Thanks to Bioré's Charcoal Clay Mask, My Whiteheads Are a Thing of the Past

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Bioré Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask

biore charcoal instant warming clay mask

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

What We Like
  • It’s individually packaged

  • Warming sensation is an instant mood booster

  • Doesn’t dry out the skin

  • Rinses away easily

  • Budget-friendly

What We Don't Like
  • Nothing!

If you have combination or oily skin, I highly recommend Bioré’s Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Mask. It sucks the gunk out of pores without knocking off the balance of your skin barrier.


Bioré Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask

biore charcoal instant warming clay mask

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

We put Bioré’s Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.

When pimples crop up left and right—literally and figuratively—finding products that help remedy my breakouts without overdrying is a challenge I welcome. Truthfully, I get to try a lot of different products and like to stick to tried-and-true options I know work for my skin. However, masks are a category where I give myself room to experiment.

Bioré is a brand I used in my teens—especially the blackhead nose strips—but I gave up in adulthood. However, the brand's Charcoal Instant Warming Clay Mask comes highly recommended due to its purported ability to unclog pores with a soothing warming sensation upon application.

Keep reading to see how my experience went with this clay mask.

Bioré Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask

Best for: Acne-prone and oily skin types

Uses: Drawing oil from the skin

Potential Allergens: Fragrance

Active Ingredients: Charcoal

Byrdie Clean?: No

Price: $9

About the Brand: Founded in Tokyo, Japan, skincare brand Bioré made its debut in the United States in 1997 and has been a drugstore staple ever since.

My Skin: Combination and sensitive

Having sensitive skin is frustrating because it limits what I can use and how often I can try new products, which I can see as a potentially good thing now that I’m typing this out. But as someone who loves testing new products, this revelation is a bummer. My skin routine has gotten very simple over the last year. I use a cream cleanser, micellar water (to remove makeup), vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, retinol (at night), face oil, chemical exfoliator (once a week), and a clay mask (twice a month). Before narrowing down my routine to only these items, I tried new things daily, and my skin hated me for it.

The Packaging: Individually wrapped

I know that individually wrapped items can seem wasteful, but this is one of the things I love about this mask. The silver packet was easy to open, and best of all, the packaging and the packs are recyclable. Like many companies in the beauty industry, Bioré is committed to waste reduction and making it easy for us to recycle empties locally. We love to see it.

biore charcoal instant warming clay mask

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Ingredients: Natural yet effective

Like hyaluronic acid, charcoal is a buzzword printed on the label of every beauty item you could imagine, from toothpaste to, you guessed it, face masks. Charcoal is now a mainstay in many products, especially skincare because it is touted as an ingredient that can remove excess oil from the skin. While charcoal is proven to help remove toxins from the body, no research demonstrates the beloved ingredient does anything for the skin. However, charcoal is often formulated with clay in the skincare world, making the products ideal for sucking up excess oil and gunk from the skin.

The Feel: Hydrating with a warm sensation

After washing my face, I applied the greyish-black mask to my wet skin, and I felt an immediate warming sensation. It was amazing. I knew that the product packaging said “warming,” but I wasn’t expecting what I felt.

It was like I’d placed a warm, steamy towel on my face.

Shortly after I applied the mask, the warming sensation slowly disappeared, and it was time to rinse.

Bioré Charcoal Clay Mask Review

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Results: The appearance of smaller pores without any irritation

The one thing I look for post-mask is if the whiteheads on my nose have come to the surface or rinsed away.

After rinsing the mask off, I noticed that some of the pesky whiteheads on the left side of my nose were gone.

That, for me, is a win. The larger pimples under my chin—likely due to my mask—were, of course, still there, but I think with cumulative usage, this mask could keep some of my skin issues at bay. I don’t believe in miracle zit-zapping treatments, well, at least when it comes strictly to in-store skin remedies, so I always go into using anything new with realistic expectations.

Bioré Charcoal Clay Mask Review

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Value: So worth it

This product retails between $6 and $9. As I’ve gotten older, I have steered away from drugstore products because of my negative experiences with them in my mid-twenties as I was trying to treat my onset of adult acne. Anything I tried would dry my skin out and make matters worse, but I am happy to report that Bioré’s warming mask is on my list of drugstore dos. I love to see how staple drugstore brands are evolving and formulating products accessible to all that work. We need more of that because, as I always say, caring for your skin shouldn’t just be for those who can afford prestigious products or treatments.

Similar Products: You have options

The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Masque ($12): This silicone-free formula is made with charcoal, clay, and salicylic acid meant to aid in cleansing clogged pores.

CONTEXT SKIN White Charcoal Detox Mask ($45): Formulated with Binchotan white charcoal powder, sodium bicarbonate, and glycerin, this detoxifying mask promises to draw out impurities, absorb oil, and hydrate the skin.

May Lindstrom The Problem Solver Warming Correcting Masque ($100): Made with raw cacao, activated bamboo charcoal, salts, and exotic spices, this May Lindstrom mask promises to zap breakouts, even the skin tone, and stimulate collagen production.

Final Verdict

Finding the best mask for your unique skin type and routine can take some time, but I think it's worth it to give Bioré’s Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask a shot, especially because of its budget-friendly price tag. My combination skin loved it, and the best part is the hydration of my skin stayed intact.


  • Product Name Instant Warming Clay Charcoal Face Mask
  • Product Brand Bioré
  • UPC 885471984734 885170684966
  • Price $8.00
  • Weight 0.25 oz.
  • Ingredients Butylene glycol, zeolite, kaolin, PEG-8, methyl gluceth-20, cellulose, talc, fragrance, laurylmethacrylate/glycol dimethacrylate crosspolymer, charcoal powder, dimethicone, hydroxypropylcellulose, menthol, disodiumedta, BHT
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Zellner T, Prasa D, Färber E, Hoffmann-Walbeck P, Genser D, Eyer F. The use of activated charcoal to treat intoxicationsDtsch Arztebl Int. 2019;116(18):311-317. doi:10.3238/arztebl.2019.0311

  2. O'Reilly Beringhs A, Rosa JM, Stulzer HK, Budal RM, Sonaglio D. Green clay and aloe vera peel-off facial masks: response surface methodology applied to the formulation designAAPS PharmSciTech. 2013;14(1):445-455. doi:10.1208/s12249-013-9930-8

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