In most cultures of the world, beautiful equals healthy. Healthy looking shiny hair, healthy complexion, and so on. Of all the pesky mishaps that could affect one’s face, acne is one of the most annoying. It is not uncommon at all — every person of any gender encounters acne at least once in their life. The lucky ones forget about acne after they are past their teen years, others have to deal with it for the rest of their lives.
The reasons behind acne
All these little blemishes, pimples, blackheads, pustules and whatever you call them are the result of excessive oil production and inflammation. However, all of us are unique, and there are always exceptions. For example, people with dry skin can have acne too. And also, acne isn’t always about inflammation — the clogged pores are usually referred to as non-inflammatory acne. In fact, there are different types of acne depending on the inflammation and depth, but we’re not here to dive into the classification.
Even though all types of skin can be acne-prone, people with oily skin suffer the most. The main reason behind this is that the excess skin oil mixed with dead cells can clog the pores. All this mixture is a good food source for bacteria, that live on us. Our immune cells may react to that activity with inflammation — that’s when you see a pimple.
Knowing about the excess skin oil production many are tempted to remove it all from the skin surface. But surprisingly it does quite the opposite — the breakouts may become even more severe. The reason behind this paradox is that skin needs these oils to protect itself, and when you remove them all the glands are forced to excrete even more oils to compensate for your treatments. This vicious circle could go on and on.
How charcoal can help
The first and most crucial thing charcoal could help with is absorbing extra skin oils. The molecular structure of activated charcoal makes it a fantastic absorbent, that can trap the oils and other particles and immobilize them until you wash them off. If you are using a face mask with charcoal, you’ll wash it off together with the extra skin oils, nasty bacteria, and dead skin cell particles. Mild exfoliation could also be helpful, but it is important to give your skin enough time between the procedures so that the epidermal cells proliferate and create a new healthy protective layer. The first positive results of activated charcoal skincare can be achieved within a month of regular use — normalized microflora and balanced skin oil production.
Unlike alcohol-containing skin care products, charcoal doesn’t degrease the skin, so it doesn’t feel the need to build the oil barrier again and again. It’s not a universal remedy, a “one size fits all” miracle. But the proven safety of this 100% natural component makes it a great choice in a trial and error practice of fighting acne (because let’s be honest, that’s the method we all desperately use).