If you’ve seen a lot of guys and girls sporting pitch black faces on social media lately, don’t worry, there’s no new weird makeup trend. Instead, these skin-conscious individuals are showing off their charcoal face masks.
When people first hear the phrase “charcoal face mask,” they tend to recoil a little. After all, we associate charcoal with grilling and what the naughty kids get in their stockings at Christmas time. However, the perfect skin solution for blemishes, acne and excess oil may have always been charcoal.
If you want to learn more about how you can incorporate charcoal into your skin and other beauty regimens, then keep reading. You’re going to be amazed at how something so all-natural can make such a huge difference to your skin, hair and even your teeth.
What Are Charcoal Masks?
A charcoal mask is a black face mask that’s applied to your skin to remove blemishes and impurities. There are different types of charcoal masks. The most common is a charcoal peel off mask.
A charcoal peel off mask is a mask that you apply to your skin as a liquid but then hardens to a stiff film atop your face, usually within about 10 or 15 minutes. Instead of rinsing the mask away with water, you peel off the mask slowly. This allows the mask to physically pull away impurities in the skin, namely blackheads. This is a highly effective blackhead mask, one that has been popular in Asia for quite some time but is now making its way to the West.
If you’ve ever watched someone use a peel off mask in an Instagram or YouTube video, then you know that some users seem a little pained when they use these products. That’s because the mask will sometimes rip away the baby fine hairs – oftentimes known as “peach fuzz” – from the complexion. While it might pinch a tad, it’s completely harmless. The mask does not create a strong enough of a grip to pull away the coarser hairs from the eyebrows, so you don’t have to worry about accidentally giving yourself a bad brow wax.
If peel off masks make you a tad skittish, don’t think that you’re completely removed from the world of charcoal masks. There are other options for those who don’t care for peel off masks and would prefer something that gently washes away. Many companies create activated charcoal masks that are mixed with other skin-purifying ingredients, such as raw sugar and honey, that won’t dry on the skin and are rinsed instead of peeled. While these masks don’t have the benefit of physically pulling away blackheads, they will still help to reduce blemishes and remove impurities from the skin.
At this point, the more frugal readers might be wondering if they can just grab some charcoal from their grill and DIY their own black face mask. The answer is a resounding “no”. The charcoal used in these masks isn’t like ordinary charcoal; rather, it’s activated charcoal. It’s a little different and a whole lot more effective for the skin and hair.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
The medical industry has known about the power of activated charcoal for quite some time and the beauty industry has finally caught on. Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a substance that’s non-toxic to humans. It’s extremely porous and binds to other substances easily. It’s most common internal use is by treating patients who’ve ingested a toxic substance. The charcoal, when consumed, binds to the toxic substances and literally pulls them away from major organs, allowing them to be flushed through the patient’s system without being ingested or absorbed.
Maybe you can see now why activated charcoal works so well as a beauty treatment. Just as it binds to undesirable substances inside the body, it binds to undesirable impurities on the body. Activated charcoal really likes to absorb excess sebum, dirt and oil, also known as the substances that clog pores and create blackheads. While other acne treatments try to break up oil and debris with harsh acids, such as salicylic or glycolic, products with activated charcoal physically pull these impurities away from the skin. Thus, they are actually far more gentle than a lot of the anti-acne products on the market today.
Is A Charcoal Purifying Mask The Only Beauty Use For Activated Charcoal?
In short, absolutely not! An activated charcoal mask is a phenomenal way to remove impurities from the skin. However, a face mask isn’t the only way to use activated charcoal in your beauty regimen.
Activated charcoal is becoming a popular ingredient in a wide array of shampoos. These shampoos usually have two functions; not only do they reduce dandruff and excess oil at the scalp, but they add a ton of volume. This is because the secret to voluminous hair are dry roots that are free of oil that would otherwise weigh your style down. Even if volume isn’t a priority, activated charcoal shampoos are amazing if you suffer from oily hair or dandruff.
Charcoal can be used on the face in ways beyond the run of the mill activated charcoal mask. For example, charcoal face washes and scrubs are an extremely practical way to reduce acne and curb oiliness. While activated charcoal is its most useful when left on for an extended period of time, that’s not to say that there aren’t benefits in using it in a cleanser. It still works to pull oil and debris away from the skin.
Those who suffer from body acne would also be wise to use activated charcoal for this reason. When added to or included in a body wash or soap, people will see a reduction of their body blemishes over time. This is a simple way to reduce body acne by just using a new product in your shower. Not only will you reduce body acne, but your skin will have less redness and have a more even tone. That’s why it’s perfect for those who suffer from keratosis pilaris, also known as those small red bumps that many people experience on their thighs and upper arms.
As a final beauty use for activated charcoal, we have two words for you: Charcoal toothpaste. Yes, it seems completely counter intuitive. After all, charcoal is pitch black and most of us have the goal of making our teeth as pearly white as possible. However, remember that charcoal binds to dirt and debris. It does the same thing on your teeth without staining them or dying them. The charcoal sucks up any grime that might be causing discoloration, but rinses away to leave your teeth sparkling and white.
Activated Charcoal Isn’t Just For Looking Good
It’s true that many people who use a charcoal purifying mask are using it in order to improve their appearance by reducing blackheads and blemishes. The same goes for those who use a charcoal shampoo to try and add volume and shine. However, there are some real health benefits to using charcoal, both topically and orally.
Remember, we talked about how activated charcoal is beneficial because it literally sucks up and binds to other substances. This is why it’s so useful as a blackhead mask, but also useful when ingested orally to remove dangerous substances from the system. When you include activated charcoal in your beauty regimen, you won’t only be reducing your acne, but you’ll actually be detoxifying your skin. This is because the activated charcoal pulls away bacteria and toxins, leaving your skin and hair purified and detoxified.
It’s not to say that those who use products containing activated charcoal will be completely bacteria-free and never fall ill again. However, those who use charcoal in their routine will have a better feeling of overall cleanliness and will see a reduction in future breakouts.
Some Final Tips On Charcoal
By now you should see that activated charcoal is truly one of the greatest, all-natural ingredients that you can use for clearer skin and more voluminous hair. In fact, you might be ready to run out and try an activated charcoal mask for yourself today.
It’s important to remember, when using products that contain activated charcoal, that the skin and hair might feel dry afterwards. This is because the activated charcoal has literally pulled all of the oil and debris away from the skin or scalp. Hence, it’s a smart idea to finish your beauty regimen with a product that will put moisture back into the skin. When using a charcoal purifying mask, follow up with a great moisturizing face cream. If you use a charcoal shampoo, your next step should be a thick and hydrating conditioner.
Activated charcoal can be just what the doctor ordered for anyone suffering from blackheads, acne or dandruff. The best part is that it isn’t a harsh chemical, but rather an all-natural compound that actually removes toxins from your body. If you want to give your beauty routine a non-toxic boost, try a charcoal face mask for yourself today. Check out our free best charcoal mask guide to find the perfect charcoal face mask!