At the mention of the word “charcoal”, we’re often reminded of the last time we had a barbecue outdoors. But what you probably didn’t know is that charcoal’s the beauty ingredient of the moment – activated charcoal, that is. You may have seen black versions of your regular beauty items, such as cleansers, face masks, and toothbrushes, but did you know that a small amount of activated charcoal is added to some drinks too?
Long before its incorporation into beauty products, the substance was widely used in the medical world. It’s been utilised in hospital emergency rooms for years to treat drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning. Activated charcoal, or activated carbon, works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before it can be assimilated into your bloodstream. Therefore, it behaves like a magnet, attracting and absorbing dirt and oil. So, when dirt and oil on your skin and in your pores come to contact with activated charcoal, they bind to it and gets washed off when you rinse.
Still on the fence? Have a look at these charcoal-infused products – you might wanna introduce one or two into your beauty routine.
Origins Clear Improvement™ Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores
For activated charcoal to do its job, it has to sit on your skin for a while longer to come into physical contact with the impurities, drawing them out. This is why it’s recommended to get your activated charcoal in the form of a mask, like this Origins one. It’ll come in especially helpful if you’re living in a city like Singapore where pollutants can cause your skin to go awry. The Origins formula is also packed with bentonite and kaolin clays to absorb sebum and oil, leaving your skin clarified and refreshed.
$50 each, available at Origins counters
LUSH Cosmetics Dark Angels
While it may look a little uninviting to use on your face, but trust us – once you use this black soap, there’s no going back. For those in need of a deep cleanse, LUSH’s Dark Angels are sent from above. Black sugar, charcoal and rhassoul mud will exfoliate and cleanse your skin thoroughly, while cold pressed avocado oil and vegetable glycerine will moisturise and soften your skin, leaving it clear and balanced. This cleanser also contains antiseptic sandalwood and rosewood oils to soothe your senses and clear up any bacterial infection.
$29.50 for 100g, available at LUSH Cosmetics
The Konjac Sponge Company Konjac Sponge Puff with Bamboo Charcoal
Konjac sponges are made from the fibrous root of the konjac plant to give your skin a light and gentle exfoliation. In fact, it’s gentle enough for daily use. All you have to do is soak the sponge in water to soften it before rubbing it on a damp face in a circular motion. You can also put a little cleanser on your sponge to create a luxurious lather. This particular sponge is infused with activated charcoal powder to lend a little oomph to your cleansing. It’s great for oily skin that’s prone to spots and breakouts, and it’s the safest choice for anyone who’s got sensitive skin.
$18 each, available at Sephora
Caolion Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack
Let’s face it – we’re all kinda obsessed about getting rid of our blackheads, aren’t we? Well, this pore pack will change the skincare game. Caolion’s Premium Blackhead O2 Bubble Pore Pack features micro oxygen bubbles that’ll cleanse your pores gently, getting rid of dead skin cells as it hydrates your skin. It contains natural sparkling water and charcoal powder to deeply penetrate your pores, clearing out any debris, impurities and excess sebum to leave your skin detoxified and healthy. Talk about a next-level beauty product.
$39 each, available at Sephora
First Aid Beauty Cleansing Body Polish with Active Charcoal
Here’s a charcoal-infused product for your bod. First Aid Beauty’s Cleansing Body Polish is a multi-tasking body treatment that will cleanse, exfoliate and smooth out your skin. Thanks to its combination of chemical and physical exfoliators, it gently buffs away dry patches and refines the skin’s texture. Similar to the Origins mask, this body paste contains clay and activated charcoal that turns into a fluffy foam to help wash away dirt and impurities with ease.
$49 each, available at Sephora