Over the past year, beauty products with anything charcoal has been popping up. This new wonderkid of female beauty has been in most beauty products lately–from shampoos, to facial wash, to soaps, oil-blotting papers, etc. The basic idea is that carbon helps in treating impurities. So, putting in charcoal as part of the skin product’s ingredient must help in getting out impurities from your skin.
You see, charcoal is basically carbon. Activated charcoal is charcoal that has undergone a special process. It has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. Hence activated carbon is known to be a highly functional absorber of impurities.
Activated charcoal is good at trapping other carbon-based impurities (“organic” chemicals), as well as things like chlorine. Many other chemicals are not attracted to carbon at all–sodium, nitrates, etc. This means that an activated charcoal filter will remove certain impurities while ignoring others. It also means that, once all of the bonding sites are filled, an activated charcoal filter stops working.
And with this, not all products with Charcoal on its label would mean they carry ‘activated carbon.’ I have here some products that I got with Charcoal as part of its ingredients:
Nature Republic – Real Nature Charcoal Peel-off Pack (less than Php300.00)
It is a peel-off type pack with excellent adsorptive power of charcoal, in which fine charcoal powder can cleanly eliminate the waste in the pore and dead skin cells and its effect can be seen on the mask after peel-off.
The product smells clean and pure. After using Nature Republic’s Charcoal Peel-Off Pack, my skin feels tight and cleansed. It’s pretty easy to put on your face. It’s a gooey clay material that you have to leave on your face for about 30minutes and you just have to peel it off afterwards.
I love that you can see blackheads sticking to the mask upon removing it from your face. It also took some of my fine facial hair with it. My skin felt softer after peeling off the mask. I applied the mask at night and in the morning after, I noticed that my skin is less oily than usual. Although charcoal really does not absorb oil or sebum, my skin felt less oily in the morning–or maybe my mind is working on some psychological trick on me.
Glamworks Charcoal Nose Pore Strips (Php99.00 for 12 strips)
Glamworks Charcoal Nose Pore Strips instantly remove pore-clogging dirt, oil and blackheads. Charcoal absorbs into the pores on your skin and draws out the dirt and oils that are blocking the pores. It also helps reduce the appearance of pores with regular use.
Ok, after applying Nature Republic’s Charcoal Mask, I decided to double clean my nose with this. It says that the charcoal helps remove the oil–so that’s a false claim. Charcoal has nothing to do with oil, really. It can help absorb dirt, but not oil.
In my experience, the nose strip did remove some of my blackheads, but left out the bigger ones on my nose. It got rid of my facial hair though (actually, I’m not sure if it was my facial hair or it’s just the fiber on the nose strip… oh well). It was more effective on my beau’s nose though. For the price, I guess this is okay. It’s not something awesome or better than the non-charcoal types, but it can function to its basic promise.
iWhite Nose Pack (Php18.00 per sachet)
It is a solution that is effective in removing whiteheads and blackheads, eliminates deep-seated dirt, and other impurities. It minimizes pores and excess oil on the nose.
This is a cross between the two earlier products. It’s a nose strip that is a peel-off putty. iWhite’s Nose Pack was just like a normal nose strip–only it was more fun to use. I like the idea of putting a rubbery goo on your my and waiting for it to dry up so I can finally see my blackheads. Though it’s not an excellent performer for the job, it gets some of the works done (I guess nothing is a substitute for a good old facial routine to remove the blackheads). For the price, this is okay, too.
So there, I hope I was able to shed you some light with all these charcoal craze. Here are the three products I decided to test if the claims are true. I guess, although charcoal has basic scientific logic behind its inclusion in the latest cosmetic craze, don’t be fooled by its current marketing hype.