When you think of charcoal—yes, the stuff you grill with—the last thing that comes to mind is “I’d like to rub that on my face.” But charcoal has been making quite the impression on the beauty scene as of late, showing up in everything from cleansers and facemasks to soaps and scrubs.
This isn’t the first time this gritty, black substance has proven beneficial. It has been used for decades in hospitals to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses, as well as in Brita filters to purify drinking water. Activated charcoal, which is carbon that has been treated to increase absorbency, is a skin miracle worker. It is said to work as a magnet to draw out and absorb toxins and impurities, which prevents breakouts, minimizes the appearance of pores, and alleviates some skin irritation.
The coarse texture of charcoal also works as a gentle natural exfoliator, leaving your skin baby soft. And it doesn’t stop at skin; activated charcoal apparently also is used to rid hair of toxins and even whiten teeth. With its many benefits, we can’t help but wonder if activated charcoal is the new beauty MVP. The jury is still out, but it’s safe to say this is a trend we will definitely be adding to our beauty arsenal.