beauty

Charcoal Is Having a Major Beauty Moment--Here's Why

June 18, 2015 by Lisa Fogarty
shefinds | beauty

Pop quiz: what’s black, responsible for making the best hamburgers and hot dogs of your summer life, and is the single worst Christmas gift Santa can bring a child? Answer: one of the hottest ingredients popping up in new beauty and skincare products. Yup, charcoal is the beauty ingredient du jour.

Now before you balk at the idea of smearing carbon and ash on your ksin, remember: (almost) anything for the sake of beauty, right? (And hey, at least it isn’t snail slime or bird poop.) Like it or not, charcoal beauty products can be found everywhere from your corner drugstore to department stores and Sephora. One SHEfinds editor says Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser is the best thing she’s ever used to wash her face. Similarly, I’ve been stocking up on Glamglow’s Supermud Clearing Treatment since coming across several disturbing, yet utterly fascinating photos that show exactly what can be extracted from your skin in 20 short minutes (seriously, look it up).

And charcoal madness doesn’t even stop there. It seems you can even drink the stuff–albeit a version called Activated Charcoal–which is featured in a lemonade drink offered by Juice Generation.

Is the hype surrounding charcoal legit? Just what beauty benefits, if any, does it have? We’re letting our beauty experts weigh in on the new “It” ingredient.

“I started using charcoal in facial treatments at my skin center in Santa Monica and the results were astonishing,” says skin specialist Diana Ralys, who created Moisture-Detox Mask and Blemish Cleanser, both of which contain charcoal. “Charcoal provides excellent detoxification, cleansing, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits without over-drying the skin. Most skin care products that have these anti-blemish, acne-fighting benefits are too drying. When skin gets too dry, acne gets worse, because toxins are getting trapped under the dry skin layers.”

Dr. David E. Bank, author and founder and director of The Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, adds that though charcoal may seem of the times, people have long credited it for its cleansing properties. “Activated charcoal has been used for many years as a detoxifying agent,” Bank says. “When applied to the skin it may draw out impurities in the superficial layers. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores and Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser are both good options.”

To be fair, the charcoal movement also has its share of skeptics.

“There is no scientific proof that charcoal does anything in skin care products,” says New York State Licensed Esthetician Rachelle Rosenthal. “There are those that feel that the charcoal acts like a magnet to draw out dirt and oil from pores. Again, there is no scientific data on this claim.”

As for the health benefits of drinking charcoal?

“Activated charcoal draws toxins, gases, and impurities out of the body due to the millions of micro pores that bind to and remove them,” says a spokesperson for Juice Generation. “This amplifies the detox function, as charcoal is one of nature’s most trusted and potent detoxifiers.”

The upside of trying charcoal in your products and juices? More beautiful skin and a cleaner system. The downside? Visions of summer BBQs dancing in your head–which overall, totally makes it worth the risk.

For more beauty tips, check out 4 tips for dyeing your hair in the summer without destroying it and 7 drugstore skincare products with really good reputations.

From Our Partners

From Our Partners

beauty

These Are The Bestselling Moisturizers At Sephora Right Now

February 23, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
You'll want all of these!

beauty

4 Easy Makeup Tricks Everyone With Almond Eyes Should Know

February 23, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
Make the most of your almond eyes!

beauty

These Drugstore Face Serums Will Totally Transform Your Skin

February 23, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
Your skin NEEDS this!

beauty

5 Basic Essie Nail Polish Colors Every Woman Should Own

February 23, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
You can't go wrong with these colors!

beauty

The Best (& Affordable!) Neck Firming Products Dermatologists Swear By

February 23, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
These are a game-changer!

beauty

Urban Decay's New Mascaras Are Not What We Were Expecting--But We're Totally Obsessed!

February 22, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
Move over, black mascara!

beauty

4 Cheap Natural Products Dermatologists Swear By For Mature Skin

February 22, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
Get younger-looking skin instantly!

beauty

5 New Marc Jacobs Beauty Products You NEED In Your Life

February 21, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
They have over 20 new items!

beauty

The Best Micro-Needle Rollers You Need To Know About

February 21, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
These micro-needle rollers will give you gorgeous skin

beauty

4 Genius Makeup Tricks For Hooded Eyes

February 21, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
Here's to brighter eyes in no time!

beauty

The Weird Trick Meghan Markle Swears By To Make Her Face Look Thinner

February 21, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
We did NOT see this coming!

beauty

5 Drugstore Products People With Acne Actually Swear By

February 21, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
They actually work!

beauty

3 Life-Changing Makeup Tricks We Wish We Knew Sooner

February 21, 2018 by Emily Belfiore
How did we not know about this?!

beauty

4 Tricks For At-Home Waxing

February 20, 2018 by Lisa Fogarty
These at-home waxing tricks will give you the smoothest skin yet

beauty

Cover FX Just Blessed Us With A New 40-Shade Inclusive Foundation Collection!

February 20, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
Foundation for all!

beauty

The $6 Product Everyone With Chapped Lips Should Be Using

February 20, 2018 by Kiarra Lyles
Did we mention it's only $6?

beauty

3 Too Faced White Peach Eye Shadow Palette Dupes That Are Just As Great As The Original

The Too Faced Peaches and Cream collection has become a ...

LOAD MORE
+
LOAD MORE POSTS