The best charcoal based beauty products can do more for your skin, hair and teeth than you’d imagine!
By Lora O’Brien
If you’re up on your trends then you’ve probably already heard about how charcoal is this year’s go-to ingredient for food. Yep, that’s right – we can now match our smoothies to our chic noir ensembles. But it’s not just the food industry that is going crazy for charcoal; you’ll be seeing more of it in your beauty products, too.
So, why charcoal? Before you go and raid the outside grill for lumps of the stuff, you may want to invest in some activated charcoal, which is made by burning a source of carbon such as wood or coconut shells, then applying a high temperature to it to remove all the oxygen before activating it with gases like steam. The result is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that capture, bind and remove heavy metals, chemicals and poisons from our water and bodies. But what does this mean for your skin?
Well, kind of the same thing. Charcoal in beauty products will bring gunk to the surface, absorb chemicals and reduce their toxicity.
Still need a little more persuading before turning your skincare routine black and gritty? Here are more ways using charcoal can boost your beauty regimen.
Cleans out Pores
Activated charcoal in products such as scrubs and face masks works like a wee magnet to tug out all of the oil and dirt from our pores, which in turn makes them look less visible. Your face will not only feel fresher but your complexion will look brighter, too.
Takes care of oily skin
When used in cleansers and masks, AC works by pulling all of those unwanted excess oils from the skin, leaving it smoother and a heck of a lot more matte looking. Be careful not to overuse though, as too much of a good thing can also be drying on the skin. Use sparingly, and if your skin type falls into the dry category, you may want to skip this and use charcoal in a different way.
It seems counter-intuitive, but one of the best charcoal based beauty products could be toothpaste! Yep, that’s right: food and drink stains, bacteria and plaque are all sucked up by the ‘coal. You need to brush it around for 3-5 minutes, then give your choppers a good old rinse. It’s pretty horrific at first (black teeth, anyone?) but you’ll be amazed at how white charcoal powder will leave your teeth!
If you’re feel a pimple coming on and want to prevent it from gaining a heartbeat and taking up residency on your face, you can use activated charcoal as a spot treatment by making up a paste and leaving it for a few minutes. Voila! Clear skin is yours.
I bet you never thought of packing some activated charcoal for a holiday. Me neither – until now! Activated charcoal can help speed up the healing process whilst also relieving symptoms from all kinds of things from insect bites, bee stings, cuts and even minor infections. When applied topically as a thick paste, the AC helps absorb insect venoms and infections, will reduce swelling and lessen pain. And did you know that AC pills are also a great way to heal “Delhi belly” and diarrhea?
The Best Natural Charcoal Based Beauty Products
Who doesn’t long for pearly whites? Well, now they won’t cost you the earth to have them. Charcoal powder is gradually being introduced into dental products, and for good reason. Activated charcoal helps to whiten teeth by absorbing the plaque stains on your gnashers. It also promotes great oral hygiene, and prevents cavities and gum disease.
This super affordable little tube will be your new best friend! This fluoride-free formula tastes awesome and also helps to freshen your breath.
Price: Around $6
A cleanser is usually the first step you take in your skincare routine, so you want to make sure you’re using one that is getting the job done. You don’t want anything too harsh or abrasive on the skin as this will do more harm than good, so this cleanser from Sukin is perfect.
The bamboo charcoal eliminates the daily buildup of dirt and pollution from the outside world, whilst the gentle formula will keep skin from drying out. It works to both purify and rebalance skin, leaving you with a healthy glow.
Price: Around $12
Konjac sponges are another one of the best charcoal based beauty products, like, ever! I love using a konjac sponge in the bath, as they give gentle exfoliation whilst also leaving my skin silky smooth at the same time. Of course, I’m only too happy to find one I can use on my face, too!
This little sponge has been designed to fit the hand perfectly – it’s super great for giving your face an all-over cleanse in the morning. Plus the addition of mineral-rich bamboo charcoal is great news if you suffer with blemishes, as it helps to eliminate spots and excess oil.
Price: Around $10
Don’t we all wish we could put on a face mask and peel away all those imperfections? Well, now we can! Kind of. I can’t tell you that this mask will fix all your skin’s problems right away, but it’s a great place to start!
Wait for it to dry, then peel it off and watch as impurities, dead skin and all kinds of gross things come away with it. Of course, this mask contains activated charcoal, which works to really decongest your pores, remove dirt and toxins and gently exfoliate. But there’s also Kaolin clay, Witch Hazel, and the sparkle of diamonds, to leave your skin with a visible glow.
