#Skinconfessions. MOTHER MADE team members share their summer skincare routine feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep.3.

For this episode of #skinconfessions installment, we’ re talking to our assistant manager, Eva Babicheva. She manages the brand social media accounts and PR inquiries.      

Eva, assistant manager

I: How would you describe your skin?

Eva: I have combination oily skin that can get dehydrated easily even in summer. I’ve done a lot of damage in my teen years – the concept of sunscreen was non-existent for me, and I loved tanning. And let’s not even mention years of neglecting hydration and over-using sebum-controlling toners. Now. I’m paying the price.  

I: Do you have any particular skincare concerns?

E: Sun damage is definitely a big one for me. I’ve started to notice that my skin got sort of dull, not as firm as it used to be with fine lines and mimic wrinkles popping up here and there. Oh, and let’s not forget enlarged pores and blackheads! So, yeah, lots of concerns.

I: How would you describe your lifestyle?

E: I’d say balanced. I spend most of my time behind the desk in the office. But I try to compensate by going swimming every morning and commuting to work definitely helps to keep me moving. I also try to stay active on weekends – meeting friends, going to cafes and art galleries. It might sound like too much, but weekends on a couch is not my cup of tea.

I: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine.

E: I start my day in a swimming pool, so whether I want it or not, morning face wash with a cleanser is a must. It probably adds to the dehydration issue, but there’re a lot of people in the pool, so I feel like it’s a necessity. After that, I focus on one and only thing – hydration. First is a hydrating toner, then some kind of serum, followed by a hydrating yet lightweight lotion and a thick layer of sunscreen. Once I get home, I put on cc or bb cream, and I’m off to work.

My evening routine isn’t that different from the morning one. As soon as I get home, I double cleanse and follow up with the trusted  toner-serum-moisturizer formula. Sometimes, I’ll squeeze a sheet mask in between. Right now, it’s too hot in Seoul, so I use the same moisturizer as in the morning. I make sure to layer it up, so I won’t wake up with tight skin.

I: How does an Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine?

E: I use every night as my second cleanser. It’d be great to use it twice a day, but I keep my skincare in the pool locker, and the storage conditions aren’t ideal for powder cleansers. Too hot and humid. In the evening, I don’t use foaming nets, but sometimes I’ll use a silicone pore brush if my skin feels extra congested. But most of the time, I just foam it with hands and massage into skin. I really enjoy this part –adding water and watching the bubbles form – it’s my form of meditation.

I: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most?

There are so many things about this cleanser that I appreciate. As someone with dehydrated oily (and blackhead prone) skin, I love that it gives that squeaky-clean feeling without drying my skin out. It’s also changed my pore care game completely. I’m barely reaching for clay masks these days, and that’s a big one coming from someone who used them at least three times a week.    

#Skinconfessions feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep.2.

For this episode of #skinconfessions installment, we’ re talking to our Operations Manager, Monica Shin. She oversees the production process and makes sure that all paperwork in the company is done well and finished on time.

Monica Shin, Operations Manager

Q: How would you describe your skin?

Monica: Very dry. So dry that even in summer, I need heavy moisturizing cream. Lightweight creams/gels do absolutely nothing for my skin. Girls in the office often complain how hard it is to manage oily skin, but in all honesty, having extremely dry skin that is not a piece of cake either. It can easily add a few years if I’m not diligent enough with my moisturizers. In Korean, we have a word akkeonseong [악건성], meaning “really really really dehydrated,” and I’m the perfect example.

Q: Do you have any particular skincare concerns?

M: Well, on top of being super dry, my skin is also papery-thin. You can almost see through it. And while I wouldn’t describe it as sensitive, it’s sensitized easily, so I have to be very careful with what I put on my face. I also have smile lines, and year after year, my skin is losing firmness. 

Q: How would you describe your lifestyle?

M: I work in the office, so around 70% of the time, I’m clunking away on my keyboard. The rest of 30% I’m on my foot – in our warehouse or meeting our suppliers and partners. I’m not very into sports, and luckily my job allows me to move a bit during the week. But I know I should move more, so try to take long walks on the weekend if the weather allows.

Q: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine.

