When I went to the States last year, one of the items on my Sephora wishlist was the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. I had heard so many great things about this mask on YouTube and it’s near impossible to get this in the UK at the moment, so I couldn’t pass up the chance when I saw it right there in front of me. I happily placed this in my basket in Sephora, and couldn’t wait to try it out when I got home. I did wince a little at the cost – $34 (almost £28) – but decided to treat myself and give it a go. Here I share my review and also let you know about a much cheaper black mask alternative I found.
What Is It?
The Boscia Luminizing Black Mask is, as the name suggests, black in colour. It’s the kind of mask that dries and then peels off. It claims to brighten the skin with vitamin C, absorb excess oil and draw out impurities with clay, tighten pores with witchhazel, and provide gentle exfoliation. You wait up to 30 minutes for it to dry and then peel it off. It’s suitable for all skin types, and you can use it up to twice a week.
My Experience Using It
I started using the mask last year when my skin was at the height of its terrible acne and congestion. I eventually ended up being given Roaccutane and then had to change my skincare for a few months. However, prior to this, my hopes were that the mask would really help to unclog some of my pores and remove a lot of the gunk that had accumulated in them (I know….yuck). I applied it and waited the 30 minutes, during which it dried completely, then began to peel it off.
I have to say, taking it off was one of the most unpleasant beauty experiences of my life, as it hurt so much! I don’t even think I have a particularly low pain threshold either. The mask stuck to every tiny bit of peach fuzz on my face. It tried to rip the hairs out when I peeled it off. It really did sting and I couldn’t wait to get through it and get the whole thing off my face. Which took ages as it hurt so much.
Did It Work?
After all that, the results did not wow me at all. I expected to see some of the congestion from my pores stuck to the mask, as you do with pore stripes, but on careful inspection there was not a thing. Not a single thing. The primary positive effect I could see is that there were a few patches where dry skin had clearly been removed. Looking in the mirror, I could notice no other discernible difference. My face didn’t look brighter, more even toned or firmer. The mask had just taken off some patches of dead skin. That’s OK, but not for £28 if you ask me.
This is, of course, only my own personal experience using the Boscia mask that I’m describing here. Everyone’s skin is different and responds differently to products. The Boscia mask has an overwhelming number of positive reviews online from verified purchasers. It must work well for a lot of people in this case. It just didn’t work for me.
Long Term Results
I imagine any brightening effects of the vitamin C would only be seen after using the mask a lot over time. But I could barely bring myself to use it often just due to the annoyingly painful way it peels off. I think face masks should be fun and easy to use as part of a relaxing pamper routine. This mask just doesn’t make me want to use it at all. So I can’t review the long term benefits of using the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask unfortunately. I can only say there were very few immediate benefits for me other than exfoliation.
A More Affordable Dupe
After this disappointment, I started looking online at other reviews. I noticed that the concept of a black peel off mask is not something confined to Boscia. There are a handful of cheaper alternatives out there that I would recommend trying before you purchase the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask. One in particular is something I picked up on Amazon; the Shills Purifying Peel-Off Mask which costs only £8.49.
I compared the Shills Purifying Peel-Off Mask to the Boscia one. Both are exactly the same colour, but the Shills mask is runnier and thinner than the Boscia one. However, they both dry on the skin in exactly the same way. The Shills mask is also a little difficult to peel off, but is significantly less painful on removal! It didn’t hurt at all. I think this is because it is a thinner consistency and more flexible when it dries. I noticed, after peeling it off, that it had exactly the same effect as the Boscia one did on my skin. That is, it removed dead skin. There was no other skin benefit that I noticed from either the Boscia mask or the Shills mask. Since dead skin removal is a good reason to put a face mask on anyway, this is still a good thing. However, I know that I would rather pay £8.49 for a mask to do this than I would £28.
I don’t notice any differences between the two masks in terms of results, so I would suggest going for the much cheaper version first of all. The added bonus, aside from the huge difference in price, is that the Shills mask is so much easier to use.
Are you thinking of trying a black face mask?
My recommendation is to try out the Shills Purifying Peel-Off Mask as an affordable option before purchasing the Boscia version. I don’t think either masks I tried out are outstanding, but the exfoliation is effective and good for those who can’t use a manual exfoliant. As I mentioned above, everyone experiences something different with each beauty product. You might experience different results to me.
I originally published this post in 2015 but have re-published it now due to the need to change my skincare routine when I started taking Roaccutane, which meant I had to stop using these products. I’ve had a chance now to try both of these out more than just the once or twice, and can now publish a more in-depth review of both. I hope this helps you if you’re looking for a balanced and honest review of the Boscia Luminizing Black Mask.
Let me know in the comments below if you’ve tried either the Boscia mask or the Shills mask. I’d be interested to know if these kinds of face masks work for you!
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