Although many skin care products don’t work universally, one product that everyone with problem skin, breakouts, or adult acne should have in their medicine cabinet is a charcoal face mask. Charcoal has been a huge trend in skincare lately and it’s definitely an ingredient that lives up to the hype.
We're on board in a big way, too: here at Arithmetic, we offer a charcoal-infused konjac sponge that is great for everyday cleansing.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to use a charcoal mask to purify your skin or why it’s such a powerful skincare ingredient, you’re probably thinking that using charcoal on your face sounds pretty gross. However, it has so many benefits and is actually a cleansing agent that detoxifies—despite being something you may think of as dirty.
Did you know that charcoal has been used for years in hospitals to treat alcohol poisoning and overdoses? Since charcoal attaches to toxins, it can take out harmful substances before they can be absorbed into your bloodstream. This principle works externally as well. “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," cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson told Allure.
Although it seems like yet another fad that will go out of style in a week, charcoal has actually been used in Japanese beauty for years and you probably know that Asian skincare tends to be 10 years ahead of the market in its technology. It’s also been used as a detoxifyer since the days of ancient Egypt and India, making this an ingredient that has stood the test of time.
If you suffer from acne or just want to make sure that you don’t break out anytime soon, charcoal will help you prevent it. Since it draws all of the impurities in your skin onto the surface, and absorbs thousands of times its weight in toxins, it will take out everything sitting on your skin that causes breakouts.
Charcoal helps to tighten up your pores, which you can feel after it’s been on your skin, as well as help to manage inflammation, a major source of aging. So, charcoal can not only help to purify your skin, but also keep it looking young and healthy.
You can of course use other types of skincare and beauty products that have charcoal in them, but I recommend using a mask to get the most potency from the ingredient. Origins makes a fantastic mask that I swear by ($4-25), if you want to try this out for yourself.