Oily skin? Why you need to add charcoal to your routine

Oily skin? Why you need to add charcoal to your routine

Black magic

Site: Anna McClelland

It's the single ingredient that's transforming blemish-prone complexions

Anyone's who's ever done a juice cleanse can tell you that when it comes to eradicating toxins, charcoal is your best friend. Why? The black sooty stuff clings to toxins in your stomach, drawing them out before they're let loose into your blood stream - it's even used in hospitals to treat poisoning.

Now skin specialists have realised that the unassuming wonder ingredient can work the same way on the skin. "In skincare, charcoal acts like a magnet, drawing out impurities and excess oil that can sit inside pores and can need extra help in removing," says Clinique National Education Manager Melissa Elvin-Jensen. "It's an excellent ingredient for combination and oilier skin types because it detoxifies, purifies, and unclogs pores."

Related story: Skincare A, B, Cs: find the right vitamins for your skin type

Just don't go rubbing the grit from the barbecue all over your face - the charcoal commonly used in skincare isn't derived from burnt sangers (would we ask you to do that?) but steam-activated coconut or bamboo. And in case you're wondering, no - stick to high quality charcoal products and they won't turn your skin 50 shades of grey. "Both [Clinique's charcoal products] are easily rinsed with water - not a grey skin stain in sight!" says Elvin-Jensen. We've hand-picked our  top 10 charcoal-based products for men and women below - give your skin a detox and dabble in a little black magic yourself...

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