Activated charcoal: an unlikely ingredient for skin and hair care, that works!
Putting charcoal in your hair and on your face might not seem glamorous, but it’s proven to have many health and beauty benefits when used safely and properly.
Activated charcoal is not what’s used for grilling, though it is a medical grade version of what’s used in air filtration systems. Activated charcoal is administered in hospitals as emergency treatment for poisoning; as chemicals bind to it, it can help remove them from the body. These days, people are using food grade activated charcoal internally to detox, in supplements and juices; it’s even being used to whiten teeth. What does this have to do with glowing skin and deep cleaned hair? Read on and find out.
Introducing the gritty black ingredient that will purify your skin and hair
It’s true: we’re suggesting you rub charcoal powder on your precious skin and hair. But we’re giving you this advice for good reason, as more and more people are finding themselves thrilled with the results of adding activated charcoal to their beauty routine. This is how it works: because toxins stick to the activated charcoal, it makes a good candidate for a deep cleanser and detoxifier. It’s all-natural and won’t add new chemicals to your skin and hair when you use it. Which means, less for your skin and hair to have negative reactions to’and less risk of your hair being weighed down or your pores being clogged with a new ingredient meant to clean.
Here are the best ways to use activated charcoal for the health of your skin and hair.
1. Make pores smaller and cleaner
Throughout the day, toxins from the world around us clog our pores. When your pores aren’t clear, neither is your complexion. Activated charcoal, when used in a face mask, binds to and helps pull the dirt out of your pores, making them less visible (it’s the oil and dirt that makes them appear bigger). This leaves your face feeling fresh. (Use it with an exfoliating scrub to get the dead skin off and experience an even deeper clean.)
2. Take care of oily skin
Oily skin? Activated charcoal may be just the ingredient you need to balance things out. Used in a cleanser or mask, activated charcoal can pull the unwanted excess oils from your skin, leaving it smooth. You’ll want to do this sparingly’once or twice per week at the most’so that you don’t over-dry your skin. If you already have dry skin, best to steer clear of it for this use, as you don’t want to dry it out even more.
3. Treat acne
Depending on the specifics of your acne’how severe it is, what’s causing it and what else is going on’activated charcoal may be able to help. In soap form, it’s slightly gritty, which might provide just the gentle exfoliating you need. It will also absorb oils and toxins on and below the skin. You can use it as a spot treatment if you don’t want to use it on your whole face’just think of it as a mini mask for your blemish.
4. Deep clean your skin
Send your chemical-ridden deep-cleaners on a little vacation. You can find cleansers that contain activated charcoal in bars or bottles. It’s important that you don’t use these daily, as you don’t want to soak up the healthy oils and moisture your skin needs. Check out the other ingredients if you’re buying a liquid cleanser’some are designed to neutralize the acidity in your skin, others have deodorizing properties; some can even double as shaving cream. Buy the product that best suits your personal combination of needs and follow the directions on the bottle.
5. Soothe and heal bites, cuts and skin irritations
Whether you were stung by a bee or had a cut from the kitchen that’s wound up infected, activated charcoal can help speed the healing and relieve the symptoms. For minor skin ailments, including insect bites, stings, cuts, scrapes and minor infections, activated charcoal can be applied topically. The activated charcoal, when applied as a paste, helps absorb venom and infection. It will also bring down swelling and lessen pain. To make the paste: slowly add water to a bit of activated charcoal powder and mix until it is a spreadable consistency.
6. Rid your hair of toxins
Activated charcoal, when used on your hair, can pull out oil, dirt and toxins’just like it does for your skin. You can find regular and dry shampoos that contain activated charcoal. If you have very light hair, you won’t want to use the dry shampoo, as it may stain. In any case, try a test patch before using it on all of your hair at once. If you want to try activated charcoal on your hair, but aren’t sure you want to buy a bottle of a pre-made product just yet, you can make your own as you go. Just empty a capsule’or add a teaspoon’of activated charcoal to your regular shampoo and use as you normally would. The only thing you may need to switch up would be adding an extra since to your routine to get the colour fully out. The advantage to buying activated charcoal in powder or tablets is that it’s multi-purpose.
7. Add volume to your hair
When your hair feels weighted down it’s usually not only a feeling. If you’re carrying around enough dirt, your hair will start to sag and regular shampooing may not be getting it all out. Regular shampoos remove surface dirt, but activated charcoal will pull out even more. The other difference, and this is big, is that activated charcoal isn’t going to leave the residue regular shampoos will, so your hair will feel lighter and have more volume.
8. Remedy scalp conditions
Dandruff, redness, oily and itchy scalps may be relieved with activated charcoal. You can use it as a scalp treatment before you shampoo or can be mixed in with your shampoo. The activated charcoal will work on your scalp the way it does on your skin and hair: pulling out toxins and purifying. It’s unclear how deep into the hair follicle is being cleaned, but the results should be noticeable.