The Power of Activated Charcoal (2014’s Must-Have Ingredient)

Activated Charcoal is an ingredient that has started to become incredibly popular in the skincare world. We’ve been actually using Activated Charcoal for thousands of years (so far back that it’s impossible to document); the Ancient Hindus used it as a drinking water filtration system, while the Ancient Egyptians used it to get rid of bad odours. In modern times Activated Charcoal was first industrially generated in the early 20th Century for sugar refining, as well as being used in gas masks to remove toxins during the First World War. It’s also commonly used for digestive complaints, teeth whitening and as an acne treatment. So what is Activated Charcoal and how can it be so versatile? Why is the new must-have ingredient in skincare?

Activated charcoal is almost identical to average and normal charcoal that you might find by a fire; the only difference is that it’s heated up with a special gas which causes the charcoal to expand, creating a larger and much more porous surface area that’s able to trap toxins. Due to Activated Charcoal having the ability to trap toxins and kill bacteria, it makes it the perfect ingredient for skincare products – especially for oily, spot prone skin. When used in skincare products it really helps to draw out chemicals, dirt and other micro particles, providing a much clearer and flawless complexion over time. Activated Charcoal powder has been proven to hold one thousand times it’s mass in harmful substances, which makes it such a popular ingredient in face masks and face washes. There are a variety of Activated Charcoal products on the market right now and I predict there will be many more to follow; this is definitely a trend for skin care for 2014 and beyond. Some of the formulas currently available include:

Lush Dark Angels – This cleanser contains Activated Charcoal, Black Sugar and Rhassoul mud to create a perfect absorbent cleanser (that also exfoliates,) for people with oilier skin.

Bamboo Charcoal Konjac Sponge – A biodegradable and naturally pH balanced facial sponge (that’s made from vegetable fibers of a plant that is grown in very high altitude,) making it very gentle on skin but tough on spots.

Origins Clear Improvement – The Activated Charcoal in this acts as a magnet, helping to draw out any dirt and impurities from the pores, while China Clay absorbs environmental pollutants. Great for congested skin.

Garnier Pure Active Charcoal Scrub – Its absorbent qualities help to protect against the appearance of blackheads and excess sebum. It also helps to remove any nasty impurities from the skin’s surface.

Activated Charcoal is a surprisingly simple and effective ‘miracle’ product, which has benefited human life in so many different ways over the course of millions of years. Due to the growing amount of Activated Charcoal beauty products available now, you’ll definitely be able to get your hands on it and still remain within your budget. I’ve seen it work wonders on my skin, reducing inflammation and the appearance of blemishes… The question is, are you up for letting it work wonders on your skin too?

Written by Mia Riley



  1. beautyqueenuk
    March 8, 2014 / 8:49 pm

    I would be well up for giving it a go, I read an article about it the other day online and it does sound fabulous

  2. Charlotte Maxwell
    March 9, 2014 / 8:57 am

    I used to have a prescribed acne gel that had activated charcoal in it- works like a dream

  3. Louise Jeez
    March 9, 2014 / 12:39 pm

    The Garnier one seemed ok, until the second ingredient is a sulfate which is a no go for oily skin, or any skin really they dry the skin out and the skin will produce more oil to compensate sending the skin into a vicious circle, plus I hate anything with beads to exfoliate, they scratch at the skin causing broken capillaries. I have a small area on my cheeks which has been damaged from using scrubs, now I stay away and use chemical exfoliates. I've had the Origins on my to buy list for quite some time, I guess I should get around to buying it. I really don't rate Lush skincare either, I love the body washes etc but as for the face I don't think much to them, they're quite harsh. The Dark Angels wrecked my face, it was drying and bought me out in a few spots after using it. It does contain sodium lauroyl which just causes a foam bath and foam isn't good for the face 🙁

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