ClariSEA Sea Salt Solutions Deep Pore Detox Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask

Sometimes, it’s great when a sample pops up twice.

Like most beauty enthusiasts, there’s nothing like a good mask. For someone with combination and acne prone skin, it’s even better when it’s a clearing mask.

Three years ago when I started with my first beauty subscription, Clarisea’s Sea Salt Solutions Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Mask (USD $15, full size 2.0 oz) was one of the samples I received. I didn’t have a social media platform to share my thoughts then, so I was really happy to see this sample pop up in another subscription. I don’t mind repeats, especially when there’s a significant time gap and it happens to be a product I enjoyed.

Being someone with an oily t-zone and acne prone skin, I incorporate a pore cleansing mask into my skin care routine at least once a week. Sometimes, I’ll bump it up to twice a week if I’ve been wearing a lot of face makeup or its summer time.

My favorite aspect of Clarisea’s mask is how natural and pure the ingredients are. Take a look at the list:¬†Kaolin, Sodium Chloride (Sea Salt), Sodium Chloride (Mineral Salt), Organic Calendula Officinalis Flower Extract, and Activated Bamboo Charcoal Powder. If you’re someone whose looking to switch their beauty regimen to one that only has “clean products”, I highly recommend looking into this brand.

This is not to say that I’m 100% against artificial ingredients (I’m absolutely not). But I know that some people are extremely ingredient conscience and want to stick to products that are as all natural as possible.

Of course, I’ve dragged some all natural products for not being effective. Just like price doesn’t correlate with effectiveness, neither does the ingredient source. However, I love it when I find something that does work. This definitely falls into the latter category.

This exfoliating mask is quite powerful at pore extraction and oil control, so much so that I cannot use this as a cleanser because it will dry out my skin. I do think this would make a great natural cleanser for those that suffer from extremely oily and sensitive skin.¬†However, it’s just perfect for that once a week mask that helps keep my oily zones in check and helps to clear out the gunk from my pores to prevent acne. (Remember, once the acne is there you basically just have to wait for it to die on its own unless you go to an extracting professional. It’s all about prevention.)

The effectiveness of this mask comes from the inclusion of calendula extract, which is a great antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and activated bamboo charcoal that has oil absorbing and extraction power. You’ll find these same ingredients in a ton of clarifying skin care. Here, you’re getting this without any of the filler ingredients at a relatively affordable price.

The packaging of the sample size is a bit of a nuisance, because it’s a container with a twist off top that leaves all of the product exposed. Not really a problem from a hygienic standpoint since it’s dry product, but if you want to use this in the shower it can get messy. The full size seems to be in a twist off bottle as well, so that’s something to look out for. You may want to stick to using this outside of the shower.

Bottom line: I love this stuff. This shows that you can find some gems in natural beauty lines. If you have oily zones, sensitive skin, and are acne prone, this is a great natural option to help control oil and prevent breakouts by using this as a mask. If you have very oily skin, you can even try and use this as a daily cleanser. On top of that, it’s at a great price. This product is an absolute winner.

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December ’15 Boxycharm Review 1: TATCHA Petal Fresh Original Aburatorigami

Nothing says luxe quite like $12 blotting papers.

Ok, ok, so the tagline in the picture may make it seem like I’m going to be super snarky in this review. I promise, I’ll keep the snark down to a minimum.

Listen, I love a good luxury beauty product. I have some go-to products that I’m sure a lot of people would snort at when they heard how much I paid for it. (Seriously, y’all, I buy hair products from Living Proof and Oribe…yeah…). But I myself get a little silly when I see some super luxurious brands.

Tatcha is suppose to the gold standard in skin care. Their products are…whoa. I mean, these prices are through the roof. Boxycharm included these Petal Fresh Original Aburatorigami blotting papers (USD $12.00 for 30 sheets) in our December boxes. Tatcha describes these as “All-natural leaflet blotting sheets which absorb excess oil without disturbing makeup for petal-fresh skin anytime, anywhere.” The sheets also have these flecks of “gold” to feel even more fancy.

These fancy-pants blotting papers are made from abaca leaf, which is different from the traditional ingredients in other blotting papers. I’m always down to try a different product. It’s also great that they don’t contain any mineral oil, which can cause break outs and is in a surprising number of more affordable brands.

These papers are bigger than your average blotting paper, so you can most certainly clean up all your excess oil with just one sheet, even if you have really oily skin. This is great, because you can really get thirty uses out of this $12 pack (I’m sorry, I’m never going to get over that price).

Now, do they disturb makeup? A little bit. I don’t think you can really find any blotting papers that won’t pick up some of your foundation and such. Even if you just blot instead of wipe, I still had some makeup on my sheets. Not a ton, but it definitely does move around makeup a bit.

As a product, it’s definitely a good one but…

Let me be real: $12 seemed ridiculous to me. Here’s why: The blotting papers I normally use are from e.l.f. cosmetics and cost $1.00 for a 60 pack (!!!!). Yes, that’s 1/12 the price for double the product. Granted, these sheets are smaller than Tatcha’s, but they absolutely get the job done. They’re rice paper based, which also does a great job of absorbing oil, minimally disturb makeup, and don’t contain any breakout causing ingredients.

Rating: 5/5. These sheets are really great. They absorb oil without disturbing makeup too much. Honestly, if you have a cheaper option I don’t see the point in spending 12x the price. But hey, if you really want to splurge you will get a good product.

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