Let's Compare a Charcoal Mask to a Microdermabrasion Treatment

Posted July 21, 2023 by Michelle Fox

What's the difference between charcoal masks and microdermabrasion?  They are popular add-on treatments for your regular skincare routine. They both deep clean your pores, exfoliate dead skin, and brighten your complexion. The questions is, how do you choose between them? That's what we're going to talk about in this week's blog. In our featured video, I sample a charcoal mask on one side of my face, and a microdermabrasion treatment on the other. The microderm treatment is actually two steps: Refine and Replenish. So let's jump in and discover the benefits and the differences between these two skincare supplements!

For more details on the benefits of activated charcoal, check out my previous blog, Charcoal Mask, the ultimate skincare multitasker.

Microdermabration is mentioned in Age Spots - 3 Sure-Fire Ways to Lighten Them as an effective way of dimishing discoloration.

Charcoal Mask vs. Microdermabrasion -
which one works best?

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Let's Compare a Charcoal Mask to a Microdermabrasion Treament

What are the similarities?

And now the differences...

Charcoal Mask 

A charcoal mask is appropriate for all skin types, but especially beneficial if you have oily, acne-prone skin. Also, it's usually cheaper than a microdermabrasion set. On the other hand, it does take a little longer to use. After applying a thin amount over your face (you don't have to do your neck), you should wait about 10-20 minutes for the mask to dry and then remove it. During that time, the heat from your body warms up the charcoal and "activates" it. Like I said in the video, activated charcoal has been shown to absorb up to twice its weight in impurities and pull them out like a magnet! 

After completing these steps, pores should immediately appear smaller, skin will feel smoother, and your overall appearance, brighter. As mentioned in the demo, exfoliation is minimal but still helps!


Microdermabrasion is a 2-step process. It's a physical exfoliator that reduces the appearance of fine lines and gently smooths skin's texture as it removes surface dead skin cells and build-up from pores. Again, it exfoliates more deeply than a charcoal mask is able to. For example, the gritty first step digs in and deep cleans your pores, getting all of the dirt and oil out from within your pores as well as the walls of your pores, which is an important step in making them appear smaller. 

The process is quick and you determine how much pressure to use. However, your skin may still be somewhat red and tender afterward. The second step provides soothing botanicals to help and also completes the process of reducing the appearance of the size of your pores.

The price of microdermabrasion tends to be higher than that of a charcoal mask. 

Something to think about:

When considering cost, think about how many uses you will get from it, as well as any added benefits it has compared to another product. In addition, ask yourself if you are more likely to use it than the one you are comparing it to. If you won't use it, you aren't saving you money!

Here's a handy chart that reviews what we've learned. 

Click the chart to download your own copy!

Let's compare!

Wrap Up

Like most things, when choosing between a charcoal mask and microdermabrasion treatment, it will come down to the one you like better! Which one will you actually use? If you are okay with putting in the time for a charcoal mask and you like the lower price, there's your winner! If price is not a consideration and you usually opt for age-fighting features, microdermabrasion is a good fitEither way, the exfoliation step is an important part of a healthy skincare regimen and not to be overlooked. Both of these effective products are able to do the job just fine!

Learn something new? Share it! 

Products used during demonstration

ClearProof Deep Cleansing Charcoal Mask

TimeWise Microdermabrasion Plus Set

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