charcoal beauty products: why I switched

Up until a few months ago, I was skeptical on the existence of charcoal in beauty products. It didn't sound right to me... I mean how could something like physical carbon actually be good for your skin. Isn't carbon a bad thing? I don't know. But bottom line, I had no interest in it.

Fortunately, all of that changed when I received a sample of the Shamanuti Activated Charcoal Cleanser in my Birchbox "Free for all" box

I have rather sensitive skin on my face, so I have to be careful with what I use; so I usually stick to cleansers made specifically for sensitive or combination skin. When I first tried the sample of the Shamanuti, I was surprised. It didn't have a rather foamy lather, which tends to dry out my face, and the clean feeling I felt afterwards was phenomenal. 

After using the Shamanuti, I could understand why almost every brand of facial cleanser and now body wash that had charcoal in it, was flying off the shelves. But the question remained: why was it so awesome? I knew I had to find out why, and put my Grad school research skills to use.

What makes charcoal products so amazing?

Without getting all scientific, activated charcoal has a long resume of health and beauty benefits. Basically when it's made, run of the mill charcoal is heated with a gas that causes it to expand, creating a porous surface that traps toxins. Basically it's a miracle ingredient. And when added to a face or body cleanser or mask, activated charcoal acts like a magnet and draws out dirt, oil, and other impurities (aka bacteria) within your pores without leaving a residue or making your skin feel tight and hydrated. 

Which charcoal products have you tried?

To date, I have tried a few different charcoal products:

Biore Self Heating One Minute Mask \\ $5.09 for a 4 pack
Biore Charcoal Pore Minimizer \\ $9.99
Perfectly Posh Gender Bender Chunk Big Bath Bar \\ $9
Lush Dark Angels Cleanser \\ $12.95 and up

If I am wanting to try a charcoal product, which one should I try?

If you are just wanting to try a charcoal product, and don't have a lot of money to spend, then I would recommend starting out with a single use mask- to see how you like it. But if you are wanting to try a cleanser, Ulta & Sephora have a really nice return policy (links are to their selection of charcoal products). And if Sephora has the product in store, they can give you a free sample.

What is your reaction to charcoal products?

And I. am. addicted! You know the clean & refreshed feeling you get when you go to bed with your makeup on, wake up the next day with an oily face, and wash you face? I get that feeling whenever I use a charcoal cleanser or mask.

Have you ever tried any charcoal beauty products?
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  1. I've always wondered about this, so thanks for testing it out for me! Now I'm intrigued... too bad I'm on my spending freeze. May 1 I'm trying some!

  2. Ashley Ponder RichardsApril 9, 2015 at 9:23 AM

    I have not tried any charcoal beauty products but now I really want to. I'll have to see if there are any of those one time use masks at Wal-Mart (the only store in town). Woohoo for small towns!

  3. I absolutely LOVE the Biore Charcoal Cleanser, it works so well with my oily skin. I have repurchased it a few times and that is saying a lot for me haha! :)

  4. I'm so glad you posted this! I really want to try a charcoal cleanser. I think I'll probably grab one of the Biore ones.


  5. You should check out the Black Soap and Black Body Wash from Soapbox Soaps. I love it! And they give back to communities in need. I just did a review on it too!

  6. You should! I really saw a difference in the cleanliness of my face!

  7. I want to say I grabbed the Freeman mask from Walmart.

  8. I really love companies that do that! I feel like I am making a difference when using their products! I will definitely be checking out your review.


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