Article & Photos by: Bella Gerard
Let’s start with the obvious: everyone’s skin is different, and as a result, our skincare regimes must vary in order to suit our personal needs. Fortunately, the world of skincare is vast, and there are tons of products designed to suit specific skin types, all uniquely formulated with ingredients that are proven to be the most effective for your skin’s needs. If you’re like me – with acne prone, combination to oily skin – then charcoal is the key.
Activated charcoal has been used in the skincare world for ages, and has gained a rep as one of the best ingredients for drawing out impurities and absorbing oil – perfect for unclogging pores and achieving fresh, acne-free skin. Sound like everything you’ve ever wanted? Retweet. As my gift to you, I’ve scoured my product-hoarder bathroom and rounded up some of my top charcoal-infused products to show you the essentials for beginning a love affair with charcoal. Read on to see what products I’m loving!
As a Cleanser:
When it comes to taking the day off, I almost always opt for a solid charcoal soap. Some of you might find this a little intimidating – as in, a lot more effort than a pump of your standard Neutrogena Pink Grapefruit Cleanser – but using a solid soap forces me to take the necessary time to ensure my entire face is thoroughly cleaned. Biore has an incredible charcoal collection, including some life-saving pore strips, but their Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar has to be my favorite product in the line. Another great bar soap with activated charcoal is the Coalface Facial Soap by everyone’s favorite natural brand, Lush!
Okay, I admit it – Hoyas live pretty busy lives, and sometimes a lengthy cleansing experience isn’t feasible. When I find myself ready to crash after a long night in Lau, or needing a refresher after a workout at Yates, cleanser wipes and makeup wipes are my go-to. For the longest time, I struggled to find the perfect wipes for me, until finally Garnier blessed me with the magical Clean + Purifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes. These charcoal-infused wipes are so effective that I haven’t tried another brand since, and they’re the only wipes that leave my face feeling as clean as if I had washed it the old fashioned way.
As a Mask:
Occasionally, there are days when I like to really take time and pamper my skin, and on said days I am almost always rocking a mask. My tried and true favorite for years has been the Origins Clear Improvement mask, guaranteed to clear pores with the help of activated charcoal.
When it comes to multi-masking (AKA multitasking by using different kinds of facial masks to treat different areas), I tend to take the easy way out and use the boscia Charcoal Pore Pudding, which combines black and white charcoal in a swirled mask. The black activated bamboo charcoal purifies, while the binchotan white charcoal powder moisturizes and balances the skin. If you’re looking for a holy grail product, this two-in-one treatment might be the best place to start.
For the Hair:
Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Yes, my skin gets oily, but so does my hair – and charcoal saves the day yet again, as you can see by this nearly empty bottle straight from my shower. Hask has an entire line of products infused with Charcoal and Citrus Oil, guaranteed to give dirty, oily strands a much-needed detox. Plus, it’s kind of fun to wash your hair with grey and black products! I religiously wash with the Purifying Conditioner, and when I feel like my locks need a little more help, I also reach for the Purifying Shampoo!