Activated charcoal is one of those natural products with multiple uses. It is also known as activated carbon. Its main use is as a natural treatment to trap and remove toxins from the body, water and air.
For example, many medical professionals recommend activated charcoal tablets to alleviate symptoms of food poisoning and stomach discomfort. Charcoal works through adsorption (not absorption), which means that it pulls molecules of a gas, liquid or other substance to its surface allowing what remains behind to be pure.
It is important to note that activated charcoal is not the same as the charcoal used for fires. It comes in powder or tablet form and is readily available in most pharmacies and supermarkets.
Here are some ways we can use activated charcoal for beauty.
1. Charcoal face mask
Activated charcoal removes toxins by drawing out impurities from your pores, therefore it can help reduce acne. Wash your face as usual, and steam to open up your pores. Avoid steam if you have sensitive skin. To make a mask, mix an equal quantity of aloe vera gel, charcoal powder, and water.
Add two drops of tea tree oil. Apply the black paste onto your skin and leave it to dry. Be careful with your clothes as it can stain. Use this mask once a week or once a month depending on your skin type.
2. Make-up remover
Charcoal acts like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil, therefore it is effective in removing makeup. There are some soaps which contain charcoal, or you could make your own. I mix some charcoal powder with coconut oil, massage it into my skin, and rinse with warm water.
3. Whitens teeth
Activated charcoal whitens teeth by absorbing and breaking down plaque and other elements that stain teeth. It also changes the pH balance of the mouth, thereby reducing acidity, helping to prevent cavities and bad breath.
Wet your tooth brush and dip it in powdered activated charcoal. Brush as you normally would, and pay attention to the areas with most staining. Rinse well. Activated charcoal is tasteless and can be used once or twice a week; however if you have crowns or caps, the charcoal could stain them.
4. DIY eyeliner
Activated charcoal is nontoxic therefore its fairly safe to use on your eyes, and it washes off easily. Mix powdered charcoal with a small amount of water or saline solution. Use a small angled brush or eyeliner brush to apply.
5. Charcoal pore strips
Although these strips are available in beauty supply shops, you could make your own by mixing charcoal powder with egg whites. To use the strips, wet your nose with some water and apply a strip. When it has dried and hardened, peel it off, leaving your pores cleaner and tighter.
As with all new things, test the product on a small area of your skin, to make sure it is right for you.
Did you know that you can use activated charcoal in your flowers. Put a little charcoal in a vase of fresh flowers to help them last longer, thereby contributing to the beauty in your surroundings.