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DIY Face Masks: Activated Charcoal Mask

I love face masks and I can honestly say I haven't bought any from the stores for a good few years (maybe over 4 years). This is mainly because a. I have never noticed a much of a difference after using them, b. they always always (mostly) add alcohol as one of the main ingredients (err causes dryness much) and c. they have fragrance which can cause me to breakout and d. I never get through the fresh ones (e.g. Lush) before the expiry date so it's a waste. Thus I make my own. There's something really therapeutic and apothecary like about making your own.  This will be a series of my favourite DIY recipes and starting with the Activated Charcoal Mask, and I'll post a new one every week.

Charcoal is a natural chelating agent; It can form several bonds with other molecules to trap and remove them. Charcoal is medically used to treat heavy metal poisoning such as mercury. This masks works on the basis that the charcoal will bind to any impurities in the skin and allow for deep cleansing and is especially useful for those with blemish prone skin. If you're not the DIY type then there are several ready made Charcoal Makes you can purchase such as the Origins Clear Improvement, The Sanctuary 5 Minute Thermal Detox Mask, or if you're in India there's the Aroma Magic Activated Bamboo Charcoal Mask of which I read a review of here by Swastika

A bowl and a spoon 

DIY Charcoal Face Mask Ingredients 
(the ingredients can be picked up from any health/herbal stores, in the U.K Holland and Barrett is pretty accessible to most people).

DIY Charcoal Face Mask Method 
1. Empty the content of 2 activated charcoal capsules into a bowl (gently twist the capsule until it opens, I'd suggest doing this by a sink where you can clean up easily if you do drop the charcoal powder)

2. Add 2 teaspoon or so (depending on the consistency you want, if you want a grittier texture which may help exfoliate the skin as your rubbing it on then use less aloe vera) to the charcoal powder

3. Mix until it both ingredients are incorporated well

4. Apply to cleansed skin and leave for about 30 mins (or until it has completely dry)
You'll feel  your skin tightening as the mask dries

5. Wash and apply moisturiser as usual. 
This makes enough for 2 uses/2 faces
*FYI: my skin is pretty normal and I would only do this once a month (more if my skin feels like it needs deep cleansing), I do have other face masks that I really enjoy using. This mask can make you break out as it's drawing impurities from the skin so you may have a spot or 2 after.


  1. Just did this. I love the feel of my skin. It's so smooth! Just wondering, what moisturiser did you use after?

    1. I used a toner and then applied coconut oil as I wasn't going out :) For moisturiser I normally rotate between the Garnier Moisture Match Cremem Bienfaisante (the peachy tube) or the Super Facialist By Una Brennna Rose Hydrate Radiance Day Cream. I don't particularly "love" either one of them, but they do the job :) Hope that helps, and am glad you found the mask helpful :)

  2. I'm very impressed by the detail of your blog posts about the face mask. This is going to be very helpful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  3. I love the fact you use the Aloe Vera to mix with your charcoal powder.

  4. You should have used a wooden spoon not metal because the charcoal absorbs all the toxins frol the spoon!!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Anon, am not overly concerned by that because it's just going on my skin, and I eat from metal spoons so if I have no issues putting that into my body then am not concerned that the spoon is touching a mixture that's going on my skin.

    2. Hi, I just wanted to mention that using metal with Charcoal basically "kills" the charcoal. It is no longer activated. So you are not getting the full benefits from it. If you used plastic silicone or wood spoon, then you would love it even more and notice a bigger dif. "Looking good and feeling pretty"

  5. Thanks for sharing awesome information

  6. Great information..

  7. Should my blackheads look worse after my first use? I had a really hard time getting it off and my blackheads were so many that my face looked a sort of grayish. After exfoliating it was a bit better. Any tips?

  8. Replies
    1. It's not. You'll have to wash it off, also, its probably best to go over your face with a damp face cloth to remove all of the charcoal!

  9. Definitely going to try this! I think I may add some agar agar powder to it to make it a peel off :-). Thanks for sharing.

  10. I think what ANONYMOUS meant, is that most chelating ingredients, like most clays, when they come in contact with any metal, the chelating aspect is diminished because it has already reacted to the metal, making it less effective in reacting to your face, or whatever you were using it for. Thus, most people use either ceramic, wood or plastic (yuk) when mixing or applying those ingredients.
    Carol L

  11. i used a metal spoon to take out charcoal into another jar... is that bad? should i toss the whole bag now?

  12. Definitely going to try. Thanks


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Maira Gall