While you’re more likely to associate charcoal with a Sunday barbeque than you are a comprehensive skin care routine, it’s fast become one of the most buzz-worthy and trending ingredients in the last couple of years – and for good reason.
Beyond being a gimmick ingredient, it can actually have huge benefits for skin.
“Activated charcoal works like a magnet to attract and readily adsorb* oils, pollutants, toxins and impurities from the skins surface. Charcoal can be used on so many skin conditions, including breakouts, congested skin, blackheads, sensitivity and treating the signs of ageing,” says Emma Hobson, Education Manager from Dermalogica and the International Dermal Institute.
So why is it that it can help those skin concerns? Here are three reasons.
#1 / Charcoal helps clear pores
Thanks to its ability to gently exfoliate and draw out impurities, charcoal can actually help keep pores clear and free from the dirt, grime and oil that can lead to blackheads, congestion, and breakouts.
#2 / Charcoal helps control oil production
Remember how activated charcoal can act like a magnet for oils? Well, that’s how it can help manage and balance your oil production, meaning that incorporating it into your daily skin care routine can help not only maintain shine, but a reduction in oil can help prevent pimples, blemishes and breakouts.
#3 / Charcoal helps brighten skin
While detoxifying your skin can help reduce congestion and breakouts, it can also work wonders to improve skin radiance and brightness. “Its brightening and revitalising properties make it an ideal pick-me-up for any tired or lacklustre skin,” says Hobson.
* This is not a typo! Absorption is when something is taken into an object and disappears (like water into a sponge), where adsorption is when something gets stuck onto the surface of a medium or object.
Main image photography: Edward Urrutia
Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.