I am not making this up, but yes, Charcoal is currently trending as the next big thing to hit the beauty and lifestyle industry. Some, like Bloomberg Business describe Charcoal as a “dark detox with cleansing benefits.” Others like net-a-porter’s Edit Magazine characterize Charcoal as “the new black.”Now I grew up in a household in Festac Town Nigeria where charcoal was one of my best friends. It was not only our chalk for writing on the wall, but in many cases our toothbrush for whitening our teeth. So of course I was glad to see that there is a Japanese toothbrush made out of charcoal currently in the market that will help you fight bad breath and plaque. Time Magazine last month even described charcoal Juice, yes, people are now drinking charcoal.
But before you run to the back of your house to start burning wood for charcoal, note that the one people are describing as the next beauty secrete is called activated charcoal. According to Bloomberg, “it’s made by treating the regular stuff—made from wood, coconut shell, or other organic materials—with a gas that renders the charcoal highly porous. It then absorbs compounds and chemicals that come in contact with it.” According to Time Magazine, “activated charcoal is useful in all kinds of contexts, from water purification to gas masks to an application in clinical emergencies like overdoses or poisonings.”Edit Magazine noted that “the first recorded use of activated charcoal can be traced back to ancient Egyptians in 1500BC who used it to clean wounds. Since then it has been used mostly in health care settings, particularly for treating drug overdoses or warding of anemia in cancer patients.”
For the beauty industry, well it seems that the possibilities with charcoal are endless. Origins for example has a purifying mask ($25) and body wash ($23) made out of charcoal that can help invigorate your morning shower, supposedly unclogs pores, leaving behind smooth, blemish-free skin. Sephora has a collection of bamboo charcoal blotting papers ($8). These thin, double-sided gray sheets eliminate shine without messing up makeup. Then there is the Konjac sponge ($15) made out of bamboo charcoal that will help eliminate blackheads and act as a natural antioxidant to kill acne-causing bacteria. Finally, there is the Sort of Coal Kuro shampoo ($21) for hair that has lost it’s shine. Not only does it leave hair gleaming, it’s tough on dandruff. By the way if you still want white teeth, try the Beverly Hills Perfect White Black toothpaste ($7.50).