Charcoal is a heavy hitting beauty trend that helps keep your skin clear and balanced. We spoke to Lizz Starr, executive director of Origins global product development to get details on the popular ingredient.
If you’ve been paying attention to the beauty biz, charcoal is trending. With all the environmental irritants and pollutants that we expose our skin to every day, it’s great to come home and make sure you can get rid of all those skin stressors. Here’s what you need to know about this powerhouse ingredient.
What is charcoal?
This natural ingredient is derived from carbon and has been used for many things other than beauty. Because of its powerful absorption properties it’s been used to treat alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses by absorbing toxins in the stomach before they can be absorbed into the blood stream. It also can be used as a filter in gases and liquids.
In beauty, charcoal is used because it has large internal pores that trap toxins and prevent their absorption in the skin. “When environmental toxins, dirt and debris get under your skin, skin’s waste-filtering system (pores) becomes congested and pores get clogged, leading skin to look cloudy,” says Starr, “Charcoal is able to absorb many times its own weight in toxins and pollution and it can easily be rinsed away.”
Who should use charcoal?
“Charcoal is particularly good for blemish-prone or congested skin,” says Starr. Because we’re all in need of regular skin clearing (we have pollution to thank for that), everyone can benefit from a bit of charcoal in their beauty regimen.
Charcoal beginner? Try a mask.
If you’re new to the ingredient, Starr recommends introducing a charcoal mask to your beauty routine once a week. It’s best to not overdo it with charcoal however. “Charcoal should be primarily used when pores are clogged,” says Starr, “overuse can lead to stripping and drying your skin so we recommend once-a-week use.”
Here are the charcoal masks you should add to your routine, stat!
Bamboo charcoal and white clay absorbs toxins to reveal a radiant and refreshed complexion.
This sheet mask features activated Korean charcoal absorb impurities and spearmint extract for a pore-tightening effect.
This cleanser can also be used as a mark, helping to draw out impurities and balance oily skin.
This hydrogel mask includes bamboo charcoal for a deep clean that targets blackheads and whiteheads.
This mattifying mask soaks up excess oil and draws out debris to leave your skin feeling fresh and your pores noticeable refined.
If you're craving something different, big or small, Dr. Lorraine Bennington, a Vancouver registered psychologist, shares her top tips for taking the leap.
If you feel like there's something missing in your life, it's time to figure out what adjustments you can make to improve your situation. Revisit the things that made you happy as a child, which Dr. Bennington says are part of your "life blueprint," to direct your first steps. That could mean taking jewellery-making classes if you've always wanted to be a fashion designer, or returning to university if you've long wanted to be a lawyer.
Visualize your future
If the idea of change overwhelms you, imagine what your life will look like in five years if things remain the same, then visualize what it will be like if you take the plunge. "Usually, people will say it looks better with the change," says Dr. Bennington.
Don't listen to toxic people
If you've found that a particular parent, sibling or friend doesn't believe you can succeed (in a new job, with a new partner or as a single parent), it's time to stop expecting that person to miraculously offer support. "Don't share your ideas with someone who is likely to respond negatively every time," says Dr. Bennington. Instead, seek people who are "consistently genuine and supportive."
Rewrite your story
Even if a transition (like a divorce or a layoff) is out of your control, you can choose to see the situation through a positive lens. Maybe there's a part of you that was unhappy for years or secretly wanted freedom from a controlling husband or a nosy boss. "Reframe the change as something good, rather than as something awful that's happened to you," says Dr. Bennington.
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Channel your inner Hillary, Beyonce or Eleven this Halloween.
While dressing up as your favourite monster or scary character is a classic Halloween costume, we recommend channeling your favourite independent woman this year. And there were many women to choose from. Whether you go for the Hollywood route (Rey, anybody?) or prefer to channel a real woman (hey, Hillary) there's no shortage of smart, strong, multi-dimensional women to dress up as this year.
Here, our best bets for your 2016 Halloween costume.
If you were awake at all during 2016, you heard that Beyonce released an incredible musical and visual album titled, Lemonade. The fan-favourite look? That yellow Roberto Cavalli number, hands down.
Can't afford to pick up the Cavalli designer dress? (Us too.) Instead, pick up a yellow sundress (bonus points for ruffles), an old baseball bat, and make sure your hair is super curly. And then channel your inner Queen B.
If there was a girl power movie of the summer it was definitely the Ghostbusters reboot. Our fave? Kate McKinnon's character Holtzmann.
You're going to need a boilersuit or coveralls for this one—we recommend shipping in the men's department. Then, pick up some orange electrical tape and get to DIY-ing.
The lady on everyone's mind this time of year is Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton—and we're in the final stretch of whether she makes history.
While you could don any old pantsuit to channel Clinton, why not pick the power red suit she wore for the first presidential debate?
Stranger Things ruled our TVs this fall, so it's no surprise that Eleven (Elle to friends) is a major contender for Halloween costume of the year.
Make sure to wear a pale pink dress and a blue windbreaker—plus if you can get a very blonde wig that would be good too. But the most important part is those Eggos.
It's safe to say that Daisy Ridley's Rey stole the Star Wars show last year. We can't wait to see where this character goes.
Pick up a pair of cargo pants and push them up to your knees. Pair with a cold shoulder shirt in beige, add a belt and some strategically assembles scarves for your Rey costume.