Activated charcoal used to be one of those beauty ingredients — like goat’s milk and snail slime — that intimidated a lot of people. Some of us may still be learning to get over our preconceived ideas about the last two, but we’re mostly all on board with activated charcoal now. We’re no longer intimidated by its distinct black color and we’ve come to recognize its many skin care benefits.
What Is Activated Charcoal
While plain ol’ charcoal is brilliant, activated charcoal takes things a step further. Lush trainer Erica Vega explains, “Activated charcoal is usually heated up in the absence of oxygen to remove any residual noncarbon elements, leaving the interior structure of the carbon particles with hollows or pits, making it more porous. It is the reason it’s often used for absorption of poisons if they were taken orally or for chemical reactions.”
Activated Charcoal Uses
If you’re not yet familiar with what a hero ingredient activated charcoal is, Rachel Winard of Soapwalla says, “Charcoal is a miracle ingredient. Skin care charcoal specifically has 200 times better ability to absorb oil, dirt and bacteria than other ingredients I have come in contact with. Its ability to bind and then wash away oil and/or dirt enables charcoal to fully cleanse the skin without overdrying; it’s unparalleled in this arena.” Vega adds that because charcoal is naturally porous, it’s suitable for anyone looking for exfoliating and deep cleansing.
While many of us enjoy activated charcoal’s deep cleaning benefits from masks, they’re not our only option. In fact, if you’re only using charcoal masks, you’re missing out on some of the amazing charcoal-based products out there. Try updating your routine with one of these activated charcoal beauty products that aren’t your average mask.