How to use active charcoal in cosmetics

Active charcoal has been very popular for several years in many cosmetic products. Its popularity is no coincidence. Active charcoal is one of the most effective skin detox products. Now I can tell you how to use active charcoal in cosmetics.

What is active charcoal?

Photo by D. L. Samuels on Unsplash

Active charcoal is usually made from coconut shells. Active charcoal can also be made from peat and wood. Coconut shells are burned in very high temperatures and high pressure. Thanks to the high pressure, active charcoal becomes extremely porous. The porous charcoal is able to absorb incredible amount of harmful substances. One gram of active charcoal has a surface area of ​​a couple of tennis courts. Therefore, active charcoal is not at all the same thing as charcoal used in barbeque.

Active charcoal was not originally developed as a cosmetic ingredient. It has become well known in air filters and water purification. Active charcoal has also become known as medical charcoal. Charcoal absorbs most of the toxic substances from the intestines. Active charcoal filters is very big business in the world. Cosmetics have entered into the picture only later.

Read more about activated charcoal.

Active charcoal in cosmetics, is it safe?

Active charcoal is a non-toxic substance. So it can be given to even a small baby in case of poisoning. However, the disadvantage of active charcoal is its finesse. Finely divided, it is dusty and can be easily transported into the lungs. Therefore, you should always be careful with dry active charcoal. As soon as you mix active charcoal with water or any other liquid, it will no longer expose a risk to your lungs.

How to use active charcoal in cosmetics

Active charcoal is one of the cosmetic ingredients that pull substances away from the skin. Other similar ingredients are cosmetic clays and peat. That’s why I told you about the great properties of peat here. You can find more information about Kaolin Clay here.

Cleansing masks

Because active charcoal pulls substances out of the skin, it is used in cleansing masks. I find that cleansing active charcoal masks are the best skin detox treatments. Active charcoal can be finely dispersed throughout the skin. It is also capable of penetrating deep into the pores. Some people think that deep pore penetration is harmful. It is sometimes quite difficult to clean it from the skin.

How do cleansing charcoal masks work?

active-charcoal-in cosmetics

A cleansing mask is the best treatment for city travelers like me. The heartbeat of the big city fascinates me, but it also treats the skin badly. In major cities, the skin is exposed to pollution. Small particles of heavy metal are absorbed into the skin surface and easily penetrate deeper into the skin. The active charcoal mask absorbs heavy metals and brightens the skin.

The active charcoal mask penetrates deep into the pores, thoroughly cleansing them. Beauticians say the problem of large pores can be avoided by paying attention to effective skin cleansing. Active charcoal, when used regularly, can help to make pores smaller on the face.

Active charcoal can help balancing oily skin. However, the dehydrating effect of active charcoal is very broad. It absorbs not only fat but also a lot of moisture from the skin. So do not to use an active charcoal mask as only treatment for oily skin.

Active charcoal helps treat acne

Acne is a skin condition that needs expert treatment and medication. Of course, for mild skin pimples, you can first test activated carbon. So, acne is one way to use active charcoal in cosmetics.

Active charcoal soothes irritated skin

In summertime, bites of  insects may irritate your skin. Active charcoal is a very neutral and well tolerated ingredient. It clearly soothes irritated skin. After the active charcoalmask, the skin is brighter and lighter. You can also treat insect bites locally with active charcoal paste. Active charcoal paste helps to absorb toxins from the injection area.

Disadvantages of an active charcoal mask

The disadvantage of continuous use of active charcoal mask is dry skin. Carbon also absorbs moisture from the skin. Therefore, moisturizing the skin after the mask is really necessary.

This is how you make your active charcoal mask

In this mask I have used exceptionally coconut oil. Active charcoal Mask is a skin cleansing mask. It pulls substances out of the skin. Coconut oil is not absorbed deep into the skin due to its large molecular size. That is why it is one of the best oils for this purpose.

Sea salt is an important ingredient for providing osmotic pressure. It lifts harmful substances to the skin surface.

Bentonite clay enhances the effect of activated carbon. It also cleanses the skin and removes impurities from the skin.

Baking soda gently exfoliates the skin. It also has antibacterial properties.

A wooden spoon is essential when handling clay. Glass or plastic are also suitable. Avoid metal spoon. The metal reacts unfavorably with the components contained in the clay. Metals can weaken the effect of clay to absorb impurities from the skin.


  • ½ teaspoon of active charcoal
  • 2 teaspoons of bentonite clay
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • A pinch of very fine sea salt


  • Glass Bowl
  • Wooden spoon (plastic included)

Do like this:

  • Mix all ingredients together into a paste and apply to your face, avoiding the eye area.
  • Let the mask work for about 10-15 minutes
  • Wipe the mask thoroughly with paper
  • Dip a towel in hot water and dry it. Finally, wipe your face with a hot, damp towel
  • If you still feel that your face has not been cleansed enough, you can still do the normal oil cleansing with skin oil.

Face cleansing with active charcoal soap

Photo by Elsa Olofsson on Unsplash

I would like to tell you about active charcoal soaps from Kolmecosmetics in Finland. I don’t commercially work with them, so this is by no means an advertisement.

