Wellness Encyclopedia: All About Activated Charcoal + Charcoal Face Mask DIY

Why you need activated charcoal in your beauty routine, and how to use it!

Our love affair with activated charcoal is well documented. These little black capsules lend themselves to so many uses internally, externally and around the home, it’s no wonder we keep a bottle or two handy at all times. With summer weather at its peak, charcoal is what we’re turning to to detox our skin, clear pores, and refresh from sweltering sunny days. Today we’re sharing everything you’ve ever wanted to know about activated charcoal, plus a skin-clearing face mask DIY to breathe life into congested skin. Read on for all the details:

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What is it? Activated charcoal is actually activated carbon that has been charged to give it a low-volume, absorbent and porous structure. Most often ground into a super fine black powder and sold in capsule form, when used in health and beauty treatments, activated charcoal absorbs internal and external impurities, toxins and chemicals (it’s estimated that activated charcoal reduces the absorption of poisons up to 60%). Activated charcoal is often used in soaps to draw impurities from the skin and is used in large doses in some emergency rooms to treat certain types of poisoning.

* Activated charcoal is not the same as charcoal for your grill… Please don’t make a face mask out of charcoal briquettes…


What are the benefits? Activated charcoal’s porous nature allows it to absorb toxins within the body, making it ideal to have handy in your bag in case of stomach upset or nausea caused by food (be sure to drink lots of water, as A.C. can also dehydrate). Its ability to absorb also comes in handy as a skin purifier and light exfoliant and has been shown to whiten teeth, and relieve bug bites and stings.


How do I use it? 

– Take two capsules of AC within two hours before or after eating to relieve gas, bloating, and nausea (this should only be done occasionally, as A.C. can diminish your body’s absorption of vitamins)

– Dip a wet toothbrush into AC and brush to whiten teeth (just be sure to rinse!)

– Mix 1 capsule of AC with 1 tbsp of coconut oil and dab on bug bites and bee stings

– Mix 1 capsule of AC with aloe vera gel and dab on acne

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Activated Charcoal Face Mask


3 capsules activated charcoal

3-4 drops tea tree oil

1 tsp witch hazel

Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive bowl and mix together using a non-metal spoon or tool (I used a cotton swab). Apply to face using a cotton ball, avoiding eye area, and allow to dry completely. Tip: you can also use this as a spot-treatment by applying to specific areas with a cotton swab. Once dry, rinse thoroughly until water and face is clear (it might take a little while, you can help things along by using a damp washcloth and Moon Rivers Naturals Activated Charcoal + Himalayan Salt Soap).

Dampen a cotton ball with witch hazel and run over your face to remove any remaining charcoal and allow to dry. Follow up with a facial oil or moisturizer.

+ Shop all of our charcoal beauty products here!

Follow Julie on Instagram and check out her blog

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7 years ago
7 years ago

Activated charcoal sounds pretty wonderful! I’ll have to give that face mask a try. Thank you for sharing!
The Wanderful Soul

7 years ago

Careful when ingesting activated charcoal with medications since charcoal binds to the medications and can render them less effective (which can be dangerous for some).

7 years ago

DIY Pore Minimizing Face Mask made from just 3 all-natural ingredients! – activated charcoal, matcha green tea, and bentonite clay.

5 years ago

With its astringent and absorbent properties using activated charcoal is just what you need for a clean refreshed skin. Charcoal is best known for its ability to absorb toxins and has been used in medicine for over 3,000 years. The absorbent nature of activated charcoal will draw oils away from the skin and leave you feeling deep cleaned and refreshed. Because activated charcoal is such a kick-ass cleaner it’s not something you’d use every day. Using a deep cleaning charcoal treatment is best applied 2-3 times a week.