Ingredient Spotlight: Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has been making the beauty rounds, being added to cleansers, face masks, shampoos and treatments for its superior ability to cleanse and detoxify. And while using carbon that’s been treated to increase absorbency isn’t a new practice—it’s been the common go-to treatment in hospital emergency rooms for alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses—it is enjoying beauty-ingredient-of-the-moment status right now popping up in products across the beauty spectrum. 

The theory behind including activated charcoal in beauty products is that it acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil. The toxins stick to the activated charcoal and get washed away with a rinse. It pulls dirt out of pores, making them less visible; helps absorb excess oils for smoother skin and hair; remedies itchy and irritated scalps; and removes debris from strands to help pump up the volume. Here, five activated-charcoal products that really work.  

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