It seems like every week there’s a new beauty trend. Remember when coffee was the magic ingredient? And mushrooms?  What about snail mucus? (Ewwwww!)

Well, there’s one ingredient that’s always been constant and that’s  — wait for it –charcoal, or more accurately, ‘activated charcoal.’

The black stuff works like a magnet to absorb dirt and oil, minimize pores and leave skin radiant. Put simply, due to its negative electric charge and porous nature, activated charcoal can attract and trap toxins in our bodies before they’re absorbed, hence the reason it’s given to people who have been poisoned. And its use for problem skin, ie with eczema, acne, and occasional breakouts is well documented.

We’ve sworn by it for years and now there’s  a raft of new charcoal products promising to change your life (well, at least your skin.)

Here are our faves: (P.S. We received these products gratis to review ‘natch.)


Charcoal, Kaolin & Oatmeal Body Wash Bar ($11.50 at

Designed to fit perfectly in your hand and formulated for the sensitive skinned. This bar includes natural cleansing ingredients Kaolin ClayActivated Charcoal, as well as soothing ingredients like Oatmeal and Coconut Oil. Best of all, like all Ethique products, it is vegan, cruelty-free, plastic-free, palm oil-free, and sustainable!


Boscia Luminizing Black Mask | $34

This ‘charcoal-infused luminizing mask’ lets you literally peel off the dirt and oil that gets built up in your pores. Apply the mask on your face and when it’s dry simply peel off the mask (kinda satisfying)  and you’ll be left with smooth skin and clean pores. No more blackheads!






Skinesque Skin Mask. $35.


From the Korean skincare company Skinesque, comes this complete beauty treatment consisting of a foaming cleanser, hydrating essence, and brightening & hydrating face sheet mask. It even comes with Niacinamide which evens out skin tone. Don’t be deterred by the steps — it’s easy and soooo worth it.  First, wash away makeup and dirt with the gentle foaming cleanser. Then, apply the Hydra+ Essence to your face and neck to hydrate your skin and activate collagen formation. Last, wear the Brightening+ Charcoal Mask for 15-20 minutes and let it do its purifying magic. (Editor’s tip: leave it on for 30 minutes for even more radiant skin.)


G.M. Collin Charcoal Mask ($48 at

A rinse-off mask created to capture and eliminate micro-pollutants, revitalize and replenish the skin, purifies and improves the skin’s texture while evening out the complexion. The Charcoal Mask is formulated with key ingredients including Bamboo Charcoal to purify the skin.



Dr.Natural Charcoal Soap. $10.99 at


There’s no easier way to incorporate this power-house ingredient into a routine than Dr. Natural’s multi-purpose Activated Charcoal Soap. Infused with coconut oil, olive oil, wood charcoal, hemp oil, organic shea butter, rosemary extract plus lavender oil, it detoxes your face, body and scalp.

Made with activated charcoal, for a natural detox, it helps reduce pigmentation and tighten and smooth your skin. It also helps to reduce inflammation which vital in preventing premature aging and hair loss. At this price, you can use it all over!