Charcoal is probably one of the most mystifying beauty trends of the decade. While some of us might already be thinking about their BBQ, charcoal has been showing up in beauty treatments and cold pressed juices over the past few months as one of the best ways to pull toxins out of your body.
Activated charcoal (regular charcoal that is heated with gas in order to form pores) is a natural material that has actually been used in products for decades. Charcoal is what is in your Brita water filter and doctors and hospitals have used it medically for people who have been exposed to poisons or have overdosed on drugs.
In beauty products, activated charcoal is used to draw out bacteria, poisons, chemicals, and dirt and bring these materials to the surface of the skin to help clear your complexion and fight future blemishes. The pores in the activated charcoal effectively trap chemicals. In your body, charcoal can help trap toxins to stop them from being absorbed by your body instead. To help put this trend to the test I turned to two familiar brands to try a face masque and a juice containing charcoal.
Skincare – Charcoal Rescue Masque by Dermalogica
In February Dermalogica announced their new Charcoal Rescue Masque. It is meant to detoxify and brighten skin by pulling out extra oil and impurities like environmental pollutants in the skin, refine pores, and make skin smooth. The activated charcoal helps to draw out toxins by allowing them to adhere (or be absorbed by) the charcoal.
I always trust Dermalogica products to treat my skin well and the Charcoal Rescue Masque did leave my skin feeling brighter and softer. Their face masques always help reduce redness and tighten my pores for a few days. The Charcoal Rescue Masque was no exception! I look forward to using this more regularly to see if I notice any long-term benefits or changes.
Juice – After Party from ELXR Juice Lab
I expected charcoal juice to taste like straight up dirt, but I’m happy to report that it doesn’t! It turns out that the other flavours in the juice are generally more prominent than the charcoal. This juice was a bit sweet and the lemon flavour was the perfect trick to make my body think it wasn’t ingesting charcoal.
I don’t generally feel any miracle results from cold pressed juices and I didn’t feel like my body was immediately cleared of toxins in this case either. Regardless, the juice tasted good and wasn’t inconvenient to drink.
What’s The Verdict?
Unfortunately I can’t report that I experienced any life changing results form either product. But they also didn’t make me feel worse. Medically, there are no tests that prove the effectiveness of activated charcoal in beauty products or to ingest, but it’s also not a bad thing. In my mind, the “science” behind the theory that charcoal would work in that way makes sense to me and I’ll likely use these types of products again.
What do you think about the charcoal trend?
Is this a passing fad or the new miracle cure all?