Every so often, a new ingredient comes along that’s quickly heralded as The Next Big Thing in the skin-care world (lookin’ at you, argan oil), and recently, that very special ingredient has been charcoal. Yup, the same stuff your dad gets really excited about when it’s grill time in the summer, except this time, it’s for your acne-loving face.
Here’s the gist: Activated charcoal acts like a lint roller for the gunk on your skin, sticking to all the dirt and oil in your pores, then rinsing away when you wash your face. Basically, it’s an excellent ingredient for the oily- and acne-prone among us. Of course, not all charcoal products are the same, and if you have slightly sensitive or dry skin, you might find charcoal to be too drying and harsh when used in masks, creams, and spot treatments.
Which is why we’re really loving charcoal cleansers, which give you a taste of charcoal, without totally dehydrating your skin. So we rounded up the best charcoal face washes for almost every skin type (yes, even you, you sensitive and acne-prone, you) to help you tiptoe into the wild, wild world of charcoal, without too much commitment. Just massage each cleanser into your skin for a full 30 seconds to see a cleaner, more mattified complexion after toweling off. Check out the list, below, and get cleansing!