It has become a popular ingredient in the beauty world lately. You’ll find it in products ranging from facial cleansers and shampoos to soaps and scrubs.
Whether you’re looking to improve your complexion or fight acne, here’s a look at how activated carbon may benefit your skin, as well as other practical uses for this product.
What’s activated carbon?
Activated carbon, is a fine black powder that’s produced when common charcoal is exposed to high heat. This exposure creates tiny internal spaces or holes in the carbon, making it highly absorbent and able to trap chemicals and toxins.
A carbon mask may:
- Remove impurities from the skin. Because of activated carbon’s ability to absorb bacteria and toxins in the body Trusted Source, some skin experts believe that a carbon face mask can help draw impurities from the skin.
- Anecdotal evidence claims that by removing trapped dirt and bacteria from the skin, using a carbon face mask can lead to a healthier, clearer complexion.
- Improve acne. Acne is caused by a buildup of dead skin cells, oil, and bacteria that gets trapped inside the pores in your skin. Acne-causing bacteria can trigger pimples and other inflammatory lesions, resulting in irritation, redness, and swelling.
- The antibacterial properties of activated charcoal, however, may help lift bacteria from the pores. This may help with reducing acne and improving overall skin complexion.
- Treat insect bites. Insect bites and stings can cause your skin to itch and swell. According to anecdotal evidence, activated carbon may help take the sting out of a bite by neutralizing the toxins in insect venom.
Are there any risks with using a charcoal mask?
There’s currently very limited research on the risk of using a carbon face mask. Generally, these masks appear to be safe, although overuse could cause skin dryness, redness, and sensitivity.
Before using a carbon mask for the first time, it’s a good idea to test the product on a small patch of skin on the inside of your elbow. If you don’t experience any itching or redness within a few hours, then it’s probably safe to use on your skin.