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Many of us struggle with blackheads, acne, and oily skin, from puberty to adulthood. These skin issues aren't a rare phenomenon even in the later years because of many factors, such as unhealthy diet as well as pollution, which escalates from year to year. An activated charcoal face mask is a natural skin solution that targets all of these issues at once.
It deeply cleans pores, removes excess sebum, and, most importantly, relieves inflammatory processes on the skin, helping with acne along the way.
This is why we decided to dedicate today's article to exploring the benefits of charcoal masks and share with you a simple guide on how to prepare and use a charcoal face mask at home.
What Are Charcoal Masks and How Do They Work?
Charcoal face masks can be made of different types of charcoal. Don’t let this worry you – you won’t be putting the regular type of charcoal on your face. We’ll keep that one for the grill!
The charcoal used in face masks is a fine black powder made from natural ingredients like coal, wood, bamboo, Japanese oak trees, or coconut shells. This black powder is, in fact, activated charcoal or carbon, which is made when charcoal is mixed with a gas, like nitrogen, and then exposed to extremely high heat, up to 1,200 degrees Celsius.
This process creates a series of tiny holes or pores inside the charcoal, resulting in a highly absorbent substance that can draw and hold on to organic chemicals. For this reason, activated charcoal was traditionally used for cleaning contaminated water and even for treating food poisoning.
And, as we can see, it found its way into the beauty world as well. Charcoal face masks are porous in nature, meaning they have tiny 'bubbles' or 'holes' in them that attract and trap dirt, toxins, and other impurities from the skin.
How Does Charcoal Benefit Your Skin?
There are many reasons why you might want to consider making charcoal face masks a part of your beauty routine, and here are a few of them:
Charcoal Face Masks Cleanse the Skin
A charcoal face mask is by no means a substitute for your face cleanser but rather its assistant. As we already mentioned, activated charcoal has tiny bubbles or holes in it. When you apply the mask to your face, the charcoal draws all impurities from the skin and traps them inside these bubbles. Then, by washing out the mask, you wash out all those impurities with it that may irritate your skin and cause inflammation.
Charcoal Face Masks Remove Excess Oil
This is why charcoal face masks are often the favorite for oily skin types. It can soak up the excess oil or sebum from the skin. With regular application, you may notice your skin is more balanced and less shiny.
Charcoal Face Masks Exfoliate the Skin
Besides drawing out all the impurities from the skin, charcoal also can slough away dead skin cells from the skin's surface. Thanks to this exfoliating effect, a charcoal face mask will leave your skin softer and brighter. Plus, you'll notice that your skin will better absorb serums and face cream following the mask.
Charcoal Face Masks Reduce Acne
Due to all the benefits listed above, a charcoal face mask may be quite an effective natural remedy for acne. By removing the build-up of dirt and dead skin cells from deep inside the pores, charcoal prevents inflammation and eliminates acne-causing bacteria.
How to Make a DIY Charcoal Face Mask
Store-bought charcoal face masks are a convenient option, but you can also make your own mask at home. This way, you can use the ingredients you know your skin likes.
Making a charcoal mask isn’t even that hard – you only need a few ingredients, a mixing bowl, some water, and a spoon.
DIY Charcoal Face Mask Recipe
This charcoal face mask recipe is meant for oily and acne-prone skin. However, you can easily modify it and use ingredients suited for your skin type and needs; for example, you can use coconut oil instead of jojoba oil if you have dry skin; or use carrot seed or rose essential oil instead of tea tree oil if you want to target wrinkles instead of acne.
- 1 teaspoon activated charcoal powder
- ½ teaspoon bentonite clay
- ½ teaspoon colloidal oats
- 2 tablespoons rose water (or regular water if you don't have rose water)
- 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
- 1 teaspoon aloe vera gel
- 3 to 5 drops tea tree oil
- Grab a mixing bowl and mix the powders (activated charcoal, bentonite clay, and colloidal oats) with rose water first.
- After mixing the water and the powders, add the oils and the aloe vera gel into the mix and blend everything together.
- As you add the final ingredients into the mix, you should get a thick black paste as the final product. If the paste isn't thick or thoroughly blended, keep mixing for a few more minutes or add a bit more water if necessary.
You can use the paste immediately after making it or store it for some other day. If you choose the second option, put the paste in an air-tight container and keep it sealed until you find the time to try it out.
How to Use a Charcoal Face Mask
Now that you have the recipe for a great charcoal face mask, take a few minutes of your free time and do some much-needed pampering. Whether you combine your face treatment with a nice bubble bath or foot soak, it’s up to you – just try to incorporate it somehow into your skincare routine.
Here's your step-by-step guide to applying a charcoal face mask for maximum benefit:
Step #1: Cleanse – The first thing you need to do is cleanse your face. Use your regular gentle cleanser and wash your face thoroughly with lukewarm water. If you have makeup on, make sure to remove it before cleansing. Finally, gently dab your face dry with a clean towel.
Step #2: Apply the mask – Now that your face is all clean, it’s time to apply the charcoal face mask. Get enough of the mask to cover your entire face evenly, but avoid the eyes area and the mouth. You can apply it with your fingers or a spatula, just make sure to be gentle and not to pull your skin. Leave it on for about 15 minutes or until the mask completely dries. Try not to leave it for too long as it can dry out your skin.
Step #3: Rinse off – 15 minutes should be enough time for the mask to do its magic and remove all impurities from the skin. As the mask dries, you may feel a slight pulling and tightening of your skin – don't worry, it's normal. The next thing you should do is rinse everything off with water and make sure you don't leave any residue on your face.
Step #4: Moisturize – After the mask, you can follow up with your regular skincare routine – toner, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and SPF. Never skip your moisturizer, even if you have oily skin, as a charcoal face mask may be a bit drying and cause flaking.
It would be best to use the charcoal face mask only once a week. However, this will depend on you and your skin – if your skin is excessively oily with blackheads, it might handle a more frequent application. However, don't do it more often than two times a week because stripping your skin of oils completely may result in your skin producing even more oils.
As the beauty world is turning more and more to natural skin remedies, homemade face masks are becoming a real buzz. An activated charcoal face mask is definitely worth a try, as it's a pretty effective beauty treatment suitable for any skin type. Plus, you can quickly and easily DIY it at home by mixing activated charcoal with a bit of water and other ingredients you know will do good for your skin.
Is charcoal mask good for your face?
Charcoal face masks have many benefits for the skin. They draw toxins, impurities, and sebum from the pores, helping with acne and balancing the oil production. For this reason, they are great for people with oily skin.
Will a charcoal mask remove blackheads?
Activated charcoal in charcoal face masks contains little 'bubbles' that trap dirt, bacteria, and dead skin cells piled up in your pores. Since the main cause of blackheads is exactly that, the build-up of dead skin cells, charcoal face masks can help remove them.
What should I apply after the charcoal mask?
A charcoal mask can dry out the skin a bit. So, always make sure to apply a hydrating and moisturizing face cream following the mask.
Does charcoal mask remove tan?
Yes, a charcoal face mask may remove your tan due to its exfoliating properties. Therefore, if you want to keep your fake tan or don't want your face to be lighter than your body, keep the charcoal face masks for the winter skincare routine.
Can we use a charcoal face mask daily?
It would be best to use charcoal face masks once a week or once in two weeks as using it daily can lead to over-exfoliation, causing all sorts of skin woes. Besides, it can dry your skin out if used every day.