Charcoal has been used for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. In Ancient Egypt it was used to cure a number of ailments such as digestive disorders, bee stings, skin rashes and was even ingested to counteract the effects of poisonous animal bites. Not only is this magical substance useful in the medical sense, but its beauty uses are endless.

Natural activated charcoal has long been proven to remove toxins and have antibacterial properties. It’s porous nature means it absorbs hundreds of times its own weight and it’s unique composition allows it to chemically bind to other substances, ridding the body of things that shouldn’t be there. So what’s the difference between activated charcoal and the stuff you’d buy for your weekend BBQ? Activated charcoal has been made specifically for medicinal use, so you can rest assured that it doesn’t contain any carcinogenic chemicals or other highly toxic ingredients.

It’s readily available in your local pharmacy or health food store in handy tablet form, so here are seven ways you can incorporate it in your beauty routine. You’ll need to use it in powder form, so get grinding!

Beauty Uses for Activated Charcoal

Activated Charcoal Capsules

Zit Zapper

Not only is it highly effective at removing toxins, but the bacteria-busting properties of activated charcoal make it perfect for oily and acne-prone skins. Mix a generous half teaspoon of activated charcoal , one teaspoon of natural aloe vera gel and four drops of tea tree oil. Spread the mask thinly all over your face, let it dry then rinse with lukewarm water.

Tooth Whitener

You wouldn’t think a black paste could whiten teeth, but if you’re a tea or coffee drinker, activated charcoal is a great way to get rid of stains. Mix one teaspoon of powder with a little water and brush teeth thoroughly. It’s odourless and tasteless but it’s very messy so be prepared for a clean up operation.

Eyeshadow

As more and more of us are turning towards natural beauty, it can be hard to ignore the chemical nasties in makeup. Grind your activated charcoal in to a very fine powder and apply with a regular eyeshadow brush. The pigment is buildable and gives a brilliant matte, smoky effect.

Body Polish

A charcoal body scrub is the ideal solution for bacne sufferers and those with cellulite issues as it detoxifies and helps with water retention. Mix one tablespoon of charcoal with two heaped tablespoons of sugar and a tablespoon of almond oil. Starting at your feet, apply the scrub in circular motions moving your way upwards. Get someone to do your back if you can. Again, this can get quite messy but the results are worth it.

Dandruff Destroyer

Add a teaspoon of activated charcoal to a cleansing shampoo and hey presto you’ve just made yourself an anti-dandruff treatment. It’ll lift product buildup and keep the scalp clean and fresh. Lather up and leave to work for a few minutes then rinse. Use as frequently as necessary.

Eyeliner/Mascara

Another great natural addition to your chemical-free, DIY makeup repertoire, charcoal eyeliner couldn’t be easier to make. In a clean, air-tight container, mix one tablespoon of fine charcoal powder with one teaspoon of natural aloe vera gel until you get a smooth paste. Add a tiny drop of coconut oil if you feel the formula is too dry The colour is rich and matte and works beautifully as an eyeliner or mascara.

Face Exfoliator

Even if you don’t have blemish-prone skin, your complexion can benefit from a detoxifying face scrub. It’ll unclog pores, smooth and refine the texture of the skin. Mix one teaspoon of charcoal powder with one teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a little coconut oil. Massage your face in circular motions for two to three minutes, then rinse.

Have you tried activated charcoal before? What did you think?

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