I’ve been playing with this mask for a couple of months now!
You see, I am a total health (obviously) and beauty junkie. I love DIY spa nights, I love makeup, and anything that will make you glow from the inside out. I’m pretty much addicted to this gelatin face mask and use it weekly (<–if you haven’t yet head over and do it!). My husband thinks I am nuts because I am constantly playing with new beauty masks, to the point where I am having a home spa night several times per week.
You may have heard of activated charcoal, you may not have. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen tons of black teeth selfies all over Instagram and Pinterest, it’s become super popular these past few years in the social media world (I think it is pretty cool if you haven’t, way to be present in the real world 😉 ). I actually asked my dentist what she thought of activated charcoal for dental care (out of curiosity) and she has been living under a rock, but was interested to look it up and learn about it. You have probably used it to filter your water, and people are now using this stuff to whiten teeth, fight body odor, spider bites, minor stomach bugs, to clean mold, alleviate gas and bloating, and more! I have been using it mostly for my skin and to whiten my teeth and loving it (although it is good to know that it has many other uses while I have it on hand).
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal has been used medicinally for almost 200 years! It’s a carbon that’s been treated to increase its absorbency, and works through the chemical process of adsorption (not absorption), which is the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface, to stop poisons and other toxins from harming you. Medical professionals have been known to use high doses of this in the emergency treatment of certain kinds of poisoning. It helps prevent the poison from being absorbed from the stomach into the body. (It is very important that a medical professional who knows what they are doing administers this in any emergency case!)
When applying activated charcoal to your beauty regimen, think about it being like a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil from your skin. When the carbon comes in contact with your pores, it will pull out all that gunk and stay on the charcoal as you rinse it off. My pores look really clean and open immediately after I use this, I always use witch hazel on a cotton ball (as an astringent) after cleaning off the mask to get out any extra residue, then I ice roll to close up my pores and smooth my skin/reduce any inflammation or redness from rubbing it off (I am working on not roughly rubbing with my washcloth or towel, bad habit).
When I use my gelatin face mask my pores no longer exist and my skin is tight AF. The charcoal mask is awesome for that time of the month when you may be prone to hormonal breakouts and too much chocolate that makes your skin go crazy (or if you are on Flowtox or another change of diet that will show detox symptoms in the skin).
It cleans it so well and I feel like the next day I glow … Mike even commented on how great my face looked!
I tried making the charcoal mask with my gelatin, then a few other things with no luck. After doing some research I decided to try adding benonite clay to the mix! Perfection!
Benonite clay, also called Montmorillonite clay, is another toxin fighter composed of ash made from volcanos (pretty cool, right?) It is similar to chia seeds absorbing water and expanding in that it absorbs the liquids that it comes into contact with, then expands to extract toxins from the liquid. It may help speed up the healing time of things like poison ivy, eczema breakouts, rashes, irritations, etc, when mixed with water and applied topically (always consult your doc/skin care professional before trying something new).
Even how you mix it up matters. If you look in this pic below when I added the charcoal first it kind of sucked everything up and made it dry and not spread well.
Here I added all the liquids first, then the powders slowly on top.
Adding essential oils is totally optional. I LOVE the added benefits and will only use one brand. PLEASE don’t go to CVS or the grocery store for oils. They are junky and can do bad things to your body. Also buy directly from the source, there are so many scams on Amazon and actual good EO companies do not allow their products to be sold on there (meaning shady people dilute them and add carrier oils, meaning you get ripped off). It is like wiping pesticides and who knows what else all over your skin! If you are not ready for oils, leave them out this still works SO well!
When I have somewhere to go and want my makeup to look REALLY good I will do this charcoal mask a day or two before, then the gelatin mask either the day of or night before, then ice roll after I use my witch hazel and moisturize, right before putting my makeup on. Guys, I am 35 and don’t remember having to do any of this crap 15 years ago– I was washing my face with Neutrogena and lucky if I remembered to wash my face before bed after a long night out. Eek! I did breakout a lot back then though.
Here is a before (or during) and after of that routine before a photo shoot we had last week for yoga. I even feel like my brows go on better when my skin is glowy and smooth. That could just be in my head though.
DIY Charcoal Clay Mask
- 1 teaspoon pure benonite clay
- 1 teaspoon activated charcoal
- 2 teaspoons aloe gel
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/2 teaspoon argan, jojoba, or other light oil (like avocado or sweet almond oil)
- 4 drops high quality essential oils (I like 2 drops lavender & 2 drop frankincense or elemi)
Place aloe, jojoba (or other oil), and essential oils in a bowl and mix. Sprinkle clay on and mix with a rubber spatula (or ceramic or wood spoon), add charcoal. If needed, add more aloe and/or water to the mix about 1/4 teaspoon at a time. Open pores by placing a warm washcloth on your face and wet the skin. Evenly spread the mask, avoiding eyebrows and hair line. Wash of with a washcloth after 5 minutes. I recommend rinsing it off in the shower and using a cotton ball with coconut oil on it to remove any remaining residue after rinsing (followed by a warm wash cloth, repeat coconut oil and wash cloth as needed, do not scrub!)
For added benefits, roll an ice roller on your face for 5 minutes after!
- Never use a metal spoon to mix. When most chelating ingredients, like most clays, come in contact with any metal, the chelating aspect is gone because it has already reacted to the metal, making it less effective in reacting to your face, or anything else you used it for. Mix and measure with ceramic, wood, or rubber. If you have to use plastic, but it is not ideal.
- Use activated charcoal made from coconut shells (when I first was experimenting with it I got the wrong kind by accident, but switched to another one I researched on Amazon)
- This can be messy. Be careful wherever you mix it at, and stay away from grout surfaces. I mix it all up on my kitchen island. It washes right off my bathroom sink, but can get messy in there.
- I recommend using it BEFORE you shower. When I do the gelatin mask I do it after the shower because my pores are all open. But this charcoal can be tough to get off, so showering it ideal.
- Don’t leave it on too long, it will be harder to get off.
- Apply a thin layer, the thicker the layer the more remaining residue there will be when you wash.
- If you have more residue on your face after the shower, use a cotton ball with coconut oil followed by a warm washcloth to remove. DO NOT SCRUB (to will irritate your skin). Repeat this step as many times as needed then use witch hazel on a cotton ball as astringent.
- DO NOT put dirty utensils in your dishwasher. Ummmm, I learned this the hard way! For a week I was wondering why my dishwasher grates were all black, and ran it a few times. Hand wash it all, it is fine on the plumbing as far as I know/researched.
- Everyone has different skin, and I am not an aesthetician, just a natural DIY junkie and loves to experiment. If you have sensitive skin or special skin needs, consult a professional.
- This makes enough for 2 uses, you can store in an air tight container, sealed in, and place in the fridge for later! Or cut the recipe in half.
I think that is it! If you try any of my DIY beauty recipes, let me know in the comments!