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Activated Charcoal first made an appearance in my household about 20 years ago. Well known for its undisputed antioxidant properties and health benefits it proved to be an invaluable addition to my first aid kit, not least as an effective post indulgence hangover cure and digestive cleanser.  
 
The humble carbon element has recently elevated in status. Active Charcoal is now a key ingredient in beauty products hailed to minimise large pores, fight acne, draw out oil, dirt and blackheads, and effectively promote flawless radiant skin.
 
So what’s the magic behind this jet black powder? Activated charcoal is a carbon that is treated with oxygen and put through extremely high temperatures. The result is a fine black powder that has tiny microscopic pores giving it a huge surface area. This acts as a magnet which attracts and absorbs toxins and impurities from the skin. The longer the product sits on your skin the more effective it’s going to be.
 
The market is flooded with expensive off the shelf products and while we all love a day at the spa, I truly am a fan of the natural way. You don't need to splurge on pricey charcoal-infused products to get salon worthy results.
 
That said I set out to find the ultimate mid-winter skin “remedy” that I could whip up in the comfort of my gown, Chardonnay in hand.  You will need to invest in some carrier and essential oils but most ingredients are already in your kitchen pantry. Be very selective in purchasing your activated charcoal. Not all are made the same. Look for a product made from coconut shell or wood species and avoid any made with artificial sweeteners.
 
I admit, it’s a little messy but some light wiping down and cleaning up with radiant glowing skin is well worth it.

While we have consulted with a certified Aromatherapist, and the essential oils used are deemed safe on all skin types and for use by pregnant and breastfeeding women, please consult with your caregiver prior to application if you have any concerns.
 
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Sandy is Commander HQ in-house stylist, contributor and devout fan of natural wellness and beauty.

 

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