Here’s Why Charcoal Should Be at The Top of Your Shopping List

Charcoal is one of those ingredients that has been around since the beginning of time but is often overlooked in favour of other more high-tech, new-age ingredients.

Charcoal is detoxing in the purest of forms. The porous nature of the mineral allows it to literally suck up and absorb impurities from your gut, your skin and pores and even your teeth. Once impurities are absorbed you simply wash it away or digest it naturally. It’s simple nature though, shouldn’t be confused with the myriad of benefits, particularly when it comes to skin care.

Its list of uses is long…very long. From teeth whitening to relieving bloating, reducing cholesterol to preventing the signs of age, absorbing impurities on your scalp for healthier hair growth, reducing the effects of a hangover, purifying water and even treating snakebites.

When applied topically to your skin, charcoal can unclog your pores, refining them in the process, control shine, prevent signs of aging caused by environmental aggressors and detox your skin from the build up of products that’s inevitably on it. Charcoal is also great for regulating your skin’s oil production if you find you have excessively oily skin. It absorbs excess oil without leaving your skin dry and triggering even more oil.

If, like me, you see more blackheads on your nose than you really care for, charcoal is a gentle way to treat them between other more intense products such as retinol and BHA’s. While it won’t physically lift a blackhead out of your pore (the only way to fully remove a blackhead is to have it extracted), it will purify your pores before they have a chance to form and significantly reduce the appearance of existing blackheads.

Here’s some charcoal products you should try.


PCA Skin Detoxifying Mask – Harnessing the power of Japanese white charcoal and Kaolin, a type of absorbent clay, this detox mask takes just 10 minutes to have a serious impact on your skin. It harnesses the ability to draw dirt, excess oil and impurities from the skin just as you would expect from charcoal and you can literally see spots of oil appear on the dried mask as it works its magic. Most importantly, the formula isn’t bombarded with drying alcohols like others are so you won’t feel tight or stiff afterwards.

Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque – Activated Binchotan charcoal is blended with Sulfur and a number of other actives including AHAs, Niacinamide, Bamboo extract and volcanic ash, all working together to have serious detoxing and brightening effects on your skin. This mask is great for controlling acne and combatting dullness in your skin caused by impurities, dryness and aging. It’s powerful yet fairly gentle on your skin although dry skinned girls should follow use with a hydrating mask.

Lush Dark Angels Cleanser – I’m not usually a fan of physical exfoliants but there are times in Winter when my skin needs it. In those times, Lush is pretty much always my first stop. The Dark Angels cleanser isn’t overly rough and its ingredients purify your skin as you exfoliate. Black sugar and powdered charcoal give you the exfoliating abilities while avocado oil nourishes and rosewood oil works as an antiseptic. It’s rich and earthy smell makes you feel like you’re having spa day all while the charcoal does its thing and absorbs impurities from your skin.