Did you know that charcoal is a popular skincare ingredient in Japan? It’s a powerhouse cleansing agent that acts like a magnet, attaching to and extracting dirt, debris and dead skin cells trapped in your pores. Actually, it works in a similar way that charcoal filters are used in air purifiers, which draw impurities and pollution out of the environment. And now, just in time for us to ditch our winter-weary dull, clogged-up complexions, charcoal skin cleansers are making it stateside. We’re obsessed!
Biore Skincare Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser, $7
With a price that’s a steal, this new cleanser gets down and dirty in your pores, leaving your skin feeling fresh and super clean without irritating or drying it out. And don’t worry, the black liquid formula turns into white foam once you add water and if any of the black cleanser gets on your towels or clothes, it won’t leave a stain. It actually has a great tingly, fresh sensation when you use it, putting a little extra pep in your step on groggy mornings.
Julep Konjac Cleansing Sponge, $12
Not only are we in love with this new facial sponge, but it has also received rave reviews from beauty editors at Huffington Post, Allure, and Refinery 29. Though it may look scary (sort of like a dried avocado), it feels super light, soft and squishy. Konjac is a natural sponge-like material that’s been around for centuries in Asia and is made from the root of a Japanese potato plant. This one is enriched with charcoal to reap all of it’s purifying benefits. It can be used by itself, with water or with your favorite facial cleanser. To use it, first soak the sponge in warm water for a few minutes until it’s soft and squishy, then gently massage it over your face in circular motions to exfoliate dead skin cells, then rinse and pat dry. When you’re done, squeeze out (don’t wring!) and hang it to dry on the suction hook that it comes with. Rreplace your sponge every two to three months since this natural fiber deteriorates over time. A new tip from Julep founder and supermom Jane Park: If you wake up looking tried, soak the sponge in cold water and massage it around your eyes to de-puff under eye bags