I’m always jazzed when I come across a beauty hack that I can add to my routine that works well, and includes items that I already have around the house.
Activated charcoal is currently having a moment in skincare. Many detox and acne masks use the ingredient in their products, because of it’s insane ability to attract and bind toxins to it. Activated charcoal is a carbon that has been heated, making the molecules incredibly porous. It attracts molecules to it’s surface by electrical attraction, rather than absorbing them, so they are able to attract more toxins than a substance that would simply absorb them.
Activated charcoal has an amazing variety of uses. Medicinally, it’s used to absorb toxins both internally and externally, from alcohol and mercury inside the body to snake and bug bites. It’s also used in the filters of gas masks and water filters to draw out impurities before they come in contact with our insides.
Activated charcoal can be purchased in bulk, without the capsules, at most health food stores, and it’s pretty inexpensive. Here’s all the ingredients you’ll need to create your at home acne mask.
- Activated charcoal powder
- Aloe vera gel
- A couple drops of tea tree oil (optional, for antiseptic effect)
Mix the first 3 ingredients together in equal parts. I like using a fan brush to mix, just be aware that the charcoal does stain porous surfaces (clothes and towels included!). Add one or two drops of tea tree oil to the mixture if you have very oily or acne-prone skin. Definitely skip this step if you are just looking for a nice skin detox treatment, as it can be very drying if your skin doesn’t need it.
Using the fan brush, slather onto skin, keeping about a half inch away from your eyes. Allow the paste to dry for about 10-15 minutes, rinse, and finish with your favorite moisturizer!