I admit that when I first started seeing charcoal appearing within prominent beauty brands I was a little skeptical. Charcoal, really? The same thing I use on my barbecue couldn’t possibly be good for my skincare and wellness routines. But upon further research, I began to realize that this porous powerhouse was exactly what I was needing (sans lighter fluid of course).
Known for unclogging skin, working as a gentle teeth whitener, and even a natural body odor remover I was instantly intrigued. Could these products really do all they claimed? Was charcoal really the inky-hued super ingredient that had been missing in my beauty regime all this time? Well to test all these claims I embarked on a month-long trial run of tons of charcoal beauty products, below are some of the standouts during this experiment. So read on and find out all about my thoughts on all these midnight colored miracle products. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Oh, this mask… I can’t wax enough virtuous things regarding it. Shortly after my first use, it became one of the holy grail products on my beauty shelf. With ingredients like binchotan white charcoal, kaolin clay, and sea salt all of which have deeply penetrating properties that work to clear out congested pores and hydrate skin this mask is a little powerhouse in a jar. I was surprised the first time that I used it that after application I got a gentle warming sensation and an overall impression of hydration, unlike other traditional clay masks that leave my skin feeling extremely dry after removal. What I was left with was glowing, noticeably plumper, hydrated skin. Also after having used this mask during a particular bad hormonal acne flare up my complexion instantly calmed down and I was left with minimal scaring afterward. Oh, and did we mention that it is paraben, sulfate, and cruelty-free, (mic drop).
Now I am no stranger to the brand Erborian, this French-Korean hybrid makes some of my absolute favorite beauty products in the market, from its gorgeous solid cleansing oil to its cc and bb creams, this line is always continuously used in my makeup and skin care regimes. However, when this little gem made its way to my desk, and later to my bathroom, I was instantly hooked. Lighter than most oil cleansers, it will also lather with some warm water added to the mix and is just as good at removing makeup as its traditional counterparts. Also outperforming other OG products by being infused with Japanese charcoal to boost radiance and purify skin, I switched this guy in place of the aforementioned solid cleansing oil and was surprised that it held its own against my tried and true, ride or die cleanser. It’s not cheating if it’s the same brand right?
Now I have never managed to jump on the bandwagon when it comes to eye masks. However, over the last couple months, I’ve been testing out some brands that have begun to change my views on these products (more to come in a future post). It was, however, this one from Beauty 360 that might have been the catalyst for converting me to an eye mask enthusiast. Infused with powdered charcoal to help depuff, detoxify, and hydrate around the eyes, they have been a lifesaver on several all-night work projects that have been happening recently. For a little extra boost, I’ve been keeping them in the fridge for a nice little burst of coolness.
Terra & Co.
I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and Instagram posts about the fad of charcoal toothpaste and I will admit that I was very dismissive of the hype. Put off a little by the black color when I first started to test it out, although it has a pleasant minty fresh taste, I held strong and kept using the product for a month and as much as I did not want to believe the buildup I do feel that my teeth have become whiter than they were prior. Now let me preface this by saying I am huge coffee, tea, red wine, (insert any other food or beverage known to stain teeth) consumer and I need all the help I can get to have more pearly whites. So while I did not get a blinding change alone with this toothpaste. I feel this combined with another whitening product does the job of creating an overall more satisfactory smile. I like to think of the product as my tooth gym, I use it consistently and overall it will get me to my desired appearance. And I do feel that for people not dramatically prone to stained teeth that this could very well get you to the ivory whites of your dreams alone.
I will admit that this was a hard choice, to choose just one Boscia product. This Japanese brand is known for their charcoal products and believe me when I say that there were many and I do mean MANY amazing options to choose from. After much debate, though I decide that the stand out player has got to be the porefecting white charcoal mattifying treatment primer. With a blend of binchotan white charcoal, artichoke leaf extract, and witch hazel extract, which increases skin elasticity and tighten pore walls without over-drying skin I was immediately drawn to this product. Now I’m not a huge fan of primers, with most leaving me with a dull dry complexion, however as a person with combination skin I usually need something on my t-zone to control the oil and this product does just the trick. Mattifying but still leaving skin glowing and hydrated looking and the perfect base for my makeup.
Let me start off by saying for this article I tried a lot of masks. It seems that charcoal and clay just go together like PB&J and this is the most common way that brands are jumping on the binchotan bandwagon. While there were many great options a few really excellent ones stood out among the rest. I already talked about my love of the Context mask but this one from L’Oreal came in at an extremely close second. Immediately brightening and pore minimizing, this has become my go-to reset mask. You know the kind I’m talking about, the ones were after I’ve been lazy with my regime and I need a skin reboot, this little mask is the perfect powerhouse for kicking my skin back into gear. You also can’t beat the price as well. Okay, maybe it is more of a tie than second place…
This mask is a joy to use… From the Korean brand Lindsay, I first discovered rubber masks from the gorgeous Glow Recipe ladies on a dreary day last March when I was at a breakfast for the brand. Starts off as a powder, mix with water until it becomes a gel, apply to the face where it then drys into a rubbery consistency that can be peeled of the face. If you want a full step by step head on over to my Instastories where is did a little tutorial on how to use it. Now rubber masks come in a ton of different types to combat various skin issues but my favorite by far is their charcoal one. Great for brightening this is the perfect mask to do with friends for a girls night in.
Lindsay Charcoal Modeling Rubber Mask 2 for $11
I am no stranger to Schmidt’s deodorant it has in fact been my odor blocker of choice since making the switch to more paraben-free varieties. So when I discovered that they were making a charcoal and magnesium variety I knew it was going to be good. But I really wanted to pull out the big guns with this product and try it on my husband. We’ve both switched to natural antiperspirants about a year ago and while I have consistently used Schmidt’s he has tried several different brands with varying success. So commissioning him to be my guineapig for the month. We had amazing results. Not only did he tell me that he had remained odor-free something he had been struggling with since making the switch to more natural alternatives, but that pit stains that he would always get on his shirts from all deodorants were not appearing. It official was a win-win for everyone especial the undershirts.
Well, lovely readers what did you think of this post? Do you have any favorite charcoal beauties products in your routine or have you seen any in this post you would like to try? Tell us in the comments below. I would love to hear from you. Also special thanks to photographer Holly Parker for collaborating with me on all the imagery for this post. She is so talented. Check out her site and Instagram for more of her work.
The Everyday Editor
Photos by Holly Parker and Styling by Jessie Ajluni