For hundreds of years, people have been using charcoal for cooking, drawing art, making fireworks, and medicine. Recently, charcoal has hopped aboard the train of beauty trends in its ‘activated’ form, taking the beauty industry by storm. The term ‘activated’ simply means that the charcoal has been heated to ridiculously high temperatures (between 450-900 degrees Celsius), causing an increase in absorbance that makes it act like a magnet that grabs dirt, oil, and toxins. This adsorbent ability makes it an absolute miracle worker for skin and dental health, containing properties that remove contaminants and toxins from whatever it comes in contact with.
If you have dull or oily skin, blackheads, whiteheads, or even acne, activated charcoal is a potential one-stop solution for you. Because it is extremely porous, it draws dirt, chemicals, poison, oils, and bacteria out of pores, and thus helps balance oily skin, fight blackheads, soothe skin irritations, and fight blemishes caused by such skin villains. Overall, it will make your skin feel as clear as a blue sky, fresher than your mint gum, and overall healthier-looking. That’s not to say that it will make all your problems go away – yes, you still need to take out the trash this week – but it will most definitely aid in trapping impurities before causing unwanted damage. In other words, activated charcoal will revitalize your skin and help to alleviate skin health issues, naturally.
Activated charcoal is presented in cosmetics and beauty products predominantly in the form of face masks, shampoos, skin treatments, and moisturizers. In fact, the functionality and popularity of activated charcoal is so widespread that it’s market size was valued at USD 4.2 billion in 2018, and is anticipated to grow in the coming years.
By this point, you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s the catch?” Of course, there is some media calling out activated charcoal for lacking scientific research and even being misleading. However, the FDA has deemed it harmless due to its mineral-like qualities making it safe for external use. It is created by heating carbon-rich materials such as wood, coconut shells, bamboo, and olive pits. This process leaves behind a concentrated black substance, that when activated, caters to the demand for natural skincare remedies that neutralize the toxic chemicals we encounter daily.
Who would have guessed that this dark, intimidating-looking product can work wonders for brightening and rejuvenating your skin?!
Written by: Adi Tzadok