M: I never wash my face with a cleanser in the morning, just splash some water. I then apply a hydrating toner. Generously. Summer or winter – it doesn’t matter. I always use rich, viscose-y toners. After years of experimenting, I found that using hydrating products at every stage of the routine is the only way to keep my skin from being completely and utterly dehydrated by the end of the day.

After toner, I apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream ( REALLY moisturizing), then moisturizing sunscreen. Sometimes, instead of regular sunscreen, I use our Aqua Light CC cream, which has the same protection level as my daily sunscreen (SPF 50+/PA+++), plus it’s tinted. I don’t wear eye make-up, so that’s it.

In the evening, I use an oil cleanser (or oil-based cleansing pads)/ low pH cleanser combo to wash the day off my face.  Toner comes next and I might follow with some kind of brightening or firming serum if I feel like it. I don’t feel like it very often and honestly, over the years I’ve realized that the best anti-aging product is a moisturizer. That’s where most of my skincare money go. Sometimes I’d use a hydrating sheet mask, like our Rich Snail Mask, or a sleeping pack when my skin is feeling extra rough.

Q: How does an Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine?

M: I use it every night as my second cleanser, and it’s been working great for me. I don’t like dense foams (they dry my skin out mercilessly), so I add quite a lot of water when lathering the product to make airy, weightless foam. A foaming net serves this purpose well.

My favorite way to use it though, is with cotton pads. I massage the foam first into my skin and then, instead of rinsing it, I’ll remove the foam with a dry cotton pad. It gives a light physical exfoliating effect plus my skin looks sort of polished afterward. I don’t do it every day, more like 2-3 times a week. This is the only form of exfoliation my dry skin needs in summer. 

Q: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most?

This is the first charcoal product that’s actually mild enough for me, which makes me very happy. I love charcoal, but most of the products I’ve tried (and I’ve tried plenty) sucked the last bits of moisture that was left in my skin. I’m glad we could make our Charcoal Powder Wash so suitable for different skin types.

Another thing I appreciate is that it’s keeping my pores clean. Even if I have dry skin, it doesn’t mean my pores don’t get clogged. But I can’t use acids – they sting and tingle. So, our charcoal powder wash is an excellent alternative for me!  

#Skinconfessions feat. Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash. Ep. 1

Hanla Lee, Brand Manager

For this blog post, we decided to do something different and talk a little bit about our team members’ skincare struggles and what they do to keep their skin balanced and healthy in the heat and humidity of Korean summer. Our interviewee today is Hanla Lee, our brand manager who makes sure that everything runs smoothly here, at MOTHER MADE HQ. 

Q:How would you describe your skin? 

Hanla: It’s oily all year round, but even more so now that it’s so hot and humid.   

Q: Do you have any particular skincare concerns? 

Hanla: Excessive sebum seems to be the bane of my existence. I almost stopped wearing make-up in summer because it slides off my face after a few hours and primers/setting powders break me out. Blackheads and clogged pores are another significant areas of concern for me. Of course, having oily skin has its upsides. For instance, wrinkles and fine lines are not something I need to worry about. But I do feel that my skin can get pretty dull and lifeless if I’m not diligent with the skincare regimen. 

Q: How would you describe your lifestyle? 

Hanla: I’m in the office behind a computer most of the time, so I’d say sedentary. Regular exercise is something I’d like to start doing more of, but I’m yet to find an activity that doesn’t bore me to death.  So for now, whenever the weather allows, I try to commute by bike, eat a healthy diet, and take long walks on the weekends. I feel a massive difference in how my skin looks and feels when I spend at least 2-3 hours walking on the mountain trails surrounded by greenery. 

Q: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine 

Hanla: It’s really simple. I mean REALLY. I love skincare, but I don’t have the patience for a complicated regimen. One thing I never skip, though, is a morning cleanse. I don’t like to sleep with an AC on, so I wake up already feeling sweaty and oily. Washing the face with some type of a low pH cleanser makes me feel so refreshed and awake. After cleansing, I go on with a toner, then apply lightweight moisturizer and finish off with sunscreen. If I have a meeting or an audit, I’ll put a thin layer of cc or bb cream, And that’s it, really. In the evening, as soon as I come back from work, I shower, do a double cleanse, apply toner and lightweight moisturizer. We’re currently working on developing several masks, so these days use sheet masks more than I’d typically do. On the weekend, I might do a clay mask, and I also use a sleeping mask a couple of times a week. 

