charcoal mask

Charcoal – the best-kept secret in skin care?


It is being branded a ‘wonder ingredient’ and ‘game-changer’, but could charcoal really be the secret to perfect skin?

How does activated charcoal work?

It may look dirty, but charcoal has superb cleansing powers for leaving skin fresher and brighter.

What is activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is carbon, which has been treated to increase its surface area, creating lots of tiny pores. These pores are responsible for drawing out oil, dirt and other harmful substances from the skin. This process is called adsorption and is a very powerful way of cleansing and detoxifying.

Our skin comes into contact with a huge number of pollutants during everyday life, which can leave the complexion looking dull and blemished. By acting like a magnet, charcoal attracts dirt and impurities from the pores. The impurities stick to the charcoal and are washed away when you rinse your face to reveal fresh skin.

A surface area like no other beauty treatment

Thanks to all of its pores, activated charcoal has an incredibly large surface area and can absorb thousands of times its own weight. In fact, one gram of activated charcoal has a surface area of over 3,000 square metres. How about that for size!

How to add charcoal to your beauty routine

Now that you’ve found out what makes activated charcoal so special, here is how to maximise its benefits.

Activated charcoal for skin

Charcoal is very effective when applied to the skin. For those people with oily or acne-prone skin, activated charcoal is a miracle powder. It is great at absorbing excess oils to make pores appear smaller and leave the skin looking smooth and radiant. 

Thanks to its deep-cleansing properties, charcoal makes a fantastic ingredient for a revitalizing face mask. Its ability to clear out the pores makes it ideal for preventing blackheads and promoting a clear complexion. But charcoal isn’t the only natural face mask ingredient –learn more about other nourishing, all-natural DIY face masks and find out why facial masks are such an essential skin care treat.

Protect delicate skin by avoiding glue…

The latest trend sweeping the internet seems to be mixing charcoal with glue to make a peel off charcoal mask. We wouldn’t recommend this combination, as glue could cause serious damage to the skin. Instead, why not try the recipes below for a safer way to enjoy the benefits of charcoal?

How to make a nourishing DIY charcoal mask

  1. Start with some water: Add two teaspoons of water to a small mixing bowl.
  2. Add a little bentonite clay: Sprinkle one teaspoon of bentonite clay over the water, leaving it to absorb for a few seconds before adding any other ingredients.
  3. Add activated charcoal powder and honey: Next add one teaspoon of activated charcoal powder for skin and half a teaspoon of honey.
  4. Mix it up: Thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together. It may take a good few minutes for the clay to lose its lumpiness and leave you with a paste.
  5. Apply to the face: Your charcoal mask is ready! Apply liberally to the face using clean fingers or a soft-bristle brush and allow it to dry for around 10 minutes, before washing off to reveal a deeply cleansed complexion.

Activated charcoal for hair

This beautifying ingredient can work wonders on your hair and scalp too. By removing oil build-up, activated charcoal can help to freshen up the scalp and remove dandruff, leaving your locks looking shiny and voluminous.

Give your shampoo a charcoal boost

A great way to see the benefits of charcoal as part of your hair care routine is by adding a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder to your regular shampoo from time to time – just make sure you give your scalp a good massage so that all of the colour comes out!