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Every so often something will explode in the beauty industry. It will completely take over and everything you see and read about will be on this subject. About four years ago, it was juice cleanses - they were the buzzword du jour. Everyone was doing them, moaning about them, praising the results. Then people had had enough and it’s all gone a little quite for the juice. About two years ago hyaluronic acid had a moment. It’s like the water-loving molecule had just been discovered, which of course it hadn’t, but madness ensued. “You must have hyaluronic in everything. Slap it on your face, lips, hair. Drink it if you possibly can.” And now? Well now it seems that it's charcoal’s time to shine. You can’t have missed it. It’s everywhere. It’s in your face wash, your moisturiser and even in your toothpaste. But what is all the fuss about?
Charcoal is treated carbon that results in increased absorbency, which is what makes this a wonder ingredient. Charcoal’s uses are nothing new - doctors have used it for years to combat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses, the charcoal absorbs all of the nasties before they get into the bloodstream.
In a way it does the exact same thing in beauty products. When applied to your skin, hair or your body, it attracts oil and grime from your pores, which then get washed away. Here are some of the best out there:
We trust Erborian implicitly. They say ‘You should we using a charcoal-based cleansing oil’, we say ‘Done, it’s already in our shopping baskets.’ If you’re not keen on rich oils, don’t panic because the main ingredient in this is water, so it doesn’t feel too heavy on the skin. Daily sebum, dirt and makeup are like moths to this charcoal flame.
If hair looks dull, a little lifeless and the colour is a ghost of its former bright self, these are all signs that pollution is wreaking havoc on your locks. Charles Worthing is here to sort this out. Its Radiance Restore line has got charcoal in it, which attracts any toxins, pollutants and impurities, so they get washed out when you rinse. Hair will be shinier, the colour will pop and suddenly you’ll have more volume at the roots.
You’ve got a winning threesome in this mega-mask: bamboo charcoal, green tealeaves and tea tree oil. These guys work together and blast away anything that dulls the skin. Charcoal, as we’ve learnt draws the crap out of your pores, green tea leaves are a natural antioxidant that are brilliant at exfoliating, and tea tree oil is antiseptic so fights spots like a boss.
Take this one on holiday with you. Not only is it cooling because of the menthol, meaning that after a hot day in the sun you’ll look forward to your shower before sun downers. But thanks to the added charcoal, this foam will rid your sun kissed bod of any sun cream, sweat and sand.
Only if you’ve been living under a rock, in the middle of a rainforest with no connection to the real world will you have any excuse for not noticing that charcoal infused toothpastes have taken over the dental care shelves in supermarkets. Our advice? Give them a bash, but don’t swap them out for your normal one. Use in additionally and use it differently. Pop it onto teeth, leave it (that’s the key part – this is when the charcoal has a chance to get to work) and then remove with a toothbrush.
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