Heralded as the latest ‘go-to’ detox item, charcoal is all the rave at the moment! Eat it, drink it, brush your teeth with it AND use it as a face mask!
Charcoal facial masks are great for refreshing your look (which is great over this Christmas party season) – but the store bought masks can get very pricy. Here is a super quick and easy homemade activated charcoal facial mask that you can whip up at home in 2 minutes and it will leave you with a beautiful, fresh glow!
The only two ingredients in the mask are: activated charcoal and bentonite clay.
Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Many of you may be familiar with the use of activated charcoal for its use of effectively reducing the absorption of many drugs in the stomach, making it potentially useful in reducing the incidence of acute poisonings.
“Charcoal is produced by heating pulverized carbonaceous substances such as sawdust, peat, or coconut shells to very high temperatures (600-900°C) followed by “activation” using steam or hot air to erode the internal surfaces of the product and thereby increase its absorptive surface area.”(Olson, 2010)
It is this ‘absorptive surface’ that pulls and clears the drugs and toxins from the stomach and it does the same thing when it comes into contact with your skin – it helps to draw out toxins and remove them. It is practically good for acne prone skin.
Benefits of Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is usually made up of aged volcanic ash and has the unique property of having a strong negative ionic charge. It is both adsorptive and absorptive!
Adsorption describes the process by which particles of substances with positive charged ions (e.g. toxins, parasites, fungus, bacteria, and radiation), combine with the charged particles on the outer surface of the clay molecule, which is negatively charged. The toxins, bacteria etc are then able to be absorbed and removed with the clay.
Absorption is the process by which the clay molecule draws other foreign substances into its internal structure after it has undergone a chemical change, acting like a sponge. As the foreign substances are absorbed, the clay expands. Absorbent clay, such as bentonite clay, will only absorb positively charged toxins and impurities.
Bentonite clay helps to absorb impurities, toxins, heavy metals and has a natural calming effect on the skin.
Both of these ingredients combined make for a wonderfully detoxing face mask, while it also calms and soothes the skin.
How to make the charcoal clay face mask
Both activated charcoal and bentonite clay can usually be found at your local health food store and online.
- Combine the activated charcoal with the bentonite clay with enough water in a small non-reactive bowl to create a paste. Apply this paste to your face, avoiding the delicate eye and mouth area.
- Let the mask sit for about 5-7 minutes or until dry. You will start to feel it tighten as it dries. If it starts to feel itchy or uncomfortable, wash it off immediately.
- Wash off the mask with some warm water and gently pat dry your face. Apply your favourite face oil or cream.
- Use this mask once a week for a wonderful skin pick-me-up.
*Always patch test an area of your skin first to make sure you do not have any adverse reactions to the mask. Activated charcoal is just that – charcoal! So it makes everything BLACK! Keep the charcoal away from your clothes and sink as it can stain (but it will not stain your face).
This guest post is from Claire Yates, a nutritional medicine practitioner, holding a Bachelor of Health Science, who is passionate about whole foods nutrition, health and having fun! She is the author of Optimal Health The Paleo Way and my co-author on the Rejuvenate eBook.
Have you used a charcoal mask? Do you have a favourite DIY recipe? Let us know in the comments.