[Image: Rex Features]
It’s not just fashion that follows trends- modern skincare has its must-haves too and the latest ‘IT’ ingredient making waves in the beauty world is charcoal. Not just any old barbecued carbon though, we’re talking about activated charcoal - a specially treated charcoal which has been enhanced.
The use of charcoal in the body is nothing new – it’s been used in medicine and hospitals for years, treating poisoning and overdose cases. So we knew it wouldn’t be long until the beauty world caught up with it’s magical properties!
Why Is Charcoal So Great?
The way that charcoal works is by attaching itself to toxins and absorbing them before your body can. When added to beauty products, charcoal is like a mini magnet for dirt and oil, so that they will get washed away with the charcoal when you rinse.
The best thing about charcoal is the fact that it’s an all-natural element so it can be ingested too. Its jet black colour can be off-putting to some but, in our opinion, the numerous health and beauty benefits far outweigh its ugly appearance!
Clean & Detoxify Skin
In order to absorb nasties, charcoal needs to come into contact with the impurities so the longer it sits on your skin, the better it will be. This means that a facial mask is ideal.
We love the Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque £38 - with activated Binchotan charcoal to powerfully absorb congestion from pores, the mask also contains sulphur to promote cell turnover for brighter and clearer skin!
If you’ve got quite sensitive skin or are thoroughly committed to a product routine already, you can still get your charcoal fix by replacing your muslin face cloths with a charcoal facial sponge like the Konjac Sponge Puff with Bamboo Charcoal £8.99.
This little black sponge is made of vegetable materials and the activated charcoal absorbs excess oil during cleansing so it’s great for sensitive, oily skin whilst reducing exposure to potentially irritating products.
Improves Hair Volume
Charcoal works just like dry shampoo, absorbing oil from greasy hair and adding some oomph to lank locks. However, unlike the chemical talcs often found in dry shampoo, charcoal is a natural product!
Try a shampoo with added charcoal like Sort Of Coal Kuro Shampoo £24 to really wick away oil and grease.
Makes Pores Look Smaller
With the supply of charcoal being so readily available, the good news is that you don’t have to spend a lot to get hold of some charcoal-enhanced beauty products. The Biore Charcoal Pore Minimiser is only £4.19!
This little exfoliating paste works to suck up dead skin cells and oil which make your pores look bigger than they are. In its natural form, charcoal is slightly gritty which adds the little bit of exfoliation that your skin needs, with causing surface damage.
Charcoal isn’t just for applying onto skin y’know? Many brands are using food-grade charcoal to internally detox your system. As the particles pass through your system, they work to absorb toxins before your body does.
These handy little Wind Away capsules £4.99 contain 334mg of activated charcoal to help reduce the build up of gas. We’re seeing charcoal appear in smoothies and juices but this way you can get the benefits, without having to taste it!
Protect Against Pollutants
Ideal for those of you living and working in busy cities, charcoal helps to remove some of the pollutants which bombard your skin every day. Try the Sukin Anti-Pollution Facial Masque £10.15. This 15 minute wonder mask acts like a magnet for surface pollutants, leaving the skin with an oil-free shine.
Paraben free and natural, we love the Sukin range because it’s nice to know you’re not using harsh chemicals on your skin.
Brighten Your Teeth
Although this Beverly Hills Formula Perfect White mouthwash £4.49 is designed to whiten your teeth, it’s actually black. The first of its kind, this mouthwash looks like pond water but is actually fairly pleasant since activated charcoal is odourless.
Some whitening products use bleach to lighten teeth but the tiny particles in this mouthwash work to absorb surface stains from your teeth, giving you pearly whites – without any harsh or abrasive chemicals!
As we start to focus more on what’s in our beauty products, anti-perspirants and aerosols have come under fire for containing potentially harmful levels of aluminium.
For an all-natural approach to anti-deodorants, try The Guv’ner deodorant £6.75 from Lush. Containing charcoal powder and lycopodium, this powder controls sweat and odour by absorbing them. It also has a lovely scent - a subtle blend of vetiver, patchouli and sage. Not bad for a powder made essentially of rocks!
What do you think? Will you be putting charcoal into your beauty routine? Tweet us your thoughts @YahooStyleUK and let us know if you’ve used it before.