Q: How does the Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine? 

Hanla: I use it every day, morning and evening, as my mild, low pH cleanser. My oily skin LOVES charcoal, and it made a massive difference in the way my skin looks and feels. I don’t normally say “holy grail” (I hate that expression), but for the lack of a better word, let’s say this is what Charcoal Powder Wash is for me.

In the mornings, I like to use a foaming net to make a very soft, weightless foam. Since it’s a morning and I only need to remove the excess oil and leftover skincare from the night, I find that using the Powder Wash this way gives me just the right amount of cleansing.  

At night, I use it in a shower as a second cleanser/in-shower mask pack. What I like to do is to lather it up into a dense, cream-like foam, apply it all over the face as I’d do with a regular wash-off mask. I then leave it on for about 10-15 minutes while finishing my shower. Not only it saves me a little time and effort each evening (which I’m all for), but my pores look extra clean afterward. 

Q: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most? 

Hanla: I like that it’s mild. Most charcoal products I’ve tried before dried me out, so I almost gave up until we decided to make one. Plus, as I said before, I’m not the one who enjoys complicated double-digit step routines. As someone with oily skin, I need to take care of my pores daily, and I appreciate that our Charcoal Powder Wash keeps my pores clean without extra efforts (or added steps) on my end.

Active Bamboo Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash Explained

WHAT IT IS


Charcoal Powder Wash is a mild low-pH facial wash that boasts impressive pore cleansing powers thanks to activated bamboo charcoal and papaya enzymes. It’s a water-activated formula, meaning that the powder turns into soft foam once you add water.

WHY POWDER

That’s an excellent question! Why would you choose a powder cleanser over a conventional one? Well, there a couple of reasons why you might want to consider making a switch.

  • 100 % preservative-free. The great things about powder cleansers are that they don’t need preservatives. Since there is no water in the formula, bacteria or mold won’t have the environment to grow. Excellent choice for sensitive skin types!
  • Highly customizable. Depending on your skin type, you can adjust a powder cleanser to suit your unique skin needs. Add less or more water depending on what kind of cleanser – creamy and dense or light and airy – you want. There are no rules!
  • Long-lasting. Compared to a conventional cleanser that has to be used (on average) within 12 months after opening, a powder cleanser boasts an impressive 3-year shelf life! It will also last you longer since it’s in a concentrated form and you’ll only need a small amount.
  • Powerful. For the same reason, it will last you longer, it will also do a cleansing job better – active ingredients remain undiluted thus more potent.
  • Travel-friendly. Since it’s a non-liquid product, tossing a powder wash in your suitcase is a no-brainer. TSA won’t take it away from you. Ever. And it won’t leak or explode all over your clothes.

KEY INGREDIENTS

  1. 100% natural bamboo charcoal from the ecologically clean Damyang region in South Korea. Bamboo charcoal is the purest and the safest type of charcoal currently available on the market. Plus, bamboo itself is an easily renewable resource making it a great eco-friendly alternative to traditional wood charcoal. You can read more about bamboo charcoal and its skin benefits here.
  2. Papaya Enzymes (Papain). Rich in Vitamin C, A, E, papaya enzymes gently exfoliate dead skin cells and restores the even-toned look of your skin while also delivering brightening benefits.
  3. Aloe Vera Extract. A rockstart ingredient with outstanding hydrating and soothing properties. Do we need to say more?

WHAT IT DOES

#DeepPoreCleanse. Much like a sponge or a magnet, ultra-porous charcoal particles suck out dirt and grime from the pores making them visibly clear and refined post-cleanse. But don’t let the word “deep” scare you. The Powder Wash is formulated with low pH nature-derived amino acid surfactants that are very gentle and respective of your natural protective barrier. The wash can be used daily without running a risk of sensitizing your skin.

The Powder Wash will give you that satisfying cleansing experience when your skin is thoroughly cleansed sans any tight or drying sensation.

Skin brightening effect. Thanks to exfoliating powers of papaya enzymes, this powder wash will mildly buff away dead skin cells and make your skin instantly look brighter and overall healthier.


All in all, the Powder Wash will give you that satisfying cleansing experience when your skin is thoroughly cleansed sans any tight or drying sensation. The best feeling ever. Period.

HOW TO USE

This product is seriously versatile and fun, too. You can use it multiple ways, depending on what type of cleansing you’re going for.

