I decided to buy some charcoal beauty products and test them out. I am not sure that charcoal topically really cleanses as much as taking activated charcoal internally, but I still thought the idea was fun.
My absolutely favorite item of the haul was the Briogio Scalp Revival Charcoal + Coconut Oil Micro-exfoliating Scalp Scrub Shampoo. It isn’t cheap at $42 but WOW this stuff is amazing! It smells really good and it has a minty feel. I wasn’t sure I was going to like the feel of using something gritty on my hair but it felt great and it lathered up really well. I wouldn’t use this every day, but it is great for a weekly cleanse.
My second favorite item was The Grandpa Soap Co. Charcoal Soap. I ordered this from Swanson and I don’t think I will ever use another brand of bar soap! This one has grit to it and it feels exfoliating as you rub it on your skin. It also smells really good and minty. (And if you like the Grandpa Soap Co. brand, be sure and try their Pine Tar Shampoo and Apple Cider Vinegar Body Wash – I just LOVE this brand and you can find it locally at Lucky’s, Fresh Thyme, Sprouts and Whole Foods, too.)
My third favorite thing was the beautyblender blendercleanser® solid pro makeup brush cleanser. At $45, this is also an expensive item but it will last for YEARS. I wash my makeup brushes fairly often and this thing hardly has a dent in it. I have a feeling it will last me 2 years!
My friend MJ told me to try this face wash from Dermalogica. It is a powder and once you pour a little into your hands, you put it on your wet face and it lathers up. It reminded me of the Komenuka Bijin Japanese Rice Powder packets I used to use for travel back when I lived in NYC many years ago. The problem with this Dermalogica version is 1) It is expensive and 2) It pours out very quickly so you can easily waste a lot of product even if you are careful. I bought the travel size for $19.50 at Ulta. But I’ve since used it all up and as much as I like it, I would rather use something like Clinique’s Fresh Pressed Renewing Powder Cleanser with Pure Vitamin C when I travel. The Clinique packets are still pricey at about $1 per packet, but I know I won’t use too much like I would with the Dermalogica. And once I use up these Clinique packets, I think I am going to try these Kanebo Suisai Beauty Clear Powder packets on Amazon.
Next up in my charcoal haul is the boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser. I’ve used samples of this before and I love that it warms up as you use it. But the warm feeling doesn’t last very long. I will probably buy this again but then again, I love my Paula’s Choice cleansers and they are cheaper.
Another item I tried is the Hask Purifying Charcoal Shampoo from Ulta. I really liked it and I love the $5.99 price tag! But when it comes down to it, nothing can beat the $1.99 30oz bottle of Suave Daily Clarifying Shampoo from Walmart! That shampoo is the best! And I can use it every day and it doesn’t dry out my scalp. The big 30oz family size bottle lasts me easily 2 months.
I am now moving on to the items I didn’t love. I found this Schmidt’s Charcoal + Magnesium natural deodorant on the Swanson’s website. It was $10 and I didn’t love it at all. My armpits never felt dry and I do not like that feeling.
And the last charcoal item – and one I didn’t love – is the My Magic Mud Activated Charcoal and Bentonite Clay Toothpaste. I also found this online at Swanson’s. The toothpaste worked fine. My teeth were clean. My breath was fresh. But WOW what a mess! I don’t know if I am so messy with my regular Jason Sea Fresh toothpaste or if it just isn’t obvious because it is a clear gel. But this black charcoal toothpaste was EVERYWHERE – all over my sink, on my lips, dribbled down my toothbrush – black charcoal was everywhere. I was dabbing my mouth with my towel after brushing and realizing black was getting on my towel. It was just a mess. I really think if you are a clean tooth brush-er then this might work for you but I just can’t do it.