When your kids misbehave, Santa brings them a lump of coal. Funny enough, that’s exactly what you should give your skin when it misbehaves, too.

Skin care experts swear by the benefits of charcoal. A few years ago, I asked make up artist and former America’s Next Top Model judge Jay Manuel how he keeps his skin looking smooth. His response — a charcoal mask (and not smoking or drinking, but we’re not so sure we can commit to that one).

I know what you’re thinking, “Coal is what I use to grill burgers and ribs. You want me to rub it on my face?” Sort of. But just so we’re clear, we’re not talking about rubbing Kingford briquettes on your mug.

Back in the day, Egyptians discovered charcoal had antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. They would use charcoal to get rid of poisons in the body. Activated charcoal is created by heating “common charcoal”—a combo of peat, wood, coconut shells—in high-temperature gas to increase its surface area by creating porous holes. Once “activated,” the charcoal works by absorbing other materials into these pores. Basically, it’s like a magnet for all the bad stuff in your skin such as dirt and oil and other impurities. And all of that bad stuff is what’s causing your excess oil, shine, breakouts and large pores.

Here’s what we recommend:

  • Incorporate a charcoal mask in your skin care routine 1-2 times a week. The mask binds to your skin and pulls the dirt out of your pores keeping them cleaner and smaller.
  • Use a charcoal face wash throughout the week to keep the oil at bay and keep your skin smooth.
  • If you have acne-prone skin, incorporate an exfoliating charcoal product to remove dead skin cells and fade dark acne marks.

Need a bit of charcoal in your life? The Scotch Porter Charcoal & Licorice Face Care Collection features the best set of good-for-you ingredients to keep your skin on point. Say goodbye to oily, breakout prone skin and grab yours here today.

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