Is charcoal a wonder product?

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 10 Oct 2018 12:44:11




A number of face masks, cleansers, scrubs and blackhead removal strips in the market today have one ingredient in common - charcoal. It is known to be a boon for those with oily skin, pimples and enlarged pores. In fact, charcoal peel-off masks have become so ‘cool’ that women are documenting the process on their social media accounts. It’s particularly suited for our warm and humid weather as it helps draw out impurities from the skin. Experts give us their take...

Charcoal is an adsorbent and has been extensively used over centuries for cleaning and purifying water. Traditionally, Indians have used it to cleanse teeth, clothes as well as scrub the skin, especially the hands and feet. It is now being marketed as a beauty care ingredient particularly for people who have very oily skin, explains Dr Mohan Thomas, Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery and skin Institute. “Charcoal can be used as a facial mask, it binds with protein and impurities in clogged pores thus opening them and allowing them to shrink. When used as a cleanser activated charcoal can reduce the oil in the skin. It also helps in reducing the active acne by gentle exfoliation motion when used as a soap,” he adds.

There are many benefits of including activated charcoal in skin care products, opines Dr Shuba Dharmana, Dermatologist and Medical Director, Lejeune Medspa. “It helps to bind impurities, toxin, dirt, grime, oil, sweat and thus helps to deep cleanse. It is also recommended for people with open pores,” she says. Activated charcoal may be added to skin care products like face washes or you can use it as a face mask. Break a capsule or add the powder form to your favourite product for deep cleaning. “There have been case reports of activated charcoal causing skin allergies, so if you have sensitive skin you must seek your doctor’s advice,” she adds.

As an ingredient, charcoal is extremely beneficial for detoxifying the skin. It works great in sucking out all the dust and dirt as it can absorb impurities that are 100 to 200 times its weight. “It has a variety of benefits as it helps in improving the complexion, can treat hyperpigmentation, and can be used for spot treatment on the skin. It can also be used get rid of dandruff, redness, oily and itchy scalps,” says Rashi Bahel Mehra, Founder, Alanna that uses charcoal in their products. Those with very dry skin should avoid using it as it could cause more dryness.

To purify your skin, make a simple face pack mixing charcoal powder and rose water to form a paste.
To remove blackheads, one can apply activated charcoal powder with water to form a paste and add a few drops of honey.  To balance oil levels in the skin, one can make a mask of charcoal powder, coconut oil, fuller earth and rose water and apply it on the face.  To exfoliate the skin, make a scrub of sugar, olive oil and charcoal powder.
(Expert advice by Rashi Bahel Mehra, Founder, Alanna) l