Activated Charcoal: The Un-glamorous Key to Glamourous Skin


Activated charcoal is seriously one of the best things to have in your skin care routine.  I’m sure the first thing many of you are thinking is I’m not putting something I use to grill my food on my face.   Relax!  Grilling charcoal and activated charcoal are two different things.  When used properly, activated charcoal can have numerous benefits when it comes to beauty.

As stated before, activated charcoal is not the same thing grilling charcoal.  So, don’t try to go dip into your 4th of July charcoal stash to make a mask, chances are you’ll end up breaking out.  Even though its not for grilling, it is a medical grade version of whats used in air filtration systems and its used in hospitals to treat poison.  As chemicals bind to the activated charcoal, it removes chemicals from the body.  This is also true for skin care, as dirt and oil from our skin bind to the charcoal, the impurities are removed from our skin. Think of it as a magnet pulling pieces of metal.  This makes activated charcoal an excellent skin purifier.

Activated charcoal is all natural, and it won’t add any harsh chemicals or parabens to your skin.  This means, that there is less of a risk that your pores will be clogged from an ingredient that is meant to clean.

Benefits of Activated Charcoal 

Tackles oily skin – When used as a cleanser or mask, the activated charcoal can remove excess oils from your skin leaving it smoother than a babies bottom

Treats acne – When used in soap form, the gritty texture provides gentle exfoliating needed to treat acne.  Since it is a deep cleaner, it absorbs the oil and toxins below the surface of the skin that cause acne.  It can even be used a spot treatment.

Deep cleans your skin –  Say bye-bye to those chemical filled deep cleansers you’ve been buying.  The magnetic feature of activated charcoal can gently pull out any unwanted toxins out of your skin.  Be careful not to use activated charcoal daily, as it can remove the healthy oils your skin needs in order to stay moisturized.

Soothes skin irritations –  When applied as a paste, activated charcoal can help absorb venom and infection.  It can also bring swelling down and ease the pain.  To make the paste, simply add a tiny bit of water to activated charcoal powder and keeping mixing and adding until a spreadable substance is formed.

Products to Use

DIY Activated Charcoal Mask:

  1. 2 capsules of activated charcoal (purchase as any health food/vitamin store)
  2. 1/2 teaspoon of bentonite clay
  3. 1 1/2 teaspoons of water
  4. 1/2 teaspoon of sugar (optional if you want to make a polishing mask)

Mix all of the ingredients together and voila! You have your DIY charcoal mask.  Leave the mask on for about 10 minutes.  Rinse off and pat your face dry with a towel.  Proceed with your normal beauty regimen

(Note: be sure to use a metal spoon when mixing since both the clay and the charcoal pull toxins from metal.  Also, be sure to store your clay in a non metal container)

If you’re not into the DIY thing, here are my favorite products to buy in stores:

  1. Aspen Kay Naturals Dead Sea Mineral Mud $9 Amazon
  2. Freeman Beauty Charcoal & Black Sugar Polishing Mask $4 Ulta
  3. Origins Clear Improvement $17 Macy’s 
  4. Dark Angels $13 Lush
  5. Giovanni D:tox System Purifying Facial Cleanser $7 iHerb
  6. Boscia Detoxifying Black Cleanser $28 Sephora


Honestly I could list a million products that I like to use with activated charcoal, I’ll  just stop here!  Are you guys already using products that contain activated charcoal?  What are your favorites???

Until next time…

3 thoughts on “Activated Charcoal: The Un-glamorous Key to Glamourous Skin

  1. My favorite is the Origins Clear Improvements. LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I include it in my weekly flash facial routine. I also use a detoxifying cleanser which has active charcoal in it too!


      1. Once a week I will cleanse with either Caudalie Instant Foaming Cleanser or Boscia Detoxifying Cleanser, exfoliate with Boscia Exfoliating Peel Gel followed with the Origins Clear Improvement Mask. I tone with a bi-phase toner by Erborian. I like ALWAYS moisturize with Boscia Sake Moisturizer or Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Fave Cream.


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