Beauty Consumers are Obsessed with Activated Charcoal Right Now
If you’ve noticed an influx of charcoal-related tutorials on YouTube and Instagram, then you may be wondering why people are using a barbecue tool on their faces. As it turns out, charcoal – activated charcoal, that is – does wonders.
How does it work?
In an emergency room, carbon is typically administered to patients to flush out toxins (like poisons or drugs) from patients’ stomachs before their bloodstreams can fully absorb them.
This concept is at play with skincare as well. Absorption is a chemical reaction where elements bind to the porous surface of activated charcoal – in this case, to draw impurities like dirt, oil, and harmful chemicals out of the skin. For a beauty consumer, that means a smoother, cleaner complexion and (potentially) less acne. This instant gratification is what attracts consumers to this seemingly ‘miracle solution’, much like charcoal attracts… well, you get the idea.
How beauty brands are taking advantage
The most popular charcoal skin product seems to be masks, and with good reason. According to cosmetic chemist, Ni’Kita Wilson, “When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse […] The longer it’s left on, the better [it works],” Wilson explains.
While it works well enough on its own, activated charcoal can be combined with other ingredients to attack more than one issue at a time. Mixed with white willow bark (a natural source of salicylic acid), it sops up excess oil while fighting acne breakouts; grouped with a blend of alpha and beta hydroxyl acids, it deep-cleans pores while gently exfoliating the skin.
Miracle claims aside, charcoal is an eco-friendly and all-natural beauty solution today’s discerning consumers are looking for.
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