Effective formula deep cleans but won’t strip skin
A little goes a long way
Contains a bevy of natural ingredients
Calming natural fragrance
Not Byrdie clean
Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
We put Boscia’s Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review.
I have a love/hate relationship with trendy ingredients. At first, I’m always eager to see what the fuss is all about but, more often than not, I’m left feeling like the odd man out because said ingredient didn’t end up living up to the miraculous expectations I’d come to anticipate. However, one such ingredient that I’ve managed to forge a love/love relationship with is activated charcoal. It has always been a savior for my skin, so I was more than excited to give the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser a go.
Part of the brand’s charcoal-driven detox line—which includes the now cult status Luminizing Black Mask—this deep black, self-warming cleanser is plenty gimmicky on paper, but, as I found out, pretty darn effective in practice.
What surprised me most was how effective it was without being overly aggressive, making it the perfect fit for oily-skinned peeps who need a little extra cleansing action. Keep reading to see my full review.
Best for: Combination to oily skin.
Uses: Deeply cleanses skin to remove pore-clogging gunk and oil while helping to refine pores.
Potential allergens: Not likely
Byrdie Clean? No; contains PEGs.
About the brand: Boscia was founded in 2002 based on an “All of the Good/None of the Bad” philosophy that combines botanical science and plant-based ingredients to produce an effective line of products that are always free of chemical preservatives and artificial fragrance and color.
About My Skin: Oily with occasional flare-ups
For the most part, I have my skin under control. I’m a retinol user, but still plenty oily. I also have some sensitivity from time to time. My only issue is sudden flare-ups of general skin crankiness. You know, redness and irritation—and it usually occurs without notice. From fall to spring my skin is pretty well-behaved, but come summer, I revert to the oil slick and pore congestion of my teenage years. That’s when I need a cleanser that offers a little more.
The Feel: Silky jelly with a burst of heat
Two pumps is all it takes to turn this black-as-night gel into a fresh, exhilarating lather, but what you’ll notice most as you massage it into your face is how it warms up on contact. To be fair, I was never much of a fan of products that get hot or cold on their own, but there’s something different about the way the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser stays warm for long enough that you actually feel it boosting your skin’s circulation.
The Ingredients: All the makings of a great facial
Hype aside, the ingredient list alone is reason enough to give the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser a try. It contains some pretty effective stuff that covers all the bases of what a great facial should do, including exfoliation, deep cleansing, and nourishment.
- Activated Charcoal: The “it ingredient” of the moment, it’s what gives the cleanser its black hue. Activated charcoal has been toted as a hero for absorbing excess oil, dirt, and impurities from pores; however, it's worth noting that there is no scientific evidence available to back up these claims.
- Artichoke Leaf Extract: This unique botanical helps increase the elasticity of your skin which, in turn, may help pores be less able to retain debris. In other words: It may result in smaller, less noticeable pores.
- Vitamin P (Alpha Glucosyl Hesperidin): Found in citrus peels, vitamin P is what creates the warming sensation and has been shown to aid in boosting circulation.
- Glycolic Acid: This powerful alpha-hydroxy acid helps slough away dead skin cells while increasing hydration levels for smoother, brighter skin.
- Jojoba & Willowherb: The brand’s signature botanical blend of jojoba and willowherb extracts provides antioxidant protection while reducing redness and irritation.
- Glycerin: This plant-based humectant protects the skin’s valuable moisture barrier, which allows the cleanser to do its deep-cleansing duties without over stripping.
The Results: Refreshed skin that felt soft and balanced
I couldn’t think of a more opportune moment to first try the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser. I’d been traveling for 20 hours with my face clad in a protective mask and—with the exception of a splash of water on a tissue in the airplane bathroom along the way—I hadn’t given my skin much attention. I’d arrived at my destination a veritable oil slick, and I could literally see the gunk that had accumulated in my pores, especially around my nose. A deep cleansing was definitely in order, which it did, and I loved how smooth and vital my skin felt afterwards.
The Value: Great
At $30 for 5 fl oz, two pumps a day means the Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser will last a while (and longer if you only use it a few times a week). There are definitely cheaper charcoal-based options out there, but the fact that this one does the job without causing any skin drama makes it well worth the price.
Similar Products: You’ve got options
Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser: Like Boscia, Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser ($5.99) features activated charcoal as its hero ingredient, but the addition of salicylic acid makes the Biore version a bit more heavy-duty, which may be better for the not-so-sensitive.
Dermalogica Active Clay Cleanser: Dermalogica’s Active Clay Cleanser ($39) puts the focus on the skin’s microbiome with the addition of prebiotics and kaolin clay and can help balance the skin while absorbing oil.
Clinique For Men Charcoal Face Wash: As with all things Clinique, this back-to-basics Charcoal Face Wash ($22.50) foams up into a rich lather that lifts away oil and impurities without overdrying.
The Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser is ideal for the oily-to-combination-skinned who need a little something extra to balance out and calm their overactive skin. Great for both everyday usage as well as a deep treatment a few times a week, this detox cleanser delivers fresh, balanced, poreless skin.
- Product Name Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
- Product Brand Boscia
- Price $30