Activated charcoal is a popular ingredient in beauty products that has been popping up on social media and in the news of late.

But what exactly is it, how does it work, and do any of these claims about its use hold water?

woman with face mask from activated charcoal hacks

Activated charcoal has been used for centuries to detox and treat poisonings, but more recently people are using it as an all-purpose skincare product and more.

Below you will find 5 activated charcoal hacks that really work and some eye-opening truths about this popular ingredient! Like anything, charcoal works differently for different people, so what works for one may not be as effective for another.

What Can I Make with Activated Charcoal?

There are so many great things you can use activated charcoal for. Activated charcoal is a great way to detoxify your hair, skin and face.

It is a well known fact that it whitens teeth for the majority of people, who use it on a regular basis.

Another use is to bring out pimples, calm cysts as well as relieving bee stings. Don’t forget, it can be used to draw out infection in wounds as well.

We are going to go over some of the most popular activated charcoal personal care hacks that you can either purchase ready-made or make yourself. Most of these ideas can be implemented relatively easily at home.

How Do You Use Activated Charcoal for Beauty?

When it comes to beauty and makeup, activated charcoal is one of the most talked about ingredients.

It is good at absorbing toxins and impurities that are on your face, so it leaves you feeling refreshed and clean. This is one reason it appears as an ingredient in a lot of beauty face masks and facial scrubs.

Activated charcoal has been used for years in various makeup and skincare products, mostly in items, such as an eyeliner or cream, to remove redness from skin after a breakout.

What can I mix with Activated Charcoal for a Face Mask?

There are many ingredients you can add when making your own charcoal mask at home. Below are a few ideas to get you started. You’ll find, if you search around, these are the most popular combinations for a DIY activated charcoal beauty mask.

First off, a simple 2-ingredient recipe. Mix some activated charcoal tablets or charcoal powder with water to create a paste.

Then simply smear it on and allow it to do its job by lifting all those impurities out of your skin. Leave for a few minutes and then wash it off with warm water. This mask will leave the skin on your face feeling fresh and clean.

Another way to detox and cleanse the skin on your face is to mix activated charcoal powder with a little sugar and some olive oil. This creates a face mask that has a little bit of a grainy texture, which can be used as a scrub as you put it on and wash it off.

And the last recipe that we find quite popular is also straightforward. Mix some aloe vera gel with powdered charcoal, creating a cleaning and softening charcoal face mask. You can also use a crushed up aloe vera leaf from a plant, if you grow one at home, instead of the aloe vera gel.

There you have it, 3 easy DIY masks to clean your face and keep it feeling nice and light.

If you don’t have time for making a mask yourself, then read on, and you’ll be able to find masks that we recommend readily available to purchase online.

An Activated Charcoal Peel-Off Face Mask

If you don’t have time to make your own, then a peel-off face mask is a great alternative to the DIY recipe.

A peel-off mask like this one from Sephora will only set you back around $10 and does wonders for your skin! It helps draw out dirt, oil, impurities, and other unwanted materials that may be clogging up the pores of your skin.

Activated charcoal has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce redness in the skin such as acne or rosacea by soothing inflammation quickly. And, it’s perfect for sensitive skin types too.

Of course, this is only one of many to choose from. Here are a few different activated charcoal face masks for you to choose from. Pick your favorite and start enjoying a cleaner and younger looking face today.

