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The Little Known, but Highly Effective Beauty Treatment- Charcoal

Updated on April 27, 2014

Charcoal- Straight Up

Charcoal- Straight Up
Charcoal- Straight Up

First things First... Safety Tips

I don’t want anyone to hurt themselves because this article gives them the wrong idea. Make sure you know what you’re doing before you use charcoal. It’s not something you want to mess around with, but when used correctly it can do wonders for your skin.

How Charcoal is Used

In hospitals, activated charcoal is fed orally in E.R.s in order to remove toxins from the stomach and the bloodstream. That’s what charcoal does, it removes pollutants. Think of it like a sponge that is going to suck up lots of bad stuff. In fact, talk to an aquarist (a fish person). They probably use charcoal in their aquariums in order to remove harmful chemicals. So, it’s basically a chemical cleanser.

This is why charcoal can do such great things for your skin. It can chemically cleanse your skin.

"When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, it sticks to it—and then gets washed away when you rinse your face," says cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson.


Origins Charcoal Mask

Origins Charcoal Mask
Origins Charcoal Mask

How YOU Can use Charcoal

First off, you need to select the right product. Not all charcoal beauty products are of the same quality. The carbon actually needs to touch, physically, the impurities in your skin in order to absorb them. Just like a sponge you need to “Sop Up” the water or in this case chemicals which reside on and in you skin. This is why Ni’Kita Wilson has recommended that you forget about any sort of Charcoal Cleanser. A charcoal cleanser will get washed away very quickly and due to this won’t have time to work properly. You want to find a nice, stable charcoal mask which is going to remain on the skin for about five to ten minutes. This is all it takes to properly remove the chemicals. I have heard great things about the Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Mask. This isn't your only option when it comes to stable charcoal masks, but it's a great choice if you're unsure of what to purchase. If you do end up getting this product, remember to start with a full mask (depending on the amount of acne you have) and then move onto spot treating as your zits, pimples and other undesirables start to go away.

Relying on the information found on the website above I can tell you that this Charcoal Mask contains ACTIVE carbon and will cleanse the pores. It is what we refer to as a deep cleansing treatment as opposed to what you get with a simple Charcoal Cleanser which will only touch the surface of your pores and will most likely fail to remain in contact with your skin for any length of time. It is supposed to draw out the oils and dirt from your pores. This is the sponge-like feature that makes charcoal and activated carbon amazing! It’s like a microscopic sponge bath! This will obviously minimize the stretching of pores and prevent breakouts (I would’ve loved this stuff when I was sixteen years old; I had a CRAZY amount of blackhead and zits; especially on my nose). The main ingredients of this product are kaolin, bentonite, and of course, charcoal powder which is the thing which does the absorbing. It’s supposed to be smooth, not granular, and smell like clay. An earthy, smooth, soft face mask with an immediate cooling effect. It is supposed to become thicker and less creamy as the product sets. This is all good because all these attributes will never aggravate your skin and it will tighten your pores. This product has even won a Best of Beauty award in 2012! Remember, this is just a good place to get started on your research. Don’t feel like THIS is the only Charcoal Mask out there. I recommend that you look around and compare different products in order to find the one for you. Also, pay attention to ingredients. You don’t want to get a charcoal mask only to find out it contains something you are allergic to!

How To Apply a Charcoal Mask

How To Apply a Charcoal Mask
How To Apply a Charcoal Mask

How to Apply

I recommend to apply small amounts to all areas of your face. For second, third, fourth treatments I recommend I only spot treat, because I believe you will find certain areas becoming cleaner and less in need of the treatment. It can be bad to over treat an area so be careful when it comes to how much and how often and where you apply the charcoal paste.

As for the length of time you want to leave it on, it is recommended that you leave it on for as long as possible. If you live in a city or an area with significantly more pollution than the countryside, this product is for you. Urban environments create excess smog and waste that seeps into your skin. The pollution is literally attacking your skin day after day!

However, even if you live in Shanghai I recommend that you DON’T use this product everyday. It really is something that should be done once a week. Like I said earlier, too much of a cleansing product can lead to dry, irritated skin. Everything likes to be free and aired out. It is good to let your body relax instead of constantly attacking it with treatments. Then the treatments become just as bad as the thing you are treating.

Conclusion

Finally, don’t expect that fresh and clean feeling after. You should feel a little cleaner, but overall the carbon is doing things that you won’t necessarily notice right away. It’s going to be working on the microscopic level and you need to give it some time before you start seeing results.

I hope this HubPage has helped you in some way and I hope that you can find a product which will help you cleanse your face. Believe it or not, like I said, I would’ve been really into a charcoal cleanser when I was a teenager. It would’ve helped me a lot!

What do you Think?

Charcoal Mask?

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What do you Think?

Traditional Face Mask vs Charcoal Face Mask?

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    • PoeticPhilosophy profile image

      PoeticPhilosophy 3 years ago from Canada

      That's awesome! I've never heard of that and it's very interesting. You should make a product review hub on this and proactive! See which one is more beneficial. Anyway take care :)

    • neilcook profile image
      Author

      Neil Cook 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you PoeticPhilosophy! I appreciate the feedback! :D

    • profile image

      Sara 3 years ago

      Bummed to find this article after I bought a charcoal cleanser!:/ even though it doesn't come in contact with skin for very long, my acne is is clearing up so I'm happy. I plan on investing in mask, I'm excited about this whole "charcoal" trend, aparently there is some magic behind this thing! Loll love the post(:

    • neilcook profile image
      Author

      Neil Cook 3 years ago from United States

      Thank you Sara! I appreciate it!

    • profile image

      Emily 2 years ago

      Hi Lindsay and Amy,I really hope you reply even toughh it has been 2 years since you\’ve posted on here… I\’m so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day… I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of… My \”friends\” went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I\’ve tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be \”ok\” one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can\’t you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache… It\’s become a way of life and although I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I\’m sorry those did not help you either… NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can\’t work as much, I can\’t run around and just be free, I can\’t take a full load of classes at a time… Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I\’m not the only one to suffer from this and that I\’m not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day…Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole

    • Larry Rankin profile image

      Larry Rankin 21 months ago from Oklahoma

      Hadn't heard of this before. Interesting.

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