Review / Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Facial Masque & Facial Scrub

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Masque & Scrub
When I was a teenager, I was blessed with near perfect skin. I still had a collection of immovable blackheads on my nose of course, but I never had blemishes or breakouts and I had barely any hint of dark circles under my eyes. So, you can imagine as my skin has got worse and worse into my twenties, it’s been a little bit hard for me to deal with – your skin, spots and so on are ‘supposed’ to improve with age, not deteriorate.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that my skin isn’t the same as it used to be for the most part, but the changes have nonetheless played a part in my resolve to treat my skin better and properly nourish it. Bre of Brianne Etc. recently shared on her Instagram that she’s been going makeup free, and inspired me to go back to basics and start doing the same (she even published a post recently on the best plant-based foods for good skin). I’ve never been one of those people that feels like they need makeup to leave the house, but I’d fallen into a habit of putting it on every morning for work as part of my routine again, and it’s not really a routine that I wanted.

This post isn’t about makeup or going makeup free, though – it’s about skincare. I’ve cut out some of the nasties I’ve been putting on my skin (I’ve even been wearing full eye makeup and highlight without a hint of base products recently) but I’ve also been trying to concentrate on putting some good things onto my skin and into my body too. One brand that I kept seeing come up time and time again over the past few months has been Sukin, so I was excited to give them a try after seeing so many other bloggers singing their praises.

I settled on Sukin’s Anti-Pollution Facial Masque* and Pore-Refining Facial Scrub*, both part of their Oil Balancing + Charcoal range. Although I’m not a particularly oily person, the charcoal in these products was what won me over, as it’s long been associated with beauty benefits due to its ability to draw oil, dirt and micro-particles out of pores, resulting in a clearer complexion and better cleansed skin. I’d only ever tried one other charcoal mask before, and I had high hopes for these two products after the positive reviews I’ve read about the brand.

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Anti-Pollution Facial Masque

The Anti-Pollution Facial Masque is a beautifully smooth mask that hardens very slightly as it dries, but doesn’t dry completely stiff like a clay mask. Sukin say that the bamboo charcoal, rooibos tea and willowherb in it lift impurities to help clear your pores, while the bilberry, white tea and pomegranate are high in anti-oxidants to give your complexion a healthy glow. It doesn’t smell strongly, and it’s almost cooling once applied and doesn’t feel harsh or heavy on the skin.

The instructions say to apply to damp skin, leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse off with a wash cloth, but I’ve left it for up to 40 minutes so far with no ill effects. Because it feels so gentle and nourishing on my skin (albeit not as hydrating as PHB Beauty’s masks), I like to leave it on and go about my business, and then use my muslin cloth to gentle rub it off with warm water so I can use it to exfoliate too. Immediately afterwards, my skin feels softer and looks a little brighter, and it’s a mask that I’ve really enjoyed including in my beauty routine because it’s nice and fuss free to prepare (it’s just a soft, grey cream in the tub) and isn’t a pain in the ass to remove like others I’ve tried.

Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal Pore-Refining Facial Scrub

I’ve also loved incorporating the Pore-Refining Facial Scrub into my daily routine. The bamboo charcoal and jojoba beads in this scrub help to exfoliate and deep clean, keeping pores clearer, and it also contains gentle, calming ingredients like aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber to soothe the skin (I love to see things like this in scrubs as they can sometimes lean a lil’ on the harsh side). I tend to use this in the evening, and will either apply it to damp skin or I’ll start gently massaging it into dry skin until it feels mostly absorbed and a bit sticky, then I’ll re-introduce water and scrub it away.

