This time of year, eager to embrace a purifying bath routine to refresh us for a new year, we often find ourselves turning to a single, time-honored ingredient to help cleanse and detoxify: activated charcoal. Long-believed to have a multitude of beneficial effects, activated charcoal is little more than carbon, often wood, that has been treated with oxygen. The result is a natural, highly-porous substance with a vast surface area for soaking up toxins and other impurities that our skin comes in contact with every day.
Wanting to learn more about this powerful detoxifier, we sought out the advice of Beth Hopkins, skincare guru and founder of Shamanuti, our newest line of spa-worthy skin treatments. Bridging the gap between overall wellness and beauty, Beth explained how Shamanuti uses activated charcoal to benefit not only our skin, but our well-being.
terrain: Let's back up for a moment. When developing a new skincare treatment, what is it about sourcing natural ingredients that you find so important?
Beth: When you're paying attention, the effects of natural ingredients like this one are pretty amazing. We've found through Shamanuti and our own personal experiences that when you introduce really pure ingredients to your routine, you really do feel a difference in your overall health.
terrain: That in mind, why did you choose to incorporate activated charcoal into your Shamanuti cleanser?
Beth: Charcoal is a phenomenal baseline ingredient. It creates a beautiful base for the skin, and when you have a good base, your skin is decongested and can really breathe. If you think about how charcoal is used to purify water, it works much the same way on your skin by naturally drawing out toxins and impurities. As an aside, I love that its coal black color has an elemental quality that you don't see elsewhere.
terrain: What is the greatest benefit of using charcoal in a natural skincare routine?
Beth: In addition to being anti-inflammatory and pH-neutral, I think the single greatest benefit is that is sops up toxins like a sponge. It works on a cellular level to return the cells of the delicate facial tissues to their optimal structural integrity, and washes away any unwanted residue to prepare skin for regeneration.