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Is charcoal the secret to beautiful skin?

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Charcoal is linked to a lot of things; sizzling summer BBQ’s, Santa’s naughty list and…skincare?

Dubbed as the next big thing in beauty, charcoal is becoming a key ingredient in many products, including face masks, teeth whiteners, and even health juices.

Yep, the benefits are so good that people are even drinking it. It’s also used in medical treatments across the world to combat poisoning and drug overdoses. First used over 30,000 years ago, charcoal has been used for everything from cave paintings to making gas masks, and now it is moving its way on to the beauty scene.

So how does it work for your skin? The structure of charcoal allows gases and toxins to be absorbed into it through electrical attraction. The charcoal is activated with oxygen, meaning that it is more effective in drawing out the dirt from your skin. It acts as a magnet absorbing up to 200 times its weight in harmful substances such as bacteria, dirt, and grease, cleansing your face and making your skin feel fresh.

Emanuela Germano, Innovations Director of charcoal-loving brand T-Zone, said: “Charcoal is an ultra-purifying ingredient which is powerful in removing impurities from the skin.

“People are looking for more natural ingredients in their products, and charcoal is just that.”
It’s beauty benefits are endless. When toxins from fumes constantly clog up our skin, it is important to clear out smog residue at the end of the day. Charcoal does just that, removing the dirt from your pores and clearing up your complexion.

It can also help re-balance oily skin, minimise pores and treat acne. It works the same with teeth, absorbing stains and giving you a sparkling smile.
So why not give it a go?

Instead of doing some DIY charcoal application, there are hundreds of products out there promising to help you detox with the good old black stuff. We’ve picked out a few of the best ones for you.

T-Zone Charcoal and Bamboo Black Peel Off Mask
Black peel off masks have been all the craze on social media lately, promising to remove your blackheads in just one sweep. This “ultra-purifying” T-Zone mask with charcoal, bamboo and grapefruit extract was launched in July and already has a big following.

£4.99 at Superdrug.

Lush Dark Angels Cleanser
This cleanser is made with black sugar, charcoal and avocado oil to exfoliate, cleanse and moisturise the skin. Lush assures customers that the charcoal used in their products is produced in Devon, unlike most of the UK’s supply which is imported. They ground small pieces of charcoal into a fine powder suitable for use in their products.


£7.25/100g at Lush.

Charcoal with Citrus Oil Purifying Shampoo
Award-winning charcoal shampoo by Hask combines charcoal, lemon and grapefruit oils to cleanse and clean your hair. A purifying conditioner and a deep conditioner is also available in the same range.


£8.59 at Amazon.

Dermalogica’s Daily Superfoliant Exfoliant
This exfoliant is designed to reduce skin-aging pollution. When the powder comes in to contact with water it creates a paste, releasing powerful enzymes to combat polluted skin. Once used, the product leaves your skin feeling firmer and healthier.

£17.00 at John Lewis

Words by Anna Whittaker

Edited by Laura Nuttall

Saya Uotani and Rebecca Curry are your health & beauty editors

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