Think of these T-Zone nose strips as being like a wee little vacuum cleaner for the skin around the nose; they’re going to go in there and suck up all of that icky gunk. And if you’re like me, you’ll act horrified when you pull that strip away and see it all stuck one there…but secretly you’ll be thrilled!
Price: Around $15
This wonder product, whose full name is Boscia Porefecting White Charcoal Mattifying Treatment Primer, is a must-have for anyone with oily skin.
It controls oil and shine, preventing your makeup from basically sliding off your face. (If you have oily skin, you know what I mean!) But there’s more! Binchotan white charcoal (yep, white charcoal is a thing) helps minimise the appearance of pores, seriously improving your makeup game. No wonder this is a best seller!
Here’s one of the best charcoal based beauty products for all skin types! (Ok, except those with extremely sensitive skin or rosacea, that is). It has been formulated to detox the skin and protect against daily pollutants, leaving a softer, smoother and more even toned complexion.
Eyes looking a bit puffy? People asking if you’re feeling ok? You may want to try these detox under eye hydrogels by Acure!
They’re designed to protect this delicate skin around the eye, and deflate the appearance of puffiness with detoxifying ingredients like activated charcoal, lemon extract, and cucumber. These are best for combination to oily skin.
I know what you’re thinking: an oil that cleans oily skin? Just like with charcoal toothpaste, it seems a bit counter intuitive. And yet….it works! Here’s how.
Our beauty friend charcoal works to suck out all dirt, oil and impurities from pores like a magnet. Once that’s done, you’ll see that your pores are visibly minimised. And then, mud from the Dead Sea, which happens to be enriched with 26 minerals, helps to protect and restore your skin.
This is a truly luxurious product that makes a difference to your complexion.
Price: Around $60
Lock in makeup and help protect your complexion with this beautiful Matte Mist! It’s also a lightweight anti-pollution spray that uses grape leaf extract to help shield your skin from environmental stressors, including the visible blue light that comes out of your computer.
The dual-action, charcoal-rich formula appears black in the bottle, but then dries clear as it helps to protect skin from daily grime, smoke and smog. The result? a visibly clearer, fresher and healthier-looking complexion.
This is one of the most important charcoal based beauty products for those who spend a lot of time in front of a screen, or who live in a highly polluted area.
This is one of the best charcoal based beauty products for sensitive skin. But it’s also great for anyone who suffers from acne, blackheads and other blemishes. It basically works in three steps. First, activated charcoal brings dirt, bacteria and toxins to the surface.
Then, fruit enzymes work together and act as exfoliants to wipe away dead skin cells. Finally, antioxidants from grape seed, coffee berry and green tea extracts help to give your skin more energy and a brighter glow. You’ll be able to see an immediate difference!
Price: Around $40
This shampoo is a true black beauty! It removes all the pollution, product build-up, dirt and unwanted oils that accumulate in your hair. That being said, all your mane’s natural barriers will be left intact to leave you with healthy locks.
In addition to bamboo charcoal, this includes tea tree oil, African black soap and willow bark extract, making the shampoo perfect for those with itchy or irritated scalps. Your scalp will be balanced and free from tightness and dirt, allowing your strands to grow stronger than before.
Price: Around $15
I live for exfoliating my body – I really do! I just love the feeling of going from reasonably well kept to silky smooth. This sugar based scrub is a blend of botanicals, minerals and activated charcoal blended together with an invigorating selection of essential oils that will make both you and your bathroom smell delicious.
Oh, and as well as exfoliating your body, you’ll also be detoxifying with this blend of ingredients, including, yep – charcoal. Pampering at its best!
Price: Around $10
If you’re still using the same old deodorant you’ve had for years, there’s a chance you’re using one packed full of cancer causing ingredients. Scary, right? One of the first things I did when switching up my beauty products for cleaner alternatives, was bin my deodorant! And it took time to find another.
There were a few occasions where I wasn’t so fresh as a daisy, I’ll admit. But using a natural deodorant that has bamboo charcoal in it like this one has been a lifesaver! Charcoal is a time-honored Japanese secret for controlling odour and detoxification. The porous surface of the activated charcoal works like a magnet and draws out bacteria and toxins and has the power to really deep clean inside our sweat glands.
So, no nasty toxins and no smelly pits? It’s a yes from me!
You may recall what I said above about how charcoal can stop spots on oily skin, right? Well, this cleanser was designed to do just that. This gel face wash contains not only purifying charcoal, but also antioxidants like orange, lemon and bilberry extracts. There’s also antibacterial tea tree oil, and chamomile and coconut oil to calm the skin.