There is a swathe of skincare products with activated charcoal in but what exactly are its benefits other than providing the perfect insta photo!?
What is activated charcoal?
It’s almost identical to normal charcoal but active charcoal has been created for the sole purpose of health benefit. Normal charcoal is treated with oxygen to make it expand and become porous so the surface can trap toxins in. It’s been used medical to treat a number of issues for years as well as water filters.
Activated charcoal has the ability to hold other substances to its surface, it can absorb over 100 times its own weight in toxins, giving it ability to draw out, detox and trap them in its surface.
It can be taken internally to aid internal detoxification and also applied topically, hence why it’s used in a lot of deep cleansing face masks. It seems to be the new thing as an alternative to clay for detoxing, spot treatment masks.
Is a charcoal face mask the same as a clay mask?
They both have similar benefits just work in slightly different ways. Clay has a drawing out effect and absorbs excess oil, it can bring spots up to the surface and cut the shine. There are so many natural mineral rich clays with different strengths and colours from around the globe, some softer and suitable for sensitive skins and others really strong and quite astringent. Activated charcoal is activated charcoal, I personally find it has a milder effect than clay with a lower sensation on the surface of the skin and does not absorb oils in the same way clay does, but is a great “detoxing” addition. Good for a city skin for helping to remove pollution from the surface.
Activated charcoal is obviously very visual and makes a good insta pic! As a skincare product it works well when blended with other cleansing ingredients, a great deep cleansing mask might contain clay and charcoal and is a definite addition to try if your feeling your skin needs a bit of a detox without being too harsh.