Start with tapping a quarter-sized amount of product into the palm of your hands, add water and mix to create the desired texture. Then the fun part begins.


Experiment with texture. Want deeper, more thorough cleanse? Add less water to get a dense, creamy lather. After massaging it into your skin, leave it on for several minutes for an added exfoliating effect.


Have dry and/or sensitive skin? Use more water to create light, airy foam, massage gently for several seconds and wash immediately. Pro tip: You can also use a foaming net like this one here to make VERY soft bubbles. It is a popular method among those who have easily sensitized skin and want to minimize any rubbing.


If DIY is your gem, you can go as far as fashioning a wash-off mask. Mix the powder with water in a bowl. The consistency should be slightly runny, but not too runny that it starts dripping all over your sink. The mask can be used on your whole face or on blackhead-prone areas (such as a T-zone) only – it’s up to you! Apply a thin layer with a mask brush, wait a couple of minutes for it to set and go over with another layer. Allow the mask to dry completely and wash it off with water. Or, if you are feeling extra fancy, remove the mask with a steamed towel.

And there you have it! Now you know everything you need to make the most out of our Active Charcoal Powder Wash.

Still got questions? Ask away in the comment section below!

Ingredient series: Bamboo Charcoal

Recently, activated charcoal-based skincare and beauty products have been having a moment. Praised for its sponge-like abilities to draw out toxins, charcoal, a.k.a. “blackhead buster,” is meant to bring a much-needed balance and clarity to overheated oily skin.

But did you know that not all charcoal products are created equal? From hardwood to peat to coconut shells – there are different types to choose from. But it’s the bamboo charcoal that increasingly gets the spotlight.

Curious to know why? Then keep on reading.

So, why bamboo?

Among other types, charcoal made from bamboo stalks is believed to have the best purifying properties thanks to its naturally super-porous structure. As the bamboo plant grows and matures, millions of tiny holes form on its surface, which ultimately gives bamboo charcoal the ability to attract and store more impurities.

While bamboo charcoal might sound very novel, it isn’t new. Back in ancient Egypt and then China, people relied on the detoxifying power of bamboo charcoal to treat poison, eliminate wound odor and purify water. Even in the present day, it has been extensively used in a hospital setting to treat food and alcohol poisoning.

Eventually, bamboo charcoal found a way into skincare in its more potent, activated form. The “activation” process further reduces the size of the holes on the bamboo surface, making it even more porous and absorbent. And while it sounds complicated, it’s actually a very straightforward technique – the charcoal powder is simply injected with steam, and no other chemicals are added. The results are amazing – the powder becomes four times more porous and can hold up to 1000 times its weight in pollutants and dirt. Sounds quite powerful, doesn’t it?

Bamboo is one of the world’s best sustainable resources.

Bamboo is also one the world’s best sustainable resources. And that’s another reason why bamboo charcoal is gaining a king status, especially among environmentally conscious brands and consumers. When a regular tree is chopped, it can take nearly a century for it to grow back to its original state. Bamboo, on the other hand, grows quickly (almost two feet or more in a single day!) and reaches maturity in under 5 years. If harvested responsibly, it will renew itself easily without needing any irrigation, complex maintenance or synthetic fertilizers. Bonus points – it also keeps the soil stronger and the air cleaner.

Last, but not least, bamboo charcoal products are a safer choice for people with extremely sensitive and allergy-prone skin. Regular hardwood charcoal is often a mix of woods and the truth is, it’s hard to know the exact types that went into the mix (unless the company openly discloses this info), how they were grown and harvested and whether they were sprayed with fertilizers or pesticides in the process. So you always have to consider a possibility of an allergic reaction and be extra careful when choosing a charcoal product that wasn’t made from bamboo.

How will it help the skin?

Now, we’ve established that bamboo charcoal is great at removing impurities from your congested, dull skin. But how exactly does it work? In short, the process is very similar to that of a magnet. The tiny holes on the charcoal surface have a negative electrical charge, while toxins, impurities and dirt molecules – positive. Whenever they come into close proximity, i.e., when you are washing your face or applying a mask, negatively charged charcoal holes attract positively charged impurities and trap them inside before being washed away. The finer the powder particle, the deeper into the pores it will go, allowing more dirt and sebum to be washed away.