Product
SEPHORA Charcoal Mask
O'LINEAR Charcoal Peel Off Mask
AFDEAL Charcoal Peel Off Mask
O'LINEAR Charcoal Peel Off Mask
Image
SEPHORA COLLECTION SUPERMASK - The Charcoal Mask
Black Charcoal Mask - Face Peel Off Mask with Organic Bamboo and Vitamin C – Deep Cleansing Pore Blackhead Removal and Purifying Black Mask for Men and Women
Blackhead Remover Mask, Charcoal Peel Off Mask, Purifying Black Face Mask for All Skin Type Nose and Face
Black Charcoal Mask Blackhead Remover - Face Peel Off Mask With Natural Activated Organic Bamboo Charcoal - Deep Cleansing Pore Blackhead Removal - Purifying Face Mask & Face Care Gel for Women & Men
Vitamin C
Face Care Gel
Blackhead Removal
Prime
Product
SEPHORA Charcoal Mask
Image
SEPHORA COLLECTION SUPERMASK - The Charcoal Mask
Vitamin C
Face Care Gel
Blackhead Removal
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
O'LINEAR Charcoal Peel Off Mask
Image
Black Charcoal Mask - Face Peel Off Mask with Organic Bamboo and Vitamin C – Deep Cleansing Pore Blackhead Removal and Purifying Black Mask for Men and Women
Vitamin C
Face Care Gel
Blackhead Removal
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
AFDEAL Charcoal Peel Off Mask
Image
Blackhead Remover Mask, Charcoal Peel Off Mask, Purifying Black Face Mask for All Skin Type Nose and Face
Vitamin C
Face Care Gel
Blackhead Removal
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
O'LINEAR Charcoal Peel Off Mask
Image
Black Charcoal Mask Blackhead Remover - Face Peel Off Mask With Natural Activated Organic Bamboo Charcoal - Deep Cleansing Pore Blackhead Removal - Purifying Face Mask & Face Care Gel for Women & Men
Vitamin C
Face Care Gel
Blackhead Removal
Prime
Buy on Amazon

How to Lighten Skin with Activated Charcoal and Does it Work?

When it comes to using activated charcoal for lightening skin, there are mixed opinions out there. It does work for some people, and it doesn’t for others.

Activated charcoal is black because the process of activating it causes a chemical reaction, which also makes the surface porous. This means its ability to absorb other substances can be increased.

Lightening skin with activated charcoal happens due to charcoal being able to absorb the natural pigments in our body called melanin, which are responsible for giving us tanning or browning complexions.

With less pigment on your face, your skin will appear lighter than before.

But does it work? It all depends on how much melanin your body has and if there’s enough pigment left to create new ones after lightening. So, if you have more than average amounts of melanin then, yes, it should work for you. Although, others might not see any difference at all.

This is a trial and error process and isn’t guaranteed to work for everybody.

Activated Charcoal for Pimples, Good or Not?

There is a lot of talk about using charcoal for treating pimples. Again there are people who have tried this technique, and it worked for them and there are some for whom it didn’t.

If you want to treat your pimples with activated charcoal, a more effective way might be to use a drawing salve that has activated charcoal as an ingredient. We go further into using a drawing salve later on, so keep scrolling down, if you’re after this idea.

You can still give this method a go, and it may work for you. All you need is some crushed into powder activated charcoal. Mix it with a small amount of aloe vera gel to create a paste. Simply apply it to your acne and let it dry. Then once it is dry you can rinse it off, and you’re done.

Activated Charcoal Bundle, Cedarwood Soap and Charcoal Mouthwash
  • Provence oil pulling mouthwash with activated charcoal
  • Olive Care activated charcoal cedarwood bar soap with olive oil
  • Olive Care activated charcoal cedarwood Soap Bars 3 pack

Is Activated Charcoal Safe to Ingest?

Yes, it is safe to ingest. A lot of people talk about using it to reduce gas and that it helps them. The thing here is while it may help with reducing gas, it could be doing more harm than good when ingesting.

Activated charcoal may interfere with the absorption of other medicines and supplements into your body. That is why it’s recommended against taking this as a supplement, if you are on any medication.

There are many informative articles that go in-depth explaining how and why ingesting activated charcoal may not be such a great idea.

In our opinion, even though it is relatively safe to take, it would do more harm than good by not allowing your body to absorb nutrients that it should. So, you shouldn’t ingest it unless it’s necessary. And if it is, then it would have its benefits.

5 Beauty Hacks for Activated Charcoal That Work

There are so many uses for activated charcoal. Here are five activated charcoal beauty hacks that we have found to actually work. Check them out, give them a try and see if they work for you too.

