Is Charcoal Actually An Effective Skincare Ingredient?

It seems like every couple of months a new beauty trend will come along to excite the skincare industry. Charcoal is one such ingredient that did this in a short period. Charcoal products are thus hitting the market in many ways.

Besides skincare, charcoal is everywhere from toothpaste to your firepits to even in the medical world. All of these uses are because charcoal has long been known for its detoxifying properties that absorb all kinds of dirt and grime. Activated charcoal, which is the most common type of charcoal found in skincare, is made from charcoal that comes from substances such as wood and coal. When mixed with other ingredients at high temperatures, you get a porous product that sticks to all the bad bacteria you want to get rid of (via Today).

With such great properties, it's easy to see why it's such an enticing product in the skincare industry. But is it all it's hyped up to be, or is it another marketing tactic?

Are charcoal products good for you?

The good news is that charcoal is meant to absorb excess oils from the skin, as well as anything else that may be clogging your pores. However, with little to no concrete evidence of its benefits, scientists cannot say for certain how good it is for your skin. They have also said that charcoal can potentially dry out your skin from much-needed nutrients because of its absorbing properties (via The Derm Review).

Although there is no proof that charcoal moisturizes or has any extra benefits, it does help by acting as an exfoliant. Due to its texture, charcoal can help remove dead skin cells from the face.

Besides acting as an exfoliant, no evidence proves its effectiveness in detoxifying the skin. Furthermore, dermatologist Melissa Kanchanapoomi Levin warns that any use of charcoal should be with care. Any ingredients that are mixed with charcoal could still create an allergic or adverse reaction. Charcoal products are not a cure-all for skin issues but could be good for you when used as an asset with the rest of your routine (via Byrdie).