Charcoal on my face?? SAY what?? Ok, that was me when I first heard about activated charcoal in skincare. It’s fairly new as a personal detox or cleansing regimen. So what is it?
Charcoal, specifically activated charcoal, is a negatively charged carbon that’s treated with oxygen, resulting in a natural magnet that attracts the positively charged toxins that line your digestive tract.
I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I spent chemistry class with Billy, under the bleachers, so I’m not sure what you just said.
Let me give you a comparison. I used to live in a condo that had the weirdest looking water coming out of the kitchen faucet. It actually looked chunky. Bottled water was not yet in vogue, so I used a Brita water filtered water pitcher. In went cloudy water, and out came clear water.
Why? Because the Brita filter uses activated charcoal.
Basically, activated charcoal is different from the kind you use in your BBQ in that it is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is oxidized at higher temperatures resulting in a highly porous substance that can interact with other molecules and bind them to its surface area.
Great for detoxification since it’s not absorbed by your body and when taken orally, goes in, grabs the bad stuff and moves on out.
Uses for Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal can be taken as a pill for a quick detox. Drunk as a lemonade, it can help bloating. You can apply it to insect bites mixed with a little baking soda to remove the venom and help it heal faster. You can rub it under your arms for body odor.
It can be an antidote for food poisoning. Removes tartar and plaque buildup when used as toothpaste. Some people swear that charcoal capsules help avoid and deal with the effects of a hangover. You can use it on your skin to clear out the pores and help out with oily patches.
Products with Activated Charcoal
There are hundreds of activated charcoal products but I’m going to outline the ones that stand out for me.
My Konjac Sponge feels like a loofah but is a bit softer for the delicate skin on your face. It’s great for exfoliating your pores and works well on your oily areas to fight breakouts.
Great for use 2 or 3 times a week and reasonably priced at $10-$15 (depending where you get it) because it lasts for a couple of months.
The Boscia Luminizing Mask is a black mask that literally soaks into your pores then, when you peel it off, pulls out all the nasty stuff from inside. I have a tube that has lasted for a year because you really don’t need to use it more than once or twice a month.
Make sure you apply it super thick so when it dries you can just pick it up from the ends and peel it off. Otherwise you will be taking it off one square centimeter at a time, like I had to when I tried to skimp.
The Nippon Kodo Deitanseki Pelican Charcoal Clay Facial Soap made out of kaolin clay, charcoal carbon powder and betonite is popularly used with Japanese women to make their skin supple and smooth. This is ideal for daily use for those with oily skin and every few days for girls like me with combination skin and a few dry spots.
Fortified with the super-antioxidants acai and goji berry, the Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Body Bar that is activated charcoal and volcanic ash comprised body soap is a slam dunk in your body care regimen. Naturally scented with fig essential oils and green tea, it not only smells divine but moisturizes your skin.
Believe it or not, people drink JUICE Served Here Charcoal Lemonade for detoxification purposes. It’s like a mini-cleanse I hear. I’m not going to lie, it’s not a part of my beauty regimen but thousands of people swear by it for detoxifying and de-bloating purposes. I have tasted it though and, if you close your eyes, you really can’t taste the charcoal. It tastes like a sour lemonade.
There are lots of pore strips on the market and I’ve tried many but the Boscia Purifying Black Strips are my favorite.
Look at your blackheads, put this on (incidentally they are large enough to fit the across your forehead but I cut mine down, as above, to target problemed areas) your most offensive areas, and believe me, when you pull this off, they will be gone. The power of charcoal! Hallelujah!
Finally, activated charcoal is ideal to take when you feel ‘toxic’. Like after you’ve eaten too much crap or drank too much alcohol. Five hundred milligrams is the dose that’s recommended and you can’t overdose on it.
It’s used on overdose victims to suck the poisons from their stomachs because it reduces the absorption of poisonous substances by 60% to give you an idea of it’s effectiveness. I keep these in my home at all times. I use the Swanson Activated Charcoal Capsules 260mg but seriously, I don’t think it matters as long as it says activated.
I could go on forever about amazing charcoal products, but I just wanted to whet your palette! Expect to hear more about these in the future, pretty girls!