One skincare problem I always get asked about is how to clear blocked pores. The Charcoal Spa range from Lacura helps solve the problem of finding products that work and that are affordable. The range consists of a Lacura Charcoal Mud to Foam Cleanser (£5.99), Lacura Charcoal Clearing Mud Mask (£5.99), Lacura Charcoal Micellar Water (£1.99) and Lacura Charcoal Face Wipes (£1.29); each priced under £6 and the whole set is available for £15.26.
Blocked pores are usually due to over active sebaceous glands, so it’s important to cleanse the skin daily and use warm water as that dissolves oil. Those with oily skins don’t like to moisturize as they hate the feel of oil on the skin, but they must do so, because if they don’t the skin feels it needs to produce more oil, and that leads to oily skin especially on the cheeks and enlarged pores. The trick is to keep the pores clean and, and not to over use harsh products, and to use a very light moisturizer as well as a skin tonic (toner) so the skin doesn’t feel hydrated. If you live in a city, most people will get blocked pores from the pollution and dust, so I do advocate a double cleanse each night to keep the pores as clean and clear as possible.
The range is suitable for those with oily/combinations skins, and who have blocked pores, so not all products are suitable for those with sensitive skin due to AHAs in some items. Among the ingredients are charcoal and clay, which helps to extract toxins (excess sebum) in the skin, while coconut, and bamboo extract soothe the skin, and eucalyptus oil is an stringent that helps to matify the skin.
The charcoal mud to foam cleanser costs £5.99 for 150ml, and removes makeup, so can be used day and night. It also contains AHAs (glycolic and lactic acids), which help to exfoliate the skin, so remember to use sunscreen if you use this product as the skin can become more sun sensitive. Add warm water to a small amount in the palms of the hands to create a lather and apply to the face, then rinse off and pat dry.
The charcoal micellar water comes in a value sized 400 ml bottle priced at £1.99 and has a lovely fresh scent. The mixture of charcoal and micelles (the cleansing bubbles) help to withdraw and pull out dirt and toxins from the skin, and also handily removes waterproof mascara.
I tried this and found I needed two applications for a thorough cleanse, but afterwards my skin felt fresh and there was no sticky residue afterwards (which some micellar waters leave). I don’t usually advocate micellar waters as cleansers, but this is excellent value compared to similar products and is ideal for those who are in a rush, or who don’t have hot water to cleanse. I even used this in the morning to see how effective it was, and it was excellent for a quick cleanse. I can see myself using this more often during the summer months when it’s humid, and when the skin needs more frequent quick cleanses.
The charcoal facial wipes cost £1.29 for pack of 25 cloths, and are perfect for traveling, the gym, or for late nights when you are too tired to cleanse. They are generously impregnated with the same micellar water formula, and the cloths are strong and sturdy, and one is enough for a thorough cleanse. It also contains chamomile to soothe, and witch hazel an astringent that helps tighten the pores, which in oily skins can be enlarged.
The charcoal clearing mud mask is a dupe of a well-known brand and costs £5.99 for a 50 ml jar. Use it up to twice a week, to help clear blocked pores and keep excess sebum at bay. It’s quite strong, so this isn’t one for those with sensitive skin so I advise doing a patch test as it does contain AHAs. The active ingredients such as clay, and charcoal will help extract sebum, and I can smell liquorice in it, which is another ingredient that helps to purify the skin.
Apply the mask to dry cleansed skin no more than twice a week, and leave on for 5-10 minutes. You’ll feel a slight tingling, and then the mask hardens. If you only have an oily t-zone, only apply to that area. Rinse off thoroughly, I recommend using a facial sponge to get into the nooks and crooks of the face and your skin will feel smoother and it does give a matte appearance. This is a great treatment for problem skin, and remember to moisturize afterwards, otherwise the skin may think it needs to create more oil so it doesn’t feel dry.
*Remember to use a SPF daily (I would recommend SPF30) if you use products with AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) as they may make the skin more sun sensitive even if you only use the mask in the evening.
This is an affordable and excellent range for teenagers, those with spots, and who have oily skins. Some items are available online (some have sold out) and are available in Aldi stores while stocks last, and there are triple packs of the facial wipes and micellar waters available.
**PR samples sent for review purposes.