We usually think barbecues when we think charcoal, as well as the messes it can leave behind. But the stuff in its activated form can actually be an incredibly powerful addition to a skincare routine. The activated charcoal is the kind that you would find in an air purifier system, not the kind you cook with in your backyard. Some people even take charcoal internally to detox their bodies, although there is some debate about the safety of that practice. For now we’ll offer some suggestions about how you can use charcoal externally to step up your skincare and grooming routine. Charcoal is natural so it will never be adding buildup or chemicals to your body, instead it helps to take them away.
First off let’s start with how charcoal can make your skin look and behave better. Activated charcoal contains carbon molecules, and those molecules are basically a magnet for dirt. When you cleanse with a product that contains charcoal it will effectively draw dirt right out of the skin. Some masks are made with charcoal for this very reason, and using one can reduce the appearance of your pores. Interestingly, it’s the oil and dirt stuck in your pores that makes them appear larger, so when you regular clean the junk out your skin look will look smoother and more refined all around.
Charcoal is also very effective at drawing oil out of the skin, but if you have naturally dry this skin it’s important to limit your time with products that might be a little drying. It’s true that an excess of oil can clog the pores but taking too much of it away can cause some issues as well. When we strip the skin of all its oil it will go into overdrive trying to replace the oil. To the skin oil is considered a good thing since it serves to form a protective shield from the outside offenders. A middle ground is what we’re always striving for.
While it sounds completely counterintuitive, charcoal can actually help remove stains and whiten the teeth. Stains from things like coffee, tea, and wine will come off pretty easily if you switch over to a toothpaste that contains charcoal as an ingredient. Some people also suggest rubbing activated charcoal directly onto the teeth, but it’s safer and easier to go the route of a product that contains it. If your teeth are dramatically yellow however you might need a stronger product. Think of it as a maintenance tool.
Charcoal can also be used to remove buildup in your hair. Regular shampoo isn’t very effective at that, it focuses more on the dirt and oil but doesn’t exactly clarify. But when you use gels, pomades, or other styling products regularly it can start to create a buildup that will make your hair look dull and resist proper styling. Charcoal shampoos are great for remedying that and making your hair look fresh and clean again.
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