Activated charcoal has been a beauty buzzword for some time now and while sitting in the sun waiting for my hair mask to work its magic, I realised it wasn’t the only beauty product containing charcoal on my bathroom shelf! So what’s the buzz behind this black miracle ingredient?
Known as the ‘black diamond’, charcoal has been valued for its purification abilities for centuries in ancient China and Egypt. The charcoal becomes ‘activated’ when heated at super high temperatures, resulting in a sponge-like quality which is effective at absorbing toxins from the body, making it a dynamic tool for your skin and hair routine. Activated charcoal chemically adheres other materials to its surface and can absorb thousands of times its own weight.
It keeps breakouts under control as it ticks the box for pore-cleansing, exfoliator, tackling impurities, is antibacterial and, if you have oily or acne prone, skin, a sure winner for unclogging pores and removing excess oils.
For haircare it’ll add some volume and lift flat limp hair whilst removing everyday dirt and grime; your scalp will get some TLC too as the natural ingredient (made from coconut, peat and wood), helps with oiliness, dandruff, itchiness and soothes redness.
So here’s what I thought about the three products I’m currently using containing activated charcoal: Davines The Purity Circle Away from Pollution Hair and Scalp Mask, Olgani Mighty Cocoa Toothpaste and Exuviance Detox Mud Treatment
DAVINES THE PURITY CIRCLE AWAY FROM POLLUTION HAIR AND SCALP MASK
These masks are a godsend for travelling and I keep a couple for getaway weekends or just to change things up in my hair routine. I generally wash and condition my hair on the weekends when I have more time as it’s thick and takes forever to dry and I stay clear of the hairdryer (my winter must), drying it naturally in the sun; I do like to use other hair tools to add a bit more curl. Sadly my hair rarely looks shiny unless it’s been blowdried straight, like after a blow dry spoil or when hair guru David Gilson has given me incredible colour and a blow dry that leaves my hair sleek, shiny with added bounce! I like this particular mask as it makes my hair soft, shiny and manageable.
Sachets available at Carlton salons and costs ZAR125 which will give you a couple of washes.
OLGANI MIGHTY COCOA TOOTHPASTE helps get whiter teeth naturally (although perhaps if I cut down on the coffee and tea intake it would help too!) The toothpaste has fluoride-containing cocoa, charcoal, coconut oil and Zantman gum, is locally made from organic farming, and if you swallow some by mistake you’re not going to klip! Olgani Mighty Cocoa Toothpaste contains charcoal which can be somewhat daunting as your mouth turns black and it gets kinda messy, so be mindful as you’re brushing; I already see a slight difference in my teeth and if it’s natural and environmentally friendly it gets my stamp of approval. Watch this space for an updated photo!
ZAR125 available from Faithful to Nature shop here
EXUVIANCE DETOX MUD TREATMENT formulated to clarify and refine pores by removing excess oil and toxins. I don’t have oily skin but like to use this at least once or twice a month as my skin feels super clean and detoxified and it clears the pores around my nose that sometimes gets a bit bleh. I make hubby use it regularly as he’s prone to oilier skin and as charcoal acts like a magnet, sweeping up surface pore-clogging impurities and environmental toxins its doing a damn fine job. It also contains French clay with a high mineral content which absorbs oil and leaves skin feeling and looking revitalized. A product that suits both of us and I love it!