Activated Charcoal Skincare Benefits
There are many uses for activated charcoal, including everything from consuming it in your food and beverages to using it to purify your home. There’s no doubt, however, that the most popular of these uses is through skincare, whether it be charcoal face masks, scrubs, anti-aging cream, bath products, or even skincare for men.
The reasons for this are plentiful. You see, activated charcoal contains natural properties which can be likened to a magnet, effectively drawing makeup and impurities from our pores. Activated charcoal also doesn’t contain nasty chemicals or toxins, meaning that it’s a safe and all-natural option for even the most sensitive of skin.
Impressed? It gets better, as activated charcoal has also been proven to aid in absorbing infection, lessening swelling, and minimising pain – three vital healing processes for imperfections or skin conditions such as acne.
To learn more about the science of activated charcoal, check out Lab Muffin’s informative (and entertaining) YouTube video.
If you’re wondering how you can utilize activated charcoal in your daily skincare regime, you’re in luck. Keep reading to find out how.
Charcoal Face Masks
We’ve all seen photos and videos of charcoal face masks across social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, but are these products really worth the hype? Face masks using activated charcoal have risen to popularity due to their ability to deeply penetrate the skin’s pores, ridding them of imperfection-causing dirt, oil, toxins, and bacteria. Not only does this result in a cleaner, more refreshed face, but it also helps to brighten your skin, as everyday impurities (such as pollution) can leave your skin looking dull and tired. While facial cleansers can also assist with this on a daily basis, it’s a weekly or twice-weekly face mask that is more effective, due to the extra time it’s left on to work its magic with your skin.
It’s important to mention here that there’s two types of activated charcoal face masks: those with a creamy or mud-like consistency that you wash off and those that form a dry, thin layer on your skin and must be peeled off.
Peel off masks containing activated charcoal offer many of the same skin benefits but have some added advantages. Due to their pull-off nature, they’re also great at removing dead skin cells and even deeper grime from your pores. They’re a physical exfoliant, meaning they remove the top layer of skin, promoting a smoother skin texture, assisting to balance out pigmentation and fade fine lines, as explained by medical esthetician, Alana Mitchell. Furthermore, the sticky mask binds to unsightly imperfections such as blackheads, before simply peeling them out of the pores and away. This is why charcoal face masks are excellent at blackhead removal too.
Charcoal Face Scrubs
Just like face masks, face scrubs containing activated charcoal also offer many benefits to skin, including drawing dirt, bacteria, and other nasties out from the pores. Charcoal face scrubs also have another advantage, however, as they often contain small particles, beads, or chemicals to get rid of old skin cells and make way for new ones in a process known as exfoliation.
As explained by the American Academy of Dermatology, the removal of dead skin cells can leave skin looking brighter and improve the effectiveness of topical skin treatments, which can penetrate deeper once the topmost layer of skin is removed. Long-term benefits of exfoliation can include increased collagen production, resulting in younger-looking skin.
Thanks to Dr Axe’s teachings, we know that activated charcoal has millions of tiny, microscopic openings which bind with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne. Therefore, you can imagine the superpower effects that a face scrub can take on when it uses activated charcoal as an ingredient.
Anti-Aging Night Cream
Activated charcoal has also been proven to contain powerful anti-aging properties, including being able to prevent numerous cellular changes associated with aging. The National Center for Biotechnology Information published a study where activated charcoal was shown to increase the average lifespan of older test animals by roughly 34 percent. You see, activated charcoal slows the rate at which the brain becomes sensitive to toxins as you age, which makes for better cognitive functioning.
But what about skincare? When it comes to slowing down the physical signs of aging, activated charcoal is still highly effective, making it a popular ingredient in products such as anti-aging night cream. It efficiently removes aging toxins from your skin, leaving it refreshed, radiant, and more youthful. It also successfully combats swelling (goodbye under-eye bags) and works to balance out pigmentation and fade fine lines. The best part? Activated charcoal is a natural, non-toxic ingredient, making it suitable for all skin types – including sensitive skin.
Charcoal Skincare for Men
While it might seem like skincare products only cater for women, men shouldn’t have to miss out. There’s a wide range of charcoal skincare for men available, including shaving gels, face scrubs, cleansers, masks, anti-aging night cream, and more.
