Charcoal Hype

By Kathryn Dickinson

With summer and warmer weather in our grasp that means sweatier workouts, more sunscreen and lots more outdoor time. It also means we need products and ingredients that really do the work to pull dirt and grime from the pores. Charcoal is quickly becoming the star ingredient in our favorite detox soaps and masks for troubled skin.

We asked the founders of two beloved Colorado brands, Dr. Sarah Villifranco – creator of Osmia and Jaime Cross, founder of MIG Soap, why Charcoal is such a powerhouse ingredient and why they use it in their products (because why not go straight to the experts, right?).

Jaime Cross, Founder of MIG Soap & Bath Co.

”Charcoal is a powerful detoxifyer! Due to its very porous nature, this amazing element draws bacteria, excess oil and up to 2000% of its weight in toxins away from the skin. When formulated in a nourishing soap, you can literally wash away problematic and blemish prone skin. I personally love the flooring results people are afforded when they start using a charcoal product. Many times they've lost hope of ever having a beautiful and radiant complexion, but with charcoal the benefits are almost immediate.”

Charcoal by Contributing Expert Kathryn Dickinson-LIFE SMART by Carrie Dorr

MIG Black Soap with Charcoal and Dead Sea Mud ($12)


Dr. Sarah Villafranco, Founder of Osmia Organics

“Activated charcoal is an ingredient familiar to me from my years in the emergency department. It is made from wood that has been heated to about a thousand degrees and subsequently steamed (or “activated”), opening every pore in the wood and exponentially increasing its absorptive capacity. It is then powdered, and one tablespoon of the powder has the same surface area as two football fields. In the ER, we used it to decontaminate the gastrointestinal tract after a toxic ingestion. Used in skincare, it does the same thing - grabs environmental toxins and contaminants, and removes them from the skin. It does not, unfortunately, know what to grab and what to leave behind, so it’s important to balance it with with nourishing, replenishing ingredients so the skin does not feel stripped. We strike the balance in our Oh So Detox soap by using organic olive oil and shea butter, as well as organic coconut milk and avocado oil. You want to be clean and detoxed, but you also want to feel softer than a kitten, right?”

Charcoal by Contributing Expert Kathryn Dickinson-LIFE SMART by Carrie Dorr