Most of us wouldn't think of charcoal as the key to cleansing, but this cure-all beauty treatment could be the one thing that's seriously missing from your skin care routine.
The activated charcoal found in certain scrubs, masks and cleansers is known for its ability to draw out dirt and impurities, minimize pores, end breakouts and leave your skin looking fresh and flawless.
(Think that glow you get right after a low-key vinyasa flow.)
Though skin care experts (and our beauty team) have been praising its magical properties for years, these are the charcoal products you need to stash in your medicine cabinet ASAP:
1. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
This Origins mask (which is part of my own #selfcaresunday skin care routine) includes two main ingredients: bamboo charcoal and white China clay.
While the charcoal acts like a magnet to unclog pores of dirt and oil, the clay works to wipe away any excess pollutants from the skin.
Just open your pores with a warm towel, and apply the mask to your face to get smooth, refreshed skin.
2. Yes To Tomatoes 2-Step Nose Kit
I used to be a Bioré Strip addict, but now, I'm all about the Yes To version.
The two-step nose strip comes with a charcoal cleanser that has exfoliating (and biodegradable!) jojoba beads and Q-tip applicator.
All you have to do is apply the formula with the cotton swab, rinse your nose and place the strip on for 10 minutes like you normally would.
Like a lot of the reviews say, the pack does come with a little too much cleanser, but that's easy to overlook when you see how many blackheads the charcoal strip can remove after just one application.
3. Sephora Charcoal Exfoliating Wipes
Most of the time, it can kind of feel like cheating when you swap out your daily cleanser with a wipe.
But with these exfoliating charcoal ones from Sephora, you don't have to feel guilty.
Each wipe is dual-sided — one exfoliating and one soothing — so you really feel like you're getting a deep clean. Use the smoother side to remove your eye makeup, and take the grittier one to your clogged pores.
4. Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask
With activated Korean charcoal, this hydrating sheet mask from Dr. Jart+ will soothe your skin while removing excess oils and minimizing blemishes.
The spearmint extract is amazing for tightening pores, and the Moroccan lava clay strips away dead cells and firms your skin.
If you have sensitive skin that's usually prone to irritation, this mask is one of the best ways to get a clearer complexion.
5. Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment
Glamglow's Supermud is a beauty cult-favorite for all skin types, and it's easy to see why.
With a blend of six acids designed designed to illuminate your skin and a cleansing mud treatment for balancing excess oil, this mask can eliminate blemishes, scars and irritation.
Even though it comes with a hefty price tag, you can stretch this little mixture to last about two to three months if you use it a few times a week.
6. First Aid Beauty Cleansing Body Polish with Activated Charcoal
Formulated with lactic and salicylic acid, buffing beads and argan oil, the clay-based body paste softly exfoliates and soothes rough patches and bumps from keratosis pilaris.
7. Blaq Mask
This peel-off charcoal mask from Blaq is what Snapchat dreams are made of.
Though some people say it can feel like you're ripping off an entire layer of skin, this mask is one of the most effective ways to get rid of those dreaded blackheads.
Just spread the formula across your T-zone, let it harden and then slowly remove after 15 to 20 minutes.
(And if you're not looking for a wax, make sure you don't put it anywhere near your facial hair.)
8. Milk Makeup X UO Charcoal Cleanser
You probably know Milk for all of its magical rainbow highlighters and holographic pigments, but this cruelty-free, all-vegan brand just teamed up with Urban Outfitters for a new line of skin care and beauty launches.
Its cleanser is made out of charcoal from ubame oak trees that purifies your skin with hydrating vitamin E oil.
The formula is gentle enough to use every day, and you won't feel like you're drying out your skin.