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Is Activated Charcoal Good for the Skin?

Is Activated Charcoal Good for the Skin?

Activated charcoal has become hard to miss, especially in men’s cosmetics. It's everywhere and it's amazing!

We get it.

We’re bad-asses who need to wash our mugs with the ash of an exploded volcano but outside of sounding cool, is it any good for the skin?

Originally used to remove poisons, the theory is that charcoals absorbent capabilities can help to remove excess oils, toxins and dead skin cells, leaving us with smoother and healthier skin as a result of it’s use.

Primary Man

Let’s dive in and take an in-depth look at the pros and cons of charcoal, well find out if it is the right fit for you and your skin.

What is activated charcoal?

The charcoal used in your skincare is not the same you’ll find on the chicken you burned on your BBQ.

Charcoal for skincare is made by heating a variety of materials, such as wood, coconut shells and peat.

The materials are heated, washed and then ground down into our charcoal powder. ( Check out this video to see how it’s done: Making charcoal )

Charcoal is made from a variety of materials.

By heating materials to a high degree, previously absorbed molecules within the charcoal are free to bond again, as previously absorbed molecules are dissipated during the heating process. This is what makes activated charcoal so absorbent.

How does charcoal work on skin?

Charcoal works on your skin like a sponge. Once made, activated charcoal is highly porous (it has a lot of small holes) and is negatively charged.

This negative charge attracts positively charged toxins, dirt and oils, which become trapped in the spaces of the charcoal.

By binding to toxins, dirt and oils, activated charcoal can help to leave your skin looking like new, as these nastier elements have not had a chance to be absorbed by your skin.

Are charcoal products good for your skin?

So we know charcoal is great at absorbing things but how does that benefit your skin? What activated charcoal is doing is detoxifying your skin.

Our skin is constantly bombarded with elements from icy cold wind to harsh UV rays, not to mention the many toxins, dirt and pollutants we’re exposed to on a daily basis.

This constant exposure takes a toll and reduces our skin ability to function properly as a barrier between us and the outside world and without a proper cleansing routine, pollutants will build upon our skin.

Charcoal provides a deep and absorbent cleanse

This cause issues deeper into our epidermis, as without proper barrier function, our skin retains less water and becomes dry and dehydrated.

Activated charcoal provides a deep and absorbent cleanse, that can stop pollutants from building up on your skin. When you provide your pores with a deep clean, your skin is freed up from having to fight off the harmful effects of these toxins.

It has also been shown to be beneficial in reducing inflammation in our skin. This has made it ideal for people with oily or acne-prone skin. Activated charcoal absorption has the potential to help absorb bacteria that is found in acne.

Finally, activated charcoal is also inert, meaning that it won’t irritate your skin. making it ideal for those of you with sensitive skin.


With it’s highly absorbent nature, activated charcoal popularity makes a lot of sense.

As always, we want to hear from you, have you used activated charcoal? what types of products do you use it in?

Thanks for reading, we’ll catch you next time.

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