Everywhere you look, the secret power of activated charcoal is being sung from the rooftops. Walk down the aisle of your local pharmacy and activated charcoal products vie for your attention, ranging from scrubs and shampoos to face masks and even toothpaste. Worthy of all the fuss? Or just another skincare fad? Anything that has been around the block as many times as activated charcoal – and we’re talking centuries here - is usually a good indicator that there are benefits to be had.
What is Activated Charcoal?
If you’re anything like me, thoughts of activated charcoal and skincare conjure up images of exfoliating with a chuck of charcoal from last weekend’s braai. Don’t do that. Activated charcoal is different from your regular, run-of-the-mill charcoal. Typically, wood is used, turned to charcoal using high heat, before the final step (the one making it activated) of oxidation. Activated charcoal has a sponge-like quality, capable of drawing out chemicals and impurities, making it a potent tool for your skin/haircare needs.
Chances are your work doesn’t entail herding sheep on a Tibetan mountainside, breathing in crisp, clear air all day. More likely, both your skin and hair are being constantly bombarded by pollution and irritants throughout your day. Pores clog, grime builds up, breakouts hit hard, and hair becomes limp, lank and greasy. Give your skin/hair some much needed TLC and combat the toll of modern living with the help activated charcoal.
An Impurity Vacuum
What makes activated charcoal such a powerhouse ingredient? The ability to pull the yucky stuff from your skin and hair. Oils, dirt, bacteria and impurities are drawn to the surface of your skin and into the charcoal, then rinsed away, leaving you with a fresh canvas ready to absorb all the goodies from the rest of your skincare routine.
Acne and Breakouts
Antibacterial? Check. Anti-fungal? Check. Impurity-fighting? Check. Pore-cleansing? Check. Exfoliator? Check again. Activated charcoal ticks a whole lot of the anti-acne boxes. If you are struggling with acne or prone to the odd, pesky breakout, activated charcoal might be just the helping hand you need.
Hair – Volume, Body and Bounce
Does your hair ever feel limp, lanky and flat? Enough dirt and oil will cause your hair to sag, leaving it looking tired and dull. Is your regular shampoo still cutting it? If not, using activated charcoal hair care products will have your hair gunk-free in no time, drawing out grease and grime. Your scalp gets some love too, itchiness, redness, oiliness and dandruff all stand to benefit from activated charcoal hair products.
How Often Should I use Activated Charcoal?
The absorbing power of activated charcoal makes it fantastic at sucking up all the gross stuff we don’t want, but overdo it and you rob your skin of its natural oils and moisture. Different skins have different needs making it impossible to put a number on how often to use activated charcoal. Introduce your new product slowly, once per week is a good starting point, tweak from here based on your results. Afterwards, be sure to replenish and nourish your skin with a healthy skincare routine.
Stuck on where to start? We have something to for everyone with our Gorgeous range of Activated Charcoal goodies, be sure to check them out: