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Benefits of Charcoal for skin

We’re into Mother Earth in a big way here and we know you are too. We’re constantly wowed by her clever inventions and none more so than activated charcoal. A charcoal facial comes in a few different guises – a wash, a mask or a soap. But why does a beauty product that makes us look like we’ve entered stage left as a chimney sweep in a Charles Dickens novel – minutes later have us appear fresh-faced and glowing? What the devil is going on here then? We’ll explain all and introduce you to our most-lauded charcoal-based products.

Bag of charcoal

What is charcoal?

Ready to geek out? Science goggles at the ready. So, charcoal is the black residue formed when we heat organic matter, like wood or bamboo. But technically speaking (and we are geeking out here), in beauty products we use ‘activated charcoal’. What’s this and what does it mean for our glorious skin? This means it’s been treated, usually with steam, to increase its absorbency. So, if you look very closely it has a sponge like structure. Amazing fact alert – it’s estimated that one gram of activated charcoal has a surface area of 3000 square metres, which is the same as three Olympic swimming pools. Uh huh, gasp. This clever organic material acts like a blu-tack for dirt, so it’s incredibly useful if you want to cleanse and purify your skin.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

How and where is our charcoal sourced?

So you might be thinking, hang on, if charcoal comes from trees, Mother Earth might not be too pleased here. We agree, so that’s why we source our charcoal from bamboo grown in the foothills of the Himalayas. Not just popular with our cute giant panda friends, but also with environmentalists. This is because bamboo is one of the most sustainable sources of charcoal available, it’s a super resilient plant and able to rapidly renew itself without much help from anyone. And to make matters even better, as bamboo stalks mature, they become more and more porous, increasing their surface area. Incredibly this means 0.35 ounces of bamboo charcoal has as much as 600 square meters of surface area. This makes bamboo the perfect material to make super absorbent activated charcoal for supreme face pampering.

What are the benefits of charcoal?

That’s all very lovely, but next up we need to understand exactly who benefits from charcoal in skin health circles, and what are the benefits of charcoal? Most of the joys of charcoal come down to it being super absorbent and its ability to soak up the skin’s enemies – things like grime, excess oil and dead skin cells. So this means if you have oily, blemished or combination skin (perhaps with a troublesome T-zone) then you should be pricking your ears up right now to charcoal’s effects on the skin.

Absorbing oil

Sometimes our skin can produce excess oil, known as sebum. Sebum is vital for skin health, but sometimes if we’re experiencing hormonal changes, we can produce too much of it. And although entirely natural and normal, it can make our beautiful visage a little shiner than most of us want. Charcoal-infused skincare comes into its own here, due to its superporous structure it guzzles up oil and helps reduce the appearance of it on our smiley faces.

Mattifying

Mattifying is a posh word for reducing the shine from excess sebum. This is something we can be desperate for if our skin keeps producing more and more oil. For all the same reasons that our Charcoal range is good at absorbing oil, it also makes it great at mattifying. All because of its magnificent capacity for taking excess oil away with it down the sink. And because charcoal-infused products like to slurp up any baddies, they can also help reduce the appearance of pores. Result!

Cleansing

Charcoal face washes and face masks are great at giving you a really thorough clean and help pores feel unclogged. Just what you need after a productive day out and about in all conditions. They have the ability to bind to grime and gently help persuade dead skin cells that their time is done. Their super absorbent nature slurps up dirt and hangs on to it as you simply wash it all away.

Reduce dullness of the skin

With all charcoal’s diligent cleaning and deep desire to help remove daily grime and dead skin cells, it may come as a joyous natural conclusion that this dark horse might just leave you with a face that has left the doldrums of a dull and dreary winter – and is now singing the joys of spring. Just one of the many advantages of charcoal, and you can use most charcoal products every week, there’s no reason to ever go zombie-like again. Stay radiant, friends.

Discover our purifying charcoal skincare range

For all you mucky puppies who love nothing more than a good romp in the goo of nature, welcome to our wonderfully mud-like purifying skincare range. They’re all about the cleaning and clarifying part of your skincare routine, so slip them with any of your other favourite products. If you have oily, congested or blemished skin, our charcoal based products might well make it into your inner circle. They’ll help cleanse, mattify and get to work on grime and dead skin cells making a nuisance of themselves in your pores. Even if you have skin that doesn’t have these kinds of moments, if you’ve got a big life moment coming up, these highly efficient beauties will help with the appearance of brilliantly radiant skin. So you can go forth and shine brightly.

