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What Does Charcoal Do for Skin?

by
author image Alexandra Early
Alexandra Early has a BA from Lake Forest College and works as "Haute Living" magazine's junior online editor. She has been writing professionally for three years and has previously worked for "Men's Fitness" magazine as a contributing editor and also as a social media editor and ghostwriter for nonprofits in CT.
What Does Charcoal Do for Skin?
Charcoal is a detoxifying ingredient popularly used in beauty products. Photo Credit Amy Neunsinger/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Though you may not immediately associate charcoal with healthy skin or skin-care products, activated charcoal boasts beauty benefits for skin by drawing oil, dirt and other harmful substances from clogged pores due to its adsorption powers.

Activated Charcoal Benefits

Activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. Charcoal is not metabolized, adsorbed or absorbed by the body, but it can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks.

Mix 0.2 grams powdered activated charcoal, ½ teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1 ½ teaspoons of water together, and apply to the surface of skin. Remove the charcoal from skin after 10 minutes with a dampened cloth for smooth skin free of impurities.

Warnings

Charcoal powder may cause mild constipation and should not be taken regularly for long periods of time. Charcoal may also cause nausea and vomiting, GI obstruction, ileus and intestinal perforation. The aspiration of charcoal can cause respiratory complications.

Charcoal is not effective against strong alkaline and acid poisons, cyanide, alcohol, caustic alkalis, boric acids and mineral acids.

Seek medical attention if you experience tightness of the chest, swelling, rash or hives.

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