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 compound you can use in all sorts of situations. It works by absorbing chemicals and reducing their toxicity, whether used internally or externally.
When it comes to skincare, activated charcoal is excellent for drawing out impurities, hence its use in soaps, face masks, and deodorants. It is also naturally and gently exfoliating, absorbs bacteria, minimizes pores, and levels pH. Basically, it’s a miracle skincare ingredient!
10 Beauty Uses For Activated Charcoal
Want to learn more? Try it for yourself with some of our favorite activated charcoal at-home uses:
1. Cleanse Skin
Activated charcoal acts like the best vacuum you’ve ever heard of: it absorbs excess oil and 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 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 mouth’s pH, and it should be used 2–3 times a week for the best results.
4. Exfoliate Skin
Gently exfoliate your face once or twice a week with this activated charcoal scrub. 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 from your skin, it can also draw out the itch-causing toxins from mosquito bites and bee stings. 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 these homemade activated charcoal face masks. They 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 cornstarch or arrowroot powder, 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, as it is 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. Or try these stomach-soothing gummies.
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:
12 Activated Charcoal Products To Get Now
1. Primally Pure Charcoal Deodorant // If you’re still looking for the natural deodorant that works for you, give this one a try! Activated coconut charcoal contains added detoxifying benefits while also deodorizing and disinfecting.
2. Burt’s Bees Detoxifying Sheet Mask // This affordable sheet mask is enriched with activated charcoal, which removes impurities and grime, leaving the skin invigorated and healthy.
3. Yes To Tomatoes Detoxifying Charcoal 2-in-1 Scrub & Cleanser Stick // Exfoliate and cleanse in one step with this 2-in-1 stick that’s naturally formulated with tomatoes and charcoal.
4. LAVANILA The Healthy Underarm Detox Mask // This all-natural mask gets rid of underarm buildup and impurities, while speeding and easing the switch to natural deodorant.
5. Love Beauty and Planet Delight Detox Charcoal Shampoo // Restore your hair’s health and help remove buildup with activated charcoal and bergamot.
6. &Sunny Charcoal Silk CBD Face Mask // Detoxify and brighten dull skin with a charcoal face mask infused with broad-spectrum hemp oil and packed with hyaluronic acid and green tea leaf extract.
7. hello Activated Charcoal Mouthwash // This fluoride and alcohol-free mouthwash is formulated with activated charcoal from sustainable bamboo, natural mint, coconut oil, tea tree oil, and xylitol to freshen and whiten.
8. BARBER PRO Charcoal Undereye Mask // Activated charcoal and volcanic ash target fine lines, wrinkles and dark circles in these undereye gels.
9. PureHeals Pore Clear Black Charcoal // Oily, combination, and acne-prone skin will benefit from this purifying, deep-cleansing peel-off pack with charcoal.
10. Eminence Organic Skin Care Balancing Masque Duo // Purify your T-zone with charcoal, and hydrate your cheeks with pomelo—this multitasking 2-in-1 mask makes it so much easier!
11. Edens Garden Charcoal Natural Bar Soap // Gently draw out impurities with a clarifying, detoxifying soap bar. Enriched with coconut oil and lavender oil, it smells lovely and restores skin’s natural luster.
12. BOSCIA Charcoal Spot Corrector // This activated charcoal-based spot treatment keeps unwanted blemishes, acne, and redness at bay while effectively removing impurities.
Want more charcoal? Check out these 20 awesome activated charcoal products!
This article was medically reviewed by Dr. Gina Jansheski, a licensed, board-certified physician who has been practicing for more than 20 years. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.159