The Amazing Skin Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Charcoal has been getting all the limelight in the skincare industry recently. Does it it really work and why?
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is the end product of burning material such as wood, coconut shells or bamboo at very high temperatures without oxygen. This process helps to remove substances from the wood, leaving behind the concentrated black substance. After this process, the black powder is further activated to make the known absorbent material that binds to particles such as toxins, bacteria and impurities.
Although charcoal is new to the beauty world, it is not new in the medicine realm. In 3750 BC, Egyptians and Sumerians used charcoal for melting and combining metals. Eventually, they discovered that it had high antibacterial properties and began using it for medical, embalming and burial practices.
In 1500 BBC, the use of charcoal for medical uses began to expand into wound and water treatments. It is observed that charcoal will reduce odor and infection of open wounds. In addition, charcoal would absorb properties when places in impure water. Up to this day, water filters contain activated charcoal for filtering process.
Many years later, Hippocrates used charcoal for epilepsy, iron deficiencies and other medical uses due to its high antiseptic and antibacterial properties. In the 1800s, it was discovered that charcoal can be used for poison treatment and to decolonize sugar.
Absorbs Impurities - activated charcoal has a large surface area with the ability to draw out impurities, toxins, bacteria and extra oil. The binding property of charcoal is what makes it so effective for removing excess impurities.
Fights Acne & Blemishes - acne and blemishes are a culmination of clogged inflamed pores induced with bacteria. The absorption properties of charcoal will help pull the toxins out of pore, giving the skin the opportunity to heal.
Soothes Wounds - adding a layer of charcoal helps absorbs bacteria and toxins which speeds up the healing process.
Reduce Pore Sizes - charcoal reduce excess oil, bacteria and toxins that makes pores visible.
Treats Oily Skin - activated charcoal absorbs excess oil.
Lighten Skin - charcoal is a natural skin lightening agent that has antibacterial properties to helps removes dead skin, leaving just the new skin.
How to Use?
Charcoal has many uses for both the internal and external body. Some of the common uses for charcoal are:
- Face Mask
- Tooth Powder
- Water Filter
- Wound Paste
- Scalp Problems
- Skin Healing
- Poison/Toxic Treatments
- Inflamed Bowels
Charcoal Clay Face Mask Recipe
One of my favorite ways to use charcoal is in a face mask. When creating a charcoal mask, use a small amount. Charcoal is really powerful and depending on your skin type, it might be a bit drying. Combining charcoal with gentle but effective ingredients such as clays and herbs is a great way to clear pores, reduce acne and get that glowing skin. Adding a dash of sandalwood powder can help with skin lightening properties.
- 1 teaspoon Rose Kaolin Clay
- 2 capsules activated charcoal
- 1/4 teaspoon sandalwood powder (can also substitute for cinnamon powder)
- 1 teaspoon water (can substitute herbal teas, yogurt or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon almond oil (can also substitute for jojoba oil)
In a ceramic or wooden bowl, combine ingredients and make a thick paste. Use a brush or fingers to apply a thick layer to the face (avoid the eye area). Allow the mask to dry for about 12-15 minutes then rinse with warm water. When rinsing used hand to splash water or if using towel, gentle remove to avoid irritation. Do not peel the mask off, gently add moisture onto the mask for easy removal. Follow up with a skin moisturizer such as our chamomile or calendula body oils.