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












Skincare Samples: First Impressions

Disclaimer: I have been blessed with rather nice skin overall – very even in tone, and very few breakouts {b*!tch, I know!}. So, while I’m honest in my impressions below, know that I wasn’t starting with a particular skin problem to begin with.

Where does any proper beauty junkie go when she wants something new to try but is too cheap to buy it? No, NOT Sephora, but her very own stash, of course! {which comes from Sephora or other beauty sample boxes she doesn’t need, but we’ll ignore that, shall we?}

IMG_2125A while ago Recently I received a few samples with either a Sephora 100 point perk, or with an online order, and these samples happened to be of some high end products I’d been wanting to try but just couldn’t justify the price for {even in those little bins as you line-up to checkout at Sephora…you know, the ones that grab you just at a last minute point of weakness}.   Both were both decent sized samples, and I feel as though my thoughts below are reflective of a good try of each product. I was able to use each of them more than once and get an accurate idea of how {or how not} they would work for me.

Glam Glow is the hottest of hot right now when it comes to skin masks. They’re expensive, and they work, or so I’ve been told. I had a sample of the Glam Glow Thirstycleanse Daily Cleanser, which claims to be a daily mud-to-foam cleanser for dry and dehydrated skin. It is formulated without parabens or sulfates, and purports to turn from a luxurious mud into a rich lather to cleanse skin. I underline claims for a reason: it didn’t do a thing for me.


Perhaps I used it incorrectly, or perhaps I had a dud of a sample. It went on as a luxurious mud, that’s for sure, but the cleanser was hardly a “lather” or a “foam”. The Glam Glow did cleanse my skin; it was left feeling clean and make-up free. However, I certainly wouldn’t spend the $43 {WTF!!!!!} it retails for to use it on the daily. If another sample came my way, I wouldn’t turn it down, but it wouldn’t make the first in my rotation.

The Fresh Rose Face Mask – now that was another story. I’m a huge fan of the Fresh Lip Treatments {let me know in the comments below if you want some reviews on those!}, and so I was eager to try some other things from the brand.  The sample size I had leads me to beIMG_2132lieve it was a 100 point perk {is it sad this junkie has so many samples she can’t remember where they came from?}. I will absolutely get more than the 2 uses I’ve already had from it and will be able to enjoy the gorgeous product it is. According to Sephora’s website, it is a hydrating and toning gel mask infused with real rose petals, pure rosewater, and a “smart” algae that delivers optimum moisture.

When you open the product up, it looks a little…um…poopy. It smells a bit different, though once you take it out to put on the skin, the rose smell takes over and it spreads buttery smooth on to the skin. I left this on my clean face – just as the package said – for about 8 minutes {directions said 5-10, so I went in the middle. Good thinkin’, huh?} and was very pleasantly surprised when I rinsed it off. I don’t have dry skin, nor do I think I’m in need of hydration, per se.


{this 110% looks like poop, right? RIGHT?}

This product, unlike the Glam Glow, did make an instant difference. My skin felt a little more plump {in the best way possible} and was silky to the touch. I’d be interested to see how this fares on someone with a distinct lack of hydration versus my relatively normal complexion if this is what it did for me! The Fresh Rose Face Mask retails at Sephora for $73 {I just fell off my chair. No joke} and can be used daily. I’m inclined to think that this wouldn’t be needed that frequently, and so may be a worthy spend for someone whose skin is lacking natural glow and overall hydration.

Would I buy it? If I was a millionaire, sure, or if I had an extra Sephora gift card to kill {maybe not. I could think of a zillion other things I’d buy before a skin care item}. Particularly because I don’t think this product was that much of a WOW on my skin, I can think of other ways to use $73. I would, though, recommend it as a worthwhile product to try as a sample or if you could use a hydrating mask as an essential part of your skincare routine.