When you think of a residue that was once associated with hamburgers and summer BBQ's and has since been elevated to luxury beauty status, only one comes to mind: activated charcoal that creates clearer skin and can banish blackheads like no other product. The
best activated charcoal beauty products do everything from clearing pores to naturally whitening your smile. So, it's pretty obvious there are more than a few magical easy uses for activated charcoal.
But, for our purposes, let's concentrate on why activated charcoal is a star ingredient in the skincare world:
charcoal can draw out bacteria from the skin, absorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, and zap away excess sebum from the skin. All of these pros add up to clearer, healthier skin that is less clogged, less oily, and less prone to breakouts.
Sounds pretty good so far, doesn't it?
Beauty brands think so too, which is why you can choose among so many incredible activated charcoal skincare products that it's a pretty fun challenge deciding where to begin. Whether you're intrigued by the idea of a charcoal sheet mask, cleanser, scrub, bubble mask, or even a charcoal cleansing sponge, these 12 activated charcoal products are a great place to start.
1 A Charcoal Sheet Mask That Reduces The Appearance Of Pores Dr Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask, $35 (5 Pack), Amazon
charcoal sheet mask draws out impurities and blackheads and, thanks to ingredients like spearmint extract and arginine, reduces the appearance of pores for smoother looking skin. Leave this Korean beauty sheet mask on skin for 15-20 minutes before removing it and massaging the remaining serum into skin. 2 A Natural Konjac Sponge With Charcoal That Sloughs Away Dead Skin Cells My Konjac Sponge, $10, Amazon
It isn't always easy to exfoliate dead skin cells — especially if you have sensitive or acne prone skin. Some tools and products are rough and can aggravate skin, which is why this
konjac sponge with activated charcoal is such a great find. Apply cleanser to the konjac plant root sponge or use it alone — either way you'll slough away dead skin, cleanse pores, and remove excess oil. 3 A Cruelty-Free Carbonated Bubble Clay & Charcoal Mask Elizabeth Mott Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask, $13, Amazon
The cleansing and detoxifying properties of carbonated charcoal and kaolin clay meet carbon dioxide in this fun
bubble clay mask that, yes, actually bubbles and sizzles on your skin like a science experiment. In addition to exfoliating your skin, this mask will stimulate circulation and leave you looking more radiant. 4 Charcoal Pore Strips That Unearth Blackheads & Sebum Biore Deep Cleansing Pore Charcoal Strips, $11 (18 Pack), Amazon
Pull gunk out of your pores and three times more oil than ordinary pore strips with these
charcoal pore strips, which remove blackheads and the excess sebum that creates them. After cleansing your face, thoroughly wet your nose (this step is important), and apply the strip, pressing it down to make contact with your pores. Gently remove it after 10-15 minutes and (obviously) check it out for signs of blackheads. 5 An Acne-Fighting Cleanser With Charcoal & Salicylic Acid 6 A Rinse-Off Charcoal Mask For Clearer Skin 7 A Multipurpose Charcoal Soap Bar With Shea Butter For Dry Skin The Yellow Bird Activated Charcoal Soap Bar, $10, Amazon
Whether you have dry skin, acne, or even psoriasis or eczema, this multipurpose
charcoal soap bar can help deep clean pores, slough off dead skin cells, and replace the moisture you need to keep skin healthy. It contains hydrating, natural, and organic ingredients like lemongrass, lavender, and shea butter and can be used on your body and face. 8 An Exfoliating Body Scrub With Charcoal & Dead Sea Salt Brooklyn Botany Activated Charcoal Scrub, $15, Amazon
Let the healing begin — this
charcoal scrub for the body and face uses Dead Sea salt and essential oils like jojoba and coconut to exfoliate, minimize the appearance of pores, and moisturize skin, leaving it smooth and soft. Reviewers say this keeps oils at bay and helps eliminate late afternoon shine — it's also perfect to use before shaving. 9 Loose Charcoal Powder That Lets You DIY Natural Masks & Scrubs Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder, $13, Amazon
It may be a little messy, but this pure
activated charcoal powder is seriously effective. DIY beauty lovers will have a blast mixing it with water, apple cider vinegar, Himalayan salt, and essential oils to whip up personalized face and body masks and scrubs that cleanse and exfoliate without additives or chemicals. 10 The Perfect Pre Self-Tanning & Shaving Body Polish 11 A Peel-Off Mask With Amino Acids For Acne-Prone Skin Dermatique Purifying Black Mask, $25, Amazon
The detoxifying effects of bamboo charcoal in this
peel-off charcoal mask meet nourishing amino acids and minerals for a formula that works wonder on acne-prone and oily skin. Apply a thin layer after cleansing skin, wait 10-15 minutes, and then gently peel it off. It will unclog your pores and sap excess oils without leaving your skin feeling parched. 12 A Face & Body Wash With Charcoal & Tea Tree Oil For Oily Skin Safe House Naturals Detox Face And Body Wash, $20, Amazon
Oily skin types will reap the many benefits of this activated
charcoal face and body wash, which is rich in ingredients that help sap excess oils and prevent and treat acne. Among those special ingredients, you'll find bentonite clay that helps pull up dirt and toxins from pores, tea tree oil and frankincense to kill bacteria that causes acne, and hydrating and soothing aloe vera and coconut oil. Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle's editorial and sales departments.