Everyone wants a fresh, glowing complexion. Who wouldn’t? Impurities, dirt, and air pollution can all take a toll on skin daily, making it appear dull and irritated. That’s where activated charcoal comes in. This all natural wonder, which is free of any chemicals, can help draw out impurities in your skin, creating beautiful results, including a fresher, healthier appearance and a radiant glow. The great news is, there are lots of easy DIY ways to incorporate activated charcoal into your skincare regimen.
Activated charcoal is sold as a powder, often in capsule form. You can find it in many health food stores, some drug stores, and online.
Porous and highly absorbent. this pitch-black powder has been used for many years by those hoping to reap its benefits. (And let’s be clear: This is absolutely not the same charcoal product you use for outdoor grilling!)
Here are five beauty benefits of activated charcoal for your skin. Have fun as you try these new ideas:
1. Deep Cleaning
Because activated charcoal has no chemicals added to it, it can often be used on the most sensitive of skin. Consider incorporating the fine charcoal powder with your favorite gentle cleanser a couple of times each week – the charcoal gives your cleanser a “boost” by attracting dirt and other substances to the skin’s surface and sweeping them away.
Note: For those with dry skin, activated charcoal may be a bit too drying. If you have combination skin, or an oily “T-zone,” use the charcoal powder/cleanser mix only on those areas. Be sure to rinse thoroughly, and follow with your favorite toner and moisturizer.
2. Purified Complexion
Activated charcoal is known to absorb 100 to 200 times its weight in impurities.1 Make it into a mask to help to flush out all the impurities. Here is a DIY mask idea that you can try at home.
Carefully empty two capsules of activated charcoal (approximately ¼ tsp) into a small bowl. Add 1 tsp of rose water, and 2 tsp of water and mix to form a paste. Add more water if necessary.
Apply the paste to your face, making sure to coat any problem areas completely. Avoid the eye and lip areas. Leave the mask on for approximately 15 minutes, or until completely dry.
Rinse the mask off thoroughly, following with a cool rinse to “close” pores.
This mask can help draw out all types of toxins and dirt, leaving behind smooth, glowing skin that feels extra clean.
Note: You can add 1 to 1 ½ tsp of bentonite clay to the mask mixture for extra absorption. If you have sensitive skin, however, the basic mask recipe should suffice.
3. Blackhead Fighting
If you struggle with seemingly impossible-to-remove blackheads, activated charcoal may be exactly what’s needed. In this case, activated charcoal powder can be used as an effective spot treatment on the most stubborn areas. Try this recipe to banish blackheads:
Mix a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with water to form a paste, and add a small squeeze of honey. Leave on trouble areas for 5 to 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and pat skin dry.
Afterwards, your skin should feel smooth and your pores should be visibly refined.
Note: Some people may notice the charcoal lingers in the pores as black dots – this can easily be removed by gently rubbing the area with a warm wash cloth.
4. Balances Oily Skin
When the carbon in activated charcoal comes into contact with impurities, it soaks up the sheen on your face. If you struggle with oily skin, activated charcoal may help to balance things out. Try using a facial mask or wash with charcoal to draw out toxins and eliminate excess sebum from your complexion. Don’t overdo it, though: once or twice a week is plenty, to avoid drying out the skin too much.
Here is an easy DIY face mask recipe specifically designed for oily skin:2
DIY Charcoal Mask Recipe
- Mix together 2 capsules of activated charcoal, ½ teaspoon bentonite clay, ¼ teaspoon coconut oil, ¼ teaspoon avocado oil, and a teaspoon of water.
- Use a cosmetic or other brush to apply the mixture to your face. Be careful to avoid your eyes and mouth.
- Let the mask sit on your face until it dries, then remove it with a warm washcloth, rinse your face with cool water, and pat dry.
Note: Always perform a patch test before using a new product to test for sensitivities.
5. Gently Exfoliates
Use activated charcoal to make your skin glow via exfoliation. Its texture makes for a gentle, natural exfoliator. It helps to remove bacteria, sebum, and dead skin cells from the face, while its antimicrobial properties may help to prevent skin infections.
Make your own all-natural exfoliator by combining one capsule of activated charcoal with 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of olive oil. Carefully stir the mixture and apply to the face. The activated charcoal is a very gentle exfoliator, but still, go slowly, making circular motions with your fingers.
Avoid getting the mixture in your eyes. Exfoliate for approximately one to two minutes, then rinse, pat dry and follow up with your favorite light moisturizer (the olive oil in the scrub will provide some natural moisturizing properties).
Feel the Glow
If you’re eager to give activated charcoal a try in your own personal skin care regimen, you can do so easily by making your own deep cleaning wash, and creating masks to draw out and whisk away impurities.
If you have blackheads, you know they’re stubborn – but activated charcoal is a powerful blackhead-fighting ingredient. For extra glow, try a DIY exfoliator every so often. Since it is completely natural, you will find it works well on even the most sensitive skin.
1.“Treatment Of Oil–Water Emulsions By Adsorption Onto Activated Carbon, Bentonite And Deposited Carbon”. Sciencedirect.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 May 2017.
2. “Activated Charcoal Face Mask”. Culturesforhealth.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 4 May 2017.