DIY Teeth Whitening and Mouthwash

If you have stained teeth from things like drinking a lot of tea or coffee or smoking cigarettes, you can use activated charcoal as a tooth whitener.

All that’s required is to wet your toothbrush and add some charcoal powder to it, then brush your teeth with it.

But remember, it doesn’t replace toothpaste. It’s a quick and easy way to brighten up those pearly whites!

You can do this 2-3 times a week to keep your teeth white and healthy.

Tip: Try to avoid using it on any crowns or caps that you may have as it could stain them.

Also, you can try a homemade activated charcoal mouthwash!

It’s really easy to do, too. A quick search online will reveal plenty of different recipes. If you want something simple, but can’t be bothered with DIY, then here are a few fantastic mouthwashes you can pick up and start using straight away.

Keep in mind, though, that some people report that their gums hurt from using these mouthwashes from time to time. It will depend on one’s own oral health and how often you use it to clean your mouth.

You may not experience this issue at all, but we thought it would be worth mentioning.

Product
Hello Activated Charcoal Mouthwash
Provence Activated Charcoal Mouthwash
My Magic Mud Oral Rinse
Dr Btite Whitening Mouthwash
Hello Activated Charcoal Starter Pack
Image
Hello Oral Care Activated Charcoal Extra Freshening Fluoride Free and Alcohol Free Mouthwash with Natural Fresh Mint and Coconut Oil, 3 Count
Activated Charcoal Mouthwash - All Natural - Infused with Coconut & Peppermint Essential Oil - Eliminate Harmful Bacteria & Stains - Refreshes Breathe, Cleanse Mouth & Whitens Teeth - 4 FL OZ
My Magic Mud - Activated Charcoal Oral Rinse, Freshens Breath, Soothes Mouth, Classic Mint, 420 ml (2-Pack)
Dr. Brite Natural Whitening Vitamin C Mouthwash with Mint and Activated Coconut Charcoal (16 Fl Oz) (Pack of 2)
Hello Activated Charcoal Starter Kit Fluoride Free SLS Free Whitening Toothpaste Extra Freshening Mouthwash 2 Charcoal Bristle BPAFree Toothbrushes, Black, 1 Count
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
-
Product
Hello Activated Charcoal Mouthwash
Image
Hello Oral Care Activated Charcoal Extra Freshening Fluoride Free and Alcohol Free Mouthwash with Natural Fresh Mint and Coconut Oil, 3 Count
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
Provence Activated Charcoal Mouthwash
Image
Activated Charcoal Mouthwash - All Natural - Infused with Coconut & Peppermint Essential Oil - Eliminate Harmful Bacteria & Stains - Refreshes Breathe, Cleanse Mouth & Whitens Teeth - 4 FL OZ
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
My Magic Mud Oral Rinse
Image
My Magic Mud - Activated Charcoal Oral Rinse, Freshens Breath, Soothes Mouth, Classic Mint, 420 ml (2-Pack)
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
-
Buy on Amazon
Product
Dr Btite Whitening Mouthwash
Image
Dr. Brite Natural Whitening Vitamin C Mouthwash with Mint and Activated Coconut Charcoal (16 Fl Oz) (Pack of 2)
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
Hello Activated Charcoal Starter Pack
Image
Hello Activated Charcoal Starter Kit Fluoride Free SLS Free Whitening Toothpaste Extra Freshening Mouthwash 2 Charcoal Bristle BPAFree Toothbrushes, Black, 1 Count
Alcohol Free
Fluoride Free
Made in the USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon

Treat an Oily Face and Body

As mentioned earlier, if you have the time, you can make a face mask yourself to help cleanse your face and remove unwanted oils and dirt.

If you don’t have time to make your own or just don’t want the hassle, you’ll find plenty of charcoal masks to buy online. There are also fantastic soaps containing charcoal for everyday use, which you can clean your body and face with.

We have put together above a few of these for you to choose from, and they aren’t too expensive either.

Clean Your Hair – Add Volume

You may be surprised to know that activated charcoal is not only good for cleaning your hair, but it also has an amazing ability for adding volume to it.

