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Charcoal For Your Skin

From Barbecue to Beauty

While browsing the shelves at your nearest drugstore or perusing the bustling beauty counter, there is one ingredient that has continuously been popping up as of late.  Once considered merely a backyard barbecue staple, charcoal has become a buzzworthy beauty trend that has both men and women alike talking.  But is it hype or is there really something to this ash-coloured ingredient?

Well, it really should come as no surprise that charcoal has come into the spotlight when it comes to health and beauty.  After all, this porous form of carbon has long been used in hospitals for patients seeking treatment for poisoning. Charcoal is an active ingredient and has a large capacity to absorb.  It attaches itself to harmful toxins, thereby keeping them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

Science has shown that activated charcoal can draw impurities out of the body, allowing them to exit through the skin.  When applied to your skin, the charcoal acts as a sort of magnet – sucking out harmful toxins from your body, such as dirt and oil, leaving you with a healthier system and unclogged pores.  Charcoal has the ability to absorb upwards of 200 times its weight in impurities, making it an ideal ingredient for those looking to focus on clean and healthy skin.  It acts as both a detoxifier and a cleanser – two birds, one stone.  

However, there are some things to note when using charcoal for your skin.  The darker-hued products have a tendency to discolour fairer skin tones, so be sure to test the product on a patch of skin before long-term use.  Also, keep in mind, in order to be at its most effective, carbon needs to come in direct contact with impurities for a longer time in order to absorb them, which is why when grabbing a charcoal based product, you’re better off opting for a mask over a cleanser.  The longer the product is left on the skin, the better. If you want to give this beauty buy a proper go, some products to check out are:

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask – It’s infused with White China clay and lecithin to help absorb and dissolve impurities on your face.  Best for all skin types!




Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge – This pore-perfecting sponge is infused with bamboo charcoal and will help exfoliate for clean, smooth skin.




Lush Coalface Charcoal Bar – This preservative-free cleanser contains powdered charcoal, which absorbs excess sebum and exfoliates your skin.


When choosing a product, keep in mind that not all of them are created equal.  Depending on your skin type, some products may work better than others.  Be sure to shop around and test, test, test to see what works best for you!


Lora Maghanoy is a writer from Toronto.  She spends far too much time and money researching and buying beauty products.