Charcoal is one of the few ingredients that deliver both short- and long-term results.

The best part, however, is that charcoal is one of the few ingredients that deliver both immediate and sustainable long-term results. Since it literally draws out excess oils, dead skin cells, sweat, and toxins, after cleansing your skin will feel instantly cleaner, brighter and decongested. Best experience ever! And if you use charcoal-based cleansers daily, dead skin and sebum won’t stand a chance to accumulate and clog your pores in the long run.

Interested in trying a bamboo charcoal cleanser? Check out our Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash that contains ecologically clean bamboo charcoal from pristine Damyang region in Korea. It also boasts an extra fine particle size that will travel deeper into the pores and suck out even more sebum and dirt, making way for fresh, bright and radiant skin.   

Why we made Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash?

If you have enlarged pores that get clogged quickly, then you know that managing them is a never-ending battle. It becomes especially frustrating in the heat of summer when your sebaceous glands go into overdrive, and none of the usual blackhead remedies seem to be bringing the desired results. 

Desperate to find a solution for these pesky blackheads, you start washing your face excessively, double on the acid-containing products and break into a stash of pore-strips that was collecting dust on your vanity. Surely, you see some results, but this extreme regimen damages the skin’s natural protective barrier, leaving the skin weak, dehydrated and sensitized. Skin’s response? You guessed it – start making even more oil. And the circle goes on. 

How do we know? Well, because we’ve been there and made these mistakes. We learned the hard way that solving a particular skincare problem starts with letting go of “instant fix” mentality, putting to terms with the fact that good skin doesn’t happen overnight, and adopting skincare habits that will put skin health first. 

We knew we wanted to make a product that will provide a gentle, non-sensitizing solution to people suffering from congested skin and ever-clogged pores. But for a long time, we weren’t sure what kind of product would fit in with MOTHER MADE philosophy – skincare that is gentle, natural, multifunctional and innovative. 

We knew what kind of products we didn’t want to make, though: 

  • Any gimmicky products that promise to clear your pores instantly. It’s likely impossible, and if a product really does that, there are probably a myriad of adverse side effects that come along with it. (Pore strips, we’re looking at you). We talk about why pore strips are bad for your skin here.  
  • Clay masks or any type of wash-off masks. Don’t get us wrong, we love ourselves a good clay mask, and they are essential in your pore care regimen. But because there are already so many great products available on the market, we didn’t feel the need to make a product just for the sake of making it. Besides, consistent pore care routine is critical and let’s be honest, when life gets too busy doing a wash-off mask on regular basis sinks down on your priority list. 
  • Acid Exfoliants. Again, we love them, and there is for sure a time and place for a chemical exfoliant in your pore care routine. Salicylic Acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids are especially effective for treating blackheads. But the truth is, not all skin types can handle these acids well, making such products not suitable for sensitive skin. 

Then, what is it that we did want to make? We’ve said that before and will repeat it again and again. Consistency is key when it comes to developing an effective pore care routine.

So, here’s what we had in mind:

  • We wanted to make a basic skincare product that you can effortlessly incorporate into your existing regimen. 
  • We wanted to make a very gentle product that can be used daily, morning and evening. It also had to be sensitive skin-friendly. 
  •  Making a multifunctional product was high on our priority list. The product must not only treat congested pores but also work holistically – normalize sebum production and prevent pores from clogging in the first place.  Bonus points if we could come up with a product that can be used in several different ways.

And that is how Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash came to be! 

The result is a gentle skin barrier respecting cleanser with non-drying Amino Acid surfactants, natural Bamboo Charcoal Powder and Papaya Enzymes that can be used daily worry-free. Use it in the morning to wash off the sweat and oils accumulated over night and in the evening as your second cleanser after removing make-up. It comes out as powder that transforms into foam once you add a little water, making it for a very relaxing cleansing experience. The fact that it’s a powder also comes in super handy for when you go traveling – decant it into a small container and take as much as you need with you. 

Oh, and that bonus point! Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash can also be used as a mask pack for your T-zone! Combine the powder with water in a separate bowl and apply the mixture with a mask brush. Leave it on for several minutes letting bamboo charcoal to work its magic and remove with water or steamed towel.  

Stay tuned for the next post where we’ll go in-depth discussing the ingredients and what makes this powder wash so special.