Drugstore Skincare Review!! Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

*Contains Affiliate Links     
     Hello, and good day to you all!  So, now is the time for me to finally express some thoughts and other ramblings of a review on this seemingly inexpensive skincare product from the Freeman brand, and seriously, this stuff is pretty much the grand-daddy line in the drugstore skincare market. My first tube is currently on its last leg, as you will see from the photos. The product in question is none other than the Freeman Feeling Beautiful Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask. I was originally planning on making this a Skincare Sunday post, but limiting myself to one skincare review a week would be pretty pathetic on my part lol, especially since I have quite a few products I want to discuss with you all! This is a beauty blog after all, for goodness' sake! :)

     And look, this tube is almost empty, so please excuse all the photos of this crinkly, beat-up packaging. Should've clicked away on the cam when I first bought it, right? I know, le sigh. 
Drugstore Skincare Review, Folks!! Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask
Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

About The Product     

     According to the description on Ulta's site, the activated charcoal in this scrub (notice that I, just a reviewer, am not calling it a mask, and you'll find out why) is known for being pretty effective when it comes to ridding the skin of impurities and toxins from the environment, so as it stands, charcoal is known for its purifying benefits and works to detox the skin. Black sugar is highly regarded for its exfoliating properties. And oh my stars, believe me when I say the sugar granules in this stuff are freaking huge, as black sugar should be, I suppose. However, since this is my first foray into black sugar scrubs, the size of the granules was a bit of a surprise nonetheless.

Freeman touts this stuff as being a dual action scrub and mask, with all the benefits in one glorious product. Sounds fancy and fantastically peachy, right? Well, to me, it's an exfoliating scrub.....yep, just an abrasive black sugar scrub. Neither the application nor the characteristics of this product are akin to what a clay or mud face mask does, how it applies, how it sets; nor is it even how a mask, in general, would perform and work on the skin. Not sure why 'mask' is even in the name, to be honest, as it is misleading. If you are looking for an opaque mud mask that applies evenly onto the skin, this is not it. The brand does have that option, though I have not tried it. Their mud mask option is the Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Mask (in the white tube). 

How Does it Apply?

     This may sound a bit odd, but this scrub performs way better when applied and rinsed off outside of the shower or bath. If you try to apply this in-shower or even shower anytime after applying, the heat alone causes it to break down and it melts/drips right off immediately, and you're left with the layer of the polishing component on your skin, but no granules left whatsoever. It dries down considerably on the skin and just works more effectively if applied and rinsed off when you're not thinking of showering or bathing....lol so weird, I know.

The granules of this scrub apply very un-evenly to the skin, and by default, it's concentrated more wherever it was first plopped down on initial application, and it never seems to spread out very well, even if I had wet my face prior to applying (which I always do anyway). After rinsing, I always feel like there are some areas on my face with dead skin that didn't get properly sloughed away, due to the poor, uneven distribution of product and blendability of the scrub. 
Drugstore Skincare Review, Folks!! Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask
Freeman Charcoal and Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

So, Who Is It Good For?

     This Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask is advertised as being for all skin types, and from what I've read from scouring reviews to hear other people's thoughts and their skin types, I've noticed that this seems to receive resounding praise from folks with more oily, acne prone skin. Although my skin is actually normal-to-dry (very far from oily) and acne prone and a bit sensitive, I find that this proves itself to be a beautifully performing exfoliant, that's also cheap as dirt and I think it would be great for college students wanting a pick-me-up for smoother, more radiant (and less textured) skin, or anyone else who is on a budget. When I use it, it never leaves my skin feeling like it's being pulled taut and completely stripped of everything it's ever known, including the skin's natural oils, nor does it ever feel the slightest bit irritated, reddened and raw, or any of the unpleasant after-effects of abrasive scrubs post-rinse. The granules in this are moderately abrasive, that's a certainty, though the sugary liquid counterpart of this scrub (the 'skin polisher') really melts into the skin and gives the skin some moisture that the skin retains even after it's all rinsed off.

This product does not minimize or affect the appearance of large pores, though I did notice over time that some of my pores with blackheads were a bit more faint and less obvious than they were prior to using this. I just wasn't sure why some pores were affected, and others weren't. It could be because of the previously mentioned lack of distribution and blendability of the scrub, to be honest. My skin was also left calm and very soft after using this product.

The reason why I know this stuff was able to diminish my blackheads, even if just to a small degree, was because if there was ever a week where I used this exfoliant once, rather than my usual two times a week, I would notice the blackheads come back full force by the end of the 4 day mark after using this product. I really noticed a decrease in inflammation and irritation with current acne whenever I used this as well; I don't have broken capillaries or much acne scarring, so can't attest to how this product affects those two problems.


     You can already tell from the photos and the packaging, that there was quite a sneeze in the manufacturing process. Sheesh....haha yep, you already know. :) After about five uses, the cap just stops snapping shut, and now it just stays unhinged and loose, potentially completely exposing the product inside to any and everything that I'm trying to rid from my skin in the first place. The thing is, I've noticed this packaging defect as being a pretty common problem with many who have tried it and also reviewed it. That really is a damper and a letdown, because nobody should have to worry about any of their skincare, whether it's dirt cheap or luxury, to be open and exposed to the elements for any period of time, other than when it's being used. So that's a major downfall, and that factor alone will play a pertinent part in my overall rating. 

Price & Availability

Freeman products are pretty easily accessible here in the states in the Midwest, though I'm not entirely sure of availability in other regions. It's available on ulta.com, and in Ulta stores. Ulta usually has BOGO deals, so you may find a sale. This scrub, along with the rest of Freeman's line, retail for $4.29. 

Overall Rating: 6.5/10 

Sorry, the packaging problem is just unacceptable, and it's what brought my rating down. It's a solid performing product, but the packaging is a no-go.

Have you tried this scrub? What are your thoughts on these seemingly affordable scrubs when compared to making even cheaper DIY alternatives? Which method do you prefer? To buy, or to make?

Products In This Post:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! I read, appreciate, and try to reply to each one!
In an effort to improve blog content for my readership, so that I can blog about things you actually want to see, I approve comments as long as they are genuine! Blog links are welcome, but no spam, please. Leave any feedback or questions you have about the content you're commenting on - and oh! You can also email me at barcelonista1221@gmail.com

01 09 10