How to… look good with the help of charcoal
Get a daily dose. Used for centuries for its purifying properties, charcoal’s porous nature means it acts a bit like a sponge for impurities, making it the go-to ingredient for detoxification. Hence its presence in Clinique For Men’s fun-to-use Charcoal Face Wash (£18 from clinique.co.uk) – a daily cleanser that doesn’t just get skin clean, but gives it a full valet service thanks to the addition of the black stuff in its formula.
Even more fun as a cleanser is Origin’s reusable Charcoal Infused Facial Sponge (£10 from origins.co.uk) which is particularly good for removing make-up if you’re a fan of foundation or bronzer.
Detox your hair. Since hair is porous it’s a magnet for nasty niffs, while styling products attract dirt like a Big Brother contestant.
For a daily detox wash your barnet with Dr Organic’s Charcoal Shampoo (£5.99 from hollandandbarrat.com) to help remove impurities and oils from the hair and scalp. If product build-up is a problem, massage a blob into dry hair
It’s the beauty world’s must-have ingredient, but how can you use charcoal to help improve your looks? Grooming Guru Lee Kynaston
has a few suggestions.
first before wetting hair and washing as usual.
Mask any problems. So good at attracting impurities is activated charcoal (it’s said to hold 100 times its own weight in unwanted grime) that when incorporated into face masks and left on the skin for several minutes it acts a bit like a Hoover, vacuuming away dirt and helping to unblock pores. Origin’s Clear Improvement mask (£25 from origins. co.uk) was one of the first on the market and is especially good if you’ve oily, blackhead or spotprone skin. To turbo-charge its effectiveness, apply after exfoliating with a face scrub to ensure any dead skin cells are removed first.
Improve your water. As with every organ in your body, your skin functions better when it’s adequately hydrated.
Not only does water help transport essential nutrients to your skin, it also helps drain away toxins that can make it look tired and grey. What’s more, the drier the skin the more susceptible it is to premature ageing. So make downing the 1.5 litres of H2O you need to drink each day to stay adequately hydrated a little more palitable with the help of Black + Blum’s Eau Good (£19.95 from black-blum.com).
Thanks to a dinky charcoal block, which acts as a filter, it allows you to purify ordinary tap water on-thego, reducing chlorine, balancing the PH and making drinking – and having great-looking skin – a whole lot simpler.
Polish your pegs. Charcoal isn’t just good for skin – it can help remove stains for your teeth keeping your pearlies, you know, pearly. As the activated charcoal in products like Diamond Whites Black Edition Activated Charcoal Tooth Polish (£13.99 from Superdrug) coats the teeth, it effectively draws plaque, food particles and the chemicals that cause staining towards it and, as you rinse it off, these nasties exit your gob with the charcoal. Make sure you rinse thoroughly though – blacked out old crone teeth are not a good look.