Just when you thought the only thing charcoal was good for was a roaring fire, science came along and threw everyone for a loop.
Since the ancient Egyptians have been strutting their stuff, charcoal's been used for it's powerful detoxifying properties. It's even used medically to treat acute poisoning, drug overdoses, and anemia in cancer patients.
The secret is when it's treated at a high heat to carbonize it into activated charcoal, allowing it to absorb a number of harmful chemicals, like lead, chlorine, and mercury, and release the beneficial ones, like calcium and potassium.
So what does this have to do with better skin? Activated charcoal also absorbs oil and dirt that often find cozy homes within your pores. Skincare guru May Lindstrom says it's the "black diamond" of healers. It's also inert, so it won't cause allergic reactions or irritate sensitive skin. And when combined with other blemish-fighting ingredients, the results can be magical.