If you reside in the Houston area and have been on social media any time in the past few months you may have seen this new beauty phenomenon that is taking the skin care world by storm. It seems there is no shortage of uses for this product, ranging from teeth whitening to skin cleansing, and even detoxing drinks, but how effective actually is it?
What makes activated charcoal so ideal for these applications?
Activated charcoal has millions of microscopic pores that have the ability to attract pollutants. When it is applied to your skin, it draws impurities from the depths of your pores and holds onto them so that when that when the mask is peeled away it takes the toxins with it.
Is it harmful?
The actual charcoal is natural and very light, making it unproblematic for your skin. However, in the DIY version of this mask, a main ingredient is glue. This is where health concerns do tend to emerge. As you can imagine, glue is not an ideal facial treatment due to it being a skin irritant and prone to cause various skin issues. Needless to say, this is not something that would be recommended for facial use. Tea tree oil is an additional ingredient that some choose to include that can also irritate the skin due to its extreme fragrance. Another aspect to consider, is that toxins are not the only substance being removed when the mask is peeled away. The outer layer of cells residing on the top layer of your skin are also extracted, resulting in an increased level of sensitivity. Many that use the product do mention how soft their skin feels after but this is because they have essentially ripped away the outer layer of their stratum corneum. Essential oils residing on your skin that protect and maintain it are also extracted, removing these barriers makes your skin very vulnerable to microorganisms.
What can you do instead?
The aftermath of this facial treatment isn’t exactly ideal for beauty gurus looking to improve their skin health, and you may be wondering what can those looking for some relief do? The obvious of course would be to practice healthy skin care regimes such as washing, exfoliating, and moisturizing morning and night and staying away from certain foods and drinks such as those containing large amounts of salts, sugars, and alcohol. Of course there are some in need of more help than those routines can offer. If this is the case for you, schedule a visit with your Houston dermatologist and let them find the best solution for your issues, your skin will thank you!