To some (read: the very old-school), coal in your stocking means it’s time to adjust your moral compass. Not to beauty addicts. This time of year — scratch that, year-round — those who like their skin pure and pore-free consider charcoal a precious object, akin to gold. Per Rachel Winard of Soapwalla, “Charcoal is a miracle ingredient. Skin care charcoal specifically has 200 times better ability to absorb oil, dirt and bacteria than other ingredients I have come in contact with. Its ability to bind and then wash away oil and/or dirt enables charcoal to fully cleanse the skin without overdrying; it’s unparalleled in this arena.” Plus, it’s totally natural.
Like gold, activated charcoal can take on many forms — shampoos, cleansers, toothbrushes, soap, even sleep masks. But we’re most accustomed to finding it in face masks, and during this time of debauchery, with pumpkin pie and eggnog and all sorts of sugar- and dairy-heavy, bad-for-the-complexion treats tempting us at every turn, that’s where we need it most. Charcoal masks help draw out the makeup and gunk that accumulate in pores without making skin feel extra dry or irritated.
So, whether you’re looking to side-step those holiday skin issues, dealing with run-of-the-mill oiliness and blackheads, or are in search of a tongue-in-cheek gift for the “naughty” beauty addict in your life, click through the slideshow above for 13 A-plus charcoal face masks.