Simply mix a little bit of charcoal powder with your shampoo and work it through your hair as you always do. Rinse thoroughly to make sure you have removed all the charcoal from your hair. To gain more body, leave it in for a few minutes before rinsing.

If you’re after something ready-made, then check these shampoos and shampoo bars out. They work well, and you don’t have to worry about mixing your own.

Product
Soapbox Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Planative Activated Charcoal Shampoo
One Bar Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Vodoo Activated Charcoal Conditioner Bar
Image
Soapbox Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar, Eco Friendly Solid Bar Dextox Shampoo for Hair | Vegan, Sulfate Free, Paraben Free, Cruelty Free, Color Safe, and Silicone-Free (3.1 ounces)
Activated Charcoal Shampoo for Oily Hair - Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Build Up and Scalp Detox - Deep Cleansing Shampoo for Greasy Hair and Scalp Cleanser for Build Up with Moisturizing Oils
ONE Bar Activated Charcoal 3 Pack - Shave, Shower, Shampoo, face, beard, body, hair/scalp, SuperFAT “oil” Infused: Avocado, Mango, Olive, Coconut, Argan, Moisturizing and Nourishing Oil.
Eco Friendly Voodoo Activated Charcoal Deep Solid Conditioner Bar for Normal - Color Treated Dry Hair | Untangles and Softens Hair by Beauty and the Bees
Country of Manufacture
USA
USA
Jordan
Australia
Prime
Product
Soapbox Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Image
Soapbox Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar, Eco Friendly Solid Bar Dextox Shampoo for Hair | Vegan, Sulfate Free, Paraben Free, Cruelty Free, Color Safe, and Silicone-Free (3.1 ounces)
Country of Manufacture
USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
Planative Activated Charcoal Shampoo
Image
Activated Charcoal Shampoo for Oily Hair - Sulfate Free Clarifying Shampoo for Build Up and Scalp Detox - Deep Cleansing Shampoo for Greasy Hair and Scalp Cleanser for Build Up with Moisturizing Oils
Country of Manufacture
USA
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
One Bar Activated Charcoal Shampoo Bar
Image
ONE Bar Activated Charcoal 3 Pack - Shave, Shower, Shampoo, face, beard, body, hair/scalp, SuperFAT “oil” Infused: Avocado, Mango, Olive, Coconut, Argan, Moisturizing and Nourishing Oil.
Country of Manufacture
Jordan
Prime
Buy on Amazon
Product
Vodoo Activated Charcoal Conditioner Bar
Image
Eco Friendly Voodoo Activated Charcoal Deep Solid Conditioner Bar for Normal - Color Treated Dry Hair | Untangles and Softens Hair by Beauty and the Bees
Country of Manufacture
Australia
Prime
Buy on Amazon

Create or Use a Drawing Salve

When it comes to bee stings, drawing out infection in a wound or inflamed acne, a drawing salve with charcoal could be a good option.

It works by making what is in the skin lift out and giving you relief from pain.

If you would like to make your own, there are all kinds of different drawing salve recipes out there. However, there are plenty of activated charcoal drawing salves that you can purchase ready-made. Many of them are produced by well known brands and do the job really well.

It’s always handy to have some on hand at home, just in case you have something like a bee sting happen.

You Can Produce Your Own Makeup

If you have natural mascara, eyeliner or even eyeshadow, then you’ll find it most likely has charcoal as an ingredient. If you’re into making your own, then there are plenty of recipes that you can use. They are all reasonably simple, so you’ll have them made in a matter of minutes.

However, if you’re wanting to stick to ready-made ones to be safe, you’ll most likely find that there aren’t too many options where activated charcoal is concerned.

If you have a bit of time, you might want to give one of those recipes a go. One batch will last quite a while, so it’s not like you have to do it too often.

Conclusion: Activated Charcoal Beauty

Like most things, charcoal works differently for different people. These 5 charcoal beauty hacks we have put together in this article we found to be the most effective most of the time.

In saying that, it depends on the person and how often they apply the hack.

So give them a go and see how they do. You may be pleasantly surprised.

activated charcoal powder