Activated charcoal is a fine black powder that’s made from a variety of ingredients, which can include bamboo or coconut shells, peat, coal, or even olive pits says Dr. Keira Barr, Founder and Chief Wellness Officer of the Resilient Health Institute, specializes in holistic skincare.
Throughout the day, toxins from the world around us clog our pores. (You won’t believe the damage that air pollution is doing to your skin!) When your pores aren’t clear, neither is your complexion.
Best health Mag Canada believes that Activated charcoal–when used in a face mask–binds to dirt and helps pull it out of your pores, making them less visible (it’s the oil and dirt that makes them appear bigger). This leaves your face feeling fresh.
So what is Activated Charcoal?
According to Healthline, activated charcoal, is carbon that's been treated to increase its absorbency, isn't new. It's been used in hospital emergency rooms for years to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can.
The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty products is similar: It'll act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. And the experts say that theory holds water. "When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse," explains cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.
Activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, is a fine black powder that’s produced when common charcoal is exposed to high heat. This exposure creates tiny internal spaces or holes in the charcoal, making it highly absorbent and able to trap chemicals and toxins.
**Although it’s a type of charcoal, activated charcoal is different from the charcoal used on an outdoor grill.**
How & Why is it good for my skin at any age?
1. Antibacterial and Antifungal
Activated charcoal has been proven to be a major player in kicking yucky stuff to the curb. Highly effective against Escherichia coli (aka E. Coli) and Staphylococcus aureus (Staph), this ingredient also inhibits bacteria and fungus in skin and clogged pores from growing, therefore helping speed up the healing process from acne and skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis.
Dr. Barr shares that activated charcoal has “antifungal and antibacterial” properties.
If you’re facing a breakout, using activated charcoal could be helpful in eliminating the bacteria from those blemishes.
The bottom line? Activated charcoal is known to be a transformative part of your skincare routine, and it can be an effective way to improve your skin.
2. Balances oily skin
Oily skin? Activated charcoal may be just the ingredient you need to balance things out. Used in a cleanser or mask, activated charcoal can pull the unwanted excess oils from your skin, leaving it smooth.
You’ll want to use the Vilót Activated Charcoal Mask with Aloe Vera sparingly–once per week at the most–so that you don’t dry out your skin. If you already have dry skin, you’re best to use once a month at most. Because of it's adsorbant properties leaving skin clog-free, your pores focus less on producing oils for ridding impurities from pores.
With continued use of activated charcoal, over time pores appear and become smaller therefore major oil production is no longer needed. Who wants to work overtime anyway? Definitely not your pores.
3. Treat acne
On the natural blog by Schmidt, Dermatologist explained that it Clarifies Skin.
Many acne sufferers swear by activated charcoal to clear and brighten skin. Dr. Barr explains that more studies need to be done in this area, and says, “While there may not be hard evidence to support charcoal’s use in acne, it likely won’t hurt it either.”
This is especially true for people who deal with acne and sensitive skin. Dr. Barr says, “Charcoal is inert, so it shouldn’t irritate sensitive skin even more. I know this to be true from my own experience using it.”
Dr. Barr adds that masks made with charcoal also typically include a clay like kaolin or French red or green clay, which has been shown to bind to sebum. You can use it as a spot treatment if you don’t want to use it on your whole face–just think of it as a mini mask for your blemish.
4. Smooth and Refined Appearance
With all of the benefits of activated charcoal: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, pore-cleansing, impurity-fighting, and exfoliating, your skin gets a brand new canvas to work with by exfoliation.
Activated charcoal can be a good exfoliator choice if you have delicate skin. Dr. Barr explains, “Even with a lack of published research, anecdotal evidence plays a role, and if people are experiencing a skin benefit without irritation or adverse effects, they can give it a try.”
She goes on to say, “Activated charcoal powder is slightly gritty and can be used as a gentle skin exfoliant. Exfoliation gets rid of the dead skin cells that make your skin appear dull and helps your skin appear refreshed and renewed.”
Detoxifying your skin of unwanted debris and reducing congestion means an improvement in radiance and brightness with pores looking oh so tiny.
Lastly, Activated charcoal is great for mature skin. It is rich in minerals that can deeply cleanse your skin and tighten your pores. It can enhance collagen and elastin production, reduce wrinkles and skin discoloration, as well as slowing down premature aging. Your skin changes as you get older, and you need to change with it.
To give your skin a boost when it’s time to pamper yourself, try Vilót Skin's Activated Charcoal Face Mask with aloe vera gel. It's powerful for the most stubborn acne, yet gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. Giving your pores a deep clean and drawing out any impurities should leave your skin feeling fresher and more radiant.