Science shows that a beauty routine that incorporates several high-powered ingredients is the best way to combat signs of aging, skin damage, and all those other fun things we deal with on a daily basis. How do you know which beauty ingredients are right for you? Enter Ingredient Breakdown to help pull back the curtain. This week, we're explaining the ever-topical wonders of activated charcoal.

The ingredient: Charcoal

Also known as: Activated charcoal

Quick take: A carbon-based natural ingredient that is found as an active ingredient in a number of skincare, haircare, and body care products to detox and cleanse.

Claims to fame: Primarily known for its ability to act like a gigantic magnet and remove impurities and pollution, charcoal is a stellar ingredient to add into your beauty routine. When charcoal is "activated," it actually increases it surface area, allowing it virtually become a porous sponge that draws out excess gunk from hair, skin, and yes, even teeth. You primarily will find charcoal as an ingredient in skincare products because it's excellent at clearing out blackheads and ridding skin of excess oil.

Where to find it:

Mediheal Charcoal Bubble Cleansing Pads ($11.99)

These exfoliating pads feel like a little luxury with their pre-soaked product pads and finger pockets. A little water activates the charcoal powder for easy exfoliation and deep cleansing.