Now I know I seem late to the game, but let’s talk activated charcoal for oily skin! In the past, it has mainly been used to counteract chemical and food poisoning.
But the last few years, I’ve been peeping products that are now incorporating activated charcoal as a main ingredient in skincare products and beauty regimens.
More specifically, these products absorb dirt and bacteria so you can maintain a less oily and much clearer complexion.
So after learning about activated charcoal’s powerful ability to help skin stay shine-free and detox the body, it has QUICKLY become one of my weekly skincare (and self care!) staples.
And every day, I see more and more products on the market that I found out actually do what they claim, including toothpastes, masks, and even setting sprays!
What is Activated Charcoal?
Ok sis, let’s start with the basics: Activated charcoal is not the same type of charcoal used in a cookout. The term activated is referring to the process of heating materials rich in carbon at high temperatures, to strip them of toxic chemicals.
This process leaves the molecules in the charcoal without anything to bind to which really increases their ability to absorb the toxins what’s around them.
What’s left over is a fine, black powder (that for some reason gets absolutely ev-ery-where). If this process worries you, rest assured that these are natural products — basically wood and sawdust.
This makes activated charcoal completely organic and safe for human use. Just make sure to follow the directions carefully.
Ok Ok… But How Does It Work?
In a nutshell, activated charcoal has this amazing ability to naturally absorb dirt, bacteria, toxins, and even chemicals from its surroundings, and your skin is no different! Using an activated charcoal mask will have you looking forward to:
Less Acne: An activated charcoal mask will leave your skin feeling super clean so you can forward to less blemishes, irritation, and a more even tone!
Smaller Pores: Dirt and oil can make pores look much larger. Using activated charcoal for oily skin will allow your serums, moisturizers, primers, and makeup to go smoother, so you can make the most out of your expensive beauty products! And have your skin looking flawless.
Controls Oily Skin: Is your oily skin keeping your from living your best balanced life? A regular masking routine with activated charcoal will have you going from Vaseline-sheen to a healthy glow, without drying out your skin with alcohols and other harsh chemicals.
If you’d rather make your own mask instead, I’ve got you covered with a simple charcoal mask! Who says you have to spend a ton of time and money to feel pampered every week?
Because even a few minutes of self care is still a major way to focus on you, even when you’re short on time. Check out my easy charcoal mask recipe you can make yourself!
Where To Buy + DIY Charcoal Mask Recipe
Because of the popularity of using activated charcoal for oily skin, there are some brands that add chemicals, perfumes, and fillers. So make sure to check the ingredient list carefully and do your research on any unfamiliar additives.
There are plenty of different brands to look for, but its important to take the time to find the one that works for you.
I try to use brands that don’t use sulfates or dyes, are 100% organic and are food and supplement grade. These are your best bet when purchasing the purest activated charcoal. Real activated charcoal will let you know right on the label.
Knowing that it has such a high level of purity puts me at ease since I use it regularly on my face and body.
I use Schizandu 100% Pure Activated Charcoal Powder, and it’s my current favorite for my masking routine. I’ve had it for over a year and I’m still not finished! Check out the links below to get started on your own activated charcoal mask.
DIY Detoxifying Charcoal Mask
1 tsp activated charcoal (My favorite brand is Schizandu 100% Pure Activated Charcoal Powder)
1 tsp bentonite clay (Not a must, but see what this amazing stuff does here!)
2 tsps freshly-brewed green tea
1/2 tsp aloe vera gel (a little bit goes a long way)
A few drops of your favorite essential oil (I use Rosehip for even more moisture)
Mix well and apply to a damp face. Leave on for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and moisturize.
That’s it! And for someone with really oily skin, I suggest doing no more than a weekly mask or 2x per week if you work or live in a highly-polluted environment.
If used too often, activated charcoal is so effective that it can actually dry out your skin too much, and be a nightmare if you have dry skin naturally.
Pro Tip: Exfoliate any dead skin cells after rinsing off the mask to let your beauty products really soak in and do their best work!
I also recently discovered Milani’s Make It Last Matte Charcoal Setting Spray and THIS. IS. IT. After spending years on the hunt for one that actually controls my shiny T-zone (drugstore and high-end brands), I’m still shook. And it’s perfect even if you’re not into makeup!
Other Uses for Activated Charcoal
For Your Body
If you have issues with digestion, activated charcoal can help ease gas and bloating and even comes in capsule form. It has even been shown used as a popular hangover cure!
Related: How a Quick Clay Mask is a Step Towards Self-Love (Infographic)
Activated charcoal helps to remove stains from your teeth, in the same way it cleanses the skin. In fact, it can actually improve mouth health.
Some studies indicate that using activated charcoal is helpful for cavity prevention and killing bacteria that may lead to gingivitis.
And because nature is truly a perfect system, the activated charcoal isn’t absorbed by the body at all when you brush with it.
Instead it passes through your digestive system and is then expelled as waste. So no worries if you accidentally swallow some.
In Your Home
An activated charcoal paste can even help you tackle smells and stains in your home! Place in your refrigerator to absorb those nasty food odors or even in your closet or shoes for the same effect.
When you’re giving a wall a fresh coat of paint, keep a jar of activated charcoal paste to capture any volatile chemicals released into the air. It even helps get rid of mold and prevent it from growing in your home.
Risks of Using Activated Charcoal For Oily Skin
It is possible that brushing too aggressively with activated charcoal or using it too often can start to erode your tooth enamel.
I highly suggest brushing with your finger instead of a toothbrush, to cut down on the abrasiveness. 1-2x a week should be plenty.
If you’re ingesting activated charcoal capsules, there are some possible risks to look out for. Using them too often can cause diarrhea and constipation, so follow the instructions carefully.
Also I want to note that activated charcoal is not FDA approved. However, most of the common dietary supplements, holistic products, and weight-loss pills, (even melatonin!) we use every day aren’t either. So keep that in mind that it doesn’t mean that activated charcoal isn’t safe for use.
So To Sum It Up…
If you’ve been curious to try activated charcoal for oily skin, test it out first in next skincare routine!
Because working to discover new and interesting ways to take care of yourself (and your self care) is how you form an even more solid habit of making yourself first priority. Always.
Note: Some of the links in this post affiliate links. If you choose to purchase anything from them, I may receive a small commission. Thank you for your support!