Since I really hadn’t been treating my skin right while I was traveling — you try finding raw honey while hiking through Yellowstone!!!! JK, JK, I was in a major American city, but still, the thought of dropping $15 on a glorified hippie mask just didn’t seem very vacation-appropriate — I really focused on *~*pampering*~* my face back to health during these first few days. The drinks tasted great, I felt healthy, but I doubt they had any effect on my skin at this point. What I did notice, though, was that a return to my beloved routine — oil cleansing, raw honey masks, and the occasional aggressive green mud mask — was just what the dermatologist ordered.
Life proceeded as normal. Nothing much to report. I was pretty happy that I was getting some sort of nutritional value in my diet from the juices, because you know when you get back from a trip… and the fridge is empty… and you write “go to Trader Joe’s!!!!!!” on your to-do list… and the days pass… and you’re still eating the sticky rice that you ordered on your first night back… and you’re wondering why the rice hasn’t gone bad yet… does that mean something is, like, chemical-y in there?
Time for the BIG TWIST, guys. Right around here was the time
I entered what we females call “hell week,” aka PMS-hood. If you’ve ever gone
through this difficult and dangerous time as a lady, you know that it’s often accompanied by
surprising delights, like rushes of irrational anger and breakouts!
Charcoal did not stop me from breaking out, because charcoal is not a deity. However, I was happily surprised to note that my skin recovered quickly. Like, really quickly. Was all this purifying carbon and ash speeding up my skin’s rejuvenative functions? Is rejuvenative a word?!
I finished up the week dying of cramps and yet somehow still fairly clear-skinned. It's important to note that charcoal binds to nutrients and medications, along with toxins, so don’t drink it right before or a couple hours after taking Midol — or eating a large salad — because it will negate all that goodness.
My skin is clear-ish already, so I knew I wouldn’t see any sort of huge, transformative difference (unless the magic of charcoal somehow transposed Giselle’s face onto my body, which I must report did not happen). However, it definitely seemed to reduce the duration of breakouts, which I think is really cool. I’ll tentatively say that for someone who’s skin is really congested, a few weeks of charcoal might be worth considering — after the appropriate research, of course. As is unfortunately the case with most natural beauty products, there's not a lot of evidence that charcoal is your skin's next big savior — mostly just anecdotal reports, like this one — but if you're open to crunchy skincare and are tired of only chugging water, why not try something dark and cloudy for a change? (Plus more water!!! Always!)
Photos: Tori Telfer