What Does Charcoal Do for Skin?

Woman with mud mask on face and neck, mouth open
Charcoal is a detoxifying ingredient popularly used in beauty products. (Image: Amy Neunsinger/The Image Bank/Getty Images)

Though you may not immediately associate charcoal with healthy skin or skin-care products, activated charcoal boasts beauty benefits for skin by drawing oil, dirt and other harmful substances from clogged pores due to its adsorption powers.

Activated Charcoal Benefits

Activated charcoal draws bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to achieve a flawless complexion and fight acne. Charcoal is not metabolized, adsorbed or absorbed by the body, but it can be used to treat some poisonous bites and disinfect some wounds. Activated charcoal powder is proven to adsorb thousands of times its own mass in harmful substances, which makes it a popular ingredient in facial masks.

Mix 0.2 grams powdered activated charcoal, ½ teaspoon of bentonite clay and 1 ½ teaspoons of water together, and apply to the surface of skin. Remove the charcoal from skin after 10 minutes with a dampened cloth for smooth skin free of impurities.

Warnings

Charcoal powder may cause mild constipation and should not be taken regularly for long periods of time. Charcoal may also cause nausea and vomiting, GI obstruction, ileus and intestinal perforation. The aspiration of charcoal can cause respiratory complications.

Charcoal is not effective against strong alkaline and acid poisons, cyanide, alcohol, caustic alkalis, boric acids and mineral acids.

Seek medical attention if you experience tightness of the chest, swelling, rash or hives.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.