Clean beauty seekers will often go to great lengths (like smashing applesauce on their faces). Many practices we now think of us eccentric or downright weird, were often commonplace back in the day before beauty counters. One such tool in the beautiful skin arsenal? Activated charcoal.
We’re definitely NOT talking about the briquettes you use to grill up that homegrown eggplant. Often made from coconut, activated charcoal is highly absorbent. It’s actually used in hospitals in emergency poisoning treatments (think of a kid drinking a bottle full of cough syrup). This highly absorbent or adsorbent, substance makes it a most unique and useful tool in achieving beautiful skin.
Using an application of charcoal topically may help to rid the skin of acne, as well as speed the healing of insect bites, stings, or rashes, reports Dr. Josh Axe.
“[A]ctivated charcoal binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne,” he notes on his website. By eliminating the toxins and reducing the inflammation, activated charcoal can help to prevent acne lesions from becoming infected. Dr. Axe recommends mixing charcoal with aloe vera gel and spot-treating minor breakouts. Using a charcoal soap may also help in ridding your face of breakouts. You can also add charcoal to your facemasks for an added anti-acne boost. Of course, always speak with your primary care physician first, and use caution on broken skin.
Anyone who has struggled with persistent acne knows it is often connected to other issues in the body: namely hormonal imbalances and food sensitivities. Activated charcoal may help to treat acne from inside the body, too, according to Dr. Axe, who says it may improve your digestive tract by “removing toxins that cause allergic reactions, oxidative damage and poor immune system function.”
Research continues to point to the importance of a healthy microbiome—the balance of good bacteria that populate the digestive tract. The removal of toxins can also contribute to improved overall health, increased energy, and even reduced joint pain.
To start taking activated charcoal internally, first discuss with your primary care physician or a licensed health care practitioner.
Give our activated charcoal sea kelp soap a try to refine your skin.