Over the years it’s been added to everything from cleansers and deep-cleansing masks to acne-fighting pore strips and even toothpaste. And while it’s far from a new ingredient, activated charcoal continues to be an essential ingredient in skincare and beauty products—and for good reason.
When it comes to skincare, your pores act like a gateway for oil, or sebum, which is naturally produced by your body. When your pores aren’t properly cleaned, you risk blocking them which can leave you with unwanted acne and blackheads. This is where activated charcoal comes in.
The powerful ingredient works similar to a magnet by binding itself to dirt and, in turn, pulls out impurities like bacteria and toxins from congested pores, leaving you with not only healthier looking skin but also smaller-looking pores, which is always a win-win in our books.
If you have pore problems–no matter how big or small–here are eight products infused with activated charcoal that you’re going to want to try ASAP.
This clarifying mask is made with a cocktail of six exfoliating acids and activated charcoal to instantly and visibly clear pores and clarify the complexion. But don’t let the blend of acids scare you. This mask is actually quite soothing thanks to the added eucalyptus leaf.
Designed to work for all skin types, this jelly-textured cleansing ball features ingredients like activated black bamboo charcoal, tamarindus indica seed gum, and hinoki oil, which work together to decongest your pores, all while killing bacteria and adding hydration to your skin all at the same time.
Fans of Gwenyth Paltrow’s lifestyle line, goop, will be happy to know they can enjoy her cult-favourite brand while still reaping the benefits of activated charcoal with this detoxifying bath soak. The mixture of glacial marine clay and activated charcoal not only cleanses the body but also removes impurities, from modern pollution to plain old grime, all while leaving you feeling rejuvenated and refreshed.
Formulated with bamboo charcoal and white China clay, this charcoal mask acts like a magnet to deep clean and draw out deep-dwelling pore-cloggers, impurities, and debris (ew). This mask is especially useful for those who live in a city, where your skin is constantly plagued with pollutants.
This gentle exfoliating sponge is made from a starchy, root vegetable called konjac, and is infused with antibacterial bamboo charcoal to detoxify and purify pores and remove bacteria, all while nourishing the skin with vitamins and minerals. Known for being effective at sloughing off dead skin (without stripping away healthy oils), these sponges are a natural, gentle way to exfoliate and promote healthy skin every day.
Chances are when you were younger, you definitely used blotting papers to dab away excess oil and grime. Well, we’re here to tell you they’re making a comeback, only now they’re powered by charcoal to help purify and refine your skin while working to absorb excess oil for a shine-free complexion.
This Korean cleansing balm is infused with charcoal powder and sea salt to open clogged pores, extract excess sebum, and remove dirt, oil, and dead skin cells. The balm also contains Vitamin E and egg yolk extract for extra added hydration that will leave your skin feeling smooth and soft. Simply massage the product into your skin for two minutes and it heats up naturally in a soothing and relaxing way.
If you’re looking for that extra step to remove your makeup and excess dirt and grime, let this be it. This cleansing micellar water acts as a makeup remover to dissolve even the heaviest of makeup, while the activated charcoal leaves your pores feeling ultra-fresh.