Sukin’s facial scrub is, to me, the perfect formula for an exfoliating scrub – there’s not too much ‘gritty’ texture, but there’s just enough to feel like I’ve given my face a proper good clean, and the other ingredients compliment this well and leave my skin feeling soft, glowing and hydrated rather than completely stripped of moisture. As for the pore-refining qualities, I’m pleased to say that after using this product at least once a day (sometimes twice) for several weeks now, it has actually been working wonders for me! It’s not often that I can categorically say that a product is doing what it claims it will, but using Sukin’s facial scrub in combination with the mask has reinvigorated my skin and minimised the steadily expanding pores around my nose that I was starting to get a bit concerned about. They’re still visible, of course, but are much smaller than they were before I added these items into my beauty routine.

I’m really happy to have tried these two out and the scrub is now a staple that I’ll be refusing to travel without, and it’s great to see that, at least based off of these products, Sukin is a brand that lives up to the hype!

Sukin’s products are all natural, vegan, cruelty free and, as their tagline says, don’t cost the earth both when it comes to financial and environmental costs – they’re an affordable, 100% carbon neutral brand. The Oil Balancing + Charcoal Anti-Pollution Facial Mask is available from LoveLula for £11.95 (a bargain as you don’t need to use a lot of product to fully coat your face), and the Oil Balancing + Charcoal Pore-Refining Facial Scrub is around £9.99 but unfortunately seems to be out of stock at the moment. I’m definitely going to be ordering some more of their charcoal products, and they do a variety of other ranges for different skin concerns, so there’s bound to be something for everyone.

Have you ever used a charcoal-based skincare product before?  What did you think?

* This review is not sponsored and has not been paid for, however the product was sent to me free of charge. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


  1. I just recently finished off a tube of that facial scrub and I loved it. It lasted me so long and it made my skin feel great. I'm almost out of face mask by another brand but I think I'm going to try this mask by Sukin next.
    Also, I feel your pain; as a teen my skin was perfect (ironically, my diet was appalling in comparison to now) and as I've got older it's become more of a handful despite my best efforts to eat healthy and drink allllll the water.

    1. That's awesome, I hope you like it if you end up getting it!

      Saaaame. I drink so much water and eat so well, I feel like I'm the only person who's turned vegan and seen their skin get gradually worse instead of better. 😭

  2. I've been looooving my Sukin moisturiser and my impression of the brand is very high, and charcoal products work incredibly on my skin so these two seem ideal - especially the mask because it'll force me to take 15 minutes out of the week for some good ol' self-care. I'm also trying to stray away from daily makeup! Makeup has subconsciously become a mandatory part of my morning - even more necessary than a cup of coffee - which isn't great for my skin or confidence when I just need to run to the shop naked-faced.

    1. I just got their sensitive skin night time moisturiser too and I'm loving that so far as well. I have a feeling that Sukin is going to become one of my new favourite brands that I just HAVE to have everything from. 😂

      I hope you manage to shift your routine back in favour of makeup-free! It was a bit of a struggle for me at first especially because my colleagues hadn't seen me without at least concealer at this job before but literally no one even said anything, I don't know why I was worried. 😂

  3. The scrub sounds amazing. I've been looking for a scrub that I can use every day and this one sounds perfect. Think Ill have to pick one up soon!

    Kayleigh x

    1. If it's like mine, your skin will thank you!

  4. I love Sukin! These are really helpful reviews, I'm very tempted by the scrub. I've used their charcoal cleanser before and it's so good, it really cleans the skin but it has gentle ingredients, too xx


    1. Thanks Beth, glad you think so! The cleanser is on my wishlist already as I'm running out of my Barefoot SOS one for mornings, I'm hoping that the charcoal Sukin one will fit the bill!

  5. I bought my partner's niece some Sukin for her birthday as she has oily skin and blemishes. Now I find I might need it too as over the last few weeks my skin has flared up and gone from dry to combination. Good review, think I will pick some up x

    1. Thanks Beck! I hope your partner's niece liked her gifts. It's such a pain when your skin seems to suddenly change, mine did much the same thing a couple of years ago and I've been trying constantly to figure out what does/doesn't work with it since. I only recently seem to have found a routine that seems to be doing it some favours again!


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