Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Mask 3.4 fl oz

I’m a big fan of charcoal-based products and was very pleased to test Michael Todd True Organics Charcoal Detoxifying Facial Mask ($34) when TIA offered it. I was especially pleased to learn that this treatment targets dry, mature, and sensitive skin. I was not disappointed. This is a very nice and effective product that provides deep but gentle cleansing; and the addition of hydrators, vitamins and antioxidants means it never leaves the skin feeling dry or out of sorts. So it’s a bit of a two-fer as a mask, both nourishing and cleansing.

It’s recommended for use two to three times a week, so a bottle (it’s an unfussy purple plastic pump bottle) will clearly last a while – I’ve just been using a few pumps spread across face and neck with each application. It’s a moderately textured, not particularly thick grayish-lavender glop, and spreads easily. It has a distinctive (and hard to describe) scent, which is faintly medicinal. I used it as directed, allowing it to absorb for about 15 minutes and then rinsing it off and finishing with my usual night and eye creams.

I was a bit doubtful that it could deliver the results I’ve seen from other charcoal products, which are very deep cleaning. I’m a very long-time fan of Japanese charcoal cleansers. And by coincidence, I’d recently purchased the terrific new Osmotics Micro Peel System ($86), a three-part protocol that starts with a charcoal mask (and goes on to a gentle exfoliator and then a soothing cream). But the Michael Todd Mask was duly cleansing – I really noted that pore-cleaning, minimizing effect. And, yes, due to the various oils, vitamins, and extracts, this aloe-based mask is also hydrating, so that the effect afterwards is very comfortable, smooth, and refreshed.

The brand was new to me, so I did look at its website to learn a bit more. Michael Todd True Organics (obviously) makes a point to use organic ingredients and, while the products may not boast unique ingredients or formulations, there’s a long list covering every skincare category, skin type, and need. All at moderate price points. Simply put, this looks like a line worth exploring.

I will certainly be glad to use up the rest of the Charcoal Detoxifying Mask, and will probably re-up as well. I suspect that it will be especially useful as the weather turns warmer – a deep cleanser that is this gentle and can be used multiple times during the week will be very welcome.

Ingredients: Aloe Barbadensis (Organic Aloe Vera) Juice, Aspalathus Lineans (Rooibos Tea) Extract, Vegetable Glycerin, Olea Europaea (Organic Extra Virgin Olive) Oil, Emulsifying Wax, Simmondsia Chinensis (Organic Jojoba) Oil, Dimethylaminoethanol (DMAE), Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide Gum), Camellia Sinensis (Green Tea) Extract, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Ascorbyl Palmitate (Vitamin C Ester), DL-Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5), Euterpe Oleracea (Acai Fruit) Pulp Powder, Sodium Hyaluronate (Hyaluronic Acid), Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), Charcoal, Salix Nigra (Black Willowbark) Extract, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Essential Oils