In the world of earthy purifying wonders, charcoal is right up there with clay and mud. This holy-grail ingredient has been purging impurities since ancient times, thanks to its ability to attach to and absorb toxins. (Emergency rooms will even use it to treat overdoses and poisonings!) But in the past few years, charcoal has also been trending in the world of skincare with promises of removing blackheads, minimizing pores, and zapping zits. How, you ask? As cosmetic chemist Ni'Kita Wilson explained to Allure: "When dirt and oil in your pores come in contact with the carbon, they stick to it and then get washed away when you rinse." So if you want a clear, glowy complexion on your big day (and who doesn’t?), charcoal skincare products could just be your ticket.
We expect the purifying formulas ahead to become a staple in your pre-wedding skincare routine.
PLANT Apothecary Not a Spot Acne Treatment Mask
Struggling with blemishes? This clarifying formula is powered by highly absorbent activated charcoal and anti-inflammatory basil oil. And it’s surprisingly simply to use! Mix a half teaspoon of powder with a few drops of water to form a paste. Apply to breakouts, let dry, and rinse.
SHOP NOW: Dermstore, $24
Herbivore Bamboo Charcoal Cleansing Bar Soap
Handcrafted with detoxifying bamboo charcoal, antibacterial tea tree oil, and softening vitamin E, this ebony bar gently cleanses both face and body without stripping skin of moisture. It’s also travel-friendly—a must for weekend getaways and honeymoons.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $12
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask
Dermatologists will tell you the longer charcoal sits on your skin, the better it soaks up impurities. Hence why a face mask is such a smart idea. This treatment delivers on its promise to lift out toxins, clear congestion, and reduce excess sebum.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $28
SheaMoisture Green Coconut & Activated Charcoal In-Shower Mask
Short on time? We have the perfect product for you! A balancing blend of purifying charcoal, hydrating green coconut, and antioxidant-rich white tea works its multi-tasking magic in just five minutes—all while you enjoy a warm shower.
SHOP NOW: Ulta, $12.99
Boscia Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask
There’s something grossly fascinating about seeing the gunk emerge from your pores. Few products deliver the satisfying and immediate results of this peel-off mask. Charcoal draws out deeply rooted debris and exfoliates, while vitamin C lends its brightening abilities.
SHOP NOW: Sephora, $34