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Picture of Boscia skin care - paraben and preservative free, but I find the black charcoal line to be a bit too harsh now and scented for my sensitive skin. The Luminizing Black Mask and revitalizing black hydration gel are my favorites.

Just in Time for Boscia’s Charcoal Jelly Ball Cleanser, I Think I’m Over this Brand

Boscia used to be my go-to face cleanser. Whenever anyone needed a recommendation, I always suggested Boscia’s detoxifying black cleanser. And for making my makeup last longer? Boscia charcoal setting spray was my primary line of defense.

I used to buy every new Boscia product. Then as I noticed I didn’t love each new product as much as I used to; I changed my habits to just get a sample of each new Boscia product launch (thanks Sephora!).

Two years ago I would have jumped at the chance to buy the new Jelly charcoal cleansing ball. And now? It’s safe to assume I just won’t like it.

Boscia – an amalgamation of botanical and science – has been working to bring preservative free Japanese style skin care to the US since the early 2000s. I started buying more Boscia products from Sephora a few years ago when I noticed my skin and nose were becoming increasingly more sensitive (the cleaner my eating and home became). The products generally work well and are paraben and preservative free.

But overtime, I’ve become sensitive to their scent, even unscented-scent-ness, and their heavy reliance on charcoal for a major part of their product line. They don’t use synthetic fragrances or mineral oil – which is awesome – but the charcoal is getting a bit too much for me to bear.

The Boscia charcoal pore pudding, charcoal makeup melter and charcoal deodorant were definitive busts in my book, but I still love their konjac sponges 😉




If you’re really into the charcoal trend right now, I would suggest the Ritual Moon Dust Crystal Charged Charcoal Detox Mask.

What makes activated charcoal different from regular charcoal? I have no idea. And charcoal isn’t just hot in the skin care world. I was surprised to see a green juice / activated charcoal blend at a health store recently!

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser Review

This was my go-to cleanser for the longest time. I love that it’s warming – i’m not sure how that works (is it safe? Should I have been more concerned about that?). It always felt like it was making my skin cleaner, or it was cleaning deeper because of the warming effect. It’s not too drying either which is nice.

(Note: I’m surprised to read when I look back at the ingredients and supposed benefits that its supposed to be brightening and exfoliating – I don’t recall reading or thinking that before I’ve bought this product several times over. I don’t think this has helped my melasma….but maybe it has over the years and I just attributed to progress to something else?)

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask Review

Black peeling masks – so hot right now. I think this works…fine. It brings the most satisfaction from the peel-off effect, like when you’re young and you play with Elmer’s glue. I find it difficult to the right thickness applied to make it easier to peel off; or it seems like it takes A LOT of product to to get the appropriate thickness to have it dry in a way that’s easy to peel.

It does seem to provide an instant yet fleeting brightening effect. I would suggest buying it more for its pore minimizing power. And no, It doesn’t magically extract all your blackheads 🙂

Picture of Boscia skin care - paraben and preservative free, but I find the black charcoal line to be a bit too harsh now and scented for my sensitive skin. The Luminizing Black Mask and revitalizing black hydration gel are my favorites.

Boscia skin care is paraben and preservative free, but I find the black charcoal line to be a bit too harsh now and scented for my sensitive skin. The Luminizing Black Mask and revitalizing black hydration gel are my favorites.

Boscia Deep-Poor Charcoal Cleansing Stick Treatment Review

Let’s get it over with: this deep-pore charcoal cleansing stick cleanses so deep, it draws too many toxins out. I rarely breakout and some of the only times I do is when I use this. I know I should love this product for the AHA glycolic acid, but I’ve really only seen not-great and drying effects from this cleansing stick. The stick applicator is very convenient, however. This is also highly charcoal scented – not as bad as Boscia charcoal pore pudding. Again, I would recommend the Ritual Moon Dust mask instead of most Boscia charcoal products.

It should be noted however that this charcoal cleansing stick gets very good reviews, so I may just be jaded on charcoal.

Boscia Revitalizing Black Hydration Gel Review

This is actually my favorite product right now in my Boscia collection. It’s not as charcoal or scented as the other black line products, and it does have brightening ingredients like licorice root, vitamin C and glycolic acid. I love the addition of pomegranate too for free-radical protection. But, unfortunately I always compare moisturizers to Drunk Elephant LaLa retro cream – which I know is wrong because a cream is certainly different from a gel. It’s similar but better moisturizing than serums like Drunk Elephant B-Hydra or First Aid Beauty Ultra Repair Hydrating serum. For being a gel moisturizer, this is pretty good at moisturizing!. It’s also very cooling and leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft.

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