Review: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask, Benefit The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks and Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation face masks

Like most meisies, I enjoy indulging in the odd face mask and thought I’d tell you about three I’ve tried of late. The first is Dermalogica’s new Charcoal Rescue mask (R790).

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask
Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask

At first I thought it might be your bog standard clay mask with a bit of charcoal in the mix and kind of balked at the price. However, its ingredients list reveals there are several other beneficial actives that include soothing and exfoliating sulphur; other exfoliants like lactic acid; brightening and hydrating antioxidant niacinimide and spot-calmers in the form of witch hazel and tea tree extract. As for the charcoal, this has been ‘activated’ which means it’s negatively-charged to attract positively-charged toxins like a magnet.

My face mask brings all the boys to the yard.
My face mask brings all the boys to the yard.

After slapping it on and replying to a million e-mails (approximately ten minutes because I’m a mud face-rocking machine), my skin looked subtly refined – like all my pores have had a l’il polish – and my complexion had a subtle glow to it, as though something in there helped get my circulation going.

At just under R800, I still think it’s a pretty expensive product but hey, if you can afford it, you go girl. In its defense, it not something you’d use every day so the tube will end up lasting a good few months and, as far as clay-based masks go, this is one of the nicer ones I’ve used in a while.

Next up, let’s chat about Benefit’s new The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks (R395 for 8 masks, selected Edgars and Red Square stores). The packaging is super cute in that the box looks like a li’l first aid kit and each solution-soaked cloth mask pops out of its own little blister pakkie.

Benefit The Porefessional Wipe ou
Benefit The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks

It promises to deep clean your pores and temporarily tighten up skin thanks to watery serum-like solution that essentially contains astringent alcohol*, hydrating glycerine and a dash of the hero active – mushroom extract. More brands are using mushroom extract than you realise as it’s got good astringent (temporary pore-tightening) properties.


I liked that each cloth contained a lot of the fluid so I wiped it all over my entire T-section before letting the cloth sit on my nose while I caught the last few minutes of  a Real Housewives of Beverly Hills epi. (How much do we love Erika Jane?) Afterwards the pores on my nose looked a little smaller but I can’t say for how long as I didn’t sit around with a timer.

Another hot look.
Another smokin’ hot look.

In all, Benefit’s new mini mask is fun and easy to use but at just under R50 a pop it’s an expensive ride. Still, I can see it being the kind of quick fix I’d whip out on a day when I’ve picked at my pores and want to zip ’em up but don’t have a toner. Still, if you’ve got serious blackhead dramz you should definitely invest in a BHA/salicylic acid-infused lotion (Paula’s Choice make an awesome one) as this particular active needs to be used every day, not just here and there, for it to have a noticeable effect.

Last, but not least, let’s chat about Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation face masks (R299 for a pack of four, selected salons).

Dr. Dermal
Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation facial mask

Again, these aren’t cheap but they’re a nice spoil when my skin’s dehydrated (I can always tell as my fine lines are suddenly more visible), I like to treat it with a hyaluronic acid serum. If you’re not a regular reader, HA occurs naturally in your skin that can attract and hold up to 1000 times it’s weight in water so it’s a great pick when you want to hydrate and plump things up.

Anyway, Dr. Dermal’s cloth masks are soaked in a mega-hydrating mix of collagen-encouraging peptides hyaluronic acid. I like that this proudly South African brand isn’t stingy with its solution at all – one pouch can almost cover your entire body so I slide out the mask, squeeze out the excess and slather it on my neck, chest, arms, hands and even my legs before placing it on my face.

Dr Dermal face mask.jpg
I’m meeeeeellllltiinnnnggg…

After just ten minutes, my skin looks ‘relaxed’ and any fine lines are temporarily blitzed. For me, it’s a great go to after a long haul flight, killer trail run or on a day when I’m a hungover trainwreck but have to look insta-mooi for an event.

See anything you’d like to try yourself?

Love, love


P.S. I have to mention that I think it’s pretty funny that Dermalogica’s mask initially seemed super expensive then worked out to be the most cost effective of everything I tried. Still, all of these masks aren’t exactly wallet-friendly and that’s been a focus for me of late – pointing out great products that aren’t crazy expensive – as I know we’re all feeling the burn in today’s rubbish financial climate. This is why it’s important I add this disclaimer to let you know many of the active ingredients featured in the above mentioned products can be found in others at lower price points. I’m not your wallet mommy so I don’t feel obliged to always point out cheaper alternatives (although I often do) but I want you to keep what I’ve said in mind. When I review a product and doing just that and not endorsing it as My New Ultimate Best That You Have To Try. Now go forth and shop savvily!

*I’ve often said I avoid products with lots of alcohol in them as it dries your skin out and that’s true, but I want to make it clear that that’s only if you’re using them long term. For example, if you’re still using a toner every day and discover it’s second ingredient is alcohol, please for God’s sake please toss it. However, many spot-blitzing products contain alcohol in them and that’s perfectly fine if you’re not using them every single day.

2 thoughts on “Review: Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue mask, Benefit The Porefessional Instant Wipeout masks and Dr. Dermal Total Rejuvenation face masks

  1. I love Masks but there are so many. I have been using Sorbet products which I am happy with so far. Dermalogica is still one of my favorite products.

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