Your own Chemical X and the pint-sized but potent Powerpuff Girls

Glam Glow is a skincare brand originally created for use behind Hollywood’s stages. The brand includes a line of mud masks that target different skin needs, most popular of which is the Supermud Clearing Treatment. I’m sure it works wonders and that the mud “visibly draws out dirt and congestion…and dramatically brightens and softens skin.” The main ingredient is “Activated-X Charcoal” which I consider regular activated charcoal dressed up in a pretty marketing bow. The name is actually reminiscent of the Chemical X that Professor Utonium used to create the Powerpuff Girls, so from this day forth, consider activated charcoal your very own chemical X that you will add to everything you use in and on your body. It is small, it is powerful, and like Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup it is initially underestimated.

Physically, activated charcoal is highly porous with an extremely high surface area that allows for extreme “adsorption.” It is used in water filtration systems, purification treatment, and as a poisoning treatment. These properties make it great for use on the skin by soaking up all that is dirty and bad and detrimental to the harmony of your complexion, hereby known as The City of Townsville.

I was inspired to create my own version of the Glam Glow Mask after reading this post on a blog I admire, Relaxed Hair Health. I basically use the same ingredients she does (Aztec clay, charcoal, mandelic acid), with a few others I added for personal benefit (dissolved aspirin, lemon juice, tea tree oil).

Aztec Indian Healing Clay

Self-proclaimed “The World’s Most Powerful Facial”. I discovered this product years ago when I was first starting my beauty journey. I actually came across it from a recommendation to use it as a mask on my hair, but I eventually found its benefits using it on my face. The packaging says that you can actually feel pulsations from it working, and when it is used as a mask with just one or two other ingredients this is definitely true. Like many powder-based mask products, it works to draw out impurities from the skin, and leaves behind a clean and toned complexion. It can be found at many health food stores or online.

Mandelic Acid

A type of alpha hydroxy acid, mandelic acid is made from bitter almonds and used in chemical facial peels. It has acne treatment and anti-aging benefits, because the molecular process of dissolving bonds and dead skin removal makes it a great chemical exfoliator. It is a good chemical to use on deeply pigmented skin such as mine, and sensitive skin because there is less scar-inducing irritation that happens with using other alpha hydroxy acids. The kind I use is from Makeup Artists Choice, and I experience zero irritation.


Aspirin is often used in face masks because it has salicylic acid, a common ingredient in acne-treating skincare products. Salicylic acid is another chemical that sloughs off dead skin cells and clears out pores. It also reduces the inflammation associated with acne, and prevents skin discoloration. You can buy aspirin from really any store, just make sure to get a kind that is uncoated, or has a light coating. In order to dissolve the aspirin for use in my mask, I put two tablets in a half tablespoon scoop measure and gently fill the rest of the scoop with water. After about 10 seconds of waiting, the aspirin will start to dissolve. I poke the tablets to get them to break apart until they are no longer in the shape of a pill, and very carefully pour the rest of the water out of the scoop. Then I have dissolved aspirin ready to mix with the rest of my mask.

I encourage you to try your own at home version of the widely popular Glam Glow mask. Of course nothing will probably ever be exactly as effective as the actual product itself, you will really enjoy being able to customize the mask each time you make it to my current skincare needs. Let me know if you give it a try (and which ingredients you used) in a reply below!

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