Ingredient Breakdown: Charcoal

Caitlin M.
ByCaitlin M.

Science shows that a beauty routine that incorporates several high-powered ingredients is the best way to combat signs of aging, skin damage, and all those other fun things we deal with on a daily basis. How do you know which beauty ingredients are right for you? Enter Ingredient Breakdown to help pull back the curtain. This week, we're explaining the ever-topical wonders of activated charcoal.

The ingredient: Charcoal

Also known as: Activated charcoal

Quick take: A carbon-based natural ingredient that is found as an active ingredient in a number of skincare, haircare, and bodycare products to detox and cleanse.

Claims to fame: Primarily known for it's ability to act like a gigantic magnet and remove impurities and pollution, charcoal is a stellar ingredient to add into your beauty routine. When charcoal is "activated," it actually increases it surface area, allowing it virtually become a porous sponge that draws out excess gunk from hair, skin, and yes, even teeth. You primarily will find charcoal as an ingredient in skincare products because it's excellent at clearing out blackheads and ridding skin of excess oil.

Where to find it: 

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser ($5.99)

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

A top pick from Influensters, Bioré's iconic charcoal cleanser washes away the day's grime with just one pump. 

boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment ($38)

boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding Intensive Wash-Off Treatment

Another popular Influenster pick, this pudding mask mask from boscia is powered by both black white charcoal and Kaolin Clay, and is a great way to combat blackheads.

Mediheal Charcoal Bubble Cleansing Pads ($11.99)

These exfoliating pads feel like a little luxury with their pre-soaked product pads and finger pockets. A little water activates the charcoal powder for easy exfoliation and deep cleansing. 

Yes to Tomatoes Charcoal Paper Mask ($2.99)

yes to tomatoes charcoal paper mask

This budget buy is a must for any sheet mask aficionado. The charcoal in this single-use sheet mask is ideal for an extra bit of deep cleaning.

Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge ($12)

julep konjac sponge

Have you tried a konjac sponge? The unique sponge comes from the Japanese Konjac root and is used as an all-natural exfoliating alternative. This one from Julep combines the porous Konjac root and detoxifying bamboo charcoal powder to get a squeaky clean feeling.

Have you tried a charcoal-based product? Let us know your top pick! 

About the Author
Caitlin M.
Caitlin M.
Runner. Music lover. All things nachos. Follow me on Instagram: @caitlinsmiller