By Jess Marais
Activated charcoal should be a staple addition to any bathroom, kitchen and DIY wellbeing kit!
Charcoal can be used in a myriad of ways as a natural substitute for lots of synthetic, toxin filled beauty products. Charcoal’s natural properties allow it to bind to toxins and dirt, making it perfect for cleansing internally and externally.
Don’t know how to get the best out of this magic black powder? Here are 5 ideas to get you started!
1. DIY At Home Teeth Whitener
This use seems deceptively simple, but activated charcoal’s all natural whitening power stands its ground against the standard chemical filled/bleaching products available.
How to make it:
- Simply dip a wet bamboo toothbrush into your pack of activated charcoal powder (such as Charcoal Me Activated Coconut Charcoal - $19.95).
- Brush onto your teeth.
- Let the charcoal sit for 3 minutes, then rinse!
Stains are eliminated, leaving you with an Instagram worthy smile. This use is best right before an event or photo op as the effects are more short term, however you can repeat this whitening method as often as necessary as the product is so gentle.
2. Clay Face Mask
Normally face masks are found in single use plastic packaging and loaded with toxic chemicals, polluting your body and the environment! These synthetic products actually make your skin worse in the long run, as they can strip away all the good stuff your skin naturally produces. Charcoal and clay are natural alternatives, drawing dirt and oils out of your skin for deeply cleansed, healthy skin. This face mask recipe is a breath of fresh air for lovers of natural ingredients, and less waste.
What you need:
- 1/2 tsp of charcoal (such as Eden Healthfoods Activated Charcoal - $19.95)
- 1/2 tsp of bentonite clay
- 2 drops tea tree essential oil
How to make it:
- Mix the powders and add enough water to form a paste
- Put onto skin for up to 15 mins to clear blackheads and draw out oils
- Rinse off and pat dry, following up with a gentle toner and moisturiser
3. DIY Charcoal Cleanser
Adding charcoal and kaolin clay to rolled oats and honey creates a natural, gently exfoliating cleanser which can be used daily. This cleanser is best made in small batches as lacking chemical preservatives, it can go off within a couple of weeks. The charcoal and clay both draw out dirt and toxins from your skin, whilst the honey is naturally antibacterial, leaving your skin soft and completely clean. Making your own beauty products reduces waste and is guaranteed to be cruelty free, so read on if you love the environment and hate animal testing!
What you need:
- 10 grams of charcoal (such as Keeko Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder - $19.95)
- 20 grams kaolin clay
- 25 grams rolled oats
- 13 grams honey
- 4 drops of lavender oil
- 3 drops of rose geranium oil
How to make it:
- Weigh out the dry ingredients into a bowl and mix together.
- Add the honey and natural oils, stirring until the mixture can be formed into a ball.
- Store the cleanser in a recycled glass jar or reuse an old cleanser container.
How to use it:
Wet your face before taking a pinch of cleanser and rubbing all over your face and neck as a thin lather forms. Rinse off and pat dry, simple!
4. Internal Blood Detox
Lots of natural healing blogs, websites and books reference activated charcoal as an incredible way to remove toxins we come across in our day to day lives from our blood.
Charcoal is only recommended for short term detoxification use as it is quite a drastic cure. Ideally, we eliminate as many toxins from our systems by avoiding processed food, chemical products and filtering our water. However, if you want to feel the cleansing benefits of this product, do some research into short term internal use and feel more energised, get clearer skin and be healthier overall, naturally!
5. Miracle Hangover Cure
Saving the best till last, charcoal can eliminate the symptoms of a less than sensible cocktail night, and actually reduce your blood alcohol levels! Waking up after drinking activated charcoal, you’ll find yourself nausea free, no pounding headache, and with a lot more energy than you would have had otherwise!
How it works:
Charcoal acts as a natural filter, binding to toxins in any liquid and removing them from your system. In your body, the charcoal binds to toxins that have polluted your blood after drinking alcohol, they cling to the charcoal and are flushed out when it leaves your body.
It’s vital you use filtered water, otherwise the charcoal’s properties will be wasted cleansing the water, rather than the toxins.
This final use is one best prepared pre-night out, when you are in possession of all your faculties, and therefore least likely to spill black charcoal all over yourself and your white bathroom!
- Take a pint glass or bottle that can hold at least 600ml of filtered water and add in 20 grams of activated coconut charcoal.
- When you arrive home from cocktails or clubbing, give your drink a swirl and make sure you get all of the powder to gain the best effects.
- This drink works best when taken before you actually become hungover, however, it can be taken the morning after a less than sensible night out and still drastically improve your day.
- It is important to drink lots of water after drinking alcohol anyway, but particularly when you’ve had charcoal as otherwise this product can leave you a little constipated!
Author: Jess Marais
I am passionate about all things sustainability, studying BSC Sustainability and Environmental Management at university in the UK, participating in climate activism and blogging about natural healing. I want share what I’ve learned throughout my ongoing journey towards living more lightly, especially on a student budget. Im particularly passionate about minimalism, toxin free self care and boycotting fast fashion. When im not writing I love long hill walks with my dog Alfie, browsing second hand clothes stores/apps and general university life.