If Your Face Has Pores You Should Give Charcoal A Chance!

Give Charcoal A Chance

I like to switch up my skin care routine every once in a while to target specific needs, especially as seasons change. Since we’ve had a few humid days here in NY, I think it’s wise to consider some products to keep skin feeling refreshed and renewed.

Activated charcoal, also called activated carbon, is ideal for “detoxing” skin (especially oily or acne-prone skin) and drawing out bacteria and toxins (which increases the more you sweat and stew in your summer makeup–Eww!).

The carbon in the charcoal itself acts like a magnet, grabbing the impurities trapped in your pores and gradually pulling it out of your skin without drying it out. I find that products containing active ingredients like charcoal and clay might cause a minor breakout when used for the first time.

If you check out Google or YouTube, you’ll find a bevy of uses for this stuff, including water filtering, DIY teeth whitening, antidote to poisons and doctors may administer a dosage for treatment of diarrhea and alcohol poisoning/drug overdose (of course, please consult a doctor before ingesting!).

This article explains a bit more of the science, this article breaks down the most common uses, and this article gives some us some interesting history–Did you know charcoal was used as early as 3750 B.C. by ancient Egyptians and that the “father of modern medicine” himself, Hippocrotes, began using charcoal for medicinal purposes around 50 A.D.?

 

Now that you know a bit more about nature’s original detox agent, why not consider adding it to your beauty regimen?

Two products I have been enjoying are from Bioré and Freeman:

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Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser (8.46 Fl. Oz.)

Average Price:  $7.99 USD

Product Claim: “Draws out and traps 2x more dirt & impurities than a basic cleanser, purifying pores to leave your face deeply cleaned and your skin tingly-smooth. Pore are twice as clean after just one use.”

Ingredients: WATER, GLYCERIN, SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE, COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE, SORBITOL, LAURETH-­‐4 CARBOXYLIC ACID, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, ACRYLATES/C10-­‐30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, METHYLPARABEN, FRAGRANCE, SODIUM HYDROXIDE, MENTHOL, POLYQUATERNIUM-­‐39, DISODIUM EDTA, PROPYLPARABEN, CHARCOAL POWDER, MANNITOL, CELLULOSE, IRON OXIDES, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, METHYLISOTHIAZOLINONE, HYDROXYPROPYL METHYLCELLULOSE

First Impression: The consistency is like a thick gel with tiny beads. The gel has a mentholated/cooling effect and the beads are very gentle, less for exfoliating and more for helping to move the product around the face. There is a slight minty, fresh fragrance but I actually like it (I don’t find it too overpowering).

I like to wet my face, take a very small amount (pea size) to create a light lather and apply it onto my skin for 1-2 minutes.

I prefer to use this face wash daily–especially on a hot day, after a workout or in the shower, as it is very refreshing and cooling.

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

 

 

 

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Freeman Facial Polishing Mask Charcoal & Black Sugar

 

Freeman Facial Polishing Mask Charcoal & Black Sugar (6.0 Fl. Oz.)

Average Price: $4.00 USD

Product Claim: “This unique mask and scrub works double time to detox skin. First, naturally purifying Activated Charcoal helps absorb oil and impurities without over-drying. Then, Black Sugar helps exfoliate away dulling skin cells for softness and clarity. Perfect for all skin types.”

Ingredients:

Key Ingredients: 
Activated Charcoal
Sugar
Coconut Extract

Ingredient List:
Sucrose, Propylene Glycol, Carbon*, Kaolin, Musa Sapientum (Banana) Fruit Extract , Cocos Nucifera (Coconut) Extract, Zingiber Officinale (Ginger) Root Extract, Psidium Guajava Fruit Extract, Cymbopogon Schoenanthus Extract, Carica Papaya (Papaya) Fruit Extract, Maranta Arundinacea Root Extract, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Fruit Extract, Santalum Album (Sandalwood) Extract, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Aleurites Moluccana Extract, Lavandula Angustifolia (Lavender) Oil, Carbomer, Fragrance (Parfum), Iron Oxide (CI 177491).
*Activated Charcoal

First Impression: This mask/scrub combo pretty much matches the description. The consistency is just like a concentrated sugar scrub paste for the body (why not use on your legs, too!) that goes on fairly easily. This is not your typical cream, clay or gel mask.

