You may have noticed activated charcoal popping up in all sorts of healthcare products - everything from toothpaste to juices and, of course, skincare. It’s definitely the latest craze. I've certainly noticed my Insta feed filling up with videos of people brushing their teeth with that not-so-attractive black powder.
So before you jump on the band wagon, let's talk a bit about what it is and how it can benefit our skin.
Unlike normal charcoal, which is a known carcinogen, activated charcoal is medicinal. It has been used in a number of herbal, Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines since the 19th century. Activated charcoal is similar to common charcoal but in a two-step process it is heated in the presence of gas that causes the charcoal to develop pockets of internal space known as pores.
These pores increase the surface area of the nutrients, which is believed to give it the ability to bind with chemicals and toxins in your body.
Our activated charcoal comes from organic coconut shells. We believe this to be the most eco-friendly source, as not a single tree is harmed and the natural material leaves less of a carbon footprint.
So how does this benefit our skin?
Helps Reduce Acne
It is a great natural and gentle treatment for acne, as it helps remove impurities. It is naturally absorbent as the surface of activated charcoal has a negative charge, allowing it to bind with positively charged toxins. This has a powerful effect when it comes to removing dirt and pollutants from the skin.
Balances oily skin
Our skin's natural oils are necessary to keep it moisturised but their over-production can trap dirt and other impurities under the skin causing clogged pores. The absorbent properties of activated charcoal can help balance the oil without drying out the rest of your skin.
The natural gritty texture of charcoal can help gently exfoliate your skin, clearing out dirt which otherwise can get trapped in the pores, causing them to become enlarged.
You can try it for yourself in our new Detox and Purify face mask.