Activated Charcoal: It Does Your Body, Teeth, and Closet Good

Summer 2018 is firmly (and officially) in the books, but don’t put away the charcoal just yet. Well, you may want to leave the briquettes in the bag because we’re turning our attention to a very different type of charcoal: the activated kind used in everything from grooming products to clothing. Activated charcoal has tons of health benefits, including detoxifying properties and anti-aging benefits. When applied topically, the substance helps to draw oil, dirt, and bacteria from the skin’s pores; when applied to fabrics and materials, it can even help regulate body temperate. (It’s also used to pump stomachs, but that’s another article).

Welcome to the wide world of charcoal, where it can be found not only in your soaps, cleansers, and clothes but also, oddly enough, in your drink. Here are our favorite, non-edible charcoal products.

Charcoal Soaps

Baxter Deep Cleansing Charcoal Clay Bar Soap – $19
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From a design perspective, what’s better than having a solid black bar of soap on your bathroom sink? But seriously, all aesthetics aside, this Baxter bar incorporates the detoxifying properties of charcoal and clay, all while keeping your skin hydrated.

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Murdock Charcoal Body Soap – $18
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Murdock London offers charcoal’s benefits in this chic, speckled bar soap, combining with the cooling properties of peppermint for an invigorating, deep clean. Keep calm and charcoal on.

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Jack Black Charcoal Body Bar Massaging Soap – $15
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Get all the benefits of charcoal and a massage every time you shower: The Jack Black Body Bar includes jojoba beads for exfoliation and little nubs to massage those muscles. 

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Charcoal Cleansers

Kiehl’s Age Defender Cleanser – $28
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A two-in-one formula, this product can be used as a simple daily cleanser, but also as a five-minute mask. Phytic acid, made from rice bran, breaks down layers of dead skin, smoothing fine lines and improving the skin’s texture.

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Clinique for Men Charcoal Face Wash – $21
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Delivered as a gel, Clinique’s face wash foams away impurities with the added benefit of charcoal’s detoxifying properties. Use it before shaving in the morning and before bed at night for a simple but effective cleansing routine.

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Brickell Purifying Charcoal Face Wash – $25
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Brickell uses activated charcoal in combination with olive oil to remove both dirt and dirty oils from your face while replacing it with healthy oil. Added jojoba rebuilds the skin’s natural protective cushion, then a little aloe vera at the finish helps restore moisture. And it’s available in unscented or in a cooling minty blend of essential oils.

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Charcoal Masks

Origins Charcoal Honey Mask – $34
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Come on, guys. Using a mask is the new black and well, so is this mask! This Origins charcoal mask does a deep clean, while golden wildflower and fermented honey nourish the skin.

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Le Labo Face Mask – $45
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Made in California, the Le Labo mask also includes bitter almond for additional cleansing and radish seed for repair. Apparently, radish seeds have vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, that, much like charcoal, help improve skin health by reducing oxidative stress. It reduces the appearance of lines, wrinkles, age spots, and blemishes too.

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Barber Pro Skin Revival Kit – $22
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Make that next overnight business trip into a spa night. The Barber Pro kit includes several masks: a Face Putty peel off mask, Foaming Cleansing mask, Gentlemen’s Sheet mask (with anti-aging collagen), and an Under Eye mask, all of which incorporate charcoal benefits in on-the-go, single-serving packets.

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Charcoal Brushes and Clothes

Morihata Binchotan Tooth Brush – $10
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Binchotan activated charcoal has been used in Japan since the Edo period. Here it has been blended into toothbrush bristles to help deodorize the mouth, prevent bad breath, and remove plaque. Of course, it helps purify the brush’s bristles after use too!

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Morihata Binchotan Face Scrub Towel – $10
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Already have a favorite face scrub, but want charcoal’s benefits? Try this Japanese towel with activated charcoal to help draw excess oil from pores while gently exfoliating.

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Proactiv Charcoal-Bristle Pore Cleansing Brush – $55
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Power up this baby for some seriously deep cleaning. The Proactiv brush is ergonomically designed, has two speeds, and, of course, those charcoal bristles to help clean the face and keep the device itself hygienic!

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Charcoal Clothes

37.5 Performance Enhancing Materials are designed for dynamic thermo-regulation, meaning cooling or heating to keep us at the optimum ideal core temperature of 37.5 degrees Celsius. The technology incorporates volcanic and activated carbon from coconut shells (sound like charcoal, anyone?) with apparel fibers to create a targeted micro-climate around your body. This technology can be found in multiple menswear and fitness brands. A couple of our favorites are below.

Fourlaps Long Sleeve Level Tee – $88
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Fourlaps athletic-fit tee uses 37.5’s tech to make a great tee for workout or travel. The science? The tee has been shown to increase your body’s efficiency by 26 percent at lactate threshold, so you can push farther every time.

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Mission Workshop The Hayes Button Up – $190
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Made in New York City, The Hayes applies that very same performance technology to a work-a-day Oxford, perfect for keeping you cool and comfortable during those stressful meeting. The shirts come in white, charcoal, blue, or light blue chambray with a clean, fit cut. It’ll keep your style at a cool temperature too.

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While these grooming products and clothes are all well and good, it’s hard to say no to charcoal at it’s most basic: while on the grill. Check out the best charcoal grills to prep yourself for next year’s summer grilling season.

Food & Drink

The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails Offers Stellar Styling, Stiff Drinks, and a Distinctly Retro Vibe

From classic barber techniques to a vintage speakeasy lounge, The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails at the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas offers everything a modern gentleman desires.

The Best Insulated Water Bottles to Keep Your Cool

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The Best Pillows Designed With Stomach Sleepers In Mind

Pillows designed for stomach sleepers are distinguished by their thin yet supportive design, which allows the head to sink into the pillow to promote spinal alignment.

Juniper Ridge Founder Hall Newbegin Talks Sustainability in Men’s Grooming and the Search for Natural Scents

We caught up with the lightning-tongued Mr. Newbegin for a quick and dirty interview about what sustainability really means in the context of fashion and grooming.

The Best Beard Trimmers to Tame Your Wild Whiskers

Growing a bold, brawny, and beautifully shaped beard can be easy when you have the right tool.

The Best Beard Oils, Your Facial Hair’s New Best Friend

Dry and itchy beard? Get yourself one of the best beard oils. Your whiskers will welcome it.

The Best Body Lotions to Soften Your Rough Exterior

We've found some body lotions that actually hydrate our skin and don't leave us feeling like we're coated in butter.

The Best Face Masks to Uncover Better Skin

Face masks aren't just for women. Get your brightest, smoothest, blemish-free complexion.

The Best Natural Deodorants that Actually Work

That long list of chemicals on the back of your deodorant freaking you out a little bit? Try one of these and sweat a little easier.

The Best Shaving Creams for the Smoothest, Closest Shave Possible

The best shaving cream will leave your skin feeling smooth, hydrated, and (dare we say) pampered.

The Best Eye Creams to Banish Under-Eye Bags

These are especially helpful after a hard night out ... or a Monday. Or just any day of the week.

Behind the Scenes: Finding the Best Men’s Grooming Gear of the Year

On this week's episode of The Manual podcast, associate editor of lifestyle Chase McPeak breaks down everything that went into The Manual Grooming Awards 2019.

Tattoo Care Is Made Easier with Jack Black’s Ink Boost Kit

The same things that keep your skin looking fresh, vibrant, and ageless do the same for your tattoo: cleansing, sun protection, hydration, and general cell nourishment.

Kiehl’s Cannabis Sativa Seed Oil is Great for Guys with Problem Skin

Sorry guys, this won't get you high. However, it will fix your skin issues.