I am a huge advocate for natural beauty, and love whipping up organic products in my very own kitchen. Lately I’ve been absolutely obsessed with coal… activated charcoal to be precise! Charcoal and beauty might seem to be the unlikeliest of BFF’s, but the possibilities of pairing the two are absolutely endless.
What is Activated Charcoal?
First off, there is a HUGE difference between the black stuff you find on your barbecue grill and actual activated charcoal.
While all that coal from barbies and the chimney coating Santa’s suit is full of carcinogenic toxins you’d be glad to stay clear of, activated charcoal is carefully created in a lab environment.
Activated Charcoal is basically carbon, the building block of all living things. It has been ‘activated’ with extreme heat to make it very, very weightless and porous.
In scientific terms, Activated Charcoal has been given the superpower of ‘Adsorbtion’ (not absorption), an unmatched ability to pull out toxins like a magnet. Adsorption works by electrical attraction, pulling molecules, atoms and ions towards its surface and sticking to it, without becoming one with it.
In hospitals, Activated Charcoal is used as the first line of defense for poisoned victims. It is also used as a water filter, and becoming more of a buzzword for detox drinks and beauty products.
How to Incorporate Activated Charcoal into Your Regular Beauty Regime
Activated Charcoal for Makeup:
– Eyebrow Filler: Open up a pellet of Activated Charcoal, and use the powder as an eyebrow filler with an eyebrow precision brush.
– Eyeshadow: Similarly, you can use the powder to create a smokey eye.
– Eyeliner: Fancy an all-natural alternative to your regular eyeliner? Just make a paste of Activated Charcoal with a few drops of water, and draw on a line. NOTE: this can smudge, and is definitely not waterproof.
Activated Charcoal for Skincare:
Thanks to its ‘adsorption’ abilities, Activated Charcoal works as a natural vacuum cleaner for pulling out all that environmental gunk that hits our faces on a daily basis. Activated Charcoal is a godsend for those suffering from enlarged pores or very oily complexions. If you are prone to dry skin, try not to exceed one treatment a week as Activated Charcoal really pulls out the facial oils, both good and bad.
For skincare, Activated Charcoal can be used in the following ways:
As a Face Wash: Add a pellet to a squeeze of your regular face wash for a very thorough deep cleanse.
As a Spot Treatment: Got a pesky pimple that has just popped up right in time for date night? Fret not, simply make a paste of Activated Charcoal with water, and apply to the spot till dry. Wash off, and it should look significantly smaller and less pronounced.
As a Face Mask: Again, you can blend in a pellet of Activated Charcoal to your favorite mask treatment. I like to incorporate it into my home-made natural masks, especially when I am after a very deep clean (click here for some of my DIY beauty recipes!).
Here is a very easy to do face mask that uses Activated Charcoal as the main ingredient:
Tezzy’s Activated Charcoal Mask Recipe
All you need is:
– 3 capsules of Activated Charcoal
– 1 teaspoon Rose Water
– 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel
Open the contents of the capsule into a small bowl, and mix in the other ingredients till it forms a paste.
Apply onto a cleansed face using a brush, and leave on till dry (approximately 20 minutes).
Wash off (yes, this can be messy business!).
This very simple, cost-effective mask works wonders at deep-cleansing the skin, and gives you that squeaky clean feeling that lasts all week!
Activated Charcoal for Whitening Teeth:
If you are a Pinterest addict, you must have had an overload of the before and after pix! All you need to do is dip your toothbrush into Activated Charcoal and give yourself a good brushing.
I for one can see a very noticeable difference even as I brush!
Remember Activated Charcoal is safe for ingestion so don’t worry about swallowing any. Keep brushing for 5 minutes or so.
Yes it looks pretty sick! And just wait till you have to spit it all out… very Gaulish indeed! Be kind and rinse the basin, don’t freak out the other members of your abode 😀
You can follow this up with regular toothpaste brushing.
And smile!! Your pearly whites just got a few shades brighter 😀
Activated Charcoal for Haircare:
Just like the skin and teeth, your hair can really benefit from the ‘adsorption’ properties of Activated Charcoal. Like a magnet, it can pull out all that grease and grime.
Simply add a pellet to a dollop of your regular shampoo, and rinse off well.
Best of all, Activated Charcoal really works wonders at adding volume to the hair! No grime equals floaty buffed out hair 😀
Where Can I Buy Activated Charcoal?
Activated Charcoal is available at any leading pharmacy chain. I buy mine in the form of capsules from Boots Pharmacy. These jars of 30 are sold under the brand name ‘Puritan’s Pride’ and costs a mere AED 25 each. I always stock up when Boots have their ‘3 for 2’ offers!
Activated Charcoal is yet another natural beauty must-have, and at AED 25 for a bottle of 30 pellets from Boots, I sure am getting my bang for the buck!