Activated Charcoal & its benefits for the skin
Activated charcoal has been traditionally used to filter water and also in medicine to reduce intestinal gas (flatulence), lower