Activated charcoal is different from the type of charcoal you burn in your BBQ grill. This charcoal goes through an additional manufacturing process to make it ready for medical and cosmetic use. The chemical activation process creates finely powdered charcoal that is highly absorbent. Activated charcoal can bind to many different types of molecules, atoms, and proteins and then carry them out of the body.
Charcoal first came into use in hospital wards, then found its way to beauty products. It is used to absorb toxins from the digestive tract when people have overdosed, been poisoned or have an infection. It has slowly become a popular cosmetic ingredient. Activated charcoal is used to whiten teeth, clean the hair and scalp and also to clear up the skin.
For skin care, activated charcoal is primarily used in masks and scrubs. It will remove blackheads, clear and minimize pores and balance oily skin. Charcoal can be very drying to the skin, so it is important that it is well mixed with hydrating ingredients whenever you use it. Most people will only need to use a charcoal-based mask once or twice a week.
A little charcoal goes a long way. One teaspoon has the surface area of an entire football field! It is important to avoid breathing the fine powder and to use it sparingly. Charcoal is a fine powdery substance that can be difficult to handle and mix without creating a mess. For this reason, most people buy pre-made charcoal skin products.
Since activated charcoal is an inert substance, it is suitable for all skin types. It cannot cause allergic reactions and does not cause skin sensitivities or irritations. In fact, activated charcoal is known for healing skin infections. In addition to its ability to draw and bind toxins, the charcoal also has antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal properties.
These healing abilities combined with the detoxifying properties of activated charcoal make it an ideal tool in the fight against acne. Regular use of charcoal mask products will help control and reverse an active outbreak. The masks will also balance the skin’s oil production and help calm and heal inflammation and scarring.
Even if you don’t have acne, the charcoal mask in your medicine cabinet might come in handy when you are dealing with insect bites, rashes, and other skin irritations. You can use it as a spot treatment on problem areas. The charcoal mask will draw out the impurities, calm the skin and facilitate healing.
Even though charcoal products can be drying if they are over-applied or improperly mixed, a charcoal mask can still be great for deep cleaning dry skin if used correctly. You do not need to let the mask dry all the way for the charcoal to do its purifying work. It helps if you mist your face as the mask sits, keeping it slightly damp as it draws toxins and impurities from your skin. Following these guidelines and using a good moisturizer after the mask comes off will give a healthy deep clean to even the driest skin.