The Benefits of {Activated} Charcoal on Yo’ Face

Prompted by a recent purchase and vested interest in improving my own skincare routine {31’s no joke, y’all!}, I did a little research into charcoal and the benefits it can have on the body and, most importantly the skin: the body’s largest organ. {*Disclaimer: this is activated charcoal I’m talkin’ about, not the same as the stuff you use to BBQ…don’t go rubbin’ that on your face…}

Activated charcoal is sometimes administered in hospitals as an emergency treatment for poisoning.  Why?  The reason is simple: as chemicals bind to it, the charcoal can help remove those chemicals from the body.  It can be used internally and externally as an effective method to detox, whether in an effort to remove poison or just to cleanse the body.  Charcoal is inert, so it’s an all-natural, effective way to rid our bodies of what we don’t want.  What’s not to love?

There’s no real scientific studies to back the benefits of charcoal, so I’ll focus solely on how the binding action of charcoal is able to detoxify our bodies in a variety of ways, just as a little intro to show you just why I love it so much:

–          Activated charcoal traps toxins in it’s millions of tiny pores when non-corrosive poisons are present

–          It doesn’t absorb the toxins per se, but rather works through the chemical process of adsorption: the reaction of elements including nutrients, chemicals and toxins, soaked up and assimilated into the blood stream; it’s the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface

–          The naturally porous surface of activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positively charged toxins and gases to bind with it – those pores I’m referring to are created through a heating process


Ok, enough of the nerd stuff {but I’ll admit, this was fun to research ‘cause I pride myself on my expert level of nerdiness}

Similarly to the processes outlined above, charcoal can remove unwanted toxins from the skin’s surface.  What’s more, is that the natural-base and, thus, natural non-comedogenic nature of the product means it won’t clog pores or activate a breakout.  The charcoal {generally in a mask – this is how I’m referring to it, at least} will bind to the skin and aid in pulling the dirt and excess oil out of your pores.  Dirt in pores = clogged, more visible pores, and we all know what oil means: a shiny complexion and pimples.

I often use my charcoal mask as a spot treatment – it pulls the bad stuff right out of pimples and helps heal them much more quickly – but it can also be used as a deep cleaning treatment if you can find a charcoal-based cleanser {a mask might work for this too, and be sure to buy one designed for your specific skin type}.

A few caveats:

–          Use it sparingly – 1 to 2 times per week – so you don’t over-dry your skin

–          It could be used to treat acne in a light exfoliant soap form if you require the added deep cleaning

I’ve been using charcoal actively for about the last 6 months and let me tell you honestly – my skin has never looked better.  I’m a fan of Beautycounter products for personal reasons {comment below if you want a review!}, and they’ve made my skin do a complete 180.   I love that there’s a natural product at my fingertips that can benefit me in so many ways.   I’ve linked a few goodies below, and though I can only vouch personally for the Beautycounter products, YouTube has a wealth of reviews on the others.

Other uses:

–          Soothe and heal bites and other skin irritations

–          Treat dandruff and other scalp conditions

–          Whitening teeth {though I’m not sure how it tastes}

–          Treat alcohol poisoning and help prevent hangovers {you know I’ll be giving this one a go}

–          Alleviates gas and bloating {not your face, but you know, um…elsewhere…}


You can see why I love this stuff so much and I will absolutely continue to recommend it to my clients and use it on myself.  In case you’re interested, here’s a few links with the info I’ve consolidated above:


Got any questions? Leave ’em below and I’ll do my best to address them!


shop this post

Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar  |  Beautycounter Purifying Charcoal Mask  |  Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask  |  GLAMGLOW Super Mud Clearing Treatment












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