Activated charcoal has become a popular buzzword in the beauty industry.  You may have watched a number of humorous videos as unsuspecting consumers attempt to peel a black plastic-like mask from their face, or maybe you’ve seen this ingredient pop up in products such as toothpaste.  The deep black color of activated charcoal makes this ingredient a difficult one to miss when it’s in your beauty products, but the benefits it yields also makes it quite memorable.

First, let’s start by clarifying that the charcoal in your grill and activated charcoal are different from one another.  Please do not use charcoal from your cookout to clean you face!  Without delving too far into the science of activated charcoal manufacturing, I think it is important to understand the basic elements to appreciate the source of this ingredient’s power. Regular charcoal is made of coal, coconut shells, wood, and sometimes petroleum.  Activated charcoal is manufactured from regular charcoal using one of two methods: either using high heat and chemicals or by using steam.  Activated charcoal manufactured with coconut shells or coal is created with the use of steam without chemicals, while wood based regular charcoal is typically processed with high heat and chemicals.  (AJ Apothecary uses food grade, gluten free, and vegan friendly activated charcoal created in the United States from coconut shells.)

To begin the process, coconut shells are heated to a high temperature to make char.  The char is heated again with steam, and during this stage volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are removed from the char, leaving large holes in the substance.  The properties of activated charcoal make it attractive to toxins, and these elements get trapped inside the large pores created by the removal of the VOCs.  When used medically or cosmetically, activated charcoal absorbs toxins into these holes and removes them from the body.

Activated charcoal’s ability to absorb toxins makes it perfect for use in personal care products.  This powerful ingredient is known to clean pores, balance oily complexions, whiten teeth, exfoliate dry skin, and clean hair by removing toxins, environmental impurities, and excess oil.  With all of these benefits, every beauty regime should include at least one product with this effective ingredient!

Activated charcoal is a powerful ingredient in my Bluegrass Drawing Mask.  When the mask is applied to the face the activated charcoal absorbs the toxins and excess oil and traps pore clogging particles that have settled into your skin.  When you wipe the mask from your face the toxins are trapped in the holes of the activated charcoal and removed from your pores.  Additionally, the natural texture of activated charcoal gently exfoliates your skin as you use the washcloth to rub the mask away.  This leaves your complexion smooth, clear, and beautiful.  (Please note that this mask will not harden and it does not peel off from your face.  It is best removed with a warm washcloth.)

Activated charcoal is a powerful and valuable addition to any beauty routine in such products as a face mask, soap, toothpaste, or shampoo.  Have you tried products containing activated charcoal?  Tell me what you think of them in the comments!

Have a beautiful day!

Amanda Joy Signature for AJ Apothecary