This Charcoal Mask Gave Me A Glowy Complexion Without Drying Out My Skin

Courtesy of Rodan + Fields // Theresa Massony

I own about 100 face masks, all promising myriad benefits: smoother skin (this happens sometimes), shrinking pores (you cannot shrink pores), a totally new complexion (what???), and, of course, glowing skin. While the latter option is usually the easiest result to achieve — slather enough cream on your skin and wipe it away with water, and any complexion will look glowy for, like, three minutes — there's rarely balance. You're either blindingly shiny, or your immediate glow disappears almost instantly. After reviewing Rodan + Fields' RECHARGE Detox Mask, however, I had a new image of glowy skin — one I liked a lot better.

Made with millennial skin (i.e. skin that's youthful, but tired, stressed, and not well-protected) in mind, Rodan + Fields' Detox Mask ($60, Rodan + Fields) goes hard on pulling impurities out of the skin, so it can better reap the benefits of the other RECHARGE products: a cleanser, a moisturizer, and an SPF. Charcoal, a key ingredient in the mask, attaches to things like dirt and other impurities to draw them to the skin's surface. Another key ingredient, volcanic sand, will not, in fact, burn your skin like lava. Instead, it acts as a gentle exfoliator to buff off dead skin cells and give you that elusive ~glow~. Finally, ingredients like mango seed butter, coconut oil, and avocado oil leave you with soft, moisturized skin — a welcomed benefit considering masks with charcoal usually dry your skin out to no end.

The mask's instructions say to use it post-cleanse, but before the other steps in your skincare routine. You should massage a "generous layer," per the Rodan + Fields website, onto your skin let it dry for about five to 10 minutes, and rinse it off with warm water. When I massaged the not-too-thick, but not-too-soupy mask into my skin, I could immediately feel the volcanic sand exfoliating. Because I have notoriously dry skin, I left the mask on for just five minutes, though I probably could've gone a bit longer, given that my skin only felt a smiiiiiidge dry after the mask. (That said, if you have oilier skin, have at it.)

After rinsing off the mask, I immediately noticed a healthy glow, but some of my skin's original redness looked a bit more intense. This is common for me right after cleansing and using most masks, simply because the process of exfoliating and rinsing involves a lot of rubbing on the skin. I gave my skin a quick five minutes to settle, looked back in the mirror, and was pleasantly surprised at the healthy (not sweaty) glow I saw. Here's a before-and-after:

Courtesy of Theresa Massony
Courtesy of Theresa Massony

Overall, my skin just felt clean, but not in a squeaky-clean way that feels tight and unnatural. Once the blotchiness on my cheeks and near my nose started to subside, I noticed an immediate change in how radiant my skin looked and how it felt. Apart from my always-stubborn dry patches around the sides of my nose and between my brows, my skin felt noticeably soft to the touch, and my light glow carried over into the next day. Above all else, this mask did everything it said it would, and I have no choice but to stan believable benefits and noticeable results.