Charcoal is all over the skincare industry at the moment. Dermalogica’s Daily Superfoliant takes one of the brand’s hero products Daily Microfoliant and adds charcoal for added ‘anti-pollution’ effectiveness. Daily Microfoliant is a hero product for many – especially those with oilier skins and men. I’ve tried it and it is not my favorite skin polisher.
Why (Activated) Charcoal
Pollution is considered by many to be the second most damaging aggressor on the skin after the sun. Activated charcoal is said to absorb toxins. In certain (medical) situations this is true but the idea that you can translate benefits from area to another is not linear. In the bloggersphere there are lots of people getting excited about charcoal removing blackheads.
If the DIY mask that you are using (not that I would recommend it) contains a large amount of a Copydex type glue the charcoal is immaterial. If you are using a product that contains charcoal and you like it – keep using it but it is very likely that the product contain other ingredients (eg clay in a face mask or an AHA in a face wash) that work in a similar way. Daily Superfoliant has malic acid which is an AHA and will have an exfoliating action on the skin. It also has niacinamide which support skin firmness. Anwyay, that was quite a long winded way of saying that the effects of activated charcoal in skincare have not indisputably proven clinically.
On The Skin
Daily Superfoliant is part of Dermalogica’s Age Smart range which focuses on anti ageing. You get 57 grams of product for £55 which makes it more expensive than Daily Microfoliant. The product is dispensed from the letter ‘d’ in the top of the tube. A nice effect – alternative to a sifter. You are supposed to use approximately half a teaspoon and the letter d gives you some control with that.
The product itself is a marl grey colour, It is slightly gritty to the touch. The instruction say to add it to water to make a paste. Skin polisher powders are the kind of product that I would usually add to a cleansing oil or cleansing cream. I create an exfoliating cleanser and save a bit of time in the morning. I would not do that with this product as it is too gritty for that for my face.
When added to water there is an audible fizz. Yes like a bath bomb. That’s because like a bath bomb, Daily Superfoliant contains sodium bicarbonate. When you apply it to the skin it does not sting at all, . Despite the lavender and orange peel oils, it does not smell of anything and it rinses off easily with a flannel or running water.
When rinsed off the skin looks clarified, it does have a gentle exfoliating action on the skin. I found that if I don’t get a hydratng toner or serum on the skin quite quickly it leaves my skin quite dry. .
It is fine on sensitive skin – I got my photosensitive sister to try it and she likes it. Personally, I’m not super enamoured with it but I don’t hate it. If you love Daily Microfoliant you will love this. If you have an oily skin and or prefer a skin polisher to a manual exfoliator it is worth a try. I think that daily use will be too much for many. As always it is best to see how your skin reacts to a product before deciding how to incorporate it into your regime.
Tell me in the comments below whether you have any ‘anti-pollution’ products in your skincare regime. Are you using any products that contain charcoal?