Micelle solutions weren't the only trend in skin care in 2014. Charcoal also become a hot ingredient. While dirty, dark charcoal might at first seem like an unlikely item to include in a beauty product, there is some science behind its use. In addition to being a natural disinfect, charcoal also has amazing absorption properties.
Of all of the new products using charcoal, Biore's charcoal line is likely the most high profile, as it's available in most drugstores and at reasonable prices. While this line is comprised of two products that promise to leave skin "tingly smooth" while purifying and deep cleaning "all 200,000 of your pores," I've only tried out the Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, which I received in my Spark Sessions swag bag.
According to Biore, this cleanser, "Draw(s) out and trap(s) 2x more dirt and impurities than a basic cleanser with this innovative black cleanser that foams white and rinses clean. Infused with Japanese Skin Purifying Technology, this facial cleanser gives you results after just one use!"
I don't disagree with these claims though what I'm agreeing with likely isn't what Biore intended me to agree with. While I don't know about the "2x" figure, my one-month, at-least-once-a-day experience with the cleanser did result in more pore gunk being drawn out of my pores and trapped, right at the very surface.
The cleanser reminded me of various "deep cleansing" masks that I've tried in the past. These masks, like this cleanser, do a good job at softening one's face while drudging up all the dirt and oil and other nastiness that gets stuck inside one's pores. However, for whatever reason, neither these masks or this cleaner can fully clear those pores out. Instead, one has to get in there and manually exact that gunk.
Many (most?) skin and beauty experts will tell you to never do manual pore extractions on yourself as doing so can lead to scarring, infections and blemishes. This is probably good advice that most should follow. But the results of this cleanser make that very to do that since squeezing out those right-at-the-surface blackheads is just so tempting.
I have been manually cleaning out my pores for years and with minimal consequences. Because of that, I sometimes quite liked this cleanser since it gave me plenty of opportunities to clean out my pores. But other times I just wanted the cleanser to do its job and truly deep down clean my skin, without me having to do an extra step, a step that occasionally resulted in dry, flaky skin.
While dryness was sometimes an issue, I only experienced one real blemish while using this product though I suspect that number would be higher if I wasn't regularly, manually cleaning out all the gunk that this cleanser brought to the surface.
This cleanser did rinse off cleaning and easily and did leave my skin feeling fresh (even "tingly") and smooth. Of course, having to manually extract the gunk that the cleanser brought to the surface put a damper on that sensation but hey, once it was all done, my pores were indeed cleaned out.
Would I buy this product: No. Doing manual extractions on your skin is something that should only be done every now and then. This product was causing me to do them too often, which resulted in some dryness. Because of that, I won't be using this product as a daily face wash. I also won't be using it as a face mask replace as it lacks that luxurious feeling that some face masks have.
Should you buy this product: I won't recommend it as your regular cleanser but if you're someone who's comfortable doing manual extractions, it might be something that you want to occasionally use, instead of a deep cleansing face mask.