So here’s the problem. As the harsh sun shines down upon us in sweltering Singapore, our faces endure some pretty intense abuse – excessive sun exposure and accompanying sweat can cause congested pores. “Daily pollution can cause low-level irritation in the skin, so it’s best to detox every two weeks,” says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and clinical professor of dermatology at the George Washington Medical Centre.

READ MORE: This quick fix took 10 years off my face in five minutes (no, really) and coconut oil: legitimately healthy yay or overblown nay?

Noted, but how can we go about detoxing our skin? Enter beauty’s favourite skin care ingredient of the moment: Activated charcoal. Touted as one of the most effective treatments for troubled skin, it helps to draw out toxins from clogged pores, keeping shine and blemishes at bay. It’s economical, too – a small pea-sized amount goes a long way, as it’s said to absorb thousands of times its own mass in impurities.

To steer you in the right direction, we’ve put together a list of pampering charcoal masks that promise a clearer and more radiant complexion in minutes.


The Microdelivery Detoxifying Oxygen Peel Mask

The latest addition to Philosophy’s line-up of products, this Microdelivery Detoxifying Oxygen Peel Mask is a two-step treatment that promises to purify and re-oxygenate your skin.

First, you apply on a thin layer of the detoxifying charcoal gel that’s formulated with (yep, you guessed it) activated charcoal, to draw out impurities without stripping your skin of moisture. Next, massage in the oxygen foaming booster that promises to deliver a shot of oxygen to energise and refresh your complexion. And because the formula is pretty mild compared to harsher abrasive scrubs, you can use this mask up to three consecutive days a week.

Philosophy The Microdelivery Detoxifying Oxygen Peel Mask, $89 from Sephora (launching in August 2017)


Luminising Black Mask

Have you noticed the increasing presence of trendy peel-off masks on the beauty shelves? Here’s your chance to have a go at it with Boscia’s new Luminising Black Mask. Formulated with activated black charcoal, it promises a visibly clearer complexion by absorbing excess oil while simultaneously exfoliating your skin for a fresh-faced appearance.

Bonus: It’s fortified with anti-aging ingredients and antioxidants, both of which will aid in the reduction of hyper-pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles.

Boscia Luminising Black Mask, $51 from Sephora


Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores

Looking to rid your pores of environmental toxins and dirt? Try this Origins activated charcoal mask that is said to act like a magnet to draw out dirt and debris lodged deep within your pores. The result? A smoother and more radiant complexion.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores, $50 from Tangs


Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

If your skin leans towards the oilier side, consider Clinique’s Pore Refining Solutions charcoal mask that also helps to mattify the skin. Charcoal powder promises to purify your pores of deep-seated debris, while mineral clays sop up any excess oils to leave you with a fresher and more even complexion.

Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask, $50 from Sephora


Supermud Clearing Treatment

Developed to combat all common skin concerns, this multi-tasking treatment from Glamglow will be your new go-to for cleansing your skin. Tackling everything from breakouts and discolouration to blackheads and ingrown hair, this mask is said to clear and brighten your face with activated charcoal and a six-acid blend that softens your skin for a healthy-looking appearance.

Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment, $105 from Sephora


Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack

From one of the newest Korean beauty ranges in Sephora, Caolion specialises in cleansing, purifying and reducing the visibility of large pores. If your skin is skewed towards the sensitive side, try the Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack that features micro oxygen bubbles.

This formula promises to gently cleanse your pores, eliminate dead skin cells and intensely hydrate for softer and smoother skin.

Caolion Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack, $39 from Sephora