Regular charcoal is made from coal or wood, but activated charcoal is something completely different. Combined with gas or an activating agent at high temperatures, it becomes a potent natural ingredient you can use in all sorts of situations. It works by absorbing chemicals and reducing their toxicity, whether used internally or externally. Want to learn more? Here is how you can use activated charcoal at home:
1. Detox Skin
Activated charcoal acts like the best vacuum you’ve ever heard of: it absorbs excess oil and it cleanses the pores in mere minutes. You can use it alone or mix it with even more detoxifying ingredients, like in this DIY detox cleansing grains + mask recipe.
2. Make Eyeliner
Using natural eyeliner is so worth it! There’s no reason to put harmful chemicals around the delicate eye area when you can easily whip up a natural version using activated charcoal, aloe vera, and coconut oil. Get the recipe from The Coconut Mama.
3. Whiten Teeth
This may sound counter-intuitive, but yes, black activated charcoal will make your teeth whiter! Making teeth-whitening paste is as easy as mixing the powder with some water and dabbing it onto your teeth. It works by changing the pH of the mouth and it should be used 2-3 times a week for best results.
4. Exfoliate Skin
Gently exfoliate your face once or twice a week with this activated charcoal scrub from Live Simply. It will leave your skin feeling clean and refreshed, like you just walked out of a spa.
5. Relieve Insect Bites & Stings
While activated charcoal can pull out the dirt in your skin, it can also pull out the itch-causing toxins from mosquito and bee bites. Try this black salve recipe and cover with a bandage, because it can be a little messy. You can also make a calamine lotion with similar effects–essential oils make it smell lovely!
6. Clear Acne
Acne-prone skin will love this homemade activated charcoal face mask from the Free People blog. It can be used topically or on the entire face, sucking the toxins out of the skin and helping to get it clearer faster.
7. Make Detox Soap
Activated charcoal soap can be used on your entire body and even on your face. It’s exfoliating, detoxifying and clarifying, without drying out the skin. Try this soap recipe with tea tree oil, which adds antifungal and antiseptic properties.
8. Make Deodorant
Make your own cream deodorant by mixing 4 tablespoons of coconut oil with a combination of 2 teaspoons activated charcoal powder, 1/3 cup starch and 1/3 cup baking soda. It might be a little messy, but your armpits will thank you.
9. Soothe Upset Tummies
Activated charcoal does wonders against bloating and gas, being an excellent absorbent of toxins from straight inside the stomach. All you have to do is add a couple of capsules to your morning smoothie–try our favorite recipe with blueberries and spinach. When taking activated charcoal, remember to drink more water than usual, as it can cause dehydration. Water will also help flush out the toxins easier and faster.
10. Make Mascara
If ancient Egyptians made their own mascara, why don’t we? This recipe from Thank Your Body is as easy as mixing activated charcoal with coconut oil, aloe vera and beeswax and it will not just darken your lashes, but condition them too.
Not in the mood to DIY it? Here are some of our favorite charcoal beauty products: