A hot skincare ingredient is actually something quite old – charcoal. Yes, almost the same product that you use for BBQ within the summer. What can charcoal actually do for your skin? Who should consider using it and what products are recommended? Keep reading to find out the answers.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Before explaining how activated charcoal can help your skin let me explain what it is exactly.
According to WebMD activated charcoal is made for medical use by heating common charcoal in the presence of gas. This heating causes the development of internal spaces in the charcoal which can help trap chemicals. In a medical setting activated charcoal is used to treat poisonings, flatulence, lower cholesterol, and even prevent hangovers.
The activated charcoal works by trapping chemicals and preventing them from being absorbed by the body.
Furthermore activated charcoal has many other uses. As explained here activated charcoal is carbon that has been treated with oxygen making the charcoal highly porous (filled with tiny holes). It is used in water filters and chemical purification processes since it can absorb a wide range of contaminants like chlorine, pigments, and odors.
Now that I have explained how activated charcoal is used in a medical setting and around the home how can it actually help your skin?
What Charcoal Does For Our Skin
As you read above-activated charcoal traps chemicals when taken orally. If activated charcoals attract toxins in your stomach for instance then when used on your face, it will draw out dirt and oil stuck inside your pores.
The dirt and oil will stick to the activated charcoal in the skincare product and wash away when you rinse off the product. Other claims about charcoal include that it has the ability to hold oil 200 times better than any other ingredient which means it can really suck up oil trapped in your pores and clean out those pores.
The great thing about this ingredient is that even as it cleans and exfoliates your skin it does not strip your skin of its natural oils. Your skin will feel soft after using a skincare product with activated charcoal instead of tight and dry. You can also use activated charcoal to treat insect bites and rashes like those from poison ivy. Of course, keep in mind that not everyone is so impressed by the use of activated charcoal in skincare products claiming its popularity has to do with how it looks on the skin (black) and not its effectiveness.
Charcoal Products To Try
When it comes to using skincare products with activated charcoal in them, you could actually go the DIY route and make the products yourself. While this can be quite cost-effective, there are actually plenty of affordable options you can easily buy so you do not need to get your kitchen or bathroom dirty in order to treat your skin. There are cleansers, exfoliators, facial masks, and even shampoos with activated charcoal in them. It also turns out that you can even drink activated charcoal for its health benefits if you want (and not for medical reasons).
You can find the following skincare products with charcoal in them online at Amazon:
- Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
- Binchotan Facial Soap
- Origins Clear Improvement Mask
- Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal
- Garnier Clean + Blackhead Eliminating Scrub
- Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask