Charcoal products for skin

When you think of charcoal, you probably think of barbecue fires or art supplies before you think of skincare. However, activated charcoal is present in many skin care products (including face wash) and has a broad range of benefits for your skin. First of all, charcoal is a pure and natural ingredient. Many face washes on the market are pumped full of harsh and unnatural chemicals. However, face washes that include charcoal as a primary active ingredient generally do not include an abundance of these excessively harsh and potentially damaging chemicals. Charcoal face wash is great for sensitive skin because it is gentle, non-toxic, and does not irritate the delicate skin of your face.

Furthermore, charcoal naturally attracts toxins. When you wash your face with a charcoal face wash, the charcoal uses its natural properties to automatically draw toxins out of your skin. This means that charcoal face wash clears your pores and sucks dirt and bacteria away from your skin in order to clear up and prevent acne breakouts. If you’re looking for a gentle face wash to treat minor breakouts and soothe your sensitive skin, try a face wash that includes activated charcoal.


8. Garnier Shine Control Cleansing Gel

This charcoal-based face wash keeps your skin shine-free all day long. It features natural properties that prevent excess oil from accumulating on your skin in order to help your skin maintain a matte finish. The face wash deeply cleanses your skin from the surface level down, clearing your pores and refreshing your skin as it cleans.

The formula of this face wash includes charcoal and menthol. Its included charcoal purifies your skin and clears it of any lingering toxins. This face wash’s gel formula is extremely lightweight and feels refreshing on your skin. However, it is still extremely effective at cleansing and purifying your skin despite its gentle, lightweight feel.

7. Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser

This face wash, which is designed to help clear up acne breakouts without excess harshness, includes two primary active ingredients: tomatoes and charcoal. Both of these active ingredients are completely natural and soothe your skin without inflicting the damage that harsh chemical ingredients can wreak on your skin. In fact, this face wash prides itself on being a natural product; it includes ninety-seven percent natural ingredients.

The tomatoes within this face wash’s formula expose your skin to antioxidants that deeply cleanse your skin and help it appear brighter and healthier. The charcoal purifies your skin and clears up minor acne breakouts in a gentle manner. Plus, this face wash also includes salicylic acid for extra help with breakouts and jojoba oil for added hydration and nourishment for your skin.

6. Barbary Charcoal Facial Cleanser

Sensitive skin is difficult to handle. If you have naturally sensitive skin, you might feel like you’re very limited in the skincare products you are able to use comfortably. This charcoal face wash is the perfect choice for sensitive skin. It is a vegan product that is free of parabens and any other harsh ingredients. In fact, the entire face wash is comprised of only organic ingredients.

These organic ingredients include activated charcoal as well as coconut oil, vitamin C, green tea, orange extract, and more. All of these natural ingredients serve a purpose within the face wash to help it be as effective as possible at cleansing and nourishing your skin. They work together to purify, soothe, firm, brighten, and even out your skin to help you achieve clean, youthful, healthy skin in no time.

5. Theratree Exfoliating Scrub

This exfoliating scrub is full of natural ingredients that clear and clean your skin in a gentle and healthy way. It includes micro volcanic pumice, white willowbark, tea tree oil, activated charcoal, mint essential oil, and a variety of natural botanical extracts.

The micro volcanic pumice and white willowbark in this face wash gently exfoliates the delicate skin on your face without causing irritation in order to remove dead cells and brighten your skin. The tea tree oil soothes irritated skin and helps even out your skin tone and alleviate redness. Mint essential oil and botanical extracts nourish and refresh your skin. Last but not least, activated charcoal within this face wash purifies your skin and eradicates any impurities on its surface or within your pores.

4. Safe House Naturals Detox Face Wash

This charcoal face wash is vegan and includes only natural and organic ingredients. Plus, it is one hundred percent cruelty-free. The face wash does not include any animal by-products and is created without using any animal testing. Its cruelty-free status is certified and approved by PETA.

The face wash’s formula does not include any harsh chemicals. Instead, it features a blend of natural ingredients, including activated charcoal, Bentonine clay, coconut oil, aloe vera, and essential oils. The charcoal and clay within the face wash exfoliate, purify, and renew your skin. The coconut oil and aloe vera work together to hydrate, nourish, and soothe your skin in order to add moisture and alleviate any redness or uneven tones. Plus, the natural essential oils within the face wash gently tone your skin as you cleanse it.

3. Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash

This men’s face wash works well with all skin types from dry to oily and everything in between. It is a very gentle and natural product that cleanses your skin without the use of any harsh chemicals that do more damage than good.

Activated charcoal, aloe vera, jojoba oil, and olive oil are all natural active ingredients within the formula of this face wash. The activated charcoal purifies your skin while the aloe vera soothes and nourishes it. The jojoba oil and olive oil add needed hydration to your skin. However, they do not pile on extra grease in order to leave your skin feeling completely clean and refreshed.

2. Bioré Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser

This charcoal face wash penetrates deep into your pores in order to cleanse your skin thoroughly. It removes surface-level impurities such as makeup, oil, and daily dirt. Also, the gentle charcoal-infused formula eliminates toxins from the deeper levels of your skin. The two levels of purification this face wash provides leave your face feeling refreshed and purified.

1. Bioré Charcoal Acne Scrub

If you struggle with acne and are searching for a gentle solution, this charcoal acne scrub is a great option. The formula of the scrub is very gentle. It provides your skin with soothing exfoliation that is not harsh and does not cause irritation.

The face wash includes one percent salicylic acid. This acid works together with the purifying activated charcoal to cleanse your skin of impurities and fight against acne breakouts.

12 Charcoal Beauty Products That Work

It seems every other month there’s a new health and beauty fad that takes the world by storm, and right now, charcoal is the trend everyone is talking about. It is known to unclog pores by pulling dirt, bacteria and all kinds of other pesky particles to the skin’s surface. Hello gorgeous skin!

Charcoal has been said to have many other diverse uses, including whitening teeth, reducing acne, alleviating hangovers, and even counteracting the effects of some poisons. Yes, you read that right! Some of these claims are more far-fetched than others, but I’m putting these health and beauty products to the test to see how beneficial charcoal products really are.

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask

Boscia Luminizing Black Mask | $34


With Boscia’s charcoal-inflused luminizing mask, you can literally peel off the dirt and oil that gets built up in your pores. Apply the mask on your face and then feel as it dries. When you peel off the mask, you’ll be able to see the buildup that it strips away, and you’ll be left with smooth skin and clean pores.

Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge

Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge | $12


Konjac sponges (made from yam-like plants) are all the rage in Japan and Korea, and it’s easy to see why. These natural sponges are softer than other face wash tools and perfect for sensitive skin. Konjac sponges gently exfoliate skin, and the added charcoal draws out additional impurities. The end result? Soft, radiant skin.

Skinesque 3-Step Brightening+ Charcoal Mask

Skinesque 3-Step Brightening+ Charcoal Mask | $35


This charcoal-filled set will bring you gorgeous skin in 3 simple steps. First, wash away makeup and dirt with the gentle foaming cleanser. Then, apply the Hydra+ Essence to your face and neck to hydrate your skin and activate collagen formation. Last, wear the Brightening+ Charcoal Mask for 15-20 minutes and let it do its purifying magic.

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel

Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel | $20


End your day with a charcoal-inflused cleanser. Clinique’s Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel draws out impurities and erases the day’s makeup, dirt, and oil.

Drybar On the Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo

Drybar On the Rocks Clarifying Charcoal Shampoo | $26

Dry Bar

This shampoo is filled with activated charcoal that gently removes product buildup and impurities without drying out hair. Drybar’s charcoal shampoo is perfect for anyone who feels like their hair is dry or tired, and it’s safe to use on color-treated hair.

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap

Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap | $12


Charcoal is great for getting skin clean and clear, so it’s no surprise that it’s great for soaps as well! You can use this soap for face and body, and it works wonders on oily or blemish-prone skin.

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder

Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Exfoliating Cleansing Powder | $30


For a cleanser that also exfoliates skin, Origins’ cleansing powder is just the thing. The concentrated formula comes as a powder, but add a bit of water to activate the charcoal and use as an exfoliant that washes away dirt and clears pores. The more water you add, the softer the formula becomes, so if you have sensitive skin and don’t want to over-exfoliate, just add more water. Use daily and combine with a twice-weekly charcoal mask for the clearest pores of your life.

Found Cosmetics Charcoal Sheet Mask

Found Cosmetics Charcoal Sheet Mask | $3

Found Cosmetics

Sheet masks are all the rage right now, and this charcoal and green tea infused mask absorbs oil like no other. Charcoal helps to draw out dirt and excess oil, while green tea soothes and calms. And at under $3 per sheet mask, this is a skincare addition you won’t regret.

Pressed Juicery Activated Charcoal Lemonade

Pressed Juicery Activated Charcoal Lemonade

Pressed Juicery

Yes, you can even drink charcoal! Pressed Juicery’s Activated Charcoal Lemonade may look scary to drink, but it’s cool and refreshing, with lavender and honey flavors that taste delicious.

Babe Australia Organic Charcoal Hand Wash

Babe Australia Organic Charcoal Hand Wash | $38

Babe Australia

Washing your hands is vital to staying healthy, but most hand soaps have a tendency to leave skin dry. Unlike those drying soaps, Babe Australia’s charcoal-infused hand wash uses the cleansing power of charcoal to clean without drying out skin. This soap is also filled with pink grapefruit and rosemary oil, meaning it smells divine!

Briut Essentials Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste & Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush

Briut Essentials Charcoal Whitening Toothpaste & Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrush | $27

Briut Essentials

Would you dare to brush your teeth with charcoal? This may seem counterintuitive, but this charcoal toothpaste claims to whiten teeth using only natural and organic ingredients. Just be sure to use a small amount and rinse out thoroughly after brushing!

Uncle Harry’s Activated Charcoal

Uncle Harry’s Activated Charcoal | $6

Uncle Harry’s

For a DIY approach, you can always buy raw activated charcoal. Use it to concoct your own charcoal-infused health and beauty products, or mix in with food or drink once a week for the charcoal to work its magic from within. When digested, activated charcoal can help absorb excess acids (and yes, can even help if you happen to accidentally ingest poison, but I recommend leaving that for medical professionals to treat).


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Charcoal face masks are like a vacuum cleaner for the skin. Does that sound intense? Well, it can be, but charcoal face masks can also hold other benefits to the skin.

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Charcoal face masks give the skin a deep clean while also nourishing it with all kinds of wonderful skin actives. While we’re skeptical of claims that charcoal is magically detoxifying, we still know that it is one of the best ingredients for clarifying the skin.


Charcoal powder, specifically charcoal that has been treated to increase its absorbency, has been used in the medical field for years as a treatment for poisoning. The poison binds to the charcoal before it can be digested, which helps prevent the ill effects of the poison. Because of this, many people believe charcoal can also detoxify the body during other times.

While this is not quite true, charcoal’s absorbency still makes it a great addition to face masks. In skin care, the charcoal we find is almost always activated, and it normally comes from bamboo!

I’ve gathered the best charcoal masks in this article for you, and I also explain what makes them so great, so you can find the one that’ll suit your skin and budget. I explain exactly what the charcoal skin benefits are so you can decide if it’s right for you, along with some warnings.


I’ll explain the best way to incorporate charcoal face masks into your routine, and I even included a recipe so you can make your own charcoal mask at home!

Best Charcoal Face Masks for Blackheads: Contents


  • 13 Best Charcoal Face Masks to Remove Blackheads, Deep Clean and Mattify
  • Charcoal Face Mask Benefits
  • How to Use a Charcoal Face Mask
  • Charcoal Face Mask Warnings
  • How to Make a DIY Charcoal Mask at Home

13 Best Charcoal Face Masks to Remove Blackheads, Deep Clean and Mattify

Perfect for removing blackheads, intensely cleansing the skin and mattifying it, these are the best charcoal masks many skincare enthusiasts and beauty bloggers swear by!

1. Glamglow Supermud Activated Charcoal Treatment

You can always trust Glamglow to make the best charcoal masks. Their masks are infused with both charcoal and clay to fully absorb excess oils and impurities from the skin. This one also includes skin-resurfacing mandelic and salicylic acids, so it doubles as an exfoliant. This is one of the best charcoal face masks for oily skin, as well as for treating breakouts and hyperpigmentation. You can buy it from Sephora.

2. Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask

This is a gentle and simple take on charcoal face masks with clay. It contains a mix of wonderful skin-clarifying ingredients, and no essential oils or fragrances. It will gently mattify the skin and clear the pores, so it’s excellent for those with oily or clogged skin, even if it can get a little sensitive sometimes. It is available for sale at Sephora.


3. Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask

So this mask might be a little gimmicky but it’s also a lot of fun! Masking is about self-care, and the pleasure you get from using a mask should definitely be part of the equation. This mask dries to a latex-like consistency, so you peel it off after you’ve applied it.


This is one of the few charcoal face masks I would recommend even for those with normal and combination skin, since it is not super mattifying. Instead, it softens the skin and helps to physically remove sebaceous filaments. You can find it at Sephora.

4. Dermalogica Charcoal Rescue Masque

This is one of the best charcoal face masks if your skin does well with a lot of actives. In addition to the absorbent ingredients, it also contains niacinamide, sulfur, and witch hazel to control oils, tighten the pores, and prevent acne. This mask is not suitable for sensitive skin, but it’d be great for those with very oily skin, even if it’s acne-prone. Order this mask online from Dermstore.

5. Feeling Beautiful Charcoal & Black Sugar Facial Polishing Mask

This is a two-in-one charcoal face mask and scrub to get your skin totally clarified, matte, and exfoliated. This formula includes vitamin-rich botanical extracts, but it’s all water based so it might leave your skin feeling a little tight. All in all, it’s a great time saver for those with oily skin that isn’t too sensitive. It can be purchased at Ulta.

6. Clinique Pore Refining Solutions Charcoal Mask

You can always trust Clinique to make great, fragrance-free options. This is one of the best charcoal masks for those with very oily skin that is still on the sensitive side. This mask does not play around, as it is extremely mattifying and gives a thorough deep cleanse. This mask is available for sale at Sephora.


7. One Love Organics Love + Charcoal Masque

This is a moisturizing take on charcoal face masks that can work even for those with combination skin that leans towards dry! It loads the skin with moisture from aloe vera and sunflower oil, but it also draws out impurities with charcoal and rose clay, and calms down breakouts and inflammation with white willow bark extract. This all-natural mask is sold online via Dermstore.

8. Arcona Magic Black Ice Exfoliating Mask

This is another one of the best charcoal masks that also exfoliate the skin! It contains a blend of clays and charcoal to purify the skin, along with refreshing natural extracts and essential oils, and just a hint of grape seed oil to moisturize. It is best for those with oily skin that is not sensitive or suffering from severe acne. You can buy this mask from Nordstrom.

9. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Mud Mask

Not all great charcoal face masks are expensive, as illustrated by this wonderful product from Yes To. It contains anti-acne superstar ingredient salicylic acid along with deep-cleansing charcoal and kaolin clay. It doesn’t leave the skin feeling too dry, since it also contains some conditioning botanical extracts. It’s a suitable mask for those with oily and combination-oily skin. Pick it up at Ulta!

10. PCA Skin Detoxifying Charcoal Mask

This is another one of the best charcoal face masks for those with oily yet sensitive skin, since it contains no-frill ingredients along with some lovely hydrators and anti-inflammatories. To mattify the skin and unclog the pores, the blend includes kaolin, charcoal, and magnesium aluminum silicate, while it nourishes it with glycerin and soothes it with bisabolol. This mask is available for sale at Nordstrom.

11. The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask

This is a skin-stimulating mask that can help mattify the skin while also loading it up with some beneficial oils. It gets the pores deep cleansed with the help of a lovely blend of clays and charcoal, and leaves the skin feeling tight yet clean, since it does contain some alcohol. It is best for those with oily yet non-sensitive skin. If you’d like to try this mask, you can find it at Ulta.

12. MAC Mineralize Reset & Revive Charcoal Mask

Even MAC couldn’t help making a charcoal face mask, since it really is a great way of getting a deep cleanse. It contains bamboo charcoal as well as kaolin clay to pull impurities from the skin and to eliminate blackheads. It comes in a convenient squeeze tube, and is best for those whose skin leans towards oily. This mask can be bought at Saks Fifth Avenue.

13. L’Oréal Detox & Brighten Clay Mask

This is the creamiest of the best charcoal masks, and it doesn’t dry down. It still manages to give the skin a very thorough cleansing, and it does mattify quite a bit so it is best for those with oily skin. It contains charcoal along with a few different clays, and it leaves the skin feeling clean yet soft. This mask can be purchased online through Ulta.

Charcoal Face Mask Benefits

While many sources say that charcoal face masks can detoxify the skin, I want to nip that idea in the bud. The word “detoxify” implies that there are toxins in the skin that can be removed with a topical product, which simply isn’t how topical skin care works.

Topical products like charcoal face masks can certainly remove all kinds of debris that the skin collects from the environment and cause acne, but those impurities are not “toxins” so the word detoxify doesn’t make sense. That’s why I don’t use it when I write about skin care.

With all this being said, here are the actual benefits of using charcoal masks!

Deep Cleansing

Charcoal is deeply absorbent, and is able to pull all kind of nasties away from the skin. When applied as a mask it goes much deeper than a cleanser can, to help clear the pores of things like dirt, sweat, oils, makeup, and general bits of pollution that accumulate on the skin throughout the day.


Charcoal face masks often are also made with clays like bentonite or kaolin. On its own charcoal is able to absorb excess oils, but when paired with clays the mixture can do an even better job of eliminating sebum and leaving the skin feeling mattified. We do need a bit of oil on our skin, so this mattifying effect is only ideal for those with oily skin and even then only for once or twice a week use.

Unclogging Blackheads

If one of your skin concerns is blackheads or sebaceous filaments, charcoal face masks can seriously help. That deep cleansing effect helps to clear out the pores, perhaps not immediately, but certainly after regular use. The effect is double if you follow a charcoal mask with a face massage using oil.

Minimizing the Pores

Since charcoal face masks can deeply clean out the pores, they also end up minimizing their appearance. As our pores get clogged with oils and dead skin, they tend to get stretched out. Regular masking with charcoal masks leaves the pores clear and keeps them looking tight.

Preventing Breakouts

One aspect that causes breakouts is overproduction of oil in the skin, while another is clogged pores, which become infected with bacteria and turn into pimples.

Because charcoal masks help to eliminate excess oil and to clarify the pores, they can help prevent breakouts. Many charcoal face masks also include other ingredients that help fight acne, like salicylic acid or tea tree oil.

On their own these masks are not the ultimate solution to acne, but they can certainly help as part of a full skincare routine.

How to Use a Charcoal Face Mask

• Begin with cleansing your skin. As always, I recommend finding a gentle cleanser that won’t throw your skin off balance. CosRX Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser and Philosophy Purity Made Simple Cleanser stand out as two excellent choices.

• When you’re done massaging your skin with cleanser, make sure it is thoroughly removed by either rinsing the face multiple times, or by using a gentle face cloth or cleansing wipes to remove it.

• It is optional to also exfoliate your skin. This will remove all the excess dead skin, and allow your charcoal face masks to penetrate more deeply and give a better cleanse. If you are specifically dealing with blackheads or sebaceous filaments, it is best to use a chemical exfoliant with salicylic acid. For general exfoliation, a scrub will suffice.

• You can now apply your charcoal face masks. Squeeze out an approximately quarter-sized amount to apply to your face, since charcoal face masks usually require a slightly thicker layer.

• Charcoal face masks can be somewhat thick to apply, so it is best to apply them with a face brush. Apply the charcoal mask to your skin in upward strokes, in order to lift up the “peach fuzz” hairs on the face and to get the mask as close to your skin as possible.

• If you have combination skin that is only oily in certain areas, you can multi-mask by applying your charcoal mask to the oily or clogged areas (usually the T-zone), applying a more nourishing mask to other parts of the face.

• Avoid applying charcoal face masks around the eye area, as they can severely dry out the sensitive skin there.

• Let the charcoal face mask sit on your skin for the amount of time recommended on the package. This will normally be sometime between 5-15 minutes. You don’t have to lie down or be idle during this time! You can move around and do things, or relax with a book.

• Most, though not all, charcoal face masks will dry down after 5-10 minutes. Your face will feel tight, and the mask will likely change color and feel dry to the touch. If your skin is on the drier or dehydrated side of things, make sure to remove the mask before it completely dries down.

• When it’s time, remove your charcoal mask. Some charcoal face masks can by peeled off, although most will require rinsing off with water.

• Dampen your skin thoroughly to rehydrate the mask so it can be more easily removed. Rinse away as much of it as you can with just water.

• To ensure the mask is truly completely removed, finish off by wiping your face in upward motions with a damp cloth or face wipe.

• As an optional choice, you can now take the chance to rehydrate the skin with a second mask that is more hydrating or skin-soothing. Apply it as instructed, and remove with water and a wipe or cloth.

• You can also give your skin a pore-unclogging face massage. Use a non-comedogenic oil like mineral oil or cold-pressed sunflower oil. Massage your skin with it in circular, upward and outward motions, focusing especially on the areas where you have more congestion.

You might notice sebaceous filaments coming out in what is sometimes referred to as “grits”. Do not massage for longer than 30 seconds, and remove the oil with a warm, damp cloth.

• Charcoal face masks often sit at a neutral pH, so it is good to bring the skin to acidity with a pH-adjusting toner.

• Finish off your skincare routine, making sure to focus on hydrating the skin, since charcoal face masks can be drying. Use your usual skincare actives, a hydrating essence or serum, spot treatments if you are also treating acne, and a moisturizer. If it is daytime, make sure to also apply a product with adequate sun protection.

Charcoal Face Mask Warnings

The first warning/ advice I have about charcoal face masks actually applies to all skincare products, but I think it’s always important to mention. Before slathering your new mask all over your face, please make sure to do a patch test.

Try the mask out on a small piece of skin, just to ensure that your skin won’t have any reaction to it. Charcoal by itself is quite powerful, but in masks it is often combined with even stronger active ingredients, so it is important that you be careful, as rashes, redness, and irritation can occur as a reaction to charcoal face masks.

Charcoal masks are not for everyone. In fact, I would only recommend charcoal face masks as a regular treatment for those who have oily skin. For all other skin types, including combination skin, charcoal face masks can be very drying and even irritating.

We need some oil on the surface of the skin, since it is protective and it makes our skin act as a stronger barrier. Sometimes a bit of charcoal is added to a mostly moisturizing formula, in which case it can work for those with normal or even dry skin.

Those with acne-prone skin will not necessarily benefit from regularly using charcoal face masks, since acne is caused by more factors than just oiliness.

If the reason you break out is because your skin’s barrier is compromised and more susceptible to bacteria, then clay or charcoal masks won’t help because they won’t treat the underlying cause of your breakouts. They could even exacerbate the situation by further drying out your skin.

If your skin is clogged or oily, then you can definitely opt for charcoal face masks, but make sure to moisturize your skin well afterwards.

How to Make a DIY Charcoal Mask at Home

DIY face masks are great, because you don’t have to worry about things like preservatives! You just mix your one-time batch of a charcoal face mask, use it, and enjoy.

This recipe is for one-time use. You can double or triple it if you’re making charcoal face masks for a few different people – spa party, anyone? Just please don’t try to save the mask, since it is unpreserved and will go bad very quickly.

This recipe makes a charcoal mask that is great for those with oily skin. It contains some tea tree oil to help prevent acne breakouts as well as honey to lightly moisturize the skin. You can add a few drops of sunflower oil to it if you would like a more moisturizing mask.

• ¼ tsp of kaolin clay
• ¼ tsp of activated charcoal
• ¼ tsp of organic honey
• ¼ tsp of organic apple cider vinegar
• 1 drop of tea tree essential oil

Mix all of your ingredients in a ceramic or glass bowl, using a clean mask brush. Apply it to your skin following the instructions I outlined in the earlier section. Make sure to throw out any leftover mask, since it should only be used when fresh!

Photos via @cocochicblog, @ashleyrobertson, @martaassi, @paola_antonini


6 activated charcoal beauty products for skin detox

Activated charcoal is the new fad that is taking the beauty industry by storm. The purgative qualities of this ancient ingredient is said to pull dirt out of the pores as well as remove excess oil. Moreover, its absorbent property binds it easily to coffee and tea stains, plaque and more. No wonder, why it is being used in cleansers, face masks and even toothpastes today.
Try it for yourself with one of these 6 beauty products loaded with activated charcoal-

  • Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask by The Body Shop

Inspired by the traditional Ayurvedic formulations, this clay mask is charged with bamboo charcoal, organic tea tree oil and green tea leaves. It purifies the skin to reveal the hidden radiance.
How to Use: Apply an even layer of this glow mask using a facial mask brush. Avoid the eye and lip area. Leave it for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water. Use twice a week for best results.

  • Charcoal Soap by Khadi Natural

This deep cleansing and detoxifying charcoal soap helps in removing dead cells, acne and blackheads. It also clears skin blemishes and reduces the size of the pores. If you want a tight, firm and clear skin, then this soap is one of the perfect choices.
How to Use: Apply it on wet body. Rub to produce lather. Rinse it off.

  • Ultimo Blends Charcoal Face Pack by VLCC

Enjoy the goodness of pure activated charcoal blended with essential oils and clay. This unique formula fights urban pollutants as well as nourishes and heals the skin. Its double action system deep cleanses and exfoliates the skin.
How to Use: Wash your face and pat it dry. Apply a thin layer of this face pack.Keep it for 15 minutes and rinse it off.

  • Activated Charcoal Face Scrub for Men by USTRAA

Fight daily pollutants with this dual scrub, which gently exfoliates the skin and removes whiteheads and blackheads. This Paraben-free scrub is formulated especially for men’s skin.
How to Use: Wet your face with water and apply the face scrub evenly. Massage gently for sometime before rinsing it off.

  • Activated Charcoal Body Wash for Men by Beardo

Feel refreshed and cool whole day by using this charcoal-based body wash, which actively removes impurities, dust, excess oil and toxins from the skin.
How to Use: Squeeze it on your palm and rub hands together to form lather. Apply to your wet body and rinse it off.

  • City Block Purifying Charcoal Cleansing Gel by Clinique

Image Source:
This gentle detoxifying cleansing gel draws out pore-deep impurities, leaving your skin clean and rejuvenated. Not only this, it also removes day’s make-up, dirt and oil.
How to Use: Take the gel and lather it between your palms with warm water. Massage over face for a minute or two and rinse thoroughly. Pat skin dry.
DISCLAIMER: The Times of India’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article.

* Charcoal helps to absorb toxins and pollutants
* An effective, all-natural way to treat your skin
* Great for all skin types – and for men and women

Charcoal in skin care products is a trend that is not going away anytime soon and for good reason – charcoal is a powerful ingredient that works like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil, making it an ideal skin care match. In addition to absorbing toxins and pollutants, it is also known to help minimize pores, reduce excess oil from skin, helps prevent premature aging, fight acne and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

We already know about the popular charcoal pore strips, which remove blackheads, debris and other gunk from your nose. Below we have highlighted eight other skincare products from face masks to oil blotting tissues, containing activated charcoal that will keep your skin toxin-free and healthy looking.

1. PleasingCare Oil Blotting Tissues

These Natural Premium Oil Blotting Tissues are a best seller for a reason – they rapidly absorb excess oils and help control shine without any powder. Made from 100% natural linen with organic bamboo charcoal for freshness, these unique oil blotters can be used to cleanse your entire face with a single use and can be used on both sides. Keep these in your gym bag, car and office drawer and the easy to use dispenser assures one-sheet use and keeps the remaining tissues safe, fresh and sanitary.

2. The Yellow Bird Charcoal Soap Bar

The Yellow Bird Charcoal Soap Bar is a great everyday organic face and body cleanser that is ideal for sensitive skin and/or those prone to acne, eczema or rosacea. This bar is chemical-free and made with the highest grade natural and organic ingredients including activated charcoal to remove impurities and shea butter for moisturizing. These bars are all made by hand and have the calming scent of lemongrass and lavender, both of which have antifungal, astringent and antibacterial properties as well.

3. Boscia Detox Black Cleanser

This black charcoal face cleanser by Boscia works by warming skin on contact to open the pores and lift away dirt and oil. Ingredients such as black activated charcoal work to lift away impurities, artichoke leaf extract minimizes enlarged pores and increases skin elasticity to brighten and tighten, Vitamin C boosts radiance and glycolic acid refines skin texture and provides anti-aging protection. With all this skin goodness in one bottle, you are left with a smooth, even-toned and glowing complexion.

Image Courtesy Sephora

4. Elizavecca Bubble Clay Mask

This Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask is a unique product that works to cleanse, exfoliate and unclog pores. This powerful pore treatment has ingredients like charcoal powder, green tea, pomegranate extracts and collagen to create tighter pores and oil control to protect against future clogging. The best part of the mask is the carbonation that occurs once the mask oxidizes with the air and actually functions to help exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores while delivering nutrients into the skin. Use as your first step in your cleansing routine or apply onto clean, dry skin as the last step to end your day – expect a fun tingling sensation to let you know the product is working.

5. Majestic Pure Charcoal Scrub

The Majestic Pure Charcoal Face and Body Scrub is a dual action scrub that contains dead sea salt and activated charcoal to remove excess oil and dirt while exfoliating, detoxing and rejuvenating the skin. In addition to that deep clean feeling, you will be giving your body the moisturization and nutrients it needs from the sea salts.

6. Piero Lorenzo Black Mask

The Piero Lorenzo Peel-Off Mask uses activated black charcoal as a deep pore cleanser to remove all types of acne and keep your face smooth, toned and radiant. This mask is also packed with vitamins, nutrients and extracts that are essential to keeping your skin in optimal health. Great for young or mature skin, this mask works by first applying a thin layer in any and all areas where your skin needs a deep cleaning, waiting 20-30 minutes for the mask to completely dry and slowly peel off from chin to forehead for that satisfying clean.

7. Rugged & Dapper Detoxifying Mask

Designed exclusively for men, the Rugged & Dapper Detox Mask is a weekly treatment meant to draw out all impurities that contribute to aging and cause breakouts. Made from organic and natural ingredients such as kaolin clay, aloe vera, spirulina and sea kelp, this mask contains highly concentrated vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to not only extract toxins but will tighten pores and prevent future congestion and breakouts.

8. GLAMGLOW Jelly Cleanser

The GLAMGLOW Jelly Cleanser is a luxe cleansing experience that turns from jelly to milk to instantly wash away your makeup and impurities, leaving you with silky, smooth and hydrated skin. GLAMGLOW is known for their “transformative” products and this cleanser is no exception. It contains precious meteorites for a deep cleanse, nourishing moonflower oil and bamboo charcoal to renew skin for a soft glow.

Image Courtesy Sephora

The Best New Skin Care Products To Try This Season

The 10 Best Charcoal Soaps

What’s In This Thing?

The best charcoal soap is one that combines its main component with the essential oils and natural elements that tackle your specific skincare woes.

It’s no secret that there is an overwhelming variety of skincare products flooding the market. This can make choosing the best one for your regimen an intimidating task. Here, we’ll outline what charcoal soap is, the different types that are available, and how the right one can benefit your beauty routine.

Charcoal is a lightweight, black material that consists mainly of carbon. It’s produced via an ancient cooking process that involves low heat and very little oxygen. During this procedure, water and other chemicals burn off and leave behind the chalky residue we’re familiar with. Charcoal is made using a myriad of substances, such as wood, peat, bamboo, and even coconut shells. Each type has its own benefit and specific use, whether it be for energy, cooking, or medical purposes.

One of the most popular types of charcoal used for creating soap comes from bamboo. Because of its microstructure, it’s highly adsorbent, about three times as much as other typical wood-derived carbons. It’s also gentle on skin, which makes it ideal for drawing out impurities and dirt without leaving your face and body feeling drier than a desert. On its own, it’s a powerful detoxifier, but many manufacturers like to give it a boost by infusing it with supplemental skin-soothing ingredients. To restore balance and hydration, moisturizers akin to shea butter and argan oil are occasionally added. Essential oils like rose and lavender can create a luxurious scent, and stimulating additions such as tea tree oil and peppermint are able to assist with abrasions and provide cooling relief.

Then there’s the humble coconut. Typically, producers convert the shells into carbon and then activate it with special ingredients and a steam treatment before grinding it into a soft powder. It’s often sold loose or in capsules. When combined with antiseptics like marshmallow root and moisturizers such as olive oil, it makes an excellent homemade melt-and-pour bar of soap.

The best charcoal soap is one that combines its main component with the essential oils and natural elements that tackle your specific skincare woes. Look for products that use organic ingredients and avoid items that contain synthetic dyes, fragrances, and harmful parabens.

Who Should Use Charcoal Soap?

Plenty of different skincare needs can be met with the right charcoal soap. It’s versatile enough to serve a variety of complexions and regimens, and when used topically it’s relatively harmless. This means you can experiment safely with various types, as long as they’re not infused with irritating chemicals or synthetics. Below are a few benefits to consider when weighing your options.

It also tends to penetrate deeper into the derma than conventional cleansers.

Because charcoal is so adept at adsorbing toxins and pulling them away from deep down within, it’s a superb minimizer for anyone who suffers from large, highly visible pores. It’s safe to use daily, and over time this thorough cleansing helps to reduce this unflattering issue, resulting in a tighter and brighter appearance. This makes it an excellent solution for anyone who works outdoors exposed to smoke and other pollutants. Its formidable sponge-like power isn’t just limited to dirt — it also includes odor, so if you struggle with unpleasant bodily smells, this sooty soap is perfect for you. It also tends to penetrate deeper into the derma than conventional cleansers. Those with oily skin types will appreciate this proclivity for drawing out impurities, while its gentle nature means it won’t irritate dry skin, either.

If you struggle with mild acne and require an exfoliant tough enough to slough away dead skin without being so harsh that it causes further damage, there are a handful of brands that do just that. All-natural products with exfoliators and anti-inflammatory properties will leave you feeling squeaky clean, yet not overly dry. Added ingredients such as sea salt and oatmeal powder will softly scrub without scarring and help to pacify angry patches. Keep in mind that it’s good practice to use a gentle moisturizer after washing, and those with extreme skin conditions should consider consulting a dermatologist about the safest treatments.

Are you the type to experience an eczema flare-up every so often? Individuals who find they need the occasional spot treatment are best served by soap bars with high percentages of charcoal offset by smaller doses of antiseptic and moisturizing additions. It’s also an excellent alternative to using strong topical ointments, which can be extremely tough on sensitive complexions and those prone to allergies.

Down And Dirty: A Brief History Of Charcoal Use

Humans figured out how to carbonize wood millennia ago. Around 1500 B.C.E, ancient Egyptians discovered this sooty byproduct was an excellent preservative after noticing that charred posts would resist rotting when placed in the Nile. This expanded to medical applications, and it saw use in embalming and burial rituals.

It was also around this time that sailors realized it could treat water to make it safe for consumption during long voyages.

About 1000 years later, physicians like Hippocrates would prescribe it for ailments in the vein of epilepsy and vertigo. It served as a poultice for treating burns and helped stave off the foul odors that emanated from festering wounds. The healers of the day recognized its strong impurity-drawing effects, and subsequently, surgical procedures saw its employment as well. It was also around this time that sailors realized it could treat water to make it safe for consumption during long voyages. Additionally, it was superb as a quick fix for sealing holes in ship hulls when applied as a tar paste.

By the early 1800s, experiments that involved burning a handful of wood types and other substances before exposing them to certain chemicals and gases led to the discovery of activated charcoal. This new altered carbon had increased adsorptive powers, and it was frequently given to patients orally in order to treat acute poisonings and overdoses. This strategy was so effective at gastrointestinal decontamination that physicians have continued to administer it well into the 21st century.

The versatility of activated charcoal is such that it has found its way into numerous cosmetic products. You’d be hard-pressed to browse a beauty aisle without seeing it as a listed ingredient in a slew of shampoos, face masks, toothpastes, soaps, and more. Its dynamic application to a litany of industries is a testament to its utility and longevity.

This Article May Contain Affiliate Links
Updated: January 18, 2020
By Derek Martin

So I recently bought this big 15 lb. bag of charcoal bar soap to try out and test. There must’ve been about 200 – albeit small – bars inside the bag, so I figured for the price it was a pretty damn good deal.

Although I was a bit confused by the strange packaging (a paper bag) I figured the soap itself couldn’t be all that bad and decided to take the risk.

Big mistake! The soap smelled like lighter fluid, they were dry as hell, hard as a rock, and I couldn’t get a lather going to save my life. At the end of the shower my skin was scored from head to toe, and red as a lobster.

Live and learn I guess.

Suffice it to say, Kingsford charcoal soap didn’t make the cut for inclusion in this list of 10 best charcoal bar soaps for men…

Page Contents

So What is Activated Charcoal Anyway?

Activated charcoal products have really taken off in the past few years, even though activated charcoal itself has kind of been around forever.

Walking through the grocery store, I’m sure you’ve noticed countless skincare products boasting the power of activated charcoal. But most people still have no idea exactly what it is, or how it differs from the charcoal you use to fire up your grill.

Without getting too sciencey on you, activated charcoal is made by heating carbon-rich materials, like wood and coconut shells, to very high temperatures and then infusing it with oxygen. This process results in charcoal that is very porous in nature, and is where the moniker “activated” comes from.

Meanwhile grilling charcoal is made with sawdust, and various chemicals; rendering it toxic to humans, and unsuitable for use in skincare products.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal Bar Soap

If you’ve never tried activated charcoal bar soap before, you and your skin are seriously missing out. Here’s a few of the benefits:

  • Reduces oily skin
  • Extremely effective at fighting acne on the face and body
  • Treats dry skin
  • Treats psoriasis and eczema
  • Firms skin
  • Absorbs toxins from skin and pores
  • Reduces the appearance of pores

With all the skincare benefits it offers, activated charcoal bar soap is easily one of my favorite go-to grooming products. If you’re interested in trying some for yourself, or just want to learn more about it, continue reading for my list of 10 best charcoal bar soaps for men.

The List

  • Charles + Lee
  • Jack Black
  • Viking Revolution
  • Art of Sport
  • Baxter of California Charcoal Clay Bar
  • C&C Charcoal Muscle Bar
  • Gibs Puck It
  • Brickell Purifying Charcoal Bar
  • Keika Naturals Charcoal Detox
  • The Grandpa Soap Co.

10 Best Charcoal Bar Soaps for Men Reviewed

CHARLES + LEE Charcoal Bar (3.5oz x 2)

Let’s put another shrimp on the barbie :: Australian accent :: but don’t cook it with this Charles + Lee charcoal bar soap. Seriously don’t, you’ll get sick. While it may be a poor choice for firing up the BBQ, this activated charcoal soap does a bang up job serving it’s intended purpose as a cleanser, exfoliator, and detoxifier. Oh yeah, it smells awesome too.

Charles + Lee is a little known company started by two guys from Melbourne, Australia. They specialize in men’s skincare products that work very well, while still maintaining a very reasonable price tag. Their straightforward, and often times humorous approach to marketing is what caught my attention, while their top notch quality is what made me a believer.

How long does it last with daily use? 4 weeks (2 bars)

What’s great about it:


Upon first glance you wouldn’t think that this thing has any exfoliating properties whatsoever, that is until you put it into action. Powered by natural pumice and small activated charcoal particles, this bar has a gritty texture that you can really feel working once you start lathering it up. I prefer to go bar-to-skin, especially with bar soap that has the added benefit of exfoliation, and I didn’t experience any abrasions, redness, or irritation with this level of grittiness

Rich lather:

This black soap somehow works into awhite lather that makes washing up quicker and easier. Did you ever use a bar soap or body wash that barely lathers? It sucks. It’s hard to get clean, and it prolongs the hell out of your shower. That’s not an issue with this charcoal bar soap.


All bar soap dries out the skin, right? Wrong! With the inclusion of jojoba oil, shea butter and all of it’s hydrating glycerin intact, this bar soap actually moisturizes, leaving the skin feeling soft, hydrated, and clean. Imagine that.

Smells awesome:

Charles + Lee claim the scent of this bar soap was influenced by the scent of Johnny Depp after he gets home from drinking whiskey and smoking cigars. While I can’t attest to the accuracy of the scent (or why Johnny Depp?), I will say it smells masculine and pretty damn good.


One of the cheaper selections on the list, Charles + Lee includes two 100 gram bars per box and they’re a steal at twice the price. If you’re on a budget, or just want a premium bar of soap at a great price, look no further.

What I don’t like:

Nothing. Great soap. Great price. Smells awesome.

Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar (4.75oz)

If you’re unfamiliar with Jack Black men’s products, you should get acquainted. They have been around for about 20 years and create some awesome natural men’s skincare products that I’ve become quite familiar with; including this massaging activated charcoal body bar.

At first glance this thing looks pretty gnarly – literally and figuratively – thanks to the unique nubby texture that is molded into one side of the bar. The nubs provide a unique sensation while in use that is akin to one of those small handheld massagers that people receive as Christmas gifts and never use. Not sure if I would go so far as saying this soap provides a great massage, but the nubs contribute to the overall exfoliating factor, and definitely feel good on the skin that It’ll make you wanna ask for one of these for Christmas instead.

How long does it last with daily use? About 2 weeks

What I like about it:

• Activated charcoal

Well it wouldn’t be on this list without it. This body bar does a great job of combining the power of activated charcoal, and exfoliation to leave the skin feeling really smooth and clean, without any waxy residue.

• Exfoliating

With the help of the unique texture and natural jojoba beads, this thing does an awesome job exfoliating the skin for a smooth, refreshed feeling that just makes you wanna touch yourself.

• Smells good

Even though I can be sensitive to fragrances, I always seem to like the scent of Jack Black’s products. They smell masculine, but not overpowering, and they typically don’t travel with you beyond the confines of the shower or bath. Whether that’s a positive or negative is personal preference I suppose.

• Doesn’t dry out skin

Bar soap gets a bad rap for drying out the skin. That’s because most bar soap manufacturers suck, and remove the moisturizing by-product glycerin from their soaps to make other products. That’s not the case with Jack Black. This body bar contains glycerin, and seaweed extract that leaves the skin feeling moisturized and hydrated.

For the price I would like to see Jack Black offer this in a larger size.

Viking Revolution Charcoal Soap (7oz)

A viking recommended this soap to me. Okay, that’s not true. They’re dead. But if they were still around, I’d like to think that this Viking Revolution charcoal bar soap would be their soap of choice.

Established in 2016 by two friends, Viking Revolution specializes in men’s products, with a strong emphasis on beard care and grooming. They designed this cool looking all natural and organic charcoal bar soap with the idea that it can be used not just on the body, but on the face and beard as well.

How long does it last with daily use? About 4 weeks

• It’s huge

This thing is built for a man. It’s thick, solid, and it lasts. And yes, I’m still talking about the soap. If you hate frequently buying soap, or you just like getting a lot of bang for your buck, this Viking Revolution soap is definitely worth looking into.

• It smells awesome

It smells like peppermint and eucalyptus. I like it. It’s refreshing, masculine, and offers a nice pick me up during those early morning showers. It’s kind of like having someone dump a bucket of cold water on your head when you’re half asleep. Minus the bucket, cold water, and ensuing ass kicking.

• The shape

It might not seem like a big deal, but I really like the circular look and feel. It’s easy to handle, looks badass in the shower, and it’s unique. Hey, it’s not everyday you see a black, circular bar of soap.

• The lather

If it doesn’t work into a thick, rich lather, I ain’t interested, and this ones got lather for days. At least I assume it’s for days. Once it goes down the drain I don’t know what happens to it.

• It’s natural & organic

What’s not to like about natural and organic? I’m not saying we all need to go hug a tree, but when it comes to something that I put on my skin, it’s nice to know it isn’t full of potentially harmful chemicals and toxins.

Nothing. It’s huge, it lasts, it works, and it’s priced fairly.

Art of Sport Charcoal Body Bar (3.75oz x 2)

Formulated for the physically demanding lifestyles of athletes. So if you’re not an athlete, beat it. Kidding, of course. I figure if AOS is strong enough to keep an athlete smelling fresh, it’ll work wonders for couch potatoes, and pretty much everyone in between.

Art of Sport is a relatively new company that specializes in body care products for athletes. It is owned by a slew of well known sports stars including Kobe Bryant, James Harden, Javier Baez, and more (sorry more). The idea was to create a line of products that didn’t just say sport on the packaging, but actually help athletes recharge, rejuvenate, energize, and recover.

They offer a full line of products including body wash, sunscreen, deodorant, and of course this activated charcoal bar soap.

How long does it last with daily use? 5 weeks (2 bars)

• Smells awesome

This AOS body bar comes in 2 scents: “Rise” and “Compete” and both smell awesome. I would say the “Compete” scent is a little more gender neutral, while “Rise” smells like it was made specifically for a man.

• Beneficial for your skin

AOS made sure to exclude harmful chemicals from this soap, like: sulfates, parabens, alcohol, and petrolatum. Instead it’s full of beneficial ingredients including:

  • Activated charcoal (obv) – Detoxifier, cleanser, exfoliator
  • Shea butter – Moisturizer, reduces inflammation, fights acne, soothes irritation.
  • Tea tree oil – Anti-inflammatory, reduces redness and swelling, and fights acne.

• Rich lather

Soaps that work into a heavy lather just seem to clean better. This body bar quickly works into a thick, rich lather that not only feels luxurious on the skin, it helps speed up the process of getting clean.

• Cleans without drying

One thing I really like about bar soap is the way it leaves me feeling fresh and clean. While the 1 thing I hate about bar soap is that it has a tendency to dry out the skin. AOS did an awesome job with this body bar in that it leaves your skin feeling squeaky clean but not sapped of moisture. With most cheap bar soaps I have to apply moisturizer after showering because my skin is so dry; I didn’t find that to be an issue here.

• Good bargain

Although it does cost a bit more than your average grocery store bar soap, it’s also dramatically better. AOS currently offers it in 2,4, and 8 bar packages that are all reasonably priced in my opinion.

Nothing. I think AOS did an awesome job with this one and it’s reasonably priced.

Baxter of California Charcoal Clay Bar (7oz)

Baxter of California has been around since 1965 and is one of the early pioneers in men specific grooming products. Long considered a premium brand, BOC is known for using only high quality, natural ingredients in their products that are not only safe, but effective.

In my opinion they really hit a home run with this charcoal clay bar. Not only does it boast the power of charcoal, it also contains kaolin and bentonite clay which both offer a ton of awesome skin benefits. Other beneficial ingredients include: glycerin, coconut oil, and vitamin E. My one gripe with this one is that the price is kind of high. Although, for what you pay you do get a big ass bar of soap (7oz), and of course Baxter of California’s quality is top notch.

How long does it last with daily use? About 4 weeks

• Tons of skin benefits

Aside from doing a killer job of getting you clean, this charcoal clay bar offers plenty of other benefits for your skin:

  • Charcoal – Cleans, exfoliates, detoxifies
  • Kaolin clay – Exfoliates, reduces oil, tones skin
  • Bentonite clay – Unclogs pores, detoxifies, reduces oil, soothes irritated skin, fights acne
  • Coconut oil – Moisturizes, reduces inflammation, fights acne
  • Vitamin E – Heals damaged skin, protects skin, antioxidant

• Fresh feeling

Yes, Baxter of California is a premium brand, and yes you can feel the difference. This body bar leaves you feeling clean, smooth, fresh, and hydrated. No more dry skin after showering, and certainly no unpleasant residue.

• Exfoliation

This thing is packed with natural exfoliators, but don’t worry, it’s effective without being too harsh or abrasive. The end result is soft, smooth skin.

• Great for acne

If you suffer from acne or the occasional breakout, you might want to give this one a try. It’s safe for full body use and contains a ton of acne fighting ingredients to clear up breakouts on the back, shoulders, and face.

• Smells awesome

It smells like soap that was made for a man; masculine. BOC describes the scent as hemp grass and smoked wood essence. While I’m not sure what hemp grass is supposed to smell like, I will say that it has a great, subtle woodsy aroma that isn’t too overbearing.

Price. I would like to see Baxter of California make this one more accessible by lowering the price a bit.

C&C Charcoal Muscle Bar (5.3oz)

C&C is a new line of products by Clean & Clear that are designed to appeal to millennials through clever marketing, cool packaging, and effective products.

Although I will admit that this Muscle Bar is wrapped in some cool packaging, and the soap itself looks pretty badass, those certainly weren’t deciding factors when testing it. As it turns out, C&C did such an awesome job with this charcoal muscle bar that I felt inclined to include it in this list. No strong arming necessary.

How long does it last with daily use? About 3 weeks

• Awesome exfoliation

Exfoliation is powered by activated charcoal and natural pumice. At first glance, this soap doesn’t appear to offer any exfoliation whatsoever. Just get it wet and you’ll quickly realize it’s packed with exfoliating particles that do an awesome job of sloughing away dead, dry skin.

• Smells fresh

It smells like a eucalyptus tree, which can be described as a fresh, minty, pine fragrance. Scratch and sniff here → 🌿

• Great lather

This odd shaped bar works into a great lather once you get it going. The result is fresh, smooth, clean skin that doesn’t feel dry.

For the price, they could make the size a little bigger.

GIBS PUCK IT Charcoal Bar (5oz)

Founded in 2014, GIBS is a men’s brand that specializes in beard, body, tattoo, and hair products. As you can probably guess by the name of their charcoal soap, the company has a good sense of humor which reflects in their marketing and advertising.

This puck sized bar of soap has an awesome scent, and it’s chalk full of beneficial ingredients that exfoliate, deodorize, moisturize, and protect. Weighing in at 5oz, I would say this soap puck is on the medium size. Not big, but not small either. I would’ve liked to see them bump the weight up an ounce though, considering an actual regulation hockey puck weighs 6oz not 5. They kind of dropped the ball puck on that one.

How long does it last with daily use? About 3 weeks

What I like about this puck:

• It smells awesome

This actually might be one of my favorite smelling charcoal soaps on the list. GIBS describes the scent as having hints of cardamom, pepper, leather, and clove. If that sounds overbearing to you, don’t worry it isn’t. GIBS did a nice job of balancing out the fragrance and keeping it subtle. It does linger on the skin for a bit after a shower, and this case I don’t mind.

• Exfoliation

No shortage of exfoliation here. Topping the list of ingredients is charcoal, jojoba seed powder, and volcanic sand. Each one has natural exfoliation properties as well as many other skin benefits.

• Great lather

Boasting a surprising amount of lather, this soap puck makes getting clean quick and easy. I’m half tempted to see if this thing can get a bubble bath going.

• Doesn’t dry out the skin

Great lather, excellent clean feeling, and best of all it doesn’t dry out the skin. GIBS adds shea butter and jojoba seed to help keep skin moisturized while the soap does it’s thing.

It’s a bit pricey. It also has a tendency to dissolve quickly if you don’t store it properly. To maximize it’s lifespan I suggest keeping it somewhere dry when not in use.

Brickell Charcoal Bar (4oz)

Brickell specializes in natural and organic grooming products for men. The concept behind the company is a belief that they can create products that are not only safe to use, but will outperform other products made from synthetic ingredients.

Over the years I have become quite acquainted with Brickell’s products, and have had many positive experiences with their natural and organic formulations. While it doesn’t offer much exfoliation, this purifying charcoal bar does an awesome job of cleansing and hydrating, and is another great example of Brickell’s ability to continually up their game.

How long does it last with daily use? 2.5 weeks

• Natural and organic

It’s one of the main appeals of Brickell products. You can rest assured knowing they only use natural and organic ingredients that are safe and effective.

• Moisturizing

If you have naturally dry skin, or you’re just sick of cheap bar soap drying you out, this Brickell soap bar might be the one for you. It’s full of coconut, olive, and palm oils that do an awesome job of moisturizing; effectively eliminating that dry, tight, itchy feeling you get after a shower with those common grocery store brands.

• Smells great

Scented with peppermint and tea tree oil, this thing packs an invigorating punch to your senses during early morning showers.

For the price I would like to see Brickell increase the size.

Keika Charcoal Clay Bar (5oz)

This cool looking charcoal bar from Keika Naturals is handmade in Canada, and consists of 100% natural and vegan ingredients. Aside from being a pretty badass looking addition to your bathroom, Keika designed this soap to be long lasting, good for acne, and affordable. It’s also perfect for facial use as well as body.

How long does it last with daily use? 3.5 weeks

• Unscented

This just comes down to personal preference, but sometimes I appreciate a bar soap that doesn’t smell like anything. This is a great option if you are sensitive to fragrances, or you just prefer soap to be sans odor.

