Posted: Oct 01, 2014 8:00 AM
 
Seems like a bad idea to slap charcoal onto your face in an attempt to clear your pores. But charcoal is experiencing a trend wave these days in more ways than just one.
Photo credit: JGI/Jamie Grill/Blend Images/Getty Images

Always looking for the latest thing in skin care? So are we — and we're curious about charcoal. Not the charcoal from your outdoor grill, but activated charcoal powder is what gives these products their power.

How does it work?

Activated charcoal (also called activated carbon) has the unique ability to chemically bind to toxins and absorb many times its weight. Charcoal is treated with oxygen and turns into a fine black powder with lots of tiny pores, resulting in a large surface area for gathering toxins and removing them. It was used in gas masks during World War I to absorb potentially deadly toxins and protect soldiers from chemical exposure. Activated charcoal is also used in emergency situations as a method of counteracting potentially harmful ingested substances, such as pharmaceutical drugs, lead or other toxic chemicals.

Why it belongs in your beauty routine

So what's the deal with using charcoal as part of your skin care routine? Since charcoal removes toxins, this makes it a perfect solution for oily or acne-prone skin. You can add activated charcoal powder to your facial masks or cleansers, but there are tons of charcoal products on the market that make it easy to incorporate into your routine. Activated charcoal can also be used as a makeup remover and for whitening your teeth.

Sold? We gathered some of our favorite beauty products containing the magic of activated charcoal. Which one will you try?

Cleansers

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

PRICE: Ulta, $7

Biore Deep Pore Carcoal Cleaner | AllParenting.com

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser uses the magic of activated charcoal to remove twice the impurities from your skin than soap alone can.

Garnier Clean + Shine Control Cleansing Gel

PRICE: Ulta, $8

Garnier Clean + Shine Control Cleansing Gel | AllParenting.com

Garnier Clean + Shine Control Cleansing Gel is a daily-use cleanser that dissolves oil and excess dirt or makeup from skin, using charcoal as an active ingredient.

Origins Skin Diver Activated Charcoal Body Wash

PRICE: Macy's, $22

Origins Skin Diver Activated Charcoal Body Wash | AllParenting.com

Origins Skin Diver Activated Charcoal Body Wash draws out dirt and impurities to help keep pores clean and banish breakouts.

Facial masks

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

PRICE: Sephora, $24

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask | AllParenting.com

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask deep cleans pores and cleans up your complexion using activated charcoal.

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Mask

PRICE: Rite Aid, $3

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Mask | AllParenting.com

Freeman Feeling Beautiful Mask uses charcoal and black sugar to trap and take away toxins and oil with the tough combination of exfoliant and cleansing charcoal.

Biore Self-Heating One Minute Mask

PRICE: Walgreens, $6

Biore Self-Heating One Minute Mask | AllParenting.com

Biore Self-Heating One Minute Mask is a quick way to use the power of charcoal when you need it.

More skin care

Why masking is essential to your skin care routine
Smart skin care for every age
5 Easy ways to improve your skin care routine

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