I’ve done everything from various facial masks and peels to abstaining from certain foods in the pursuit of spotless skin. I’m willing to try anything once. Most recently that’s meant having my face put into a machine invented by NASA that delved four layers deep into my dermis in order to show me how to best cater to my skincare needs. It told me I have clogged pores in my T-zone and, under my eyes, major dehydration. I’ve tried incorporating a great daily moisturizer and lots of H2O to help with that latter issue. However, for cleaning my face, I’ve decided to turn to something more commonly associated with a barbecue than a beauty routine—charcoal.
Here’s the gist: Activated charcoal (which is different from the kind used for barbecuing) binds to toxins like a magnet, drawing them out and trapping them. It’s made from either peat, coal, wood or coconut shell, and is similar to normal charcoal except it is specifically made for medicinal purposes. It is heated in the presence of a gas to create “pores” so that it can help absorb more impurities, its primary benefit for the skin and body. Basically charcoal has an intense ability to absorb toxins, septic bacteria and harmful substances from the skin’s layers, bringing them to the surface to be eliminated—which has made it a popular ingredient with bath and body product makers in recent years.
“There are a lot of natural ways to pull impurities out,” says Chrissy Fichtl, founder of Apotheke, a natural line of soaps, candles and body products handmade here in Brooklyn. She started using activated charcoal in her skincare products before it became the trendy ingredient it is today. “Charcoal is just our way of doing it quickly and well. When you use charcoal on the skin or hair (externally) there isn’t anything to worry about.” (more…)