All About Charcoal

Posted by Azadeh Shirazi MD on

Let’s talk Charcoal!

Charcoal is great for oily skin, acne prone skin, and can even be beneficial for combination skin types. It acts as a magnet for drawing out build up, debris, and impurities while also absorbing excess oil from the skin. This aids in reducing breakouts, redness, and inflammation seen in patients with Rosacea or Acne. 

 Skin Types & Charcoal

Oily skin types and those with acne prone skin benefit the most from using charcoal masks.  Combining charcoal with Clay makes the mask more powerful at drawing out excess oil, toxins, and debris from the skin.  Dry skin types or those with sensitive skin may find it irritating if used too often so limit its use to once weekly if you are on the dry side. 

Charcoal versus Micellar Cleansers 

Though they work differently, they both help absorb excess oil and impurities while exfoliating the skin. Charcoal masks can be a bit more powerful and hence more drying especially in those with sensitive skin types. Comparatively, micellar cleansers are a gentle option for sensitive skin types as they are morehydrating.

Dr.Azi’s Top 5 Recommended Charcoal Masks

  • Detox Mask: Medicated detoxifying mask with Sulfur 10%, Kaolin Clay, and Charcoal powder to remove oil, toxins and impurities from the skin for a clear complexion.  Clinical strength sulfur calms redness and inflammation to reduce breakouts from acne and rosacea.  
  • L'Oreal Paris Pure Clay Face Mask with Charcoal: this mask has a creamy texture at a great price point and can be found at most drugstores. 
  • Derma-E Charcoal Mask: Exfoliating charcoal mask with mineral rich Bladderwrack and Kimarine Wakame seaweeds to hydrate, nourish and protect skin, along with exfoliating Apricot Seed and potent Green Tea.
  • Burt’s Bees Detoxifying Charcoal Mask: infused with honey these individual sheet masks make it hydrating and gentle to use. 
  • Origins Charcoal Mask: Formulated with 1% purifying Bamboo Charcoal and 18% oil-absorbing Clay to detoxify the skin. 

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Dr. Azadeh Shirazi, MD is a Board-Certified Dermatologist.

Specializing in medical, surgical, and cosmetic dermatology, Dr. Shirazi received her undergraduate and medical degrees from the University Of Kentucky College of Medicine. After doing a Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine, she completed her residency training in Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in addition to completing her training in dermatology and cosmetic surgery at the University of California San Diego.

She has received multiple research scholarships from iconic institutions including Harvard University and the University Of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and has several peer-reviewed publications to her name.