Beauty benefits of activated charcoal
Was this Cinderella’s beauty secret?
Lying amongst the cinders and working in it all day ended happily when her beauty got the prince’s attention and she was whisked away in the golden carriage into happily ever after land. Now you can leave the toils of the fairy tale behind and go straight for Cinderella’s shine and glamour with activated charcoal you can buy over the counter! Great for your hair, great for your skin, great for your insides, it can only help out the best in you. And the best in you will always be beautiful.
What really is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is created from natural ingredients like coconut shells, bone char, coal, peat, petroleum coke, olive pits, sawdust, bamboo and more. The resulting charcoal is then heated in a special way so that it becomes pure, non-toxic, and even more porous than normal charcoal is. These pores further increase normal charcoal’s properties of absorption, and help to extract and retain within it toxins and harmful chemicals from your skin, hair and body. So it works not by adding anything to your skin, thereby nulling the possibilities of side effects, but by taking away the bad in a super effective way.
What are its broad benefits?
Activated charcoal helps us by absorbing excess oils from your skin by:
1. Keeping the pores of your skin clean
2. Deep cleansing your skin
3. Soothing and healing allergic reactions, insect bites and cuts
4. Removing toxins from your face
5. Removing toxins from your hair
6. Keeping your hair voluminous since it does not leave behind any residues
7. Soothing and healing scalp conditions like dandruff and itchiness.
These are all benefits from the external use of activated charcoal. Eating it is good for removing toxins and gases from the body, but this should only be done under strict medical supervision. So here we will only talk about the external ways of using activated charcoal.
Some ways to make the best use of your activated charcoal
1. Use it as a facial cleanser
Mix well one tablespoon of activated charcoal powder, one tablespoon of baking soda, a few drops of lavender essential oil with half a cup of coconut oil. If required, use a blender to mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Keep the blend in a dispenser bottle for use as and when. Discard if not used up within six months. To use it, take some in the palms of your hands and use it like an exfoliator on your skin. Rub it in gently with circular upward motions for a couple of minutes. Rinse it off with plain water and dry your face by patting it with a soft towel. Repeat twice a week for best results. This cleanser works because the activated charcoal absorbs and removes impurities and toxins, the baking soda helps exfoliate, the coconut oil nourishes and hydrates your skin, and the essential oil soothes the skin to perfection.
2. Use it to soothe and heal acne
Mix well one teaspoon of activated charcoal powder, a few drops of tea tree essential oil, and one teaspoon of witch hazel in a bowl. Apply it on the areas affected by the acne with a swab of cotton. Let it dry completely. Rinse it off with plain water followed by the use of a very light moisturiser. Repeat twice a week for best results. This treatment works because the activated charcoal powder absorbs and removes the infection causing the acne, the essential oil kills the bacteria that are causing the acne, and the witch hazel acts as an astringent that shrinks the pores to minimise chances of a fresh breakout.
3. Use it to remove blackheads and whiteheads
Mix half a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder, one tablespoon of clay powder, and one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a bowl. Add enough water to make it a smooth paste. Make sure you do not use metallic bowls and spoons as metals neutralise the ions in the clay thereby rendering it ineffective. Now apply the paste all over your face like a face mask, while avoiding the eyes and the mouth. Spread an extra layer on the oily parts around the nose and cheeks. Leave it on for about ten minutes. Rinse it off with plain water, pat your skin dry, and finish off with a very light moisturiser. Repeat twice a week for best results. This face mask works because the activated charcoal powder absorbs the excess oils that ultimately lead to blackheads and whiteheads, the apple cider vinegar kills the bacteria to prevent breakouts, and the clay tightens the pores in order to minimise further black or white head formations.
4. Use it to make dark underarms lighter
Mix well one teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with one tablespoon of raw and pure honey. If you can use Manuka honey, even better. Apply the sticky black paste generously to your underarms. Leave it on for about half an hour. Rinse it off with luke warm water. Repeat twice a week for about five weeks to see results. This treatment works because the activated charcoal powder absorbs and removes the toxins in your skin left by antiperspirants and hair removal creams, and the honey not only helps the charcoal get in close contact with the skin, but also helps keep the sensitive underarm skin hydrated.
5. Use it to whiten your teeth
Mix half a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder, two tablespoons of natural clay powder, a quarter teaspoon of sea salt, a quarter teaspoon of ground organic cloves, two teaspoons of xylitol powder for sweeting if you need it, one tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil, about ten drops of peppermint essential oil for fresher breath, and two tablespoons of water in a bowl. Make sure you do not use metallic bowls and spoons as metals neutralise the ions in the clay thereby rendering it ineffective. Keep the homemade toothpaste in a non metallic container for use as and when. Discard if not used up within one month. To use, take a bit of the paste on your toothbrush and brush your teeth as you normally would for a couple of minutes. Rinse thoroughly with plain water. Repeat twice a week for best results. This toothpaste works because the activated charcoal powder absorbs and removes the toxins on your enamels that lead to plaque build up, the clay removes stains on your teeth, and the sea salt, coconut oil and cloves act as antibacterial agents.
6. Use it to boost hair growth
Mix one tablespoon of your regular shampoo with a quarter teaspoon of activated charcoal powder. If you have longer thicker hair that needs more shampoo, mix more, while keeping the proportions in mind. Shampoo your hair like you normally do and rinse off as usual. Repeat once a week for best results. This shampoo works because the activated charcoal powder absorbs and removes product build ups from hair styling products and other chemicals which would otherwise slow down the rate of hair growth.
Now go ahead, add a smile to that fresh clean persona, and you’re done!