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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J’Adore: Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil

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{Clarins Lotus Face Treatment Oil}

JAdore...

I’ve been a big fan of Clarins skin care products for a while now. I believe it is necessary to start with the best canvas (aka healthy skin) for your makeup to be radiant and enhance your features and I have not been let down by this product line.

When I was in college I worked briefly at Sephora and one brand clients often asked about was Clarins. I would explain my philosophy that putting effort into a solid skin care routine will ensure the best possible face. After all, makeup on blemished or tired skin tends to become a mask, rather than enhancement.

Many clients were hesitant to try it because of the price tag but after trying samples and seeing the results, they understood the quality of the products make it a worthwhile investment.

I’ve been experimenting in facial oils and surprisingly, I love them (main staple is Josie Maran 100% Argan Oil). The facial oils help balance natural face oils by sort of tricking the pores into thinking they have produced enough oil so your face won’t keep producing them,  which too much oil can clog pores and cause breakouts. I used oils during the summer and thought they would make me super greasy in the humidity, but they actually kept inflamation down and brightened my skin.

So I decided to try the Clarins version and I am loving the Lotus Face Treatment Oil. Ive been using this for about two weeks and I have noticed better retention of hydration and softening of dry patches (mainly around my nose and mouth).

Oils in general feel so luxurious and elegant, dahhhling. The Lotus oil is infused with rosemary, geranium, camomile and of course lotus extracts (100% pure plant extracts) and has a rich, earthy fragrance.  The description claims the rosemary and geranium combo helps reduce sebum production, which should mean fewer breakouts. The lotus extract is supposed to refine the skin.

I generally prefer my skin care and cosmetic products to be fragrance free; however, I rather like this fragrance. The only downside is it is strong and if you happen to dislike the fragrance in general, you might be disappointed when you apply it.

I use this as a nightly ritual after taking off makeup and washing my face I apply about three drops on my fingers. I lightly rub my fingers together to heat up the oil and apply on my face. I gently massage the oil onto my skin and allow it to absorb fully before making contact with my pillow.

I wake up with a slight glow, educed dryness and a more supple feeling (victory!). I expect this will be a savior during cold weather, which temperatures are already starting to drop!

Available: Sephora

Retail: $50.00 USD for full size (30 mL or 1 Fl. Oz.)

Have you tried this or a similar product? What are your thoughts or questions–Let me know!

XOXO Liz Signature