Does Charcoal Soap Actually Work?
If you’re up to speed on all the latest skin care trends, you’ve probably heard of charcoal soap or—at the very least—about charcoal skin care products. Chances are you’ve even had an internal debate about whether or not skin care products formulated with charcoal, including charcoal soap, are actually beneficial to the skin and worth trying. To find out if charcoal soap actually boasts any skin care benefits, we tapped board-certified dermatologist, and Skincare.com consultant, Dr. Joshua Zeichner.
WHAT IS CHARCOAL SOAP?
The most obvious difference between plain bar soap and charcoal soap is the appearance. Charcoal soap is formulated with activated charcoal, which means the bar will be dark or black in color. Another key difference, of course, is the inclusion of charcoal. According to Medlineplus, activated charcoal can be found in a wide range of skin care products, including bar soaps, thanks to its ability to attract dirt, oil, and impurities on the skin’s surface. “Charcoal has long been used in medicine for its highly absorbent properties,” says Dr. Zeichner. “It is very popular right now, especially amongst oily skin types as it can effectively absorb and remove excess surface oil.”
HOW TO USE CHARCOAL BAR SOAP
If you want to start incorporating charcoal soap into your skin care routine, the good news is it’s very simple to do so. Most charcoal soap can be found at a local drugstore or beauty depot for a reasonable price. As for how to use it, it’s not any different than traditional bar soap. Simply wet your skin, lightly massage the bar soap onto your face until it lathers, and rinse off. When in doubt, follow the instructions on your charcoal soap of choice.
Storing your charcoal soap is just as easy as using it, according to Dr. Zeichner. “Charcoal bars should be stored the same way you would store any other bar cleanser,” he says. “Keep it on a soap dish to allow it to dry out and prevent it from getting soggy.”
OUR FAVORITE CHARCOAL SKIN CARE PRODUCTS
Don’t just stop at charcoal bar soaps! There’s a whole world of charcoal-infused cleansers, face masks, and other skin care favorites for you to stock up on. And if you think they all do the same exact thing, think again. “Cleansers serve a different function than a mask,” Dr. Zeichner says. “They are designed for short contact on the skin to remove dirt, oil, and makeup. A mask may have a more thorough effect as it sits on the skin for a longer period of time.”
Below, we’re sharing our picks of our best products formulated with charcoal—a la Garnier—for healthier-looking skin.
GARNIER SKINACTIVE CLEAN+ BLACKHEAD ELIMINATING SCRUB
This scrub is a good fit for anyone with an oilier skin type. It contains small beads, and can help to cleanse, tighten pores, and smoothen skin all at the same time. It’s also infused with charcoal to remove blackhead-causing dirt, oil, and impurities like a magnet. The results? Unclogged pores and smoother skin!
GARNIER SKINACTIVE CLEAN+ SHINE CONTROL CLEANSING GEL
Kicking shiny skin to the curb just got a whole lot easier. If you need some oil control, then you’ll fall in love with this mattifying gel cleanser. Formulated with charcoal, this daily cleanser works to dissolve dirt, excess oil, and makeup that’s sitting on your skin for a mattified complexion.
GARNIER SKINACTIVE CLEAN+ PURIFYING OIL-FREE CLEANSING TOWELETTES
Every girl knows the struggle of makeup removal. Mascaras and eyeliners often feel tougher to take off than to put on, which can lead to unwanted tugging and rubbing on the delicate eye area. Well, that was the case until Garnier released these charcoal-infused cleansing wipes. These towelettes instantly draw out dirt, oil, and makeup, making them the perfect clean-up product for tough cosmetics. It removes oil and mattifies your skin, leaving it sheen-free and purified.
GARNIER SKINACTIVE CLEAN+ PORE PURIFYING 2-IN-1 CLAY MASK/CLEANSER
Not only is this multi-use product infused with charcoal, but it also contains Kaolin Clay to draw out deep impurities embedded within your pores. You can use this product as a daily cleanser for removing surface impurities, or give your skin the ultimate detox by leaving it on as a mask.
GARNIER SKINACTIVE SUPER PURIFYING CHARCOAL FACIAL MASK
Don’t you just love a good sheet mask? This sheet mask from Garnier’s SkinActive line is not only relaxing, but also works to nourish your skin. It’s formulated with charcoal, algae extract, and hyaluronic acid to detox the look of your skin while delivering an added boost of hydration.
Garnier SkinActive Super Purifying Charcoal Facial Mask, $14.94/6 MSRP