The obsession with achieving beauty and perfection can seem ridiculous at times. Take, for example, the way charcoal became the it ingredient in skincare products a few years ago and still persists as a sought-after component in anything, from shampoos to facial masks. Until now, women fanatically seek out this black substance that is usually neglected after barbecues. “Carbon” and “activated charcoal” appear on different skincare labels as major companies create new ranges of products dedicated to the ingredient.
But the question remains: Is charcoal worth the hype? Science and historical accounts verify that it is. Long before masks turned black and nose strips started smelling like burnt wood, charcoal was a noted medical cure for poison intake and drug overdose. It’s also been used in cleaning agents and odor-eliminating packets. That’s why your grandmother kept that plastic bowl of black bits at the back of the fridge.
The power of charcoal is rooted in something very simple. When wood is burned to become charcoal, it transforms into one of the most basic substances in the world: carbon. An element found in all organic compounds, carbon attracts and binds with toxins and other foreign bodies in its environment as it eliminates them. Translated to skincare, it’s a miracle formula. From blackheads to various impurities, charcoal will absorb any substance that is not organic on the area where it is applied. Charcoal clears up the skin and thus helps it absorb moisturizers and other skin-aiding substances. It’s advised that you should follow up your charcoal cleanser with a vitamin-packed toner or a cream with a rich blend of antioxidants and vitamins.
Until dermatologists and scientists come up with another miracle ingredient for our skincare products, expect the market to be in the black.