Blackheads can be annoying at the best of times and getting rid of them can be tricky. But did you know that activated charcoal could be your new secret weapon against blackheads?
This natural ingredient is extremely porous, which means it’s great at absorbing blackhead-causing impurities like dirt and bacteria from your skin. It’s different to the charcoal you use in BBQs as it has been heated to extremely high temperatures and combined with gases to increase its surface area.
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What are blackheads?
A blackhead is a blocked hair follicle caused by your skin producing too much oil which turns dark when exposed to air. The oiler areas of your face, such as your T-zone and chin, are where blackhead breakouts will normally occur, but you can also get them on your neck, chest, back, shoulders and arms.
Using oil-based beauty products, not cleaning your face thoroughly and pollution can increase your chances of having blackheads and other forms of acne.
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How does charcoal help in the fight against blackheads?
Activated charcoal is charcoal that’s been steam activated at 1000°C. The gases it comes into contact with during this process increase its surface and absorption properties, which is why it’s increasingly being used in natural health and beauty products.
When tackling blackheads, activated charcoal products absorb toxins, dirt and excess oils from your pores faster than other products. This can rapidly reduce the appearance of existing blackheads and pimples, whilst preventing new blackheads from forming on the skin.
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Prevention is better than cure, so try to give your face the best chance of staying blackhead free by applying a charcoal face mask a couple of times a week. Not only will it remove excess oil but it’ll give your skin some much needed TLC.
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You can also give your face a quick refresh with a charcoal wipe. They’re ideal for incorporating into your morning and bedtime beauty routine as well as removing sweat and impurities after exercise.
If you do have a breakout, a charcoal nose mask, for instance, will safely and gently help with their removal. Because they contain natural ingredients, they’re kind on your skin. They work fast, but make sure you spend time washing your face properly afterwards to remove the black colouring.
For advice on dealing with other forms of acne, check out our six ways to clear up your acne article and our 10 essential skincare do’s and don’ts article.
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