Benefits Of Charcoal Face Masks

Mar 28, 2019, 0:00 IST

Benefits Of Charcoal Face Masks

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re bound to know by now that activated charcoal is a key beauty ingredient, one that has found its way into various products across skincare needs. However, there’s no denying that its most effective use is as a charcoal face mask! Before we take a look at what these uses and benefits are, let’s take a look at what activated charcoal actually is.

Now obviously, this is quite different from the charcoal that goes into your cooking and barbecues! The charcoal used in beauty products is activated, meaning it has been heated or treated to make its absorptive powers more intense. This is done by increasing the surface area through various chemical processes.

How Is Made?
Absorb Toxins
Reduce Or Close Open Pores
Balances Excessive Oil Production
Treated Acne And Blackheads
Effective Antibacterials And Antimicrobials
Other Beauty Uses
Make Face Masks At Home
Frequently Asked Questions:

How Is Made?

Activated Charcoal Face Masks

While there are many ways to do this, here’s one to give you a basic idea. If you’ve got some regular charcoal, first powder it into a fine powder. Then take one part of calcium chloride to three parts water, and mix well. Make a paste with your charcoal, adding till you get the right consistency.

Spread the paste on a thin, flat surface, then let it dry. Once it dries, rinse it with clean water and bake in the oven at 225 F for 30 minutes. You have activated charcoal! Of course, this is a simple procedure that we’ve broken down into! For good quality activated charcoal, it is always better to purchase it from outside, from a reputed brand.

Pro tip: Activated charcoal is offered by many reputed beauty brands as a product, and can also be made at home by following a few simple steps.


Benefits of Activated Charcoal when used as a Face Mask

Activated charcoal has a multitude of benefits across the health and beauty industry, and has been used for decades now at homes, hospitals and salons alike to treat a number of ills. As a face mask, it imparts visible benefits, ensuring glowing and healthy skin always. Let’s take a look at what you can achieve by applying activated charcoal to your face!

Absorb Toxins

Charcoal Face Masks Absorb Toxins From The Skin

Perhaps the most touted benefit of a charcoal face mask is the fact that it is the best detoxifying agent available in the market for your skin! Throughout the day, various factors contribute to toxins building up under the skin. These include pollution, too much exposure to sunlight, environmental factors, the vagaries of weather, lifestyle-related factors like diet, stress and sleep patterns, chemical products applied on the skin, and so on and so forth.

Over time, even if you cleanse, tone and moisturise your face and neck well, these toxins build up under the epidermis and could cause various skin and health-related problems. To pull out the toxins completely from under the skin, a face mask with activated charcoal is the ideal solution. Because it has extra absorptive powers, thanks to its increased surface area, it tends to absorb more dirt, grime and other harmful matter that has lodged itself inside the skin.

Poisonous substances, chemicals, and even drugs within the system, can be bound to activated charcoal and removed from the skin. Once these toxins leave your skin, your skin is left glowing and radiant; it also helps in preventing premature ageing from oxidising agents, thereby making the skin more supple.

Pro tip: Use a charcoal face mask twice a week to draw out toxins and impurities from the skin.

Reduce Or Close Open Pores

Reduce or Close Open Pores With Charcoal Face Mask

Open pores are quite the bane of everyone’s bad skin days since they look extremely unseemly. Activated charcoal, when used in a face mask, helps reduce, or in some cases even close open pores. How does it do this? Open pores appear so because they have dirt, grime and pollution lodged within them.

Also Read: Why You Should Be Using Charcoal Peel-Off Masks
DIY Face Masks For Every Skin Type
Easy DIY Homemade Face Masks For Acne Prone Skin

When activated charcoal is applied on your face, it sucks out all of these, and the reduction of all the impurities within them finally results in smaller pores. Over time, you will find that some pores will close entirely, and you’ll be left with smooth, even-toned skin.

Pro tip: With regular use of an activated charcoal face mask, you can shrink open pores.

Balances Excessive Oil Production

charcoal face mask balances excessive oil

Excessive oil production in the skin can be a problem, especially for young, teenagers, who are battling hormonal changes within the body and skin. When an activated charcoal face mask is applied on the skin, it can help absorb this excess oil production, balancing sebum levels and ensuring that anything over and above the required oil secretion is taken care of. A word of caution though; if you have dry or flaky skin, don’t use it too frequently. Space it out, no more than once a week.

Pro tip: Use peel-off or sheet masks with activated charcoal, to draw out excess sebum from the skin.

Treated Acne And Blackheads

Acne and Blackheads Can Be Effectively Treated With Charcoal Face Mask

Acne, blackheads and even whiteheads are a combination of dirt and grime that accumulate through the day, as well as bacteria and infections. All these could potentially lead to unseemly acne spots and blackheads. When you use a charcoal face mask, it draws out the impurities and treats these problems from the root.

Even cystic acne can be addressed with an activated charcoal face mask since it absorbs the excess sebum, pus and stale impurities within. If you don’t want to use an entire face mask too often, even a spot treatment of activated charcoal will be effective – just dab it on the affected area and watch it work wonders!

Pro tip: Keep acne, pimples and other blemishes like blackheads at bay, using an activated charcoal face mask two or three times a week.

Effective Antibacterials And Antimicrobials

Charcoal Face Masks Are Effective Antibacterials

One of the key properties of charcoal face masks is that they are an effective antibacterial agent, and work as an antimicrobial too. This means that any infections, bacteria or microbes within the skin can be done away by using a charcoal face mask. If you’ve got rashes, or have been bitten by an insect, an activated charcoal mask is sometimes all you need to combat these issues.

Pro tip: Keep your skin free of infections and impurities and treat wounds effectively with charcoal.

