2017 for me is the year of charcoal personal care products :) Say what?! Charcoal like those black lumps of coal that go in a Weber Charcoal Grill? Well not exactly that type of charcoal, but activated charcoal - which is also something that I keep in my medicine cabinet, but I'll save that for another post!
Activated charcoal is a great ingredient to add to your (clean) beauty repertoire for a few reasons, what's cool about it is that it attracts toxins, dirt, and oil and essentially sucks them up removing them from your skin (or teeth, or underarms lol). Think about this ingredient as more along the lines of what you see in your water filter, charcoal helping to filter out, or in this case attract, the bad stuff in your mouth (toothpaste), on your skin (masks/bars), or under your arms (deodorant).
Charcoal is definitely an ingredient you should consider in skin-care if you have acne-prone skin, but can be great for folks with normal skin as well. Something as simple as a charcoal mask that can be used weekly to prevent or even as a spot treatment (just don't go out with it on!) is a worthwhile investment to your beauty routine and acne arsenal. Charcoal is also supposed to help make your pores appear smaller, although this is one beauty claim I'm not sure how to substantiate - I feel like it's similar to saying some shoes can make your feet look smaller, the right shoe can, but your feet are still the same size. What I do know, is that it will deep clean your skin and therefore make your pores cleaner which may make them less noticeable.
So where am I using charcoal in my routine? I use a few products regularly, 4 actually. Piper Wai deodorant is the best natural deodorant that I have tried for helping to alleviate stink. And the key reason in my opinion is the activated charcoal in it. I have the jar, they now sell a stick, I haven't tried the stick but find that the jar form isn't that bad once you change your frame of reference on how to apply deodorant. Don't worry this will not stain your clothes or leave your armpits black either!
Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar - this is a new one, I'm just about to start using it, mine lasted 19 months of daily face washing! I store it on a bamboo soap dish and leave just on the edge of the shower, and move it between the shower and my sink depending on where I wash my face. I love this post workout, it makes your face feel clean but not dry, but I always follow with a lotion or face oil. I also use this on my chest and back, to help keep those areas acne free.
My Magic Mud toothpaste, it does not foam and will turn your mouth black, if you know those two things I think you'll have a better user experience. My husband actually used this before I could and he'd not a fan of crunchy, natural products but this one is on both of our lists. I recommend using an inexpensive toothbrush, the bristles will get a little stained. I think that this is helping to naturally whiten my teeth - combating the coffee stains from my current caffeine habit that I am now starting to cut back on (Yay sleep!). I don't use this daily, although it is gentle enough that you could, I use it about 3x a week, and it does actually taste pepperminty.
Beautycounter Balancing Charcoal Mask, this actually also has a peppermint smell that is so refreshing and a little tingly in a good way. I use this about every 2 weeks, I should use it every week but life keeps getting in the way. I've found the best way for me to do it is after the kids are in bed, and I'm packing lunches and cleaning up dinner, before I get in the shower at night. Let's just hope no one from Amazon is delivering a package because I would definitely be a little frightening out of context. I also use this as a spot treatment, if I have a breakout especially around my chin this does a great job of clearing it up quickly.
I'll keep you posted as I find more charcoal products, but for now these are my go to! Grab yours via the links above or shoot me a message for more info or a sample of the mask.