Charcoal deeply cleanses without harshly drying or irritating the skin, meaning that every man – and skin type – can benefit. And then there’s the fact that charcoal can attract up to 100 times its own weight in impurities, drawing oil, dirt, dead skin cells, bacteria, and toxins from a man’s skin – all within seconds. After all, men need to take care of their skin just as much as their female counterparts, especially if they want to avoid imperfections, acne, clogged pores, and premature aging.
Charcoal Bar Soap
Just like the other activated charcoal products discussed above, charcoal bar soap also has the ability to effectively draw out impurity-causing grime, making it highly recommended for those suffering from acne – whether on the face or body.
This is what sets charcoal bar soap apart from the regular soap you buy at a supermarket. While normal soap might form a nice lather and leave your skin smelling great, it misses the mark when it comes to cleanliness. Soap containing activated charcoal, however, can visibly reduce pore size, eliminate body odor (and keep it at bay throughout the day), and gently exfoliate skin.
Charcoal bar soap isn’t just great for your face and body either, as it can also be used as a shampoo. When used as a shampoo bar, it helps treat skin conditions like dandruff and dry scalp. Being an excellent exfoliant, it can also treat psoriasis and eczema. How good is that?
Charcoal Bath Products
When it comes to activated charcoal products for skincare, it doesn’t just stop there. There’s also a wide range of charcoal bath products, including charcoal bath salts, charcoal bath bombs, and charcoal liquid soap (which also doubles as charcoal bubble bath). They’re a fun and relaxing way to take advantage of the numerous benefits that activated charcoal offers to your skin and wellbeing.
Additionally, people can take advantage of charcoal sponges during their daily bath or shower routine. Known as Charcoal Konjac Sponges, these products are great for exfoliation and clearing pores all over your body. When your pores are clean, it helps the body to sweat and detox more effectively, therefore flushing out additional toxins. Katie Wells, Nutritional Consultant and Founder of Wellness Mama, believes that charcoal-infused Konjac Sponges are ideal for acne-prone skin.
Charcoal bath products also make perfect gifts for friends and families, even if they’ve never tried activated charcoal skincare products before. Remember, even the most sensitive of skin types can still benefit from charcoal’s incredible powers. Many bath products on the market today contain harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane, both of which may cause serious skin allergies. With activated charcoal bath products, you can rest easy knowing that it is a completely natural substance with no added nasties.
Diet is Important Too
Now that we’ve discussed all there is to know about activated charcoal skincare benefits, including the numerous products available to you, it’s time to turn our attention to another important fact. While activated charcoal works wonders for your health – both inside and out – you must also have a healthy diet to truly unlock activated charcoal’s potential.
It simply isn’t feasible to consume food and drinks high in sugar, saturated fats, or salt, and expect to achieve healthy, imperfection-free skin using activated charcoal products each week. Like all good things in life, having clear, healthy skin goes hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. After all, activated charcoal products can only look after you so much. You have to look after yourself too.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the old adage “you are what you eat” not only applies to our overall health and nutrition, but how our skin looks and feels as well. As the largest organ in the body, our skin can benefit from the same nutrition we get from foods that have a positive effect on our heart and other major organs.
As you can see, activated charcoal isn’t just beneficial for purifying the home or aiding with internal detox, but it also contains a lot of benefits when used in skincare products. Whether you choose to use charcoal face masks, face scrubs, anti-aging night cream, charcoal bar soap, charcoal bath products, or even charcoal skincare for men, all of these products effectively remove toxins, bacteria, dirt, oil, and dead skin cells from your skin.
Not only will your skin be left feeling softer and looking more radiant, but activated charcoal can also offer other advantages, such as exfoliation, balancing pigmentation, and the removal of fine lines. Because it’s a natural product with no added chemicals, you can also rest easy knowing that activated charcoal is suitable for all skin types – including those with sensitive skin.
So, which activated charcoal products will you be adding to your skincare arsenal? While it can be tempting to rush out and buy every charcoal skincare product available, we recommend starting slowly. Perhaps you can begin using just one or two activated charcoal products each week (such as a face mask or bar of soap), before working your way up to an effective regime including multiple charcoal products.