charcoal, spearmint extract and arginine. Skin is detoxified, pores are clear and appear less visible, blemishes simply vanish within that 20 minute window you just need to leave it on and relax.

Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser

For oily and acne prone skin, this is really something to say Yes to. Combine the power of activated charcoal for cleaning pores of dirt and sebum with 0.5% Salicylic Acid to treat and prevent acne breakouts and blemishes and you’ll get a skincare regimen that you’ve been searching for all along.

On top of that, it contains a soothing botanical blend of tomato, aloe, watermelon, jojoba, pumpkin and chamomile extracts. It’s been so raved by those dealing with blackheads, whiteheads and cystic acne that have used this on its own or together with their prescribed treatment that I really encourage you to try the whole line – cleanser, body soap, mask, the whole jazz…

Fresh Umbrian Clay Purifying Mask

Ideal for all skin types with enlarged pores, Fresh’s proprietary ingredient, Umbrian clay, is a multi-tasking, triple-threat, charcoal-toned treatment that can be used as an instant purifying mask, a deep cleanser or a spot treatment.

It’s formulated with charcoal-toned Umbrian clay that has acne-fighting properties, as well as sandalwood oil, known for its astringent effect. It also contains lavender water and chamomile flower, notable for their soothing and calming effect on the skin, so you’ll get a significantly reduced aspect of your pores, a refined complexion and an even tones skin, without stripping your skin of its protecting oil barrier.

GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment

This facemask has been seriously hyped up on all beauty blogs and with good reason. You’ll notice results from the first try and I highly encourage you to see for yourself how fast it clears acne and helps relieve the dark marks that usually last for weeks on the skin.

The Supermud promises a fresh, clean complexion, regardless of skin type, and it’s addressed to men and women alike. It has a tingling effect that lets you know it’s working, but those of you with sensitive skin shouldn’t be alarmed. It decongests and washes away skin impurities, dirt, blackheads, as well as acne. Although on the costly side, it definitely offers instant results and everyone who’s tried it raves about its magic.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

This myrtle leaf water based mask also contains kaolin, bentonite clays and charcoal to clear acne or blackheads and offer extra oil absorption for those with oily skin. The longer it’s left on, the better, as carbon needs to come into contact with impurities in order to soak them up. I usually leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off.

It’s great for unclogging pores and controlling sebum production as a long term solution. Use it weekly and you might just find yourself in no need of a mattifying face primer. Word of caution – if you have sensitive skin, you might want to test it out before committing to the full package, as there are conflicting reviews on that matter out there. For some it has caused breakouts, while others have no problem with it whatsoever.

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

Targeted towards all skin types, Dermalogica designs a charcoal black mask that can only be named and described as a “rescue masque”. Not only is it formulated to clear skin of acne, and blackheads, but this product also brings back luster to a dull complexion and visibly diminishes the aspect of enlarged pores.

The activated Binchotan charcoal absorbs impurities from the pores, while Sulfur promotes Cell turnover for brighter, radiant skin. It also contains Volcanic Ash, Sea Silt, Bamboo extract and alpha hydroxy acids that contribute to skin exfoliating, thus clearing old acne scars, blemishes and pigmentation marks. Niamicide helps reduce congestion and soothe the skin, while Chilean Wild Mint helps refine pores. I recommend it to everyone with combination skin and/or mature skin; this is truly a great formula.

Those were some of my favorite go-to products when it comes to removing blackheads and clearing acne. I consider these charcoal black masks suitable for different skin needs and conditions, so in order to figure out what suits you best check their formula and decide with the help of this review, as well as previous experience with a brand.

Let me know in the comment section below which black charcoal mask you appreciated the most and share your experience with it so others may learn from it as well.


As a professional make-up artist and beauty enthusiast, Luiza's expertise has become highly prized over the years. As owner of this site, she set her mind to create a publication for those who are focused not just on beauty trends and popular brands, but also on the industry's most well-kept secrets.

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