From charcoal whitening toothpaste, charcoal vitamins, and of course, charcoal face wash, charcoal is very popular in the beauty and skincare world.
Activated charcoal is particularly beneficial in face wash because it acts as a gentle and natural exfoliator that extracts impurities, such as dirt, oil, and bacteria, from your skin while clearing pores and enhancing your complexion. The substance can also treat hyperpigmentation, helping to fade acne scars or sun spots by renewing your skin over time.
When deciding which charcoal face wash is best for you, determine exactly what your skin needs. Does it need rejuvenation, oil reduction, or blackhead clearing?
Whatever the case, we have an extensive list of the best charcoal face washes:
Best overall charcoal face wash
Bioré Charcoal Face Wash
This product uses a natural charcoal substance for an all-encompassing deep pore cleanse. By absorbing oil, grit, makeup, and dirt, this foaming cleanser draws out the impurities without removing the natural skin barrier. After rinsing off the face wash, your skin will be left feeling fresh and renewed without any dryness or tightness.
Best charcoal face wash for oily skin
Bioré Charcoal Acne Clearing Face Wash
Ideal for acne-prone or oily skin, the Biore Charcoal Acne-Clearing Cleanser is at the top of our list as it can deep clean, balance, and purify your skin. The natural charcoal and 1% salicylic acid ingredients absorb any excess oil, treat and prevent blemishes, and reduce future breakouts. Plus, the oil-free formula prevents pore clogging and irritation.
Best brightening charcoal face wash
L’Oreal Paris Skincare Pure-Clay Facial Cleanser with Charcoal
If you have dull or tired skin, the charcoal and pure clay ingredients in the L’Oreal Facial Cleanser can give your skin a brightening boost. The clay-to-mousse formula purifies skin and reduces oil. This product will tighten your skin, creating a healthy and refreshed glow.
Best charcoal face wash scrub
Art of Sport Daily Face Wash – Charcoal Face Scrub
The Art of Sport Daily Face Wash deep cleans your skin. The aloe vera and bamboo ingredients will hydrate and soften your skin. The all-natural, gentle formula, which is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates, is ideal for those with sensitive or dry skin. The invigorating face wash and scrub combo have a fresh mint scent that will leave your skin feeling energized and clean.
Best charcoal face wash for blackheads
Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser
Banish blackheads with the Yes to Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal Facial Cleanser. The charcoal helps to clear your skin of blackhead-causing bacteria, while the tomato extract works to revive and brighten your skin.
The wash also contains salicylic acid, which will clean out your pores, and jojoba oil, which will hydrate your skin. Yes to Tomatoes is free of parabens, silicone, and SLS, and is gentle enough to use daily to prevent any blackheads from forming.
Best energizing charcoal face wash
Epielle Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser
This product will deep clean your pores while giving your complexion an energy boost and an overall brighter look. The oil-free gel cleanser contains charcoal, which penetrates the pores and invigorates the skin from the inside out, leaving your face hydrated, smooth, and blemish-free.
Best exfoliating charcoal face wash
TreeActiv Charcoal Acne Exfoliating Face Wash
For smooth and supple skin, the TreeActiv Charcoal Face Wash exfoliates the skin and removes any dead skin cells. This face wash helps prevent acne, whiteheads, and blackheads from forming by deep cleaning the pores without stripping the skin of its natural moisture.
In addition to charcoal, the TreeActiv Face Wash contains clary sage, peppermint oil, glycerin, vitamin C, honey, and sulfur, which help to balance, hydrate, nourish, and brighten your skin for long-lasting moisture and softness.
Best charcoal face wash for men
Lumin Men’s No-Nonsense Charcoal Cleanser
This charcoal-based cleanser is specifically designed for men, as it treats and prevents shaving irritation. It’ll rid your skin of excessive bacteria buildup and prep your skin for a more precise shave.
The formula contains charcoal, of course, which whisks out the impurities, as well as rosemary leaf extract packed with anti-inflammatory properties to help soothe sensitive skin and prevent early aging.
Best charcoal face wash for acne-prone skin
Black Wolf Nation Activated Charcoal Face Wash
Reduce potential breakouts with this Black Wolf Nation Activated Charcoal Face Wash. Complete with salicylic acid, this cleanser sloughs off dead skin, dirt, and debris to fight blemishes and acne before they even form. Using this wash daily will ensure softer, clearer, and oil-free skin.
Best detox charcoal face wash
All Natural Detox Activated Charcoal Facial Cleanser
If your skin is in desperate need of a detox, this facial cleanser can help with that. The charcoal draws out toxins and cleans out clogged pores, while the vitamins gently nourish the skin.
Other ingredients like Rooibos tea, white tea, and green tea will protect your skin from detrimental environmental factors and will fight against premature aging. The hypoallergenic formula detoxes even the most sensitive skin, as it’s free of parabens and other toxic irritants.
Best charcoal face and beard wash
Nivea Men Deep Cleansing Beard and Face Wash
Men deserve a luminous glow, too! The Nivea Men Deep Cleansing Beard and Face Wash are specifically formulated to not only cleanse skin but beard and mustache hair too.
The wash uses natural charcoal to remove dirt, oil, and impurities from the face, leaving behind healthy skin and a refreshed beard and mustache. The light vanilla bourbon scent is ideal for men and isn’t too overwhelming or strong.
Best purifying charcoal face wash
Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash
Clear up blackheads and clogged pores without irritating your skin by using Brickell Men’s Purifying Charcoal Face Wash. Specifically made to purify skin without drying it out, this face wash works best on men with sensitive, dry, or normal skin types.
The charcoal ingredient allows for a deep cleanse, while the additional vitamins and natural extracts, such as olive oil, jojoba oil, and aloe vera, refresh and hydrate the skin.
Best natural charcoal face wash
Boscia Detoxifying Black Charcoal Cleanser
The Boscia Detoxifying Charcoal Cleanser is the most expensive face wash on our list but it does a thorough job of removing makeup, oil, and impurities to shrink your pores and improve your complexion.
The water-based cleanser uses charcoal to deeply penetrate the pores and detoxify the skin. Plus, the formula is free of parabens, gluten, preservatives, and artificial fragrances. These natural ingredients and the added vitamins will leave your skin feeling pure and nourished.
Best anti-aging charcoal face wash
TruSkin Charcoal Face Wash
For those fighting signs of premature aging, the TruSkin Charcoal Face Wash uses charcoal to gently balance skin and improve and prevent wrinkles. Other ingredients like organic aloe, ylang-ylang, lavender, and cucumber purify and hydrate skin for maximum rejuvenation.
The foaming formula also uses antioxidants to clear impurities from the skin while encouraging and supporting collagen so your skin is left youthful and bright.
Our hot take
Charcoal is a powerful ingredient that naturally battles dirt, oil, and irritation. Those with additional skin issues, such as dryness or sensitivity, can benefit from a charcoal-based face wash too, especially when it contains other ingredients like vitamins or antioxidants.
Men, in particular, can also take advantage of charcoal face wash, as the substance deep cleans hair follicles and removes any dead or dry skin covered by facial hair. That being said, charcoal face wash can benefit all types of skin — its ability to deeply penetrate your pores will result in a healthier, brighter, and blemish-free complexion.
Why trust us?
When choosing the best products for your beauty needs, we conduct extensive research to determine the highest quality products we can find. We have processes set in place for quality control of ingredients, fact-checking and style guidelines, journalistic integrity, and implement several rounds of editing and review.
"We often receive complimentary products to review at Family Proof. Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team."