Activated charcoal is a fine black powder typically made from coconut shells, coal, olive pits, bone char and sawdust. It has a variety of proposed benefits to include whitening teeth, curing hangovers and lowering cholesterol levels.
Activated charcoal differs from other types of charcoal as it is activated at extremely high temperatures. Under intense heat, its internal structure changes, reducing the size of its pores and increasing its surface area. It has been used for centuries as an antidote, too. Activated charcoal is not absorbed by the body, so can be used as an emergency treatment for drug overdose or accidental poisoning due to its toxin-binding properties.
Additionally, activated charcoal can be used to help promote healthy functioning kidneys by reducing the amount of waste that kidneys have to filter. It can also help to reduce cholesterol levels as it can bind cholesterol acids in the gut, preventing the body from absorbing them.
Activated charcoal is also used in a variety of skincare products, and it is mainly used as a natural ingredient to minimize pores. Activated charcoal has been proven to reach deep into your pores to remove any impurities and toxins, as well as offering exfoliation for a smoother, more refined glow.
While your pores are very important, you can risk infection and blockage if they aren’t cleaned properly, potentially causing acne and blackheads. We recommend using the Symbiosis Activated Charcoal + Propanediol Micellar Water. This product is made using an exceptional formula that whisks away impurities and pollutants whilst effectively hydrating and soothing the skin. It also contains Arginine, an ingredient which harbours powerful antioxidant properties and helps to stimulate collagen production as well as lessening the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Alternatively, the award winning Bioferment Renewal Mask by Byko can help to revitalise dull and tired skin. Made from a blend of oats, raspberries, pomegranates, activated charcoal and willow bark, this mask works to exfoliate the skin and brighten the complexion. It can also be used as a cleanser. Give it a go!
Top tip - Did you know that it’s best to wash your face in an upwards and outwards motion due to the way that follicles are oriented on the face? Why not try it out as see if you notice any difference to your skin.
Sources: Healthline, Spa Goddess, BBC Good Food, Symbiosis.