Activated charcoal is the new name in the natural beauty game— with even the conventional beauty brands jumping on board. Of course, as with so many trends, using activated charcoal for skincare is nothing new. People have been using the natural, gentle cleansing product across cultures and generations for ages!
What is activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is the end product after regular charcoal gets heated in the presence of gas; the combination produces tiny pores within the charcoal which have detoxifying properties, essentially pulling toxins out of whatever its used on.
So, no matter the application, the essential function is always the same: to safely and effectively remove impurities, toxins and stains.
There are so many amazing uses for activated charcoal for skincare. We’ve put together a list of our favorites including some seriously simple DIY recipes you can use to make your own activated charcoal beauty products!
Face masks made with activated charcoal are perfect for those weeks when you’re dealing with a major breakout or you’ve noticed some blackheads popping up around your cheeks, chin and nose. Since it is so powerfully detoxifying, it’s not recommended if you have particularly dry skin.
Activated Charcoal Face Mask
Source: Pistachio Project
- 1/2 tsp. activated charcoal
- 1/2 tsp. bentonite clay
- 1/4 tsp coconut oil
- 1 tsp water
Mix the activated charcoal and bentonite clay in a small, glass bowl. Add water and oil and mix until well-combined. Apply over clean skin in an even layer and leave on until dried completely and rinse off with warm water.
If you’d like to incorporate activated charcoal benefits into your skin care routine every day, you can make a charcoal facial cleanser that will help keep your skin clear. You can also purchase a charcoal konjac sponge that gets soft once it is immersed in water and is a great exfoliator for your skin! It’s made with an Asian plant and bamboo, which contains the detoxing charcoal.
Activated Charcoal Mask for Blackheads
- 1/2 tsp of activated charcoal
- 1/2 tsp of bentonite clay
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of water
Mix all the ingredients together. Wash your face using a cleanser. Apply evenly avoiding your mouth and your eyes. Once you've allowed it to sit for 10 minutes wash it off!
Activated Charcoal Face Scrub & Cleanser
Source: Crunchy Betty
- 1/4 C finely ground oats
- 1/4 C white rice flour
- 1/8 C finely ground almonds
- 2 TB bentonite clay
- 1 TB ground dried calendula
- 1 TB ground chamomile
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 1/4 tsp evening primrose oil
- 7 drops tumeric resin oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
Mix the oats, almonds, calendula and chamomile in a bowl. Add rice flour, clay and activated charcoal and mix well. Drop by drop, add evening primrose oil, turmeric resin oil and peppermint essential oil, stirring well after every drop. Place mixture in food processor and let run for 30 seconds.
To use, simply mix a teaspoon of the scrub in a small bowl with a drop or two of water for approximately 30 seconds. Wet your face with water, apply scrub and use circular motions to exfoliate your face. Rinse and moisturize!
If you’d like an all-purpose soap you can use for your hands and body, this homemade activated charcoal soap recipe will do the trick for the whole family.
Homemade Activated Charcoal Soap
Source: Rocky Mountain Essentials
- 1 lb. melt and pour shea butter soap base
- 5 activated charcoal capsules
- 15-20 drops tea tree essential oil
Cut the soap into small chunks and melt in a double boiler. Remove a small amount into a cup and let cool slightly. Mix in the charcoal and add back into the rest of the melted soap base. Mix in the tea tree oil. Pour into a mold and let cool.
Activated charcoal can be an amazingly detoxifying ingredient for oily hair or hair with lots of product build-up on it. Use it once a week as the clarifying element could be stripping for your hair if you used it more often.
Homemade Activated Charcoal Shampoo
(one use application)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 C warm water
- 1/4 tsp activated charcoal
Stir baking soda and activated charcoal into the cup of warm water and apply to wet hair, work from roots to ends and rinse.
It may seem counterintuitive to spread black paste all over you teeth to make them whiter but trust us— it works. It is a super gentle alternative to more abrasive options that will still give you noticeable results immediately! Activated charcoal will lift surfaces stains like coffee, tee and wine without damaging healthy enamel. It’s so easy to make and use, too!
Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Recipe
- 1/4 C aluminum-free baking soda
- 1 tsp Himalayan Sea salt
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 5-6 drops peppermint essential oil
In a shallow dish that you can easily dip your toothbrush into, combine the baking soda, sea salt and activated charcoal and mix. Stir in the melted coconut oil until combined. Lastly, add in the essential oil. Mix until well combined.
To use, simply dip your toothbrush into the mixture and brush. You can leave it on your teeth for a few minutes as a teeth whitening treatment or use it daily as a whitening toothpaste.
Activated charcoal for skincare is an amazing natural ingredient with myriad benefits for your beauty routine!