When you first think of coal, I can imagine the thought of a summer BBQ or a roaring fire comes to mind. But in recent years activated charcoal has become a key ingredient in skincare.
The thought of putting charcoal in your hair and on your face might not seem glamorous, but it has been proven to have many benefits when it is used correctly and safely.
Keep on reading to find out about the benefits and the science behind charcoal in your skin care.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Skincare Products Containing Activated Charcoal?
Some of the benefits of using activated charcoal in your skincare regime include:
- Acne Treatment – Activated charcoal has been known to help reduce and even clear acne due to its absorbing oils and toxins on and below the skin’s surface. It is recommended, if you suffer from acne that you use activated charcoal in the form of soap. This will provide gentle exfoliation on your skin without causing irritation.
- Smaller Pores – Throughout the day, toxins from the environment around us clog our pores. When our pores are clogged, our complexion is not clear which can lead to breakouts.
Activated charcoal is used to help pull the oil and dirt out of your pores, making them less visible (the oil and dirt are what makes them appear bigger). This leaves your face feeling clean and fresh.
- Balances Oily Skin – As I have mentioned in my previous articles, I suffer from oily skin myself, so this is one of the reasons I love charcoal based products. To achieve the balance in your oily skin you should use a face mask or cleanser.
This will leave your skin feeling smooth, because it will remove unwanted excess oil from your pores. You should only repeat this process once or twice a week to prevent your skin from becoming too dry.
- Protects Your Skin Against Irritation – Although Charcoal cannot be absorbed or metabolised by the body, it can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Whether you have a sting or a small cut, activated charcoal can help heal skin and relieve pain, when it is applied topically to the infected areas.
- Teeth Whitening – When used in a safe formula, charcoal has been known to brighten the appearance of teeth.
- Provides A Deep Cleanse For Your Skin – This is because it can draw bacteria, toxins, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of your skin. It is important to follow using a charcoal based product with a hydrating moisturizer to prevent your skin from drying out.
Other uses for Charcoal
Charcoal is also known to have benefits for your hair. Using hair products containing activated charcoal can gently detox your hair by extracting dirt and oil.
It is important these are removed from your hair otherwise, it will appear dull, flat and will lack volume. Charcoal based products will not affect your hairs natural moisture levels and will not cause residue build up like a regular shampoo would. The results of using activated charcoal formulas will leave you with shiny hair with increased volume.
The charcoal trend does not stop at beauty and skincare, as many people are also using charcoal internally as a ‘detox’ product. It can be found in many health stores in the form of a health shot.
For me, this seems a little extreme and I cannot imagine it tasting good. I prefer to apply my charcoal formulas topically. It is also important to bear in mind that there is currently no scientific evidence to support the benefits of putting charcoal into our system.
The Science Behind Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is carbon soot that’s been treated to give it a sponge-like structure, with a large volume of holes. If you zoom into activated charcoal, it’s very jagged, which gives it a huge surface area.
This huge surface area is particularly beneficial for soaking up substances such as excess sebum (oil) in your skin.
The difference between charcoal and activated charcoal is that charcoal comes in a solid form and has a dark grey color. It contains ash and therefore, charcoal does not have carbon in its pure form.
Activated charcoal (also referred to as activated carbon) is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen during production. This causes it to be more porous than charcoal.
What Products To Use
BeautyCounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar – This product is made for those of you with oily and blemish prone skin. The great thing about this is the charcoal within the product does not dry out your skin.
Thanks to the product’s formula also containing coconut oil, which helps hydrate your skin. This is my favourite charcoal-based product and if you take one product away from this article it should be this one.
BeautyCounter No.3 Balancing Face Mask – A staple product for me, I aim to use this mask once a week. This product noticeably reduces the size of my pores and leaves my skin feeling fresh and hydrated, unlike other masks, which I have found left my skin dry and flaky.
Counterman Charcoal Body Bar – From BeautyCounter’s Men’s collection, this bar like the cleansing bar I previously mentioned, is infused with coconut oil. Which will leave your skin feeling fresh and moisturized. Also, having a gorgeous scent due to the formula containing a blend of natural citrus, mint, rosemary, and cedarwood oils.
Counterman Energizing Charcoal Body Wash – Again a product from BeautyCounter men’s collection, but there is no reason why both genders can’t experience the benefits of cleaner skincare products. This body wash is made without any harsh sulphates, so will not remove the moisture from our skin. It is also reassuring to know that this product does not contain any synthetic fragrances, dyes, parabens, and ethoxylated ingredients and is formulated with coconut and RSPO palm-derived cleansing ingredients.
I hope you found this post informative! Did you try any of the products that I mentioned? If you would like to learn more about them, I encourage you to also ready my more in depth BeautyCounter review.