When I was younger, the skin on my face was almost flawless. I know, I was one of the lucky ones. I had an occasional pimple now and then, but that was all. Somehow, after I turned 25, it was as if someone turned on some switch – I started getting blackheads more and more. Until that time I didn’t even know what pores were!

Since my pores were getting larger and the area with enlarged pores and all those pesky white and blackheads was expanding, I started looking for a perfect solution. You know, a cleanser or mask that would clear my pores and shrink them, without too much work. Am I asking for too much?

When trying more expensive skincare I prefer purchasing a smaller/sample size before I take a plunge for the full sized product. I know Sephora provides samples, but I’ve never tried asking for one (yet!), and their return policy is great, but I don’t want to be a person to keep buying/trying/returning product. I am very picky!

Finally I decided to buy one of the Sephora favorites skincare kits – Soko to Tokyo. This is one of their more popular ones, since it got sold out three times before I was able to buy it! Most of the sample sizes are decent.

The sample of Boscia’s Charcoal Pudding mask is nicely sized at 0.84 oz/25 ml, almost a third of the full size, which allowed me to really try the product before reviewing it.

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This sample, same as the full size,  comes in a sturdy jar, which is made of thick, quality plastic, that feels like glass (I am almost positive it is not glass). It is not sealed, but has an inner plastic lid.

The first think I noticed upon opening it was the smell. It has a very strong, quite unpleasant scent.Luckily, it is not perfumey, it’s more earthy, charcoal scent, so I decided to get over it and give it a try. The smell is bearable once on face, even if  spread it around my nose area.

The mask has a swirly design inside the jar, with black and white formulas. It is very thick and easy to spread with my fingers (you can use a mask brush if you prefer it that way).  I apply a small amount on top of my nose and then spread it around and mix the two colors.

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You really don’t need much. The picture above shows the amount I use for a nice opaque coat on my nose and surrounding area. The mask feels very comfortable, so I keep it on for full 20 minutes.  I doesn’t tingle, and it dries only slightly, without crumbling off.

It is supposed to be moisturizing, but unfortunately for me, it does dry out my skin a bit, but not nearly as much as some other charcoal and clay masks/treatment I have tried. It never irritates my skin, which is a huge plus.

I am happy to inform you that this mask/treatment actually works – it does clear out my pores, when used 2-3 times a week. I feel obligated to say that most treatments can’t manage to clear them, so this is a huge achievement. However, it doesn’t shrink my pores a bit. I am going to try using an astringent toner afterwards, hoping that the combo will be a hit 🙂

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I wanted to show you before and after, but unfortunately couldn’t get good quality pictures.

This mask/treatment is available at Sephora. The full size is 2.8 oz/85 ml and costs $48. It is a bit pricey, but if you intent to use it only on targeted areas like me, you won’t need a big amount every time, and it can last for a few months that way for sure.

Did you try this product before? What is your go-to product for clearing pores? I am still on the lookout for THE ONE, until then this mask is quite satisfying. Any advice is welcome!

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