I like to apply a generous amount and make sure to keep it away from the eye area. I would recommend lightly wetting the face first so the paste has something to adhere to and moving the scrub around to help the formula enter the pores. The formula has a slight fruity, clean fragrance and actually feels luxurious on the skin. You only need 5-7 minutes for the mask to dry so you could definitely do this in the morning before school or work.

Unlike the Bioré cleanser, this formula actually feels warm once I work it into my skin. It could just be heat caused by the pressure from the black sugar granules, but it feels nice and calming. The scrub is gentle enough to use 2-3 times per week, depending on the condition of your skin.

Freeman Facial Polishing Mask Charcoal & Black Sugar

 

Check out this video for a quick lesson on the difference between absorption and adsorption. Do you remember learning about this in school?

 

Have you tried using activated charcoal in your skin care routine? Let me know!

 

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Beauty Quickie: Turn your morning coffee/tea time into a multitasking spa time!

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If your morning ritual consists of reaching for a cup of coffee or tea to wake you up, why not use this time and the same basic ingredients to help your face feel fresh and rejuvenated?

You probably have all the necessary ingredients to de-puff and hydrate tired eyes and smooth rough lips.

What you’ll need:

  • Honey or Agave Nectar
  • Any sugar with a medium course texture
  • Two tea bags (preferably caffeinated tea)
  • Two silver spoons

Told you–your kitchen has everything you need for a mini-spa treatment!

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Let’s do this…

{Puffy Eye Treatment with Spoon}

This is probably the simplest home remedy for puffy eyes. Just place two clean silver spoons in the fridge over night or in the freezer for five minutes in the morning.

While you are upright, gently massage the area around the eye and sinuses to help drain any fluid. Be gentle. The area around the eye is very delicate.

Next, dedicate 5-10 minutes to lay down and relax. Be careful not to fall back asleep!

Place one spoon on each eye, concave side facing the eye. Once the spoons turn warm, take them off and gently massage sinus area again.

This will help reduce swelling, promote circulation and minimize dark under eye circles.

{Puffy and Dry Eye Treatment with Tea}

If I’m not drinking hot water with lemon in the morning, I usually go for some green or black tea with honey.

After you’ve steeped the tea (three – five minutes should suffice), remove the bags, place them on a paper towel inside a bowl and let them cool down. You can apply the bags while they are warm (not hot) or you may place them in the fridge for a cooling effect.

Just make sure the bags are not too damp. You may want to place a tissue under below the bags to catch any dripping.

It’s the same concept as using the cold spoons, where you will lay down for 5-15 minutes and apply one bag per eye. Relax, meditate and let the antioxidants and tannins do their work.

Optional: To begin with a gentle facial massage or to follow up with two slices of  cool cucumber.

This will help reduce puffiness and promote moisture retention around the delicate eye area.

{Lip Sugar Scrub}

Grab that clean spoon again and get ready to whip up the most ridiculously simple and cheap homemade lip sugar scrub!

Take roughly half a tablespoon of course sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar) and drizzle enough honey or agave nectar to evenly coat the sugar.

Use a clean finger to mix the two ingredients in the spoon until a thick, soft paste is formed. Place a thin coat of the mixture onto clean, dry lips and move finger in a circular motion to lightly buff off dead skin.

You may want to repeat this step a few times depending on how dry your lips are or depending on how yummy your scrub turns out!

Simply rinse your lips with lukewarm water or wipe off the remaining mixture using a wet cloth, et voilà!

You can save any extra scrub if you place it in a clean, air-tight container and place in the fridge for up to one day.

{Diva Tip: save any empty lip balm jars to reuse for homemade scrubs and balms}

The grains of sugar will help remove unwanted dry skin from the lips and the honey or agave will help soothe and condition lips. Feel free to pucker or pout and enjoy how easily your lipstick or balms will glide on your baby soft lips!

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Now you can turn this quick, inexpensive morning facial routine into your new ritual and enjoy your new glow!

{Liz}