It’s black, sooty and often sits in your backyard BBQ. But this ingredient, when activated with oxygen could be the key to beautiful, clear skin.

Charcoal isn’t just for BBQ’s any more. Though you may not associate it with skincare, it’s in fact become one of the beauty industry’s hottest ingredients for skin purification.

Activated charcoal is the latest ingredient now being used in everything from teeth-whitening solutions to masks and soaps.

According to experts, Activated Charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in bacteria and toxins, which makes it a popular ingredient to use topically on skin.

So what exactly is activated charcoal? Don’t be digging into your BBQ! It’s not your regular charcoal like the black nuggets you barbecue with. Activated charcoal is created when oxygen is added to regular charcoal.

In powder form, it’s then added to various products. When used as part of your skincare regime, it claims to decongest the skin and relieve skin irritation, leaving behind a clear, even toned complexion. It’s also said to tighten pores, smooth skin and reduce redness and inflammation.

You can find products with activated charcoal in any beauty store these days, but I recommend going to your local drugstore and testing out products that won’t break your budget, such as the Life Brand items offered at Shoppers Drug Mart in Canada.

Life Brand Charcoal Peel-Off mask, $6.99, Life Brand Nose Strips, $8.99, Life Brand Charcoal Facial Cleanser, $6.99 and Bioré Pore Penetrating Charcoal Bar, $7.99. All available at Shoppers Drug Mart.



—Toni-Marie Ippolito

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