Charcoal in Your Stocking?

No one wants coal in their stocking at Christmas, but, what about charcoal? For that, I may want to be bad enough to get coal!

I first heard about the properties of activated charcoal years ago, at Whole Foods, where I was showed capsules supposed to help rid your body of toxins.

Activated charcoal has been used for years to treat venomous snake bites, upset stomachs, and mercury and alcohol poisoning.

Lately, charcoal-based products have become hot in the beauty world.

When dirt, oil, and pollutants in your pores come in contact with the carbon in charcoal, they stick like a magnet, washing away when you rinse.

Boscia has a full line of charcoal-based products, from cleansers and cleansing cloths to primers and makeup setting spray. The primer works to reduce the appearance of pores, while the fine mist setting spray minimizes pores, mattifying and setting makeup while keeping skin hydrated. A cleansing sponge infused with bamboo charcoal cleans and exfoliates.

A charcoal-based gel cleanser ensures super-clean skin with daily use, while the mineral-rich Luminizing Black Mask, wonderful for all skin types, peels off to deliver powerful detoxifying, purifying, and brightening effects, giving skin an amazing healthy glow. It feels like putting tar on your face, but I loved the way it left my skin feeling ultra-soft.

Lush, also, has several charcoal-based products, including cleansers for both face and body. My favorite, a tooth cleanser called Boom! Toothy Tabs, is made from charcoal, gunpowder tea, and other natural ingredients to whiten. It’s surreal to see gray foam when you brush your teeth, but the cola flavor is surprisingly OK and it has taken away the yellow in a short time. The products are sold in minimal packaging to help the environment and are completely vegan.

The charcoal product I found most unusual is a Lavanila’s Healthy Underarm Detox Mask. This all-natural mask is formulated to rid the underarm glands of buildup.

The lymph nodes in our armpits are responsible for filtering toxins. Antiperspirants prevent sweating and releasing toxins properly.

These sweat-preventing formulas can build up and leave residue that can lead to lumps, bumps, and irritation. Perhaps it makes sense to use a detox mask every once in a while to remove those impurities. Schmidt’s, Boscia, and Lush have charcoal-based natural deodorants that help neutralize odor and absorb wetness. Boscia’s deodorant is a light powder spray that doesn’t leave any visible residue.

Whether you are on the naughty or nice list, you won’t mind finding any of these products in your stocking!