You probably have a few pills of activated charcoal in your medicine cabinet. Just in case you get a nasty food poisoning — the charcoal is a great natural sorbent that traps the toxins and immobilizes them. But your intestine isn’t the only place that could get loaded with toxins — your skin is at risk every day. The cosmetic products with charcoal addition target this problem.
Toxins and skin
Your skin is lucky if you live far from busy cities, eat a healthy diet, do yoga, and avoid stress. You’re living in a dream, so probably you don’t need to read this article any further. Most of us, however, don’t have this privilege and have to deal with everyday stress, casual and unhealthy food choices and while this all is already enough to damage and age our skin, we live in heavily polluted cities full of exhausts and finely dispersed dust. All of this lands on our skin surface, the toxins settle in our tissues and can damage the skin cells. Do you know how your cotton ball is gray in the evening? That’s the portion of dust that can be removed by regular cleansers.
Besides the toxins that can get to your skin from the environment, there are also toxins that can be excreted from inside your body. Sweat and skin oils can sometimes help your body get rid of various substances it doesn’t need. Keeping them on the skin surface is not a good idea.
How the toxins affect the skin
So many toxins — so many ways they can do harm. Some of them can block enzymes and prevent normal skin processes like building the new proteins, some even can damage the DNA of the cell. There is a variety of ways the toxins can change the normal function of the skin cells. Repairing the damage, even if possible, requires time and resources.
How charcoal in skincare products works
The charcoal, or as it’s called “activated carbon” is a sorbent. This means that its structure resembles the sponge and it can trap the molecules that are larger than the “pores” of the “sponge”. And the best part is that it has a completely natural origin — the wood is heated strongly and what is left is the activated charcoal. When applied as a purifying mask or a cleanser, the charcoal absorbs the toxins that have accumulated during the day. Then you wash them off together with the mask or cleanser itself.
If you are unsure about the environment you live in, it’s a good idea to have an activated charcoal product among your regular cleansers. It’ll prevent the damage your skin could get from various environmental toxins you’re exposed to day after day.