Santa’s go-to offering for the baddies on his naughty list just got a whole lot more valuable. Coal, or to be more specific, charcoal, is beauty’s new favourite buzzword. (Does this mean we can misbehave all year round now?) It’s a carbon that’s been treated to increase its absorbency, and works by attaching itself to toxins, sponging ‘em all up. For centuries, Egyptians and Native Americans have used charcoal to detox, and in medical settings, patients suffering from a poisonous snake or spider bite are still treated with it around the world as modern medicine.
So how are we meant to wash our faces with the ancient black powder? Cosmetic and skincare brands have recently began incorporating the highly effective ingredient in everything from sheet masks to tooth polishing powder, and for good reason: active charcoal powder can absorb thousands of times its own mass in dirt and grime. Simply put, it detoxes your skin by drawing out impurities, chemicals, dirt and micro-particles to the surface of the skin where it can be swept away when rinsed.
So, from charcoal bath soak to toothpaste, flip through to see our top picks formulated with the alchemistic, esoteric ingredient.