Aztec clay, turmeric paste, and the fermentation craze: everyone wants to achieve a fresh, glowing complexion. Now that winter has arrived, it is time to treat skin to a season of recovery. But with harsh UV rays, air pollution, impurities, and dirt taking a toll on our appearance, this can result in dull and irritated skin. So what is one skin trend that seems to be sticking around? That is where activated charcoal comes in.

Looking back on a year of beauty trends, ranging from healthy super foods like avocado, coconut oil, and oats to acne-treating light therapy and topical antioxidants. Nothing was more popular than charcoal-activated products, which has invaded nearly every beauty blog, Instagram, and trending magazine since 2017. Despite looking like the stuff you’d find on a grill or on Santa’s naughty list, active charcoal has become a beauty must-have and for good reason.

The Science Behind Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is carbon soot that has been treated to form a sponge-like structure. Compared to regular charcoal, activated charcoal is made in a different process at higher temperatures. This makes it more porous than regular charcoal.

The all-natural wonder is free of harsh chemicals and can help draw out impurities – leaving you with a fresher appearance and radiant glow. It offers a range of health and beauty benefits, from reducing bloat to whitening the teeth. When ingested or applied, activated charcoal works to trap toxins and harmful chemicals found in the pores and prevents them from reentering the body.

This super exfoliator works to protect the skin’s layers and excrete pollutants that cause early signs of fine lines, wrinkles, and dull skin. Not to mention, activated charcoal is sold in powder form and capsules, allowing you to incorporate it into your skincare regimen in a variety of ways.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal in Skin Care

Studies reveal that when activated charcoal is added in pure powdered form, the water-based solution allows for faster absorption. Major cosmetics companies, like Biore, claim that using charcoal products will remove dirt more effectively than normal cleansers. A normal facial wash removes surface oil and dirt with surfactants like syndets and detergents, yet, they are unable to dig deeper into the pores. On the other hand, activated charcoal can absorb oil with the use of deep exfoliants and clay masks.


Reduce Large Pores

Due to excessive sweat, pores tend to become large and expand. Activated charcoal helps pull out dirt and toxins from your pores to make them less visible. The main tip is to allow the charcoal to set on the skin for about twenty minutes. Just be sure to refrain from scrubbing your face to reduce redness and rinse with lukewarm water.

Remove Unwanted Oil

Properties found in activated charcoal can help balance the skin and soak up unwanted oil from the face. To avoid over-drying the skin, users with dry to normal skin should limit their use of charcoal from one to two times a week. Those with oily skin can incorporate activated charcoal soap into their daily routine, especially in the T-zone area.

Purify the Complexion

Activated charcoal is known to absorb as much as 200 times its weight in toxins and impurities. When the carbon in activated charcoal comes into contact, it is soaked up and helps balance the skin’s pH levels. Active charcoal can also be used to treat minor cuts, allergic reactions, insect bites, and skin irritations.

Deep Cleaning

Since activated charcoal contains no harmful chemicals, it can also be used on sensitive skin types. Consider adding pure charcoal powder with a gentle cleanser at least three times a week. The charcoal will give your cleansing process a boost by attracting foreign substances to the skin’s surface for easy removal. Just be sure to follow up the routine with your favorite toner and moisturizer.

Everything Charcoal: The Rising Trend

Aside from the natural benefits, part of the reason for its popularity is also due to attention-grabbing results on social media. In the age of clean eating and healthy living, we are becoming more aware of how we treat our bodies from the outside and within. Due to the need to prevent the risks of chemical and toxin exposure on a daily basis, activated charcoal has a unique ability to detox the skin.

Between bar soaps, oil cleansers, and peel-off masks to name a new, the charcoal trend has caught hold of avid-skin enthusiasts across the globe. Experts also believe that it will continue to reach into other markets with the mutual purpose of “detoxifying the body.” You can also find this charcoal trend in the form of desserts, lemonades, and smoothies on the market.