The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

Our Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask is something of a superstar in beauty circles, well known for helping us all glow-up. This vegan mud lover is infused with bamboo charcoal from the magnificent Himalayas, green tea leaves and Community Fair Trade tea tree oil. This makes for one awesome invigorating formula – it’s cool indulgent consistency will make you instantly feel like you’re in expert hands. Charcoal mask benefits mean it gets to work helping to draw out impurities, and refining the appearance of pores, leaving you with a healthy looking glow that gives the game away. You can use it 2-3 times a week. Apply a thin layer with a Facial Mask Brush on a clean face, avoiding those important orifices like your eyes and nose. Leave for 5-10 minutes and then wash off in circular motions to add a cheeky little exfoliation.

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The Body Shop Himalyan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash

Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash

If your day involves grime, and let’s face it for lots of us who live in cities, this is an inevitable factor, our Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Clay Wash will be something that has you running to the bathroom as soon as you get home to wash the day away. It’s silky soft texture is made up of bamboo charcoal from the Himalayan foothills, kaolin clay and Community Fair Trade tea tree oil from Kenya. You simply dampen your hands and face with a splash of water and then squeeze a small amount into your hands and rub together to get a creamy lather, massage over your face in circular motions, then rinse well. This everyday hard-worker helps skin feel purified and look brightened while helping reduce the appearance of pores.

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The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Facial Soap

Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Facial Soap

Ooh who doesn’t like a good old fashioned soap bar (with a difference.) We know we do, there’s something so grounding and earthy about a bar of soap. But never use just any old soap on your face. Our Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Facial Soap has been especially formulated to refresh skin and work hard to remove impurities. Enriched with eucalyptus oil and Community Fair Trade tea tree oil, both known for their saintly cleansing properties, it's a very smart bar of black soap. You can use it once or twice a day, it lathers up with water to produce a luscious foam, just be careful to shut your eyes when you whizz the foam around your face and massage away any grime. Stay well away from your eyes and rinse immediately with cold water if you get it in your eyes.

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Woman applying The Body Shop Himalyana Charcoal mask

“If you want a good clean out with a good exfoliator, this is for you.”

– grumpyred12

About Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

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How else can I purify my skin?

Drink plenty of water

Lots of fresh H20 is a great way to assist your body in its minute-by-minute natural removal of impurities. We’re made up of at least 60% water so it’s important to keep levels topped up. You may notice you pee out as much as you drink, but how much to drink? Popular opinion says 2 litres, that seems to be the perfect amount to help enough water pass through your body and flush toxins away. We love a hot water and lemon first thing in the morning to start the day with a little internal cleanse.

Steam your skin

You may have experienced a steam machine if you’ve ever been to a beautician for a facial. Its warm wet air that floats across your skin and feels deeply cleansing as it opens up pores to give you a gateway to getting any nasties out. This needn’t involve a trip to the beautician though, simply fill a bowl or basin with hot water and pop a towel over your head. Let the steam get to work for 3-4 minutes – great as prep before applying a cleansing mask. Try our Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask for a gorgeously muddy clean.

Chose clarifying makeup

You might find that if you’re prone to blocked pores that you have to be careful choosing what makeup to wear. Lightweight textures are always a good idea, and we have a real smarty pants in this department for you. Our Matte Clay Skin Clarifying Foundation is enriched with tea tree oil and leaves a breathable, yet full coverage matte finish. It’s particularly helpful on oily skin, helping to absorb excess oil so your complexion appears beautifully natural and healthy.

What other ingredients are good for purifying

The Body Shop Tea Tree products on shelf

Tea tree

It’s not just our Charcoal range that can claim all the purifying limelight. Our Tea Tree range is also legendary when it comes to helping keep your skin clear of grubbies. Its cleansing powers are suitable for blemished skin and absorb excess oil, helping to purify your skin. We’ve got a great range of top-of-the-pops tea tree products for you to get your peepers on.

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The Body Shop Seaweed products

Seaweed

And it’s not just the land based plants that have wonderful skin purifying properties. As mermaid’s might tell you, our mineral rich Seaweed range from Roaring Water Bay, Ireland, works to slurp away excess oil while leaving your skin feeling smooth and hydrated. So jump in your pea green boat and go check out team seaweed.

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