The Charcoal Craze: Purifying Perfection or Muddy Mess?

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If you follow a bevy of reality stars on Instagram or Snapchat, you’ll be aware of the many product endorsements that they have. The latest craze that all the ‘cool kids’ are talking about is charcoal infused face masks, but do they actually work?
I sat down with Ralph W Montague Collier, Director at *The Skin Repair Clinic, to discuss the pros and cons of these black face treatments and the best way to treat your problem skin.

How Getting Dirty Can Clean Your Skin
As it is in a thick, gloopy consistency it can be rather confusing how lathering a black, charcoal-based face mask can improve your skin, however celebrities like Khloe Kardashian and Holly Hagan (of Geordie Shore fame) swear by them.
So, what exactly is in these face masks and how do they improve your skin. Ralph explains:
“The ingredients in these charcoal masks will vary from brand to brand, however they are generally used to help clarify the skin of impurities and clear skin.
“When combined with other ingredients, activated charcoal can help draw bacteria, dirt and oil out of the skin, helping to keep your face clean and minimise the risk of breakouts.
 “The danger comes when users try to make their own facemasks or buy bargain alternatives, which can do the opposite of the desired effect and actually damage your skin.
“You should also be weary of charcoal-based peel-off masks as these glue themselves to your skin and hair, making it rather painful to peel off once dry. Although these masks will leave skin feeling smooth, they will also remove the cells from the outer layer of skin and pull any hairs with it.”

Other Beauty Uses of Charcoal
Beauty-fans aren’t just stopping with face masks, but using it on their hair, teeth and arm pits too.
There are numerous activated charcoal fluoride-free toothpastes flooding the market at the moment, which promise to help fight plaque, cavities and bad breath by reducing bacteria build-up.
Whereas many a hair product utilises charcoal’s non-abrasive cleansing elements as a natural deep cleanser to remove any built-up chemicals that can leave hair looking and feeling greasy. 
Lastly, many natural deodorants are made with charcoal as it absorbs moisture well, is gentle on skin and can help to neutralise odour.

How to Look Great and Feel Amazing with Skin Treatments
If you’re looking for long-lasting effects that will transform your skin and boost your confidence, Ralph recommends non-surgical cosmetic treatments.
“Although these are more expensive than investing in a tube of charcoal face mask, a treatment by a trained and experienced specialist can provide you with much more dramatic improvements to your skin.
“Whether it’s micro-needling for acne scar removal or high intensity focused ultrasound for firming skin on the neck and face, there is a treatment out there to help your skin issue.”
To learn more about non-surgical cosmetic treatments and what they can do for you, discover more about Ralph and The Skin Repair Clinic.

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