Magical Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Magical Benefits of Activated Charcoal

Why Charcoal Is the New Magic Ingredient to Incorporate Into Your Beauty Routine



Continuing with the #UrbanWellness series here on my blog, I’m bringing you the most talk-about and tried-out beauty trend as of lately, #ActivatedCharcoal.


Activated Charcoal: Does it live up to the hype?

Activated charcoal seems to be the latest fad. It is a major ingredient in most skincare products today. Soaps, face masks, scrubs, and even toothpastes in an uncanny black by major brands have become the holy grail for skincare for most. But charcoal? Really?

Well, I’d be honest with you. When I first saw the surge of activated charcoal based beauty products in the market, I was a little sceptical. The same thing I use to fire my barbecue couldn’t possibly be good for my skin, I wondered. Finally, curiosity got the better of me and I reached out for a charcoal-based face mask. An acid test to put the controversy to rest, I told myself, without knowing that soon I’d convert into a devout follower of this black magic ingredient to keep my skin healthy and supple.




Black magic, anyone?

Activated charcoal is a porous powerhouse, and I say this with experience. Used since centuries to flush out toxins from the gut in hospital emergency rooms due to its highly porous nature ~ it is surprising how we took so long to discover its purifying effect on the skin. Yes, just as it works in the gut, activated charcoal binds to dirt, bacteria, and oil on the epidermis that get washed away when you rinse your face to reveal fresh and glowing skin.

So, before I share with you my personal experience with the dirty detoxer, let me first tell you how activated charcoal is different from the stuff you use on your barbecue.

Activated charcoal {as well as regular charcoal} is commonly made from charred bamboo, wood, coconut shells, or coal without oxygen. However, to activate the material, it is treated with certain gases at high temperature that make it highly porous and absorbent, turning it into a wonder product that is said to purify your skin, whiten your teeth, and clean your scalp, too.

Is that reason enough for charcoal to find a place of pride in your pantry as well as skincare regime? Read on for five reasons to introduce charcoal into your beauty routine, ASAP.


  1. Activated Charcoal Facial Mask

Well, I believe in trying everything and that’s what led me to the popular Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask by The Body Shop.

So, as you know, I am very particular about what I use on my skin ~ but, the adventurer in me prods me to try many-a-things. Therefore, the chemical and cruelty-free charcoal face pack by The Body Shop was a natural choice for me. And, to my delight, it worked wondrously.

I have tried several face masks in my life; some that left me with a subtle glow and others that had me feeling like a stretched elastic band. But, once I tried this activated charcoal facial mask, I knew there was no going back for me. All it took was one application for activated charcoal to become my to-go product for a quick glow after a tired day {and before a party} or a relaxed Sunday skin ritual.

Especially if you have oily skin or clogged pores, an activated charcoal face mask, such as the popular Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask, could help you draw out the impurities lurking deep within your pores. Leave on your face for up to ten minutes and rinse off the mask to reveal glowing and hydrated skin. It could also be a good idea to look for products that couple activated charcoal with known acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, bentonite clay, or tea tree oil.




  1. Activated Charcoal Beauty Bar

Well, that’s not all. Charcoal’s not only a winner in face masks, it’s also finding its way into face and hand soaps too. So don’t hesitate to reach out for an activated charcoal infused beauty bar, in case you are looking for a product that cares for your entire body ~ head to toe. Sensitive skin can use charcoal bars that are antioxidant-rich, allowing the gentle formula to be used daily on your face and body without drying out skin.

I particularly like The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Facial Soap that reduces excess oils, purifies the pores, and gently removes impurities to reveal healthy, clearer-looking skin. Combining two powerful ingredients, tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil, with farmed bamboo charcoal ~ the product is ideal to bathe away a hot day’s worth of sweat and grime or refresh yourself after an intense session at the gym. Oh, and it is 100% vegan, too.




  1. Activated Charcoal Shampoo

Shiny, frizz-free hair that joyously bounce, adding a spring to your step, are a distant myth for most of us. But not anymore. Activated charcoal could be the magic ingredient you have been waiting for to enthuse life back into your mane. A squeaky clean scalp and bouncy strands are just a couple of ‘side-effects’ of using an activated charcoal shampoo.

With its unique ability to soak up oil, dirt, and all the other unpleasant things on our scalp, activated charcoal makes for an excellent cleanser to rid the crown of dirt, oil, and scalp build-up.

