Charcoal masks are the latest trend on social media. These masks have a detoxifying effect and brighten the skin. However, the charcoal used in masks is different from the one used for culinary purposes. The one used in beauty products is ‘activated charcoal’, which is also commonly used in the medical field for treating overdose of drugs and various types of poisoning, including alcohol poisoning.
Activated charcoal finds use in multiple industries as it blocks harmful toxins, fumes, solvents, and pesticides. It is also used in wound dressings and plasters, given its ability to bring out impurities.
What Exactly Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal is nothing but the residual powder obtained from burning elements like coal, coconut shells, etc. at high temperatures. When heated at very high temperatures, the molecular structure becomes more porous with high adsorption. Adsorption refers to the property of a substance to adhere itself to another substance.
Due to this property, the activated charcoal can attach or bind itself to the toxins as well as impurities on the surface of the skin and thus prevent them from entering into our body.
Reasons Why Men Should Make Activated Charcoal A Part Of Their Skin Regimen
Men's skin being rough and thicker than the female skin, requires a proper effective face mask to soothe, cleanse and nourish the skin. Activated charcoal has the absorption capacity of absorbing a hundred times its own weight in the form of fluids; say water or oil. Its near-magnetic qualities help in sucking all the body toxins oil and grease and thereby unclogging even the most tenacious pores.
A charcoal face mask thus helps in cleansing the skin thoroughly and also helps to control the secretion of oils from the skin, thereby making it a perfect mask for those suffering from acne. It also helps in increasing the skin’s luminosity.
Benefits of Charcoal Face Mask
1. Instant Brightening:
A charcoal mask clings to the skin perfectly, which helps in attracting all dirt, grease bacteria, toxins, and impurities to the last bit. This gives an instant brightness to the skin once you peel the mask.
2. Exceptional Exfoliator:
Apart from brightening the skin, the rough nature of charcoal makes it an excellent exfoliator for removal of dead skin cells, making the skin clear, bright, and clean.
3. Prevent Oily Skin:
The charcoal mask helps in balancing the oily secretions from the skin and hence is a perfect solution for those with oily skin.
Types of Charcoal Face Masks
1. Charcoal Sheet Mask:
While the primary purpose of a general Sheet mask is to offer hydration, the addition of Charcoal to a sheet mask not only hydrates the skin but also detoxifies it. For those having dry skin, the use of a charcoal sheet masks offers the dual benefit of not only detoxification but also hydration.
To apply the sheet mask, cleanse the skin, and apply the mask for approx.. 15 minutes. Then gently remove the mask and massage the skin and rinse.
2. Charcoal Cream Mask:
This mask has moisturizing as well as detoxification properties. This can be a good choice for people with dry skin looking out for moisturizing benefits.
3. Charcoal and Clay Mask:
Clay has detoxifying properties similar to that of Charcoal and also helps in removing excess oil from the surface of the skin. Hence for those with oily skin, this mask is well suited.
These charcoal clay masks come in various variants using different types of clay like montmorillonite clay, kaolin clay, bentonite clay, Moroccan lava clay, etc., with various soothing components like bisabolol, eucalyptus, honey, witch hazel and so on to name a few. These masks are also available in the form of a powder for easy transportation. The can be mixed with water and formed into a paste.
4. Charcoal Peel off Masks:
These masks are predominantly used over the nose and the T-Zone, for removing blackheads. However, a word of caution: Most of the peel of masks are painful to remove and may also peel off the essential oils required by the skin in the process of removing blackheads. Hence when going in for peel off masks, it is advisable to tread cautiously by buying only reputed products.
5. Vegan-Friendly Masks for Sensitive Skin:
For those who prefer Vegan masks, there is a combination of Bamboo charcoal and Japanese Green Tea mask from The Body Shop, which gently exfoliates the skin. This mask is suitable for those with sensitive skin.
6. Natural Plant-based Masks:
For those who prefer chemical-free plant-based masks, there are various options available in the market with ingredients like organic oats, chamomile, lavender flowers, etc.
7. For the Time Conscious – One-minute Charcoal Masks:
For the time conscious, there are one-minute heating masks like the Biore Self Heating mask that gets heated under the wet fingers the moment one massages them onto the face. One can apply the powder on a wet face; the mask gets heated on contact with water. Then dab a few drops of water on fingers and massage gently, to activate heating. Massage for sixty seconds and rinse the face. The advantage is that these masks do not dry up or harden.
With charcoal masks being the latest trendsetter in men's grooming, and given its numerous benefits like exfoliating, brightening absorbing oil, removing acne, blackheads, etc., it is worth incorporating it into one's daily skin care routine. After all, your precious skin deserves to be pampered.