The Edge

Real Men Groom with Charcoal

Cooks the tastiest steak, cleans the grimiest skin

Real Men Groom with Charcoal

If you don't appreciate the lingering smell of a campfire, clean up with these products. Photo: Getty Images/Keith Levit

If you’ve relegated charcoal to the backyard or the water filter, you’re missing out. The activated form, typically made from bamboo, is ultra-porous so it’s highly absorbent and makes quick work of oil, sweat, bacteria, and airborne funk—all fixtures of warm-weather workouts. Here are five products to keep you clean this summer.

Boscia Konjac Cleansing Sponge with Bamboo Charcoal

OutsideOnline boscia Konjac cleansing sponge bamboo charcoal use uses not just grill grilling scrubby traditional Asian grooming tool starchy roots skin-cleansing boost resist no soap
  Photo: boscia

The antithesis of clean: a musty-smelling washcloth, sponge, or pouf. Konjac sponges are an addictively scrubby, traditional Asian grooming tool made from their namesake plant’s starchy roots. This one from Boscia gets a skin-cleansing boost from bamboo charcoal that also helps it resist shower-dwelling microbes. Bonus: It gets skin clean without soap, too. $18,

Craftsman Soap Company Rough Stuff Exfoliating Bar

OutsideOnline charcoal uses use not just grilling grill Craftsman Soap Company Rough Stuff exfoliating exfoliate bar soap tough ground pumice walnut shells coffee beans olive coconut avocado oils smooth
  Photo: Evan Worthington

This soap looks tough—and it is, with ground pumice, walnut shells, and coffee beans that slough off every last trace of that five-mile trail run. Some charcoal cleansers leave skin overly stripped, but Craftsman Soap’s blend includes olive, coconut, and avocado oils to keep things smooth. $6.50,

Morihata Binchotan Pumice Stone

OutsideOnline Morihata Binchotan pumice stone calluses polyurethane foam ultrafine charcoal powder not irritating not odor-causing microbes scrub not just grilling grill use uses
  Photo: Morihata

Pumice stones are great for keeping calluses in check, which tend to harbor bacteria and fungus—the last things you want grinding against your feet. Morihata’s Binchotan Pumice Stone is actually made of polyurethane foam that’s been blended with ultrafine charcoal powder, so it fights irritating, odor-causing microbes while you scrub. $16,

Origins Clear Improvement Mask

OutsideOnline charcoal use uses not just grill grilling Origins clear improvement mask backne buttne white clay absorb oil debris masks final rinse shower pores not clogged
  Photo: Origins

Slim-cut, move-with-you athletic wear has huge performance advantages. The price, however, can be an unfortunate flare-up of backne—or its even more unsightly colleague, buttne—anywhere that seams or panels trap moisture long enough to clog pores. Origins Clear Improvement mask pairs charcoal with white clay to absorb oil and debris. Masks are usually a chore to use, but this one isn’t: when you jump in the shower, just soap up and rinse off the affected area, smear on a thin layer, and let it work while you tend to other matters. By the time you’re ready for the final rinse, you’ll be in the clear. From $17,

Mini Moso Charcoal Deodorizers

OutsideOnline charcoal not just grill grilling use uses Mini Moso charcoal deodorizers bags bag sachets BO bacteria post-workout smell direct sunlight deodorize sachet two years
  Photo: The Container Store

If you’re like us, you’re occasionally guilty of leaving sweat-soaked workout clothes to moulder for days in your gym bag, maybe excavating them for a spur-of-the-moment lunchtime run or yoga class. Believe us, then, that these tiny sachets work wonders. Toss a couple in your bag or stuff them in your sneakers and they’ll absorb the brunt of BO and bacteria after even the most brutal CrossFit session. Just give them a few hours of direct sunlight once or twice a month and they’ll be good to go for up to two years. $9.99 for two,

Filed To: Bags, Health and Beauty, Design and Tech, Gear

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