- Beauty Glossary
Charcoal Beauty Products
Charcoal is an ingredient that has swarmed beauty shelves over the years. This isn't the same charcoal used for BBQs though. Instead, its activated charcoal which is more porous and is obtained through burning carbon-rich materials. You'll find it in a number of your favorite beauty goodies, across skin, body, hair and oral care categories.
See our charcoal guide to answer your questions like what is charcoal and how does activated charcoal work.
Frequently Asked Questions about Charcoal products
What is charcoal?
It's time to get technical: activated charcoal is the by-product of carbon-containing materials such as wood, coconut shells and peat (not the charcoal used for your summer BBQs). It's been used in Ayurvedic treatments for centuries to treat issues such as gut health and is loved so much that it's dubbed 'black magic'.
How does activated charcoal work?
To put it simply, activated charcoal is more porous than regular charcoal. It boasts a negative electric charge, meaning it can attract, trap and absorb harmful toxins and chemicals before our body absorbs them. In fact, charcoal can hold over a thousand times its own mass, making it an ideal all-natural way to draw out dirt and impurities.
Why is charcoal used in beauty products?
There's a reason why charcoal has stormed beauty formulas. It works by pushing oils, dead skin cells and bacteria to the surface of your skin, before absorbing them and carrying them away when you rinse your face. As a result, you're left with a radiant complexion that's totally clean and clear.
Why are charcoal masks good for your skin?
Charcoal face masks are your one-stop shop to a purified and clear complexion. Whether it's a peel-off, foaming or sheet formula, they help to zap zits, banish breakouts, shrink pores and prevent blackheads.
What skin type is charcoal best for?
All skin types can use charcoal-infused products, but they are especially recommended for those who suffer with acne, blackheads and excess oil.
As charcoal tends to be quite stripping, it's advised that you avoid using it frequently on dry areas of skin.
How does black charcoal for whiter teeth actually work?
In the same way that charcoal works for skin, it works for teeth. Stains, tartar and bacteria are all swooped up by the charcoal's pores and washed away when you rinse your mouth. With frequent use, you can expect to reveal noticeably whiter teeth.
Are charcoal beauty products safe?
Totally. Your skin never absorbs the charcoal, which makes it completely safe for topical use. When it comes to brushing though, it can wear down the enamel on your teeth over time, so be sure to use a charcoal toothpaste that isn't too abrasive.
Written by Hannah Liddle, Beauty Editor