Retinols, Vitamin C, Alpha Hydroxy Acids, and…charcoal? When you think of pore clearing and glow producing skincare ingredients, charcoal probably isn’t at the top of the list. With the creation of seemingly hundreds of beauty products all containing charcoal (or, activated charcoal to be specific), all of that is about to change.
Activated charcoal is quite the skincare find. Ideal for those with acne-prone and oily skin, it lifts debris and impurities from pores and detoxes, all without irritation and harsh chemicals. It also eradicates blemish causing bacteria and dissolves oil, not to mention looks exotic and edgy in the bathroom next to your Cetaphil and boring white lotion.
Unconventional, sure. Effective, absolutely. Here are some of our favorite black charcoal products we’re obsessing over right now…
1. Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge With Bamboo Charcoal
Looks like: an actual piece of charcoal you’d pull out of a grill. Feels like: a velvety sponge, pillow soft and never scratchy. More fun that a Clarisonic, this black little sponge gently exfoliates and minimizes the appearance of pores for a brighter looking complexion.
2. Sort of Coal Kuro Shampoo
Sort of Coal, a quintessentially Danish artisan company that specializes in White Charcoal, makes this lux shampoo that absorbs dirt and excess oil from hair. Perfect for just-back-from-Vegas scenarios or when you’re really craving a deep clean shampoo session.
3. Origins Clear Improvement
The original in the activated charcoal game, this cult favorite has been around for years. This inky mask combines the pore clearing abilities of charcoal with the toxin absorbing power of white clay for a skincare marriage made in heaven.
4. Boscia Pore Purifying Black Strips
Besides being fun to look at, these jet black strips suck dirt and blackheads out of pores in 15 minutes flat. Witch Hazel extract leaves skin smooth and tightened with no ripping and irritation.
5. Freeman Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask
A major steal at $4, the activated charcoal in this mask/scrub hybrid draws oil and impurities out of pores while black sugar exfoliates and whisks away dead skin cells.
6. GlamGlow SuperMud Clearing Treatment
This dermatologist developed and celeb-loved clearing mud is no bargain (the jar will set you back $70), but crystal clear, softer, and brightened skin are well worth it. Activated-X Charcoal magnetically draws dirt out of pores, leaving skin glowing and flawless.
7. Dark Angels
Described as a “velvety black sugar cleanser,” this highly unconventional product (it looks like an actual piece of charcoal that you break off and mix with water) brightens and hydrates problem skin.