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Charcoal: The new beauty craze?

What exactly does charcoal add to a shampoo or other product? (SBG)

EUGENE, Ore. - If you've scrolled through Facebook or Instagram in the past few months, chances are you've seen the new "beauty craze" that has everyone furiously pinning in their credit card numbers in order to try the new skin care sensation.

Mariah Mills tried out charcoal beauty products after seeing people use them on social media.

"When a fad like that comes out, or a celebrity endorsements and stuff, or YouTube stars post it on social media, that's when it takes off, and everybody tries it," said Mills, who is a college student.

According to Statista, almost half of the videos on YouTube in 2015 were beauty tutorials. Some of those left people wanting to try different products - including charcoal - in real life.

"We get asked probably 10 times a day," said Tiffany Lewelling at Ultra beauty.

But what exactly does charcoal add to a shampoo or other product?

"Built up shampoo or hairspray, or anything like that that might be left on the hair," said Lewelling. "It acts like a magnet to impurities, so it can actually hold, I believe, up to two times its weight in impurities."

These charcoal products aren't for everyone, however. Lewelling says that sensitive is one, but not the only reason to take it easy with charcoal.

"Sometimes people with drier skin can have sensitivity, and might want to use something not quite as strong," said Lewelling. "It can leave you dry, unhealthy looking."

As for Mills, she understands the impact that charcoal might have on her skin, especially because it can be dehydrating. She questions though, if she would have bought charcoal products in the first place without seeing them online.

"I feel like I drink enough water and take care of my skin, so it'll be okay enough," said Mills. "I would have never gotten exposure to them, first of all. Secondary, I would have been like, 'Charcoal? For your face, not for a barbecue or something? That's weird.'"

So when you see something online, don't necessarily take it at face value.

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