• All-natural

I don’t like putting harsh chemicals on my skin, and I’m sure you don’t either. Apparently Keika feels the same way since they emphasize the fact that they only use 100% natural ingredients in their soap.

• Beneficial ingredients

I can appreciate a company that is unique and innovative with their ingredients; as long as the ingredients are beneficial to the consumer. Keika puts a few things in this charcoal bar that you don’t frequently see in soap:

  • Himalayan pink salt – exfoliates, detoxifies, fights acne, softens skin, and reduces oil.
  • Bentonite clay – Unclogs pores, detoxifies skin, reduces oil, soothes irritation, and fights acne.
  • Shea butter – Moisturizes, fights acne, reduces inflammation, and reduces scarring.

• Handmade

I think it’s pretty cool these are made by hand. While the ingredients remain unchanged, each bar has it’s own unique appearance. If you’re accustomed to grocery store bar soap, this Keika charcoal bar is a nice respite from those mass produced moisture destroyers.

Nothing. Great soap, great ingredients, great value.

The Grandpa Soap Co. (4.25oz x 2)

The Grandpa Soap Co. is a family owned business that has been around since 1878, and they specialize in handcrafted soaps that are high in quality, and made of safe, natural ingredients.

This slightly gritty charcoal bar does a great job of gently exfoliating, while leaving the skin feeling clean and smooth. It also smells pretty damn good too. Here’s a look at some of the natural ingredients:

  • Cannabis sativa seed oil
  • Glycerin
  • Eucalyptus
  • Rosemary leaf oil
  • Spearmint leaf oil
  • Peppermint oil

How long does it last with daily use? 3 weeks (2 bars)

• Fresh scent

Thanks to eucalyptus, spearmint oil, and peppermint oil, it has a minty fresh scent that isn’t overpowering, and doesn’t linger long on the skin; which I happen to like.

• Gentle exfoliation

Slightly gritty charcoal particles add a nice exfoliating element to the bar that leave you feeling clean, smooth, and free of dry skin.

• Moisturizing

This bar does a great job of cleansing, while keeping you moisturized. Thanks to glycerin, and cannabis sativa oil (hemp oil), you won’t get out of the shower feeling like you need to empty an entire body of lotion on your skin just to rehydrate.

It doesn’t last that long

How To Maximize The Lifespan of Your Activated Charcoal Bar Soap

So you decided on the perfect charcoal bar soap, and now you want to maximize its milage? Good thinking. After all these are premium bar soaps, and that comes at a price. I’m sure you’re not interested in pouring money down the drain – quite literally.

It’s not exactly rocket science, but here’s a few tried and true methods that I use to help get the most out of my charcoal bar soap:

• Keep it somewhere dry when not in use – While washing your hair, or shaving, or doing whatever it is you do in the shower, leave your charcoal soap somewhere dry until you’re ready to use it. Leaving it under running water for long periods of time will drastically reduce the life expectancy.

• Don’t leave it in the shower – If you live alone, this shouldn’t be a problem. But if you have a wife, kids, or girlfriend that regularly use your shower, take it out when you’re done using it. All that constant moisture won’t do it any favors.

• Use a washcloth or loofah – I typically prefer to use the bar directly on my skin, but lathering up with a washcloth of loofah will significantly increase the soaps lifespan. It’ll also work the soap into a better lather. Win-win.

Thanks for checking out my list of best charcoal bar soaps for men. If you’re curious about how I compiled this list, my recommendations are based on a combination of personal experience with the products, reviews, and ratings sourced from verified users. I also factor in ingredients, price, longevity, and value before making my final recommendations.

Every so often, a new ingredient comes along that’s quickly heralded as The Next Big Thing in the skin-care world (lookin’ at you, argan oil), and recently, that very special ingredient has been charcoal. Yup, the same stuff your dad gets really excited about when it’s grill time in the summer, except this time, it’s for your acne-loving face.

MORE: Should I Use Retinol To Get Rid of Acne?

Here’s the gist: Activated charcoal acts like a lint roller for the gunk on your skin, sticking to all the dirt and oil in your pores, then rinsing away when you wash your face. Basically, it’s an excellent ingredient for the oily- and acne-prone among us. Of course, not all charcoal products are the same, and if you have slightly sensitive or dry skin, you might find charcoal to be too drying and harsh when used in masks, creams, and spot treatments.

Which is why we’re really loving charcoal cleansers, which give you a taste of charcoal, without totally dehydrating your skin. So we rounded up the best charcoal face washes for almost every skin type (yes, even you, you sensitive and acne-prone, you) to help you tiptoe into the wild, wild world of charcoal, without too much commitment. Just massage each cleanser into your skin for a full 30 seconds to see a cleaner, more mattified complexion after toweling off. Check out the list, below, and get cleansing!

Photo: ImaxTree

MORE: The 9 Coolest Color-Changing Products We’re Obsessed With

1 of 6If your face loves to break out…

Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Cleanser, $6.49; at Target

Photo: BioréIf your skin is riddled with blackheads…

Garnier Skinative Clean+ Blackhead Eliminating Scrub, $5.97; at Walmart

Photo: GarnierIf you have dull, clogged skin…

Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser, $30; at Sephora

Photo: BosciaIf your skin gets oil-slicked by breakfast…

Morihata Binchotan Facial Soap, $31; at Peach and Lily

Photo: MorihataIf you have somewhat sensitive skin…

Lush Dark Angels Face and Body Cleanser, $13.95; at Lush

Photo: LushIf you have dry, blemish-prone skin…

Charasu Face Wash, $19.95; at Otter Wax

Photo: Charasu

Activated Charcoal for Acne – Benefits

There is no shortage of information about the cause of acne. Experts believe that the main cause is a rise in the level of a hormone called androgen. Others suggest that the probability of developing acne may be genetic.

Whilst typically acne occurs during puberty, people of all ages may get acne. Acne can be affected by a range of environmental factors also including the diet, anxiety and stress, climates, the menstrual cycle for women and the use of oil based skincare products (including make up).

Credit: Remain Simple

It is scientifically proven that there are four main factors that can cause acne (source: mayoclinic):

  • Oil production
  • Dead skin cells
  • Clogged pores
  • Bacteria

Acne typically appears on your face, neck, chest, back and shoulders. These areas of skin have the most oil (sebaceous) glands. Acne occurs when hair follicles become plugged with oil and dead skin cells. Whatever the cause, no-one loves acne! Read on to see how activated charcoal may be able to assist you in your fight against acne.

How Effective is Activated Charcoal in Acne Products?

Whether activated charcoal as an active ingredient can solve your acne worries depends on a few things:

  • How severe your acne is
  • The cause of your acne
  • The type of pimples you have (ie blackheads, whiteheads etc)
  • Your skin type
  • How much activated charcoal is in the skin care or body care product you use – there is little research available to confirm what quantity will provide a benefit to your skin

Image credit: Remain Simple

There are many skin care and body care products on the market that contain activated charcoal. C&B recommends you look at specific products and their reviews on your website of choice to see what others are saying. Take particular note where the product reviewer has the same or similar skin type and pimple type as you.

Our Recommended Activated Charcoal Acne products

There are many products on the market with activated charcoal for acne:

Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser read our review here
Blackhead Acne Removal Activated Charcoal Set read our review here
Remain Simple Bentonite Clay read our review here
Michael Todd Charcoal Detox Detox Deep Pore Cleanser for Men read our review here
Balm+Co. Activated Charcoal Cleanser read our review here
Herbivore Botanicals Bamboo Charcoal Deep Cleasne Body Bar read our review here

Key Things to Look out for in Acne Treating Skin Care and Body Care Products

Here’s our tips for buying any type of acne control skincare product:

  • See whether the product contains ingredients such as menthol that can cause a stinging sensation
  • Stick to the regularity of use reflected on product packaging as overuse may cause very dry and irritated skin
  • If you have very sensitive skin, opt for organic, natural products that are free of artificial ingredients
  • Remember – always do a test sample of the product before you commit to using a particular product

The Benefits of an Activated Charcoal Blackhead Face Mask

Image credit: Oh the Things We’ll Make

Given activated charcoal has some cleansing qualities you could consider creating your own activated charcoal blackhead face mask. That way, you can control all of the ingredients and build a face mask that is just right for your skin type. Here are a couple of recipes that you might like to try:

DIY Charcoal Face Mask from Oh, The Things We’ll Make

There are so many different DIY activated charcoal face masks that are great for more general acne control as well. Here are another couple of activated charcoal acne mask recipes to try:

Image credit: Root and Revel

DIY Charcoal Face Mask for Acne and Blackheads from Root and Revel

If you are considering a commercial activated charcoal acne mask, remember to look carefully at the ingredients. Click here to see some nasties you should avoid in any activated charcoal skincare product.

Will an activated charcoal cleanse make my acne go away?

