Activated charcoal is an amazing natural beauty ingredient! I believe everyone should have this miracle worker in their beauty pantry! Check out 12 beauty benefits of activated charcoal in this article!
What is Activated Charcoal?
First off, what is activated charcoal and what does activated mean? Well, activated charcoal is simply common charcoal that has been heated in a way that it develops a lot of small spaces or ‘pores’ in it that trap chemicals.
It is produced by small particles of carbonaceous substances such as saw dust & coconut shells heated to very high temperatures, which forms charcoal. To ‘activate’ the charcoal, steam or very hot air is used to erode the internal surfaces thereby increasing its absorptive surface area. This absorptive surface area is the one which draws out harmful substances, toxins and impurities from deep within the skin.
Caution: When using activated charcoal, remember a little goes a long way since it is proven to adsorb (yeah adsorb. Meaning: Hold molecules of a gas or liquid or solute as a thin film on the outside surface or on internal surfaces within the material) 1000 times its own mass in harmful substances and impurities and using it in high amounts may irritate skin and cause redness.
Okay, now let’s check out 12 beauty benefits of activated charcoal!
12 Beauty Benefits of Activated Charcoal
1. Treats Acne
If you have acne, get your hands on some activated charcoal right now. It works wonders in fighting off acne-causing germs, sucking out impurities, reducing inflammation and keeping your pores clean. Apply this activated charcoal face mask for acne:
Empty half of an activated charcoal capsule in a small bowl or dish. Now add 1 tsp of aloe vera gel and 1 drop of tea tree essential oil and mix everything well with your clean fingers. Apply the mixture gently on your face, avoiding the area around your eyes and mouth. Let it sit for 5 minutes then rinse off well with warm water first, then cold water. Do this mask twice a week to get your acne under control.
2. Sucks out Impurities from the Skin
Activated charcoal is known to be very absorbent. It’s so powerful that it sucks up poison, which is why it’s given to people who’ve swallowed poisonous substances. It works the same way by pulling out impurities and heavy metals from the skin. Make a simple face mask with it by mixing it with a little water or organic rose water (for astringent effects) to create a paste.
3. Whitens Teeth
Yes, activated charcoal really whitens teeth! It works by bonding to many of the organic substances (food) that stain the teeth like coffee, red wine, nicotine. It also scrubs off plaque and tartar from teeth. Activated charcoal is also slightly abrasive which helps it scrounge off stains and plaque stuck on teeth.
To whiten your teeth, open and empty half of one activated charcoal capsule into a small dish or onto your clean sink (at the side of the tap). Now dip your toothbrush (with toothpaste on it) into the activated charcoal then brush your teeth as usual, concentrating on the front teeth. The charcoal won’t spoil the taste of your toothpaste at all. Now rinse your mouth and say hola to gleaming white teeth! Try this just once a week.
4. Make your Own Eyeliner & Mascara
Make your own non-toxic eye makeup with activated charcoal! I have a recipe for DIY Mascara with Activated Charcoal on the blog. Please check it out! You can also make a very simple eye liner using activated charcoal!
Simply get a small dish and empty 2 pinches from an activated charcoal capsules into it. Now get an angular eyeliner brush and wet with water. Now mix the brush into the activated charcoal to create a paste. Line your upper eyelids. Go ahead and wing ‘em too! Ta-da! Winged eye-liner on fleek, baby! You might want to apply a make-up setting spray after applying the eyeliner in case you’re gonna have a sweaty day. But I usually survive just fine without any setting products! 😉
This DIY eyeliner comes off easily with water. Just shut your eyes tight and wash your face as usual. It always comes off smooth.
5. Whitens Dark Underarms
Activated charcoal is a popular remedy for whitening dark underarms. It exfoliates the area, sucks out impurities, lifts the dark dead skin cells and even neutralizes underarm odor! To use it, make this underarm whitening mask:
Empty 1-2 activated charcoal capsules in a bowl. Now add 2 tsp of raw honey and 1 tsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Rub onto one clean underarm, let it sit for 5-10 minutes then rinse off and repeat on the other underarm. Do this weekly.
6. Soothes Bug Bites and Irritated Skin
Apply a paste of activated charcoal onto bug bites to remove bee/wasp stingers, reduce inflammation, relieve itching and soothe bug bites! It can also help calm irritated skin.
7. Balances Oily Skin
Activated charcoal sucks out excess oils and stale sebum stuck within the pores. Mix the contents of one activated charcoal capsule with 2 tsp of organic rose water and apply it on your skin to manage an overly oily face.
8. Gently Exfoliates Skin
With its slightly gritty texture, activated charcoal is good for skin exfoliation. Its impurity-sucking properties make it an even better exfoliator!
9. Removes Blackheads
Try my DIY Bentonite Clay and Activated Charcoal Face Mask to naturally remove and prevent black heads! It’s best done after facial steaming to open up the pores.
10. Detoxifies Skin
Want to detoxify your skin? Is your skin feeling clogged up, dull or breaking out? Then make an activated charcoal face mask for application.
Simply empty one activated charcoal capsule into a small dish then mix in enough water. Now add ¼ tsp of apple cider vinegar and a drop of lemon essential oil. Mix them up and apply it on your face. When it dries up, rinse off well with warm water. Then pat dry and apply moisturizer. This mask will instantly rejuvenate your skin!
11. For Making Black Drawing Salve
Black drawing salve is a mixture made out of healing substances and activated charcoal. It helps draw out impurities and foreign objects stuck in the skin like thorns, wood splinters and more. It’s also good for removing pus-filled cysts, painful acne and ingrown hairs. Check out my post: How to Make Amish Black Drawing Salve
12. Gets Rid of Acne Scars & Blemishes
Activated charcoal can be used to gently face away acne scars and blemishes. It’s slightly abrasive texture helps slough off the dead skin on top of the acne scars, revealing new skin beneath. Make an activated charcoal face scrub as follows:
Get a small bowl and empty 1 activated charcoal capsule into it. Now add 1 tsp of bentonite clay. Mix the ingredients with water to form a paste then add ½ tsp of lemon juice from a freshly squeezed lemon. Scrub this mixture onto your face, let it sit for a minute then rinse off well with warm water. Pat dry and moisturize your face. Remember when using bentonite clay, don’t use metal utensils/cutlery because metal makes it lose its potency.
Where to Get Activated Charcoal
I like purchasing activated charcoal in capsule form. This form is very easy to work with because it is less messy compared to opening a bottle of activated charcoal powder, which can leave black powder everywhere. Not to mention, some particles can go into your nose and make you sneeze. Activated charcoal capsules are also easy to ingest (charcoal is given to people who’ve swallowed poisonous substances because it helps suck out the poison). It’s also helpful for gas and bloating.
My recommended activated charcoal powder capsules is Nature’s Way Activated Charcoal capsules. I love their Vitamin E capsules too!