Field Test: Activated Charcoal Face Mask

The new craze is activated charcoal, or so I hear. So, time to try it out!

20160418_225906The black-as-pitch powder can be purchased at health food stores in capsules. For loose powder, you’ll probably have to shop online.

Rewind about 10 years and its primary use was absorbing toxins orally and eliminating intestinal upset. Now its being pitched on beauty blogs as an awesome base for a facial mask and a teeth whitener. There are even commercial toothpastes being marketed now, if we can trust the press releases, for that very shiny purpose.

The other night, I threw together a concoction based on XOVain’s post and stuck it on my face. You can check them out for the complete recipe.

Mine was equal parts rosewater, aloe vera gel and of course, activated charcoal. I used activated hardwood charcoal I bought on Amazon from Multavita.*

What a bargain at $4 for 2 oz. It’s as light as a feather so it goes a long way. Don’t inhale, and a tablespoon is probably too much for one mask, as I discovered.

I left it on until it dried, which lasted just until the end of the TV debate I was concentrating on, or I guess 30 minutes.

Poof! Charcoal mask!
Getting clean by getting dirty??

Then, I washed it off with warm water and prayed I didn’t stain the whole bathroom black.

I have T-zone oily skin. Charcoal is supposed to help draw out toxins as well as help reduce sebum (that yuck skin oil).

But I have to say it left my skin dryyyy.

Like super dry.

Though my skin had given up its sheen for the moment, I couldn’t seem to get all the charcoal off my face. It seemed to have stuck to the sebaceous filaments and blackheads I already had festering on my nose. Yuck.

But, just as that special toothpaste shows kids the areas they forgot to brush, the lingering charcoal showed me exactly where I needed use my blackhead wrangling tool… er, “facial care stick.”


It was super easy, so my guess is the charcoal helped draw out all these nasties, even if it couldn’t go the whole mile
and yank them from their pore prisons.


Totally do use the mask if you have blemishes that need drying out or have stubborn blackheads, but keep a good moisturizer at the ready and be prepared for some extractions. I love pure, alcohol-free aloe vera or jojoba oil. Not a weekly thing, I think, as its a bit harsh.

I wouldn’t say the mask is a cure-all and I’m still on the hunt for my favorite deep cleansing remedy, but I’d definitely do it again in a month or so. My nose definitely appreciated it.


*I don’t have affiliate links.

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