We’ve put our faces through their paces so we could report back on the best black charcoal sheet masks available. From korean beauty brands to drug-store scores, we’ll be covering a mix of affordable, mid-range, and luxury charcoal sheet masks.
Although many of the sheet masks we tested promised numerous benefits, we really wanted to focus in on a few key results that we look for in a black charcoal sheet mask:
- Minimized appearance of pores
- Purifying and clarifying effect
- Basic hydration
Of course we also love a luxurious experience, so smell, texture, and ingredients also play a role.
Our favorite black charcoal sheet masks
#1 Skin Inc.: Soothe-n-Purify Black Gold Mask
This was my favorite black charcoal sheet mask by far! It’s a cellulose face mask that comes in two parts (more on that in a bit) and it’s the most effective mask on this list at minimizing the appearance of my pores.
The mask is infused with Vitamin C, Charcoal, and small specks of gold. I really appreciated how they approached the marketing and incorporation of the gold. It can quickly become a gimmick, but they helped make it feel like more of an ingredient than a luxury. The product really got an opportunity to soak in, I felt hydrated and fresh, and my pores were the smallest I’ve seen them in ages. I have seen a lasting effect from this as well (it’s been about 4 days since I originally did the treatment.
I really appreciated how thorough and clear the instructions were and they also included some helpful tips that I’ll likely use for other face masks in the future.
The only thing I didn’t love, is that although the face mask fit great, because it came in two parts the bottom mask kept falling off. In order to keep the product on my face I basically had to stop everything I was doing. I can see how this would be helpful if you need spot treatment, but it was mostly just a pain for me.
#2 Dermovia: Lace A Peel Black Bamboo Charcoal Peel Off Mask
If you’re looking for a super fun, unique, and effective black charcoal mask, Dermovia’s Lace masks should be at the top of your list. This mask takes a slightly different spin on the black peel-off mask. Now to be honest, black peel-off masks aren’t my favorite. Normally I feel like they don’t do enough, can be painful when stuck in baby hairs, and they can be challenging to peel off. So I was surprised by just how much I liked this one.
This formula feels different, and since you press a lace mask into the product before it dries, it gives you a cleaner peel-off. It has a really unique smell to it too, the best way I can describe it is a red pepper/jalapeno pepper smell (but without the burn, thank God). I noticed an immediate pore minimizing and brightening effect to the mask, and it was just a fun and luxe experience.
It comes in a box with 5 lace masks and a large tube of black charcoal face mask. I think I’m going to save the other 4 lace masks for a girl’s night in.
#3 Boscia: Charcoal Pore-Minimizing Bio-Cellulose Mask
Now, truth be told, I’ve tested the Boscia nose strips in the past and wasn’t impressed, so I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this sheet mask. It’s a bio-cellulose face mask, which has more of a jelly or rubber like texture, vs. your traditional paper or cloth sheet mask. I felt like it was hydrating, relaxing, and saw some a small amount of pore minimizing. It wasn’t a game changer, but I’d take this mask over the nose strips any day.
#4 Dr.Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask
We tested both this, the Pore Minimalist, and Dr. Jart+’s other black charcoal mask (below) the Porecting Bubble sheet mask. This was the more affordable of the two masks at $7.50 (vs. $9.00), and we actually much preferred this one.
We preferred this one because there are no gimmicks. It’s a simple, relaxing, and effective black charcoal sheet mask, that helps to reduce the size of your pores. We feel like it’s appropriately priced at $7.50, because it doesn’t have any of the “wow” factors we saw with other more expensive sheet masks, but the ingredients are decent, the mask is solid, and we’ll definitely be reaching for it again.
Runners up: good but not great
Erno Laszlo: Detoxifying Hydrogel Mask
One of the first black charcoal products I ever tried was from Erno Laszlo, so I was excited to try this face mask because there was an element of nostalgia for me. Overall, it was a solid face mask. It was more cooling than I expected (since it wasn’t marketed as such), and the serum felt hydrating. There was some pore minimization, but nothing crazy.
Ultimately, although I really enjoyed this mask, I feel like it’s not worth the cost at $16 per mask, compared to other solid options on the list.
GLAMGLOW: BUBBLESHEET Oxygenating Deep Cleanse Mask
The GLAMGLOW (sorry, I feel like I’m yelling at you) bubblesheet mask was more of a face wash than a face mask. You only leave it on three minutes, but in that time it foams up to be almost as thick as shaving cream. You then massage the bubbles in and rinse. The packaging indicates that you can use this at the end of a long day to wash off makeup as well.
The GLAMGLOW mask was the most cleansing, purifying, and clarifying of all the masks I tried, and I did see a reduction in pore size, but it wasn’t particularly hydrating or luxurious.
Dr.Jart+: Porecting Solution Bubbling Charcoal Sheet Mask
This was a super interesting face mask, but definitely not what I was expecting. When I heard bubbling sheet mask, I assumed it would be astringent, tingly, and quite frankly, loud. But this is a very gentle foaming sudsy type of bubble. I did see some clear pore reduction from this sheet mask, which is the main claim of the product, and overall would say it’s a solid option at $9.00.
Our least favorite black charcoal sheet masks
Burt's Bees: Detoxifying Charcoal Sheet Mask
Although I love that this mask is so affordable (and available at my local Target!) it doesn’t provide me with enough payoff to be worth the effort. The recommended time for this face mask is 2 minutes. To me, that doesn’t feel like enough time to detoxify, draw out impurities, cleanse, and moisturize, which is what this mask claims to do.
The packaging also makes a big deal out of being natural, healthy, and free of additives, but one of the main ingredients is alcohol, which can dry out your skin and prematurely age you if used regularly (which is why most toners have switched away from using it).
I wouldn’t recommend this mask, spend a little more for the Boscia or Skin Inc. mask instead, and you’ll get way more bang for your buck!
How to get the most out of your sheet masks
Read the instructions first
This tip isn’t very fun, but I’ve found it can be important. Face masks usually have protective films, some have active and inactive sides, and others have mesh layers you need to remove.
Pop them in the fridge
This pro-tip came from Skin inc. and it’s a game changer! Pop your mask in the fridge for 10-20 minutes before treatment to enjoy a cooling, refreshing, de-puffing version of your favorite face mask. I used this on the Skin inc. cellulose mask and loved it.
Waste not, want not
If you’re using a serum based face mask, make sure you use every last drop of product by squeezing the package the same way you would a toothpaste tube. You can use this extra product for any neglected areas, including neck, decolletage, chest, or arms.
Some recommend you rinse your face (before or after), while others instruct you not to. Read the instructions before opening the package to make your treatment go smoothly.
As we test additional masks (we’re always looking for the next best thing) we’ll add details and reviews to this post so you can keep up to date with our research.
We’re always looking for recommendations, so if you have a favorite not on the list, please let us know in the comments below!