Is Charcoal Skincare for you?

It doesn’t happen too often, so when Dermalogica release a new product, I tend to get a little excited. It happened last year, with the arrival of Phyto Replenish Oil (which I then talked about here and here) and this March heralded the arrival of something totally different – Daily Superfoliant, a charcoal based exfoliator suitable for use (you guessed it) daily.

If you’ve seen the charcoal mask videos doing the rounds on social media, and are wondering if charcoal skincare is for you, the answer is yes it is, but not the way it’s going viral right now (for all the wrong reasons). If like me, you’re intrigued about those charcoal masks, consider:

As a dermatologist, I would not recommend these charcoal and glue ‘DIY’ blackhead masks as they can potentially damage the skin,” Dr Michelle Hunt writes.

It is not formulated for topical use and can result in irritant and allergic skin reactions (redness, itching, rashes, peeling, etc). The masks also need to be peeled off once dry, and this mechanical trauma can remove the top protective layers of the epidermis, leaving the skin more sensitive and prone to redness and dryness.”

The same sentiments were echoed by my Dermalogica skin therapist today. While she gently massaged and exfoliated my skin with the daily superfoliant, she described what those face masks are doing…

They’re very damaging to skin, ripping off the skin, taking away not just any excess oils, but all the necessary and helpful oils and vitamins within the skin. You’re left with very dry skin, which leaves you prone to premature ageing. It feels like a quick fix, and you’re left with soft skin, because you’ve just peeled off a protective layer of skin, but you can be doing more damage than good, and you’re then more prone to pollutants.

Skin Pollutants?

Pollution isn’t just a big-city problem, though of course those of us who work among car exhaust fumes, smog, smoke and air-conditioning are most at risk of pollutant-induced early ageing. Certain airborne particles can actually penetrate your epidermis: Pollution is made up of free radicals – tiny toxic particles up to 20 times smaller than normal pores -which are released into the air and can easily enter your skin.

They cause a breakdown of the skin’s lipid barrier, which can lead to increased inflammation, dehydration, loss of collagen, and most notably, a reduction in cell turnover.

Pollutants, in fact, and free radicals, are some of the concerns targeted by daily superfoliant. Phyto Replenish Oil too, works to protect skin against pollution: strengthens the skin’s natural barriers; hydrates and smoothes dehydration lines and locks in moisture; and shields against free radical damage.

Daily Superfoliant

Fans of the original, the rice-based micro-foliant will be familiar with the style of product – a fine grained texture that is activated with water before being massaged into your skin.

Dermalogica-Daily-Superfoliant-_6478 Dermalogica-Daily-Superfoliant-_6478

Charcoal skincare and mask fans will be familiar with its cleansing properties – I’ve long been an addict of Dermalogia’s charcoal mask myself – both products draw our dirt and excess oil from pores. Combined with Phyto Replenish Oil, a powerful combatant to environmental pollutants which cause early ageing.

If you’re not familiar with the Dermalogica skincare range, their new $15 mini-facial “Face Fit” is a great way to get acquainted. I sat down this afternoon with Kavita at Smith & Caughey, where my skin was put under the microscope (literally) to reveal skin conditions from 14 distinct areas of the face to assess the most effective products for my skin. The $15 cost is also redeemable on product, should you choose to follow any of the product recommendations (which you’ll want to).

Bonus, if you buy Dermalogica’s daily superfoliant at Smith & Caughey at the moment, you receive a travel size microfoliant free!

Did you see that Dermalogica recently featured me in their #myfacemystory campaign? Check it out!