What is activated charcoal?

The thought of applying a greyish black substance all in the name of beauty may seem a little odd, but where activated charcoal is concerned it’s just the right thing to do for you skin. Good talked to Kim Bowkett-Moore from Crombie and Price for the lowdown on activated charcoal and how to apply it to your beauty regime. 

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been heated or otherwise treated to increase its absorbency. It’s been used in hospital emergency rooms for years to treat alcohol and other drug poisoning. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can. The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty products is similar: It will act like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. 

How is Sukin using activated charcoal in its products?

Sukin’s Oil Balancing Purifying Gel Cleanser certainly gives you a little fright when you first pump it out due to its dark grey color but once you add it to water it gently foams. The bamboo charcoal grabs any impurities on its way to purify and balance the complexion. Bilberry, white tea and pomegranate impart antioxidants and vitamins on the skin while chamomile, aloe vera and cucumber work to soothe, whilst cleansing.

For more about Sukin’s Oil Balancing range, click here. 

How long should you apply the activated charcoal products for? 

Carbon needs to come in physical contact with impurities in order to soak them up, so the longer a product sits on your skin the more effective it’s going to be. Using activated charcoal in a mask, like The Sukin Oil balancing Anti-Pollution Facial Masque is perfect. Bamboo charcoal, rooibos tea and willowherb target impurities to keep pores clear. Bilberry, white tea and pomegranate impart antioxidants for a healthy glow, while quince aids in limiting shine and reducing the visible appearance of pores. The longer it’s left on the skin the better; it’s especially useful if you live in a city where your skin is constantly bombarded with pollutants. This formula also contains Kaolin clay which also gently draws impurities form the skin without drying rock hard like other clays do.

Does activated charcoal help to aid other skin ailments like acne?

Activated charcoal may also be able to help with acne or skin prone to breaking out. A gentle exfoliant may be all you need. It will absorb oils and toxins on and below the skin. Sukin Oil Balancing Pore Refining Facial Scrub, a deeply refining base of jojoba beads and bamboo charcoal, combined with moringa extract, works to exfoliate the skin whilst keeping the pores clear of impurities. Full of vitamins and enzymes, rooibos tea, willowherb and coconut oil purify and balance the complexion. Bilberry extract and white tea provide important antioxidants, as aloe vera, chamomile and cucumber work to soothe and calm the skin for a healthy, balanced glow.

In relation to skincare, activated charcoal acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil.

What about mositurisers for during the day? Surely if charcoal is black that won’t work as a key ingredient for a leave-on product?

Because charcoal is undoubtedly a black/grey colour we don’t want this in the products we leave on our skin! It’s one thing looking like a sea creature while we cleanse but quite another when we are out and about. We recommend finishing off your morning routine with Sukin’s beautifully fresh Oil Balancing Clarifying Facial Tonic. It’s a deeply clarifying facial tonic for post-cleanse balance and refinement. White tea extract, pomegranate and bilberry extracts impart antioxidants and vitamins to the skin, purifying the pores. Finally, if you’re working with oily skin, look for a moisturiser that won’t make you feel oily while it gently moisturises your skin. The Sukin Oil Balancing Mattifying Moisturiser is quickly absorbed and employs rice powder and moringa to promote healthy pores and leave a mattified and balanced complexion. Aloe vera and bilberry offer light, non-greasy hydration, and added white tea and pomegranate provide nourishing antioxidants for a healthy glow.

Sukin’s wonderful little five-piece collection is true to form and remains free of sulphates, animal derivatives, parabens, propylene glycol, harsh detergents, mineral oils, triethanolamine, synthetic fragrances and parabens. That means it is jam packed with all natural goodies your skin will love you for.

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