Ever feel like there’s a new beauty ingredient you can’t stop seeing and hearing about? That all of the sudden, it’s in every product and all over your Instagram feed? This is what our Beauty Buzzwords series is all about – helping you learn more about these mysterious ingredients and why everyone is raving about them.
This time, we’re taking a closer look at activated charcoal. The all-natural detoxifier that has recently been burning up the beauty and wellness industry!
What is it?
Activated charcoal is a fine black powder made from wood, peat or coconut shells. The charcoal becomes “activated” upon heating it at extremely high temperatures, resulting in a more porous charcoal that is very effective at absorbing toxins from the body. Activated charcoal chemically adheres other materials to its surface and can absorb thousands of times its own weight.
What are the benefits?
Activated charcoal acts like a magnet for dirt, oil and environmental pollutants. When impurities and bacteria from your skin come in contact with the carbon, they cling to it and then get rinsed away, providing a super deep clean. It is gentle, yet effective. And you can use it in many different ways for skin care. This purifying powerhouse can make pores appear smaller, treat acne and balance out oily skin.
Who should be using it?
It is a potent ingredient, so those with somewhat sensitive skin should try testing it on a small area of the skin before fully applying. Where it really shines though is with oily and acne prone skin types.
How can you use it?
My personal favourite ways to use this detoxifier is as a DIY mask. Things will get a little messy, but it will not stain your skin. Just keep a paper towel close by for any spills.
Mix the above ingredients and a little water if needed with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Apply the mask carefully avoiding clothes and contact with eyes. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse with warm water and a cloth.
Try adding a charcoal face mask to your routine every few weeks and always remember to follow up with a good quality moisturizer in order to prevent drying out the skin.
My Favourite Products:
- Organika Activated Charcoal Powder: It’s important to buy pure activated charcoal with no fillers. I recommend the Organika Activated Charcoal, which is sourced responsibly from the American Tree Farm System, ensuring no old growth forests are affected.
- Woodlot Wildwoods Charcoal Soap Bar: Helps to decrease skin congestion, and clear any acne prone areas. It has a beautifully light scent of vanilla, orange, cedarwood, fir, pine, and eucalyptus.
- Boo Bamboo Sheet Mask Hydrating: Enriched with coconut, aloe, and bamboo extracts which unite to shield, soften, purify and hydrate your skin while leaving it with soft and bright.
- Schmidt’s Deodorant Charcoal & Magnesium Deodorant: Keeps you dry and smelling good without any nasty chemicals in a super convenient stick applicator.
Remember to always be cautious when introducing a new ingredient into your beauty routine. This post is strictly about the beauty benefits of activated charcoal. I do not recommend ingesting charcoal without speaking to a medical professional.
Give activated charcoal a try at your next home spa night and let us know what you think. And stay tuned for our next edition of Beauty Buzzwords!
Eve is a photographer and writer from Toronto, Canada with a passion for natural beauty and healthy eating. She loves green products, yoga, big salads and even bigger cups of tea.