Is activated charcoal really the secret to perfect skin? It appears so.
Charcoal as a beauty ingredient is nothing new. It’s been used to whiten teeth naturally and clear skin for years now. But, like a lot of beauty fads, charcoal doesn’t seem to be going anywhere.
If anything, there’s a steady flow of new products containing the unusual ingredient as more and more people cotton on to the fact that charcoal really does work. It clears the skin of impurities and is being mixed with the likes of coconut oil, green tea and tea tree oil to maximise the effects (and give it a nice scent) to help with numerous skincare complaints: blackheads, excess oil, visible pores and a dull complexion.
“Charcoal attaches itself to toxins, absorbing them before the stomach can absorb them into the bloodstream,” says Jennifer Hirsch, a beauty botanist for The Body Shop. “While it’s among the newest superfoods, charcoal has long been known for its purifying properties.”
But it’s not just skincare buys that you’ll find charcoal in. More and more people are scrubbing their teeth with polishes and pastes boasting the ingredient as the residue leaves pearly whites looking, well, white.
It’s even used to settle upset stomachs from gas to diarrhea.
Best of all? It’s not expensive. From a £10 face wash to a £7 jar of whitening tooth tablets, here’s our pick of the most effective charcoal beauty buys available.
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