Activated charcoal in skin care products: Deep cleansing for your skin

February 2024
The Derma Check AI

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  • Type of ingredient: Natural absorbent
  • Main benefits: Removes impurities and excess oil, cleanses pores, works against acne
  • For whom suitable: Especially for oily and acne-prone skin
  • Frequency of use: Depending on skin type and product
  • Can be combined with: Mild cleansing and moisturizing ingredients
  • Do not use with: Excessive use on dry or sensitive skin

Introduction: What is activated carbon?

Activated charcoal, also known as medicinal charcoal, is obtained from various natural sources such as coconut shells or bamboo. It is valued for its highly absorbent properties in skin care, especially in the treatment of oily and acne-prone skin.

Benefits of activated charcoal in skin care

Deep cleansing

Activated charcoal draws impurities and dirt out of the pores, resulting in effective deep cleansing of the skin.

Controlled oil

Thanks to its absorbent properties, activated charcoal helps to remove excess oil and thus reduce shine.

Works against acne

Activated charcoal can help reduce acne by absorbing bacteria and toxins that lead to blemishes.

Possible side effects

Activated charcoal is generally safe to use but can cause dryness if used excessively, especially on dry or sensitive skin.

Application of activated charcoal

In cleaning products

Activated charcoal is often contained in facial cleansers, masks and peelings. The application should follow the instructions of the respective product.

Do not use too frequently

Excessive use, especially on dry or sensitive skin, should be avoided to prevent dryness and irritation.

How not to use activated charcoal

  • Do not use in pure form: Activated charcoal should not be applied pure to the skin as it can be very absorbent.
  • Caution for sensitive skin: People with sensitive skin should use products with activated charcoal with caution.

FAQ about activated carbon

Is activated charcoal suitable for all skin types?

Activated charcoal is particularly suitable for oily and acne-prone skin. Caution is advised for dry or sensitive skin.

Can activated charcoal reduce pores?

Activated charcoal can cleanse the pores, which can lead to a refined appearance, but it does not change the actual size of the pores.

How often should you use activated charcoal?

The frequency of application depends on the skin type and the product selected. In general, it should not be used daily to avoid dryness.


Activated charcoal is an effective ingredient in skin care, especially for oily and blemish-prone skin. It provides a thorough deep cleanse and can help control acne and excess oil. When used correctly, activated charcoal can be a valuable part of your skincare routine.

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The Derma Check AI
The Derma Check's AI has been trained with the help of numerous scientific studies. She specializes in cosmetic ingredients and their effects.