I tried the Aroma Magic Activated Bamboo Charcoal Shampoo by Blossom Kocchar and was quite impressed. The modestly priced, silicone and paraben-free shampoo combines activated bamboo charcoal with the essential nutrients ~ Potassium and Magnesium ~ to clean and fortify your hair. Now say hello to a healthier scalp and tresses as light as air, and say goodbye to frizz for good!




  1. Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Who would have thought that soot could lead to a glamourous smile?

Used since centuries by certain tribes to maintain oral health, today, activated charcoal is being hailed as the wonder product for gleaming peckers and fighting mouth odour. Boost your oral health by adding activated charcoal to your brushing routine. You could choose charcoal suffused toothpaste; a glamorously black, charcoal infused toothbrush; or, if you feel adventurous enough, you may directly use activated charcoal powder to clean your teeth. You’ll still need to maintain your regular oral hygiene routine, though ~ charcoal isn’t a hygiene product, so don’t ditch the Colgate just yet.




  1. Activated Charcoal Juice

Ever turned up at work looking like a zombie, after an indulgent Sunday eve that constituted a couple of extra martinis? Hangovers mean dull, dehydrated skin, puffy eyes, and, for the unlucky ones, a throbbing headache, too.

The solution? Well, if sleeping it out is not an option for you, reach out for activated charcoal, the wonder product you can ingest to get rid of toxins from your body. Now, I am not saying that activated charcoal can cure a headache. But, a lemonade suffused with activated charcoal may help you recover faster in addition to contributing to a cleaner gut. In fact, activated charcoal laden juices and smoothies are fast becoming the health conscious individual’s favoured ‘cup of tea’ for their metabolism-boosting and cleansing effects.




Bottom line: Personally, while I think it is worth giving the wondrous charcoal a chance to win over your beauty regime, incorporating it in your diet, as a beverage or part of any food product, may only be done under medical supervision.


Well, lovely readers what did you think of this post? Do you have any favourite charcoal beauties products in your routine or have you seen any in this post you would like to try? Tell me in the comments below. I would love to hear from you.


* Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor and this post shouldn’t be taken as medical advice. This is purely anecdotal, based on my own experience as well as the experience of others who use charcoal regularly. It is recommended that you consult your nutritionist or healthcare provider before using activated charcoal.

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *


  • I’ve used activated-charcoal imbued healthy skin-care products and have liked them so far. Thank you for the information, especially ‘cause I didn’t know we could have activated-charcoal smoothies!

  • For the past few months I have started using a charcoal mask on my skin and I can state with confidence that I have seen improvements. And my skin feels cleaner too. 🙂

  • I so appreciate your not giving charcoal all the credit for your insanely perfect skin, Tanya! What’s more, your honesty really influenced me.

  • Many of us ~ especially me, a heavy espresso consumer ~ will profit by this. Unquestionably, we can use skin-brightening products, however the natural way will remain the best way. Thanks for the post, Tanya.

    • I am happy you liked this post, Madhubani.

      Charcoal works like a magnet ~ drawing bacteria out from underneath the skin’s surface.

  • I adore the Purifying Glow Mask! When I initially attempted using it a few months ago, it felt so unusual putting charcoal on my skin ~ but it worked wonders on my skin inflammation. Love your blog, Tanya! xx

    • Thanks for stopping by, Aysha! Charcoal may seem like a rather extreme ingredient to be using on our faces, and I wonder how somebody even makes sense of it and figures it’s good for skin!

  • Wow, I did not know that charcoal infused drinks were a thing! One really does discover something new every day!!

    • I was pleasantly surprised that a detox drink could taste that delicious! If you’ve never tasted one, it’s about time you did, Kristie. 🙂

  • Well done, Tanya! This is an extremely useful post ~ your analysis is really neat and you have written everything in detail.

    • So whenever you’re skin’s feeling somewhat clogged, or you simply need a little extra oomph in your routine, think charcoal ~ it could do your skin a great deal of good. 🙂

  • This is an amazing post ~ charcoal is definitely having its moment. I love Body Shop’s products ~ will have to give it a try!

  • I have attempted the charcoal teeth-whitening. It is messy to make the paste, and I didn’t really notice a difference ~ however my teeth felt super clean.

    • Thanks for sharing, Shardan. Charcoal beauty products have intrigued me for some time now, so it was cool to finally write about it!

  • Amazing! Never knew charcoal had such numerous advantages! Would love to try the products you’ve recommended, Tanya.

    • I’ve used charcoal in my beauty routine before, but only recently heard about Body Shop’s product. Do let me know about your experience, Charmaine.

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