Activated charcoal is an odorless black powder made from common charcoal that’s been exposed to heat. Heating the charcoal to a high temperature causes little pockets or holes to form, making it highly absorbent.

Research has shown that, due to its absorbent nature, activated charcoal can draw toxins from the body. For this reason, it’s commonly used to absorb toxins in the stomach to treat poisonings and drug overdoses.

Activated charcoal has also become a popular ingredient in beauty and skin care products. There isn’t much research to support the use of activated charcoal for skin health, but anecdotal evidence does seem to point to its effectiveness.

While you can buy charcoal masks, you can also make them at home. In this article we’ll look at the steps involved in making a DIY charcoal mask and several recipe variations you can try.

What are the benefits of a charcoal mask?

You’ll find activated charcoal in many personal care products, including cleansers, lotions, soaps, oils, and even toothpastes. It’s also become a popular ingredient for facial masks.

Although there is limited research into the skin benefits of activated charcoal, some skin care experts believe a charcoal mask can help your skin in the following ways:

  • Removes impurities. Because research has shown that activated charcoal can absorb toxins in your body, some beauty experts believe that a charcoal face mask can help draw impurities and dirt from your skin.
  • Reduces acne breakouts. An accumulation of sebum (skin oils) and bacteria can clog your pores, resulting in breakouts. If you’re looking for a natural acne remedy, activated charcoal may help by removing bacteria and other impurities from your pores.
  • Controls oiliness. By removing dead skin cells and absorbing excess oil, activated charcoal may help give your skin a healthy glow without too much shine.