Other Beauty Uses

Other Beauty Uses of Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal has a host of other beauty benefits. It is the ultimate teeth whitener. Often, your teeth get stained or yellowed from foods like caffeine, wine or even seafood. When you scrub your teeth with activated charcoal or use a toothpaste that has it as a key ingredient, it can help clean the teeth by absorbing all the impurities and discolouration caused by diet and lifestyle. It also helps restore the mouth’s pH balance, which could have turned acidic due to bad eating habits.

Using activated charcoal regularly on your teeth can not just whiten and clean them, but can also prevent cavities, bleeding gums and bad breath. All you need to do is wet your toothpaste, apply a bit of activated charcoal powder to it and scrub your teeth. If you do this at least twice or thrice a week, you’ll be assured of healthy teeth and gums! Activated charcoal powder, owing to its powdery texture, also makes for a great body scrub.

Bathing bars or shower scrubs off-the-shelf offer these benefits, but you can also just rub the activated charcoal powder across moistened skin and scrub in well, focusing evenly on every part of the skin. Rinse and follow up with your usual body wash and moisturiser. Use this scrub at least once a week to detox your body.

Activated charcoal can also be used in shampoo, or by itself as a hair cleanser, to rid your hair and scalp of toxins, treat oily and greasy scalp effectively, and balance the hair’s pH levels effectively. It can solve dandruff-related issues, itching, and dull and lackluster hair. It adds volume and sheen to your hair as well, when used over time. It also makes a great ingredient for a great face wash.

Pro tip: Use charcoal for whitening your teeth, detoxifying your body, and enhancing hair and scalp health.

Make Face Masks At Home

If you have a bottle of activated charcoal powder at home, these DIY face masks will have you glowing in no time!

Charcoal Face Masks At Home

Charcoal-Multani Mitti Face Mask


1 tsp activated charcoal powder
1 tsp multani mitti (Fuller’s earth)
½ tsp manuka honey
3 drops tea tree oil
1 tsp water


  • Mix the activated charcoal powder and Multani mitti in a small bowl together.
  • Then add the honey, and stir well, until you have a thick, coarse paste.
  • Add the water, and mix well again, until the paste is smooth and even.
  • Then add the tea tree oil, give it one final stir, and let it sit for a minute or two.
  • Apply this mask all over the face and neck, leaving out the eye area and the delicate skin near it, as well as your lips.
  • Leave on for 15 minutes, allow it to dry, and then wash off with warm water.
    Pat dry. If you have mature or dry skin, use 2-3 drops of baby oil to moisturise your skin immediately after.
  • Activated charcoal is especially effective when combined with clay. You can even replace the Multani mitti with Bentonite clay if you like.

Charcoal-Aloe Vera Face Mask


1 tsp activated charcoal
1 tsp pure aloe vera gel
2 drops jojoba oil


  • In a small bowl, mix the activated charcoal and the aloe vera gel, until you have a smooth, even paste.
  • Try to use a gel that has no additives or colouring for maximum impact. If you have an aloe plant, use the juice from that – it’s even better.
  • Then add the jojoba oil and mix well.
  • Using your fingertips, apply this gently into your skin until you’ve covered the entire face and neck,
  • leaving the eye and mouth area aside.
  • Leave the mask on for around 10-15 minutes.
  • Ideally, you should be able to peel this mask off quite easily, but if you can’t, then rinse with warm water until your face is clean.
  • This kind of face mask is especially useful for young and teenage skin, which secrete excess oil and is prone to acne, whiteheads and blackheads.

Charcoal-Rosewater Facemask


1 tsp activated charcoal
1 tsp rosewater
2 drops sweet almond oil


  • Mix the activated charcoal and rosewater together in a bowl, until you have a smooth even paste.
  • Make sure you’re using pure, distilled rosewater for optimum benefit, from a trustworthy source.
  • To this paste, add the sweet almond oil, and stir in.
  • Apply the mask in a thin layer on your face and neck, making sure you avoid the delicate skin around the eyes and the lips.
  • Rinse off with lukewarm water for 15 minutes, then pat dry.
  • This face mask is useful for dry or mature skin who want to reap the benefits of activated charcoal, without the downsides of excessive sebum absorption – since the rosewater and sweet almond oil balance it out.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. Does activated charcoal have diet benefits?

Activated Charcoal Have Diet Benefits

A. The jury’s still not out on this one! While some nutritionists and dieticians swear by activated charcoal as a juice or smoothie ingredient, with the primary intent of detoxing the system and flushing out impurities from the body, there are no concrete studies or evidence that suggest that this is the case. However, some people have noticed that acidity, gas and flatulence have been reduced in certain cases where people have consumed activated charcoal. Sometimes, activated charcoal is also touted to be an effective hangover cure! Just mix a teaspoon in a glass of water, stir well and drink up!

Q. Does activated charcoal have any medical uses?

A. Yes. In medicine, activated charcoal has been used in emergencies to combat either a drug overdose or accidental poisoning. It absorbs the harmful substances, drawing them out of the patient’s system. Of course, as in the case of all other remedies, it has to be administered in a timely manner.

Q. Are there any downsides to charcoal face masks?

A. Not too many. Charcoal face masks are on the whole beneficial to your skin. The only issue is with peel-off masks. Owing to the nature of charcoal, a fine layer of skin and the vellus hair is ripped off. If you use charcoal face masks often, it may also strip the skin of natural oils. This is especially harmful in the case of mature or ageing skin, which actually need to lock in as much nourishment as possible. Also, activated charcoal stains very easily, and the stains don’t often leave – they can be stubborn! So handle it with care, especially if you’ve chosen to dress well.


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