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The best charcoal scrubs to try for that ultimate skin detox

Known for its ability to draw out the impurities and toxins from the deepest layers of the skin and the pores, activated charcoal is a hero ingredient in your skincare products. And owing to its cleansing effect, some of the best ways to include it in your routine is through over-the-counter products such as face washes, masks, peels or better yet scrubs.

Exfoliating your face and body is one of the best ways to rid it of dead skin cells and excess build-up that clogs pores. From walnut and coffee scrubs to ones with sugar crystals and apricot seed powder, you can choose from innumerable options. However, what makes charcoal scrub a great choice, especially for people with oily skin, is how it takes all that skin cleansing and detoxification a notch higher because of the benefits it possesses.

Additionally, a blend of other ingredients along with charcoal increases the efficacy of these scrubs multifold. For instance, while a charcoal scrub for oily skin may have other components like tea tree, green tea and clay, the ones for dry skin may be infused with jojoba, olive oil or coconut oil to provide hydration.

Benefits of using a charcoal scrub

Although there is limited evidence-based scientific research, charcoal is considered to have many benefits for our skin owing to its general properties of trapping toxins and impurities and soaking excess oil because it’s an absorbent.

A charcoal scrub not only deeply cleanses your skin and pores but also purifies it of the trapped dirt and bacteria along with dead skin. This lends a clearer and even-toned, brighter complexion. If you’re looking for a scrub that also brightens the skin, the Clinique All About Clean 2-In-1 Charcoal Mask + Scrub (Buy it for SGD 46 on Selfridges) should be your go-to.

Exfoliating with a charcoal scrub also helps in decongesting the pores of excess oil and acne-causing bacteria. This helps in reducing blemishes and improving the overall health of the skin. For instance, the Carbon Theory Scrub (Buy it for SGD 17.50 on Beauty Bay) is a great pick for people with oily and acne-prone skin as it prevents breakouts and controls shine.

If adding a charcoal scrub to your skincare arsenal has been on your wishlist already or is now, keep scrolling ahead.

Check out these charcoal scrubs to add to your weekly exfoliation routine

SGD 23.25

A vegan and cruelty-free scrub that’s enriched with the strength of charcoal and sea salt, this exfoliator is the key to flaunting a glowing skin. With 98 percent natural salt and activated charcoal, this scrub effectively draws out impurities from the pores. The fresh ginger and sweet basil content on the other hand, rejuvenates and balances the skin while gently buffing it away.

Image: Courtesy Soak Sunday

SGD 25

Formulated to exfoliate, detoxify and lend a silky-smooth finish to the skin is the Frank Body Charcoal Body Scrub and Mask. It has a potent blend of tea tree oil, charcoal and caffeine and work together to cleanse pores and fight breakouts. Also comprising antioxidant-rich grapeseed oil, this charcoal scrub can be used anywhere including face, back and chest.

Image: Courtesy Frank Body

SGD 46

This dual-action charcoal scrub and mask by Clinique perfectly rids the skin of all pollution, dirt, impurities and excess oil to leave the pores squeaky clean and refreshed. Formulated with bamboo charcoal and kaolin clay, this scrub refines your skin’s texture for a clear, bright and smooth complexion. This energising and detoxifying scrub is suitable for all skin types.

Image: Courtesy Selfridges

SGD 54.85

This charcoal scrub by Wishful is a three-in-one enzyme scrub that’s packed with the goodness of papaya and pineapple enzymes, AHAs, BHAs and purifying charcoal. Drawing out impurities and refining pores, its formula offers a mix of physical, enzyme and chemical exfoliation that’s gentle yet intense. It does not cause any irritation or redness post use and lends a smoother, even-looking healthy skin.

Image: Courtesy Wishful

SGD 17.50

Offering deep exfoliation with charcoal, tea tree oil, citric acid and natural pumicite particles for a rejuvenated and purified skin is this must-try facial scrub by Carbon Theory. Vegan and cruelty-free, it unclogs pores, prevents breakouts and helps in maintaining the skin’s balance and hydration. It makes your skin feeling clean and revived instantly.

Image: Courtesy Beauty Bay

SGD 22.65

Yet another charcoal scrub that would make a great addition to your exfoliation routine is the RITUALS… Homme scrub that has a purifying effect on the skin. Its Ginseng + Purify Complex ensures an effective cleanse and exfoliation that leads to a refreshed complexion. It is also formulated with natural charcoal to draw out impurities and ageing skin cells thereby allowing the pores to breathe.

Image: Courtesy Feel Unique

(Main Image Courtesy: Monstera/Pexels; Featured Image Courtesy: Feel Unique)

(All USD to SGD conversions done at the time of writing)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Question: Can I use a charcoal face scrub daily?

Answer: According to the needs and concerns of your skin, you can use a charcoal scrub anywhere from once to thrice a week. However, using a scrub daily can strip your skin of its natural oils and moisture.

Question: Can charcoal face scrubs tackle pimples?

Answer: Pores clogged with dirt, excess oil, impurities and acne-causing bacteria are some of the main reasons for pimples and blemishes developing on your skin. And by cleansing these congested pores of such build-up, a charcoal scrub greatly helps in managing existing pimples and preventing new ones.

Question: Can charcoal scrubs remove blackheads?

Answer: Yes, similar to pimples, a charcoal scrub works effectively against blackheads and helps in reducing them.

Question: Are charcoal scrubs good for oily skin?

Answer: Yes, charcoal scrubs are highly effective for acne-prone and oily skin since they drive out all the impurities, dirt, excess sebum and dead skin cells, leaving the skin clean and fresh.

Question: Does charcoal brighten skin?

Answer: Yes, for how activated charcoal cleanses your skin deeply of dead skin cells and excess grime and oil, a charcoal scrub does leave your skin with a healthy glow, bright radiance and an even-toned complexion. Further inclusion of brightening agents like vitamin C in charcoal-infused products enhances the skin’s radiance.

The best charcoal scrubs to try for that ultimate skin detox

With an academic background in Public Relations, Divya has a flair for writing about topics spanning genres like lifestyle, beauty, fashion, travel, FnB, tech and entertainment. She fancies everything that's a wholesome blend of contemporary finery and timelessness. Quirky earrings and tees are her weakness. When not creating content, you will find her devouring food, snuggling in with a book and a cup-a-chai, admiring skies or revisiting Hogwarts.


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