Charcoal is the latest beauty ingredient that has caught the fancy of the world. But don't mistake activated charcoal with the charcoal that is a result of cooking. Activated charcoal can be made of wood, coal, coconut shells, or even petroleum, manufactured through steaming, and this is used in an assortment of beauty products ranging from face masks, face wash, face scrub, makeup remover, exfoliator to toothpaste, soap and shampoo. The versatility of the ingredient is because of the immense skin cleansing and skincare benefits that come with it. With all the charcoal-based products flooding the market, it is hard to keep a tab on the more naturally produced variety. A Charcoal face mask is one of the most popular products, and is something you can even try making at home.
What does activated charcoal do to the skin?
Traditionally activated charcoal was used in hospitals to treat cases of drug overdose and alcohol poisoning owing to the presence of carbon in it that made it a great toxin absorbent. Before the toxins could enter the bloodstream, the charcoal would suck in all the toxins from the stomach. It is no surprise that the beauty industry taking a cue from this has introduced a range of beauty products made of activated charcoal that attracts dirt, oil, and grime, and leaves the skin feeling pure and cleansed.
Skincare benefits of activated charcoal
The carbon in activated charcoal absorbs the oil and dirt from your clogged pores, deep cleanses your skin and removes dead skin cells. Like its good old use in emergency hospital rooms, the ingredient acts like a natural detoxifying agent that removes all impurities in one wash. Besides, activated charcoal has anti-microbial properties that keep skin rashes and infection at bay. Charcoal face masks are most effective in achieving this. You can make your own DIY charcoal peel off mask easily at home with a handful of ingredients. By using activated charcoal face masks you can remove excess oil, dirt and impurities from the skin, clear clogged pores, blackheads, and reduce the occurrence of zits and acne from the skin owing to its anti-bacterial quality. The redness, dark spots and blemishes from your skin will naturally disappear after using activated charcoal. It is a miracle beauty ingredient that you can make a part of your daily skincare regime.
Where to buy activated charcoal
Thanks to the power of the interweb, activated charcoal products are available across several online e-commerce forums. You can buy powdered activated charcoal sold by an array of top and lesser-known brands in plastic and glass jars, and make DIY charcoal face masks at home out of it. These are only for external use. Also... Pick the one made from coconut shells, the quality is much better.
How to make a charcoal peel-off face mask
Recipe 1Ingredients: 2 tbsp Activated charcoal powder 1 1/2 tbsp Gelatin powder Dash of water Method of Preparation: 1. In a small bowl, pour out the gelatin powder. 2. Add the activated charcoal powder to it, and blend the dry mixture. 3. Microwave the mix for half a minute till the gelatin melts and blends with the charcoal. Make sure the paste is of a thick consistency. 4. Instead of microwaving you can even add a dash of hot water to the mix and stir it continuously to make it melt. 5. Once the mix is reasonably warm, apply it on your face with your fingertips. 6. Allow it about half an hour to completely dry up. 7. Peel the mask off in upward motion, and rinse your face with normal water. 8. Towel dry and apply a moisturiser. 9. Try this remedy twice a week for at least three weeks, and all the oiliness and dirt from your skin will clear up.
Ingredients: 2 tbsp Activated charcoal powder 1 tbsp Gelatin powder 1 tsp Peppermint extract Warm water Method of Preparation: 1. In a bowl, blend together the gelatin powder with the charcoal. 2. Add to it the peppermint extract and mix it up thoroughly. 3. Now add some warm water and stir the mix till it forms a dark thick paste of even consistency. 4. Apply it to your face using a makeup brush in a thick coat. 5. Give it about 25 minutes to dry up. Avoid applying it over your hairline as this is a very heavy face mask and might peel off some hair too. 6. Peel off the mask gently in upward motion. 7. Dab a warm towel on your face and apply a moisturiser. 8. You can do this twice a week for at least a month for best results.
Other benefits and uses of activated charcoal
Cures skin inflammation
Some of us often get allergic to certain foods. Or a certain oily food can give us acid reflux and rashes on the skin. Consume some activated charcoal blended with water to remove endotoxin created by a gut bacteria which causes indigestion, inflammation, and you prone to stomach infections. Excess production of the bacterial endotoxin can disbalance the estrogen hormone in your body and cause skin problems.
Eases hangover symptoms
Consuming activated charcoal can eliminate hangover symptoms. If after a night of drinking you feel your skin appears dull and dehydrated, you can consume activated charcoal by mixing it with some water. It will boost the agility of your skin, and make your look fresh again. Also you won’t feel any ache in your head or a hangover. Easing hangover symptoms is one of the lesser known benefits of activated charcoal.
If you are coming down with a cold
Always use fine activated charcoal for consumption, and not the granulated one. This is because the powder form blends easily with water and you can drink it up like a potion. When you sense symptoms of fever or cold, make yourself this activated charcoal drink and glug it down. You will get instant relief. There are actually so many things you can do with this unusual ingredient than just make DIY charcoal face masks.