The Secret Ingredient: Charcoal
Charcoal, which is carbonized wood, has been used for centuries for everything from cooking, art, and even medicine but in recent months it’s secret ability to deliver clear, radiant skin has been unveiled. Turns out getting a lump of coal from Santa Claus may not have meant you were on the naughty list after all! Activated charcoal is the perfect skin care ingredient for those suffering from acne and skin impurities including blackheads since it works to absorb the toxins and bacteria. The beauty power player is also great for anyone suffering dry, flaky scalp or greasy, oily strands. Some people even use charcoal as a toothpaste to get rid of plaque and while we haven’t tried it for dental care purposes we have taken a few products on a test run! Check them out, plus a place you can get a charcoal treatment from a professional below!
For Face: Bioré – Don’t Be Dirty Collection
Get your skin as clean as can be with Bioré’s newest charcoal-infused products! Prep skin with the Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser ($6.49), which starts black and turns into a sudsy white foam to draw out all the gunk trapped in our pores. Then amp up the pore-cleansing power with the Self Heating One Minute Mask ($5.99 for 4 masks) 2-3 times a week. Starting with a damp face and dry hands, empty one packet entirely into your hands and massage all over your face (add water to help disperse). Massage in for one minute and feel the mask warm, rinse well. The warming sensation opens pores while the charcoal gets to work absorbing all those pesky pore-cloggers! Purchase at target.com
For Body:Lush – You Snap the Whip
Get soft, touchable skin with You Snap the Whip, body butter bar by Lush. In the bath or shower, rub the black bar all over wet skin, concentrating on areas that are extra dry to get a gentle exfoliation and reveal radiant, smooth skin! Blackcurrant, macadamia nut, and bergamot essential oils work with the charcoal to remove dull, dead skin and rejuvenate and soften you skin. $10.95; lushusa.com
For Hair: Gla Natural – Bamboo Charcoal Hair and Scalp Detoxifying Shampoo with Eucalyptus
Using bamboo charcoal, this shampoo clears impurities from the scalp, ideal if you have oily strands! It gently purifies the hair by absorbing excess oils without stripping the hair. Tea tree and eucalyptus leaf oil clarify the scalp and remove build-up and flakes. $9; westelm.com
At the Spa: Use your Spafinder Wellness 365 Gift Card to book a Charcoal Facial ($260) at Ling Skincare Union Square, New York, NY This 1.5-hour facial works to detoxify skin and clear your pores of impurities and blackheads, complete with an Asian pressure point facial massage, extractions, and an charcoal rice therapy mask.
In “The Secret Ingredient!” we showcase a mix of popular and not-so-well-known power-player ingredients found in your favorite products and detail their benefits, unveil some fun facts, and share products and treatments you can find them in! Have an ingredient you want to learn more about? Tell us what it is below!