No products are categorically proven to get rid of acne. Often cleansers that contain activated charcoal also contain a range of other ingredients as well. That makes it hard to determine if activated charcoal is the active ingredient that treats your acne. There could be other ingredients in the cleanser that play a role in your acne control.

Activated charcoal and Acne Scars

The jury is out on whether many skincare products are effective in treating acne scars. Activated charcoal is no exception. Whilst people with acne scars may report an improvement after using a skin care product with activated charcoal as an ingredient, it is very difficult to determine if that is the specific ingredient that reduces acne scars.

Activated charcoal acne reviews

With so many skincare products on the market, brands are scrambling over one another to sell you the latest and greatest acne skincare products. Those who shout the loudest often win your business.

As we mentioned earlier in this article, you should look up specific activated charcoal acne reviews for any products you are considering. There are so many beauty forums online. That means you can tap into the feedback from people who have tried the skincare product you are considering.

Be warned. It is not uncommon for people to use products without any research. Sometimes they have used activated charcoal acne skincare products that have worsened the condition of their acne. No one is smiling when that happens!

What the Research Says about Activated Charcoal for Acne

Research into the effectiveness of activated charcoal in skin care and body care products that treat acne is not scientifically conclusive as yet. In addition, no significant research has been conducted to show what amount of activated charcoal in a particular product provides a benefit to your skin. Some dermatologists and other health care professionals point to other ingredients as potential “heroes” in skin care and body care products that contain activated charcoal – ingredients such as salicylic acid and benzoyl peroxide which are scientifically proven to help with acne breakouts.

The good news is that it has been proven that activated charcoal will not to do any harm to your skin. So if you are looking to give a product containing activated charcoal a go, it seems like you don’t have much to lose. C&B.

What is your experience in clearing acne with products that contain activated charcoal? Leave your feedback in the Comments section below?

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.

Activated charcoal is one of those home remedies that our grandparents inherited from their grandparents and so on, known years and years back.

Nope, not your typical barbeque charcoal full of toxins. The charcoal we are talking about is derived from natural sources.

You will love our 4 personal favorites below, knowing they are high-quality and top-rated.

Before we jump into the Best Activated Charcoal Powders product recommendations, I would like to tell you about the uses and benefits of this popular black powder – many of which helped me personally fight against health issues I used to be stuck with.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is extremely potent in the elimination of ingested toxins, whether through the polluted air, food or water.

It is extremely important to get activated charcoal made from natural sources when using it for natural healing. Of course, you wouldn’t want to ingest more toxins when trying to eliminate those present in your body, right?

One of the most popular activated charcoal uses is for the safe and effective treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. Research shows that activated charcoal works better than stomach pumping (gastric lavage) in some situations. But how does it work exactly?

It traps the accumulated toxins in the millions of its tiny pores and inhibits their absorption in the intestines, and it safely travels with them through the large intestine to be expelled out.

This process is called adsorption – a chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface, as opposed to the body’s normal absorption process. Makes sense now?

This is why when you mix it with water it makes that bubbling sound similar to what carbonated drinks do when being poured into a glass. The porous surface of activated charcoal has a negative electric charge that causes positive charged toxins and gas to bond with it. The nooks and crannies in activated charcoal are created through a heating process.

Note that Activated Charcoal is not a supplement and is not something you need to take daily. It is therefore not adding anything in but taking the bad stuff out.

You need to drink plenty of water, anywhere from 10 to 15 glasses per day when taking activated charcoal. This is because it is a strong binder and is known to cause constipation if no water is present to flush the toxins with it out.

After using activated charcoal for a few days to a week, you need to stop and continue with your healthy lifestyle as before. That being said, here are the most common benefits people use activated charcoal powder for from time to time.

  • Alleviation of gas, bloating and indigestion
  • Alcohol Poisoning – Helps prevent hangovers
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Water Filtration – Activated charcoal can trap impurities in water including solvents, pesticides, industrial waste, and other chemicals, however, it doesn’t trap viruses, bacteria, and hard-water minerals.
  • Emergency Toxin Removal In Case of Ingestion – Most organic compounds, pesticides, mercury, fertilizer and bleach bind to activated charcoal’s surface, allowing for quicker elimination, while preventing the absorption in the body.
  • Overall Skin and Body Health –
    • Effective in treating body odor, fighting acne and relieving discomfort from insect bites, rashes from poison ivy or poison oak, and snake bites.
    • People use charcoal-based soap to keep their skin healthy and glowing too.
    • To treat acne, mix one capsule of activated charcoal with two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and smooth over face. Let dry and rinse off completely. The activated charcoal binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne.
    • It’s good for spot treatments. If you want more acne-fighting facial masks based on charcoal, check this article out.
  • Digestive Cleanse – Promotes a healthy digestive tract by removing toxins that cause allergic reactions, oxidative damage, and poor immune system function. By removing the toxins from your system, you can reduce joint pain, increase energy and increase mental function.

Sounds pretty good, right? If you are considering trying it out, I have selected 4 of the best brands using only natural sources. Check them out below:

Coconut Activated Charcoal Powder by Gold Mountain Beauty

As I said before, it’s important your charcoal comes from natural sources. You will feel good knowing that this charcoal powder comes from coconut.

Gold Mountain Beauty Coconut Charcoal powder is ground into a very fine powder, making its adsorption ability even more potent.

You can use it for teeth whitening, as well as for topical applications. It is food grade, so you can use it internally as well.

Pure Organic Activated Charcoal Powder by Schizandu

This is a 100% pure activated charcoal powder sourced exclusively from the USA.

Shizandu Organic Activated Charcoal Powder is certified All Natural food grade vegan, charcoal derived from Hardwood Trees, an all-natural & renewable source. Ideal for men, women, and kids.

What I really liked about this one is that it comes with an eBook guide as a bonus that covered all the benefits, tips, and uses.

Bamboo Activated Charcoal Powder by Phaii

Another 100% natural charcoal made from Bamboo as its source. Phaii Bamboo Activated Charcoal Powder can be used topically as an acne treatment, but also for detoxification of toxins in the digestive tract.

Teeth Whitening Coconut Charcoal Powder by Active Wow

Probably one of the most popular uses for charcoal and the reason why it spread through the world (even though it has other amazing benefits to it) is teeth whitening.

This is why I have included one in this list that is specifically made for that. Derived from the highest-quality coconut sources, Active Wow’s Coconut Charcoal Powder whitens your teeth, while being easy on your gums.

The great thing about using activated charcoal for whiter teeth is that it naturally whitens your teeth and it isn’t as harsh as dental-grade whitening peroxides and bleaches.


And that’s that my friends, nature has a solution for every issue we encounter, we just have to be open-minded and do our own research in order to find it. All by listening to our bodies, of course.

Have you ever tried any of these products? Don’t shy away, share your opinion and thoughts with us, as sharing is indeed caring.

To Your Healthy Body,

Best Charcoal Skin Care Products for Clearer Skin

All products and services featured here are chosen for their potential to inspire and enable your wellness. Everyday Health may earn an affiliate commission on items you purchase.

To keep your complexion in tip-top shape, it’s important to use products that nourish your skin while minimizing the damage caused by free radicals (molecules that cause skin damage and aging) in the environment.

While there’s an abundance of products on the market that promise to improve your skin, charcoal face products have a unique advantage because they claim to naturally draw the impurities from your skin like a sponge. But the proposed benefits of activated charcoal aren’t new. “Activated charcoal has been used in hospital emergency rooms for decades to treat alcohol poisoning and overdoses. The charcoal draws the harmful toxins from the body so the body doesn’t absorb them,” says Michele Green, MD, a dermatologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. “Charcoal works the same way when used as a face mask.”

Although most charcoal skin care products are used to treat oily or acne-prone skin, activated charcoal may also be used to help treat cellulite and body odor. “Because charcoal draws out impurities like dirt and oil, it’s a natural way to clean and clear your skin,” says Debra Jaliman, MD, a dermatologist with a private practice in New York City.

Amy Neunsinger/The Image Bank/Getty Images

Though you may not immediately associate charcoal with healthy skin or skin-care products, activated charcoal boasts beauty benefits for skin by drawing oil, dirt and other harmful substances from clogged pores due to its adsorption powers.

Activated Charcoal Benefits

Activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. Charcoal is not metabolized, adsorbed or absorbed by the body, but it can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks.

Mix 0.2 grams powdered activated charcoal, ½ teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1 ½ teaspoons of water together, and apply to the surface of skin. Remove the charcoal from skin after 10 minutes with a dampened cloth for smooth skin free of impurities.


Charcoal powder may cause mild constipation and should not be taken regularly for long periods of time. Charcoal may also cause nausea and vomiting, GI obstruction, ileus and intestinal perforation. The aspiration of charcoal can cause respiratory complications.

Charcoal is not effective against strong alkaline and acid poisons, cyanide, alcohol, caustic alkalis, boric acids and mineral acids.

Seek medical attention if you experience tightness of the chest, swelling, rash or hives.

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