Tested on animals:Yes
Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask fits the bill for combination to oily skin due to its clay base and fragrance/irritant-free formula. Such formulas are excellent for lending a temporary mattifying effect to skin after it has been rinsed away, and work well as enhancements to a well-formulated skincare routine (for reasons we'll explain in a moment). The overall gentleness of this formula makes it a find for oily yet sensitive skin, too!
Packaged in a squeeze tube, this dark gray mask dries quickly—in about ten minutes—and rinses easily from skin.
The primary ingredients that do the "work" in Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask are kaolin and bentonite clays. These clays can't draw out "deep-seated debris," but they will help absorb excess oil from skin's surface and just inside the pore lining. That benefit may also result in the reduction of the appearance of blackheads—and can also help to reduce (temporarily) the appearance of enlarged pores.
Clinique added a few antioxidants, lecithin and caffeine among them, which are nice extras but not as beneficial in a rinse-off mask that will only be on skin for a short period. Still, the beneficial ingredients are more than what many clay masks contain, so even though you're rinsing this, you'll at least get their benefits for a few minutes! Despite our enthusiasm for this product, clay masks aren't miracle workers; rather, they serve to complement a skincare routine that includes well-formulated BHA exfoliants and non-irritating formulas.
What of the charcoal in Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask? Various forms of charcoal are used as part of water filtration systems to absorb various substances (i.e. bacteria and such) and charcoal is administered in medical settings by mouth for treatment of poisoning, but there's no evidence it has any benefit for breakouts or clogged pores when applied topically (Journal of Environmental Sciences, 2010 and Western Journal of Medicine, 1986).
If you're in the mood for a little beauty treat, or just want to stack the deck in your battle against oily skin and blackheads, Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask is an excellent and effective option that leaves out the irritants (menthol, mint, essential oils, etc.) so common among similar alternatives. Though this won't reduce your pore size to a dramatic extent, its absorbent clay blend can absolutely help to improve the appearance of your pores by temporarily reducing excess surface oils in skin.
Note: If you're curious about the detox claims made in the marketing messaging for this product, you can disregard them. The ability of charcoal to absorb poisons when taken internally has nothing to do with skin—simply put, skin doesn't need to be "detoxed" as it doesn't have the ability to store or release toxins of any kind. We could go on and on about that one, but instead, check out More Info for the details on why "detox" claims made about cosmetic products are nothing more than marketing fancy.
- Contains absorbent clays that work to reduce excess oiliness.
- Can be used as often as needed.
- Dries quickly and rinses fairly easily from skin.
- Fragrance free, gentle formula.
Why Beauty Products Can't Detoxify Your Skin: Despite the claims of many a cosmetics company, you cannot "detox" your skin. In fact, brands making this claim never specify which substances their product supposedly banishes—which makes sense, as your skin isn't capable of storing any sort of toxin. An actual toxin is a poison, and we're talking REAL poisons, such as those produced by plants, animals, insects, ¬or reptiles (think snake venom or bee stings) or other organisms.
So-called toxins cannot leave your body through the pores or through your skin, whether via sweat or other means—they're filtered, broken down, and removed by the kidneys and liver. Heavy metal toxicity, for example, can't be "sweated" or otherwise drawn out of skin; this requires medical treatment to remove them from the body.
Regardless of the skin concern you're battling, "toxins" aren't to blame—and if you're serious about wanting results, stick to what the research says really works (and ignore fantasy claims about "detoxifying" cosmetic products).