Tried & tested: Charcoal

Over the last few years, charcoal has quickly become a staple in many beauty routines.

Here are some of the charcoal products that are currently making waves in the BD office.

Proactiv® Pore Cleansing Brush - Tiarne
What it is: A deep cleansing brush that helps remove dirt, makeup and other pore-clogging impurities.
My experience: I have been using this face cleansing brush every night over the last few weeks, and I'm loving it. I’ve noticed that my skin has been feeling a lot softer, with far fewer breakouts, and my pores look minimised. The bristles are nice and gentle, which is great because I have sensitive skin that often reacts badly to new things. Super easy to use and water resistant, I use it in the shower when my skin needs a thorough cleansing. I have found it to be much more effective than simply cleansing with the hands.

Daily Concepts Daily Konjac Sponge - Charcoal - Caitlin
What it is: A konjac sponge that is highly absorbent in both water and oils made from 100 per cent natural and preservative-free konjac root.
My experience: This was the first time I have used a product like this on my face, once I ran the sponge under warm water it instantly became soft so I could apply my cleanser. In circular motions I exfoliated my face and it left my skin feeling squeaky clean while still balancing my skin’s pH. 

Nude by Nature Contour Eye Pencil - Tamara
What is is: A charcoal coloured eyeliner pencil with a smudging tip at the other end.
My experience: The Nude by Nature Contour Eye Pencil is a sleek pencil with rose gold accents and lid. On one end is the pencil, and the other is a smudging tip that I used to create a softer blurred effect. The pencil is really smooth and glides on easily, so it is really easy to apply. The Anthracite colour is a deep grey and is great for day and night wear. I also found that the eyeliner stayed on well throughout the day.

Medik8 Activated Charcoal Refining Mask™ - Emily
What it is: A lift-off modelling mask that empowers skin with its unprecedented pore-refining strength.
My experience: This is such a beautiful mask! It is thick in consistency and layers on very easily as you are able to model it. It dries in about 10 minutes but is rubbery in texture which is a nice change from any other charcoal mask I have used, which makes the peel off/clean up process super easy. I really love using this mask as it leaves the skin feeling refined but doesn’t strip the skin of its natural oils. I can already see a difference in the appearance of my pores.

Hask Charcoal Shampoo & Conditioner - Dragana
What it is: A shampoo and conditioner that are both formulated with charcoal to thoroughly cleanse the hair.
My experience: Tried Hask Charcoal Shampoo & Conditioner which felt really lathery and didn’t need to apply a huge amount to hair which was good. After shampooing my hair it felt really clean but not dry, which is usually a concern for me with my hair. The Conditioner left my hair feeling silky smooth and really conditioned without having to use a large amount which was great as the bottle will last longer. My hair was frizz-free after blow drying which is a first and didn’t require any additional product.

Kiss Charcoal Magic Gel Mask - Sam
What it is: A pore minimising gel mask formulated with charcoal.
My experience: Fun fact - The gel mask formulation is so natural that when dipped into hot water, the mask will fully dissolve! This super convenient single sachet mask is perfect for travel and is a life saver for post flight dehydrated skin. The charcoal ingredient leaves my skin feeling nourished but doesn’t leave me with a face full of break-outs as is often the case with creamy alternatives.

OPI Infinite Shine Gel Effects Lacquer System - Rachel
What it is: A nail polish that offers the rich colour, intense shine and lasting wear of gels without the need for LED-light curing or soak-off removal. 
My experience: OPI nail polishes have always been a favourite of mine and I was so excited to try this deep charcoal shade, ‘Strong Coal-ition.’ It’s a shade I have never tried before and now really like! The colour is perfect for this season as it complements my current winter-monochromatic-wardrobe perfectly. The finish of this nail polish gave the look of shellac (without the process or price tag!) as it’s beautifully shiny and I have seen no major chipping so far!

Glow Lab Detoxifying Face Mask - Issy
What it is: A bamboo charcoal sheet mask that draws out impurities and debris from the skin while deeply cleansing pores, boosting circulation and increasing absorption rates.
My experience: Suitable for all skin types including my sensitive skin, I noticed the next morning my skin felt hydrated and brightened. My skin felt cleansed after the mask was applied for 20 minutes, helping release impurities from my complexion. Formulated with anti-inflammatory properties, my skin felt calm and relaxed throughout and after application. A thick residue of the mask was left on my skin which I massaged into my face to nourish my dry wintery skin. 

Manicare Charcoal Detox Exfoliating Sponge - Alicia
What it is: A soft-textured facial sponge that massages, cleanses and exfoliates skin.
My experience: I have extremely dry skin so I tested out this charcoal sponge to see how it worked to cleanse my face and exfoliate it at the same time. After moistening with water and applying my cleanser, I massaged my skin gently with the sponge. It was surprisingly soft and did a great job of removing impurities and cleansing my face. Due to the softness it only provides a light exfoliation of dead skin cells which is great and makes it a product that can be used regularly.

Palmer's Coconut Charcoal Detoxifying Sheet Mask - Eleni
What it is: A face sheet mask formulated with natural activated charcoal from coconut husk to deeply detoxify the skin.
My experience: Upon opening this sheet mask you are immediately made aware of just how coconut infused this is. The black sheet mask is soaked in the serum, with very little excess in the packaging. Putting on sheet masks is always a little difficult, but once it’s on it sits comfortably. After leaving it on for 15 minutes, I felt a slight tingling sensation and my skin felt soothed. The serum sat on top of my skin a little and needed to be worked in. I found it to have also left a slightly tacky residue on my skin, though left it feeling hydrated and glowing.