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Charcoal: Your Skin’s Best Friend

Activated charcoal is the latest buzz in the skincare industry. Almost every beauty and skincare provider is vouching for this fantastic ingredient. Activated charcoal is a crucial ingredient that has found its way into a wide array of skincare products.

You can find it in products ranging from facial cleansers and shampoos to soaps and scrubs. Charcoal is mainly known for its face packs and masks. It removes impurities and detoxifies the skin.

Environmental factors like pollution, dust, dirt, and sunlight all have a negative impact on the skin. These impurities clog your pores and make the skin look dull. A charcoal mask help removes dirt when applied topically. It also gives your skin a thorough cleansing.

What is activated charcoal?

It is an odorless powder made from common charcoal that has been exposed to heat. When the charcoal is heated to a high temperature it causes little pockets or holes to occur. This makes it highly absorbent.

Due to its absorbent nature activated charcoal draws toxins from the body. Although it is charcoal, activated charcoal is different from charcoal used in outdoor grills.

Benefits of Activated charcoal

Activated Charcoal has a number of benefits. It finds its place in homes, hospitals, and salons for its innumerable benefits. Let us look into the benefits of Activated Charcoal face masks.

Absorbs toxins from the skin:

The most touted benefit of a charcoal face mask is its detoxifying ability. Over a course of time, several factors contribute to toxin build-up in your skin. They could be pollution, too much exposure to sunlight, environmental factors, and weather. Other factors could be lifestyle-related like diet, stress, and sleep patterns. Even the application of chemical products on the skin can take its toll.

Even when you cleanse, tone, and moisturize your face and neck on a regular basis, toxins build up under the epidermis. These toxins could lead to various skin and health related problems. Activated charcoal is the ideal situation to pull out the toxins completely under the skin.

The extra absorptive powers and increased surface area tend to absorb more dirt and grime. It is also well known to remove other harmful chemicals that have lodged themselves in the skin. Once these toxins leave your skin, your skin is left glowing and radiant. It also helps premature aging which happens due to oxidizing agents. This makes the skin more supple.

Charcoal face masks reduce or close open pores:

Open pores can be problematic for all those skin enthusiasts. When your pores are open all sorts of dust and dirt enter your skin. They then can cause a variety of problems in your skin.

Activated charcoal when used in face masks can reduce or in some cases close those open pores. The dirt, dust, and grime in these open pores lead to pimples, acne, and many other skin issues.

How does activated charcoal do all this good for your skin? When you apply the activated charcoal face mask, it sucks out all the dirt, dust, and grime from the pores. As all the impurities are reduced from the pores, they become small and, in some cases, close. This leaves you with smooth and soft skin.

Balances excessive oil production in the skin:

Activated charcoal is known for mattifying oily skin. Oily skin is a problem for many, especially teenagers who suffer from hormonal changes. An activated charcoal face mask absorbs excess oil and balances sebum levels. This active ingredient takes care of any extra oil that may be a cause of concern.

If you have dry skin, do not overuse an activated charcoal face mask as it may lead to excess dryness. You can use it once a week in case of dry skin.

Treats acne and blackheads:

Acne, blackheads, and even whiteheads are all a result of dirt, dust, and grime entering your pores. Excess sebum production, bacteria, and infections are other areas of concern. An activated charcoal face mask draws out the impurities and treats these problems from the root.

If you don’t want to use an entire face mask too often, even a spot treatment of activated charcoal is effective. Take a little bit of face mask and dab it on the acne or pimple. It works.

Activated charcoal is an effective antibacterial and antimicrobial:

Being an effective antibacterial and antimicrobial is a key property of charcoal face masks. This means that a charcoal face mask is capable of treating infections, bacteria, and other microbes.

How to use activated charcoal?

You can either use a readymade face mask available in the market or any trusted brand. Also, there are many DIY recipes available that you can try at home. Some DIY recipes are listed below.

Charcoal-Multani mitti face pack:

1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1 tsp fuller’s earth (Multani mitti)
1/2 tsp honey
3 drops of tea tree oil
1 tsp water

  • Mix the activated charcoal powder and fuller’s earth in a small bowl.
  • Then add honey and stir well to make a fine paste.
  • Then put water into this mixture and mix well.
  • Add 3 drops of tea tree oil to this and stir a little.
  • Let this mixture sit for 2-3 minutes.
  • Then apply this to your face and neck leaving the eye area and lips with a clean brush.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes and let it dry.
  • Wash it off with warm water and pat dry your skin with a clean towel.
  • Apply some moisturizer of your choice.

Activated charcoal and apple cider vinegar mask:

1 tsp bentonite clay
1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1 tsp organic raw apple cider vinegar
3 drops of tea tree oil

  • Take a bowl and mix bentonite clay and activated charcoal together.
  • Add organic raw apple cider vinegar to the mixture.
  • Add the tea tree oil to the pack and stir lightly
  • Apply this pack to your face and neck leaving areas beside the eyes and lips.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes and let it dry.
  • Wash it off with warm water.
  • Dry your face and apply a moisturizer.

Charcoal rosewater face mask:

1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1 tsp rosewater
2-3 drops of sweet almond oil

  • Mix the activated charcoal powder and rosewater together in a bowl, until you have a smooth even paste.
  • Add 2-3 drops of sweet almond oil to the paste.
  • Apply this to your face and neck with the help of a brush.
  • Leave it for 15 minutes and let it dry.
  • Wash it off with lukewarm water, and pat dry your skin.
  • Apply a moisturizer.
  • Those having mature or dry skin can also use this pack as rosewater and almond oil balance out the sebum absorption ability of activated charcoal.

Any risks associated with charcoal face masks

Generally, charcoal face masks are very safe to use and do not have any side effects. But it is recommended that you do a patch test before applying any mask to your face. This is done to check the sensitivity of your skin.

Do not overuse an activated charcoal face mask as it may lead to dry skin.

The bottom line

Activated charcoal has gained popularity. People have reaped the benefits of the charcoal face. Though there is very little scientific evidence for activated charcoal benefits on the skin. Many have gained from this ingredient.