Kolmecosmetics manufactures state-of-the-art artisan soaps for face (round), hair (triangle) and body (rectangle). All products are non-toxic products with only the necessary ingredients, nothing else. The products are also zero waste products, as soaps can be purchased completely without packaging.

In the city holidays I love, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean your face and all bare skin area with active charcoal from any airborne pollutant. This should be done every evening. The dusty carbon powder is really messy to use. Active charcoal soap is convenient to carry and use.

Active charcoal soap is recommended for oily skin and daily use. It dries a little normal skin. Therefore, it is a good idea to carefully moisturize and grease the skin after washing it with active charcoal soap. If your skin is really dry, I do not recommend active charcoal products at all.

My active charcoal soap for face

I myself buy Kolmecosmetics active charcoal soap for deep cleansing the face. I wanted to clean my skin of the fine particles in the big city air. Kolmecosmetics active charcoal soaps are really handy when travelling. Kolmecosmetics soap also removes air pollutants from the skin. I know that active charcoal pulls harmful substances out of the skin. The sea salt in the soap works osmotically. It lifts harmful substances up from the deepest layers of the skin by means of pressure. This way the skin is cleansed very effectively.

Kolmecosmetics also produces high quality active charcoal soap for body and hair. I haven’t tried them yet, but I will. I can get a soap transport bag from them as well. It is a custom-made plastic transport bag for soap, which, however, releases moisture from the bag. So the soap  does not become porridge-like during transport. Really ingenious.

Active charcoal in toothpastes

In toothpastes, active charcoal acts as a bleaching agent. It has the ability to absorb dyes. In addition, active charcoal is non-toxic and does not cause scratches on tooth enamel. It is not corrosive like many enzymes used in teeth whitening. Many synthetic chemicals whiten teeth effectively, but their effect on the body is never completely certain. So I recommend trying active charcoal for teeth whitening.

You can whiten your teeth by making water and active charcoal a paste that you apply to your teeth. Another option is to add active charcoal to the toothpaste. Active charcoal can only work when it is able to absorb discoloration from the tooth surface. Therefore, brushing with active charcoal toothpaste alone will not whiten your teeth. Active charcoal removes the toner to which it may be in direct contact. Active charcoal cannot remove the color etched deeper into the tooth enamel. Active charcoal is also unable to make the tooth’s own color whiter.

Easy homemade tooth whitening paste

This paste is for occasional use only. It does not wash your teeth and cannot replace toothpaste. Use this paste, for example, once a week to keep away, for example, the discoloration caused by coffee.

  • For an easy, homemade tooth whitening paste, mix 1 teaspoon of active charcoal and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil.
  • Apply the mixture on clean teeth and leave for about 20 minutes.
  • Rinse and/or brush activated charcoal paste on the tooth and gum surfaces.

Active charcoal in hair care

Active charcoal is also suitable for hair and scalp care. Hair, like the skin, collects a lot of heavy metals from the air. It can affect the condition of the hair, making it look dead.

Activated charcoal can deeply wash your hair as well as your scalp. Active charcoal removes dirt from the hair. Therefore, it is a good idea to apply activated charcoal to your hair and scalp before coloring your hair with henna. If your hair and scalp are very greasy, you can also mix active charcoal with shampoo.

Mix active charcoal with egg yolk

Photo by D. L. Samuels on Unsplash

I myself mix the active charcoal with the egg yolk. Egg yolk acts like a shampoo to remove excess grease from the scalp and hair. This helps the natural plant colors adhere to the hair better. The secret of the egg yolk is lecithin. Lecithin is an emulsifier that mixes fat and water. It is easy to rinse emulsified grease off with warm water. The egg yolk does not wash the scalp too clean. That’s why I prefer it over the shampoo.

When making active charcoal masks, I strongly recommend wearing gloves. Fingers and fingernails can easily become darkened. Similarly, all towels, bathrobes and other clothing should be dark. Active charcoal can leave difficult stains on textiles.

De-greasing active charcoal hair mask before coloring with henna

  • Mix ½ teaspoon of active charcoal and 3 yolks
  • Wet the hair thoroughly and dry until towel-dry
  • Apply the mixture carefully to the scalp and hair
  • Leave on for 10-15 minutes
  • Rinse carefully
  • Your hair is ready for henna coloring

Detox active charcoal mask for hair and scalp

Do not do this mask on colored hair. Active charcoal absorbs colors and can cause uneven color in the hair.

Do not use too much activated carbon. It’s really messy. Even a small amount of active carbon is enough to clean a very large area.

  • You need ½ teaspoon of active charcoal and ½ dl of water
  • Apply evenly to towel-dry hair and scalp
  • Leave on for 10-15 minutes
  • Really rinse charcoal off the scalp and hair.

Get started with these active charcoal products. Active charcoal is a completely non-toxic and easy to-use ingredient. Active charcoal in cosmetics is very versatile. You can use it to make truly effective detox products for your skin, hair and teeth. Regular use of active charcoal detox masks will take care of your skin’s condition. Over the years, taking good care will certainly also be visible on the skin.

Have you used active charcoal? Pleace, let your comment below!

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