Skip to content

" />

ponds image

Looking to detox your skin? Start here

7 little habits that are wrecking your skin

Looking to detox your skin? Start here

Meet activated carbon — an ingredient that helps your skin fight acne.

Also known as activated charcoal, this powerful skincare tonic is known to do wonders for your skin. But what is it exactly, and how does it work?

Hit me with some science!

OK, so it all starts with common charcoal, made from peat, coal or wood. This is the basic ingredient of activated carbon. But to get medical-grade activated carbon, you need to treat common charcoal with hot gas. This process helps open microscopic pores on the surface of the ingredient. Those little pores are what gives activated carbon its amazing absorptive properties — and lets it work its magic.

How does it work?

Doctors all over the world use activated carbon to treat a whole range of issues, ranging from upset stomachs to high cholesterol. It is so safe that it can even be used to treat pregnant women. Recently skincare pros have got in on the act. They’ve noted that activated carbon forms chemical bonds with the toxins and grime that typically cause acne. It effectively washes out your pores — like a detox for your skin.

So it’s just a really effective cleanser, right?

Actually, there is much more to activated carbon than just pore-cleaning properties. It also helps reduce skin oiliness by drawing excess oil from pores, leaving your skin feeling noticeably smoother. 

Where can I find activated carbon?

While there are a ton of DIY carbon skincare recipes online, the best place to find activated carbon is in off-the-shelf cleansers. A lot of face packs and hydrating gels also contain activated carbon. As it is such a good fit for all skin types, many skincare pros are now saying that you simply can’t get too much of this ingredient in your beauty regimen.