Beauty Skincare

Black Beauties: The Best Charcoal Based Beauty Products

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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.

Whitens teeth

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!

Halts pimples

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.

Soothes irritations  

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. AC pills are also a great way to heal “Delhi belly”!

My Picks of the Best Natural  Charcoal Based Beauty Products


1. CoCo Pure  Rescue and Restore  Whitening Tooth Powder

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 teeth.  It also promotes great oral hygiene, and prevents cavities, bad breath and gum disease. This super affordable little pot will be your new best friend – but just don’t use more than once a week or so, as this is pretty abrasive and could damage tooth enamel with overuse.

Get yours  here.

2. Sukin Oil Balancing + Charcoal  Purifying Gel Cleanser

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.

Get yours  here.

3. Konjac Sponge Co Bamboo Charcoal Face Sponge

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. So 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.

Get yours here.


4. Derma-E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask

I really enjoy using face masks – not only do they feel pretty pampering but they’re actually great for the skin. And this mask contains activated charcoal, which works to really decongest your pores, remove dirt and toxins and gently exfoliate, too. Face masks should be preceded by a great skincare routine and regular exfoliation to get the best results. The end result will be radiant skin that glows and looks fresh.

Get yours here.

5. Jorg Obe Peel Off Mask

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. Treat your visage to a layer of this mask, wait for it to dry and then peel it off and watch as impurities, dead skin and all kinds of gross things come away with it. Your skin will feel truly amazing – like it’s had a facial at the spa.

Get yours  here.


6. Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Wipes

When you’re on  the go it’s easy to get a build up of grime on your skin, especially if you’re travelling round the city. One thing I always take on holiday with me is a pack of facial wipes; they’re so handy for keeping skin clean when it’s hot as heck outside and you’re sweaty and dirty. And these wipes get a black belt when it comes to being quick, effective and cleansing, whether abroad or out and about in town. The wipes are saturated with purifying charcoal as well as antioxidant-rich tomato, and they work to sweep away impurities and keep problem areas super clean.

Get yours here.

7.  Newton’s Lab T-Zone Charcoal Nose Pore Strips

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 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.

Get yours here.

8. Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Body Scrub

I live for exfoliating my body – I really do, I’m not lying. 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. And as well as exfoliating your body, you’ll also be detoxifying with this blend of ingredients. Pampering at its best!

Get yours  here.


9. Natural World Charcoal & Mint  Hair Mask

I will forewarn you: use at your own risk if you’re fair haired, but if you have dark hair already then this will be great to use. We never really think about ‘detoxing’ the hair, we just wash it and think we’re doing enough. But every now and then I’ll really feel my hair needs some TLC. That’s when I’ll use a hair mask. I wrap my hair in an old towel and leave it to work its magic whilst I do some bits and bobs. When I wash it out it always feels so silky and soft, and the charcoal in this will go the extra mile and really detox your hair follicles, whilst refreshing the scalp, too.

Get yours here.

10. The Takesumi Detox Deodorant

If you’re still using the same old deodorant you have done 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. And 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 time-honored Japanese secret for controlling odor 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!

Get yours  here.

11. Erin’s Faces Charcoal Cleanser

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, tea tree oil and chamomile and coconut to calm the skin.

Try it here.

Lora O'Brien

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  • Reply
    Aug 30, 2017 at 3:53 am


    I am in search for a face mask with activated charcoal, so I think I want to try Derma-E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask. I just want to pamper my skin using this new Derma-E Purifying 2-in-1 Charcoal Mask, can’t wait to see the result after using this one. Thank you for sharing.

    • Reply
      Aug 30, 2017 at 3:56 am

      You’re most welcome, Jenny!

  • Reply
    Wendy C.
    Oct 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    Hey there,

    I am currently using the NewtonsLabs nose pore strips and I am enjoying the result. I have used Biore Pore Strips but is not satisfactory, NewtonsLabs is the best.

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