When people think charcoal, the thought of coal or wood comes to mind but regular charcoal is very much different to activated charcoal.
When activated charcoal is combined with gas or an activating agent at high temperatures it makes for a very potent natural ingredient you can use it a variety of different ways.
To break it down for you activated charcoal works by absorbing chemicals and reducing their toxicity, and best bet is it can be used internally or externally.
Below are my top tips for using activated charcoal in all different methods.
1. Skin Detox
As mentioned before the amazing thing about activated charcoal is it’s ability to absorb chemicals, which means it’s possibly the best natural little vacuum you could ever use!
It sucks out and absorbs that excess oil and cleanses those pores in minutes. The best part about it is that you can use it alone or mix it up with some more detoxifying ingredients.
Don’t get freaked out, cos I know the idea of washing your face with charcoal seems super weird. But when you have finished up with this process and you’re skin is looking too good to be true, makeup removed, dead skin cells removed and pores detoxified then you will be thanking me.
The recipe for the cleanser below is gentle for all types of skin types, especially for oily skin. The good news is as well that it will last you for 6 months or more when made, and stored correctly.
DIY detox cleansing grains + mask
- ¼ cup ground oats
- ¼ cup kaolin clay
- ¼ cup bentonite clay
- 10 capsules activated charcoal
- 7 drops lavender essential oil
- 7 drops bergamot essential oil
- 7 drops tea tree essential oil
- Grind oats in a coffee grinder to get a fine powder.
- Combine with the two clays in a glass mixing bowl. Be sure to measure the clay with non metal measuring cups.
- Add the activated charcoal and essential oils.
- Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
- Transfer to a container with a lid.
- To use, dispense a small amount (about a teaspoon) of grains into your hand. Add a few drops of water to get a wet paste.
- Gently massage into skin, making small circles with your fingers.
- Rinse with warm water and follow with toner and moisturizer.
- You can also leave the grains on your face for 10-15 for a deep cleansing face mask.
- Keep in an airtight container with a lid and be careful to not introduce water. Will keep for at least 6 months.
2. Charcoal eyeliner
This one seems super weird I know, but it’s actually worth it when it comes to avoiding harmful chemicals around your ever so delicate eye area. It’s not only easy and natural but it’s also really cheap to do.
The good thing is it’s amazing for those of us who have really sensitive eyes that can get irritated by mascaras or eye liners.
Homemade charcoal eye liner
- 2 teaspoons coconut oil
- 4 teaspoons aloe vera gel
- 1 – 2 capsules of activated charcoal (for black) OR ½ tsp cocoa powder (for brown)
- Thoroughly mix all ingredients.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Be sure to store this in a dark and cool place. Use a clean brush to ensure you don’t introduce any bacteria to the mixture.
If you’re anything like me I like to keep my teeth super white, and shiny. So you may be thinking to yourself why use charcoal then that is totally counter-intuitive. But this recipe for making your own teeth whitening paste, is super easy, affordable, again avoiding all those nasty chemicals that go into those teeth whiteners and actually works.
It’s as easy as mixing your activated charcoal powder with some water and dabbing it onto your teeth. Waiting 3 minutes and then rinsing.
The key to its success is it changes the pH of your mouth, and it can be used 2-3 times per week for the best results.
4. Exfoliate Skin
Because of it’s natural treatment in trapping those toxins and chemicals, this exfoliating scrub is a perfect way to flush out those nasties so your body doesn’t reabsorb them.
Thanks to its amazing detoxifying properties, I have come to the realization that it is one of the best additions to my all natural skincare routine, particularly as someone who is prone to breakouts.
Activated Charcoal Exfoliating Facial Scrub
- ⅓ cup organic cane sugar or white sugar
- 2 TB olive oil – 100% olive oil, not an oil “blend”
- 2 capsules of activated charcoal (about ½ tsp of powder)
- (optional) 3 drops skin-friendly essential oil
- Add the cane sugar and activated charcoal to a bowl or storage jar
- Shake the jar or whisk the ingredients together to combine the sugar and charcoal powder.
- Add the olive oil to the mixture, and stir to combine. The sugar and charcoal should look like wet, black sand. Seal the jar until use.
To Use: Apply a small amount of the scrub to the palm of your hand, then massage it over a clean face for about 30 seconds. Rinse the scrub off with a warm washcloth. I personally use a scrub on my face twice a week.
I’ve found that over-exfoliating my skin leads to break-outs and dry skin. Twice a week is the magic number for me.
Please note though that when you add water into the water (water on your hands + water in the jar) this means the product will not preserve for as long and you run the risk of introducing bacteria. So if you have a spare spoon lying around use that to scoop the scrub from the jar into your hands.
5. Relieve Insect Bites & Stings
While activated charcoal can pull out the dirt in your skin, it can also pull out the itch-causing toxins from mosquito and bee bites.
The benefits of charcoal continue from using it for deodorant to even drinking it in a smoothie.
So from the outside in charcoal is detoxifying your body for the better. The best bit is as well a little goes a long way.
So charcoal up, brush with it, wash with it, drink it, the options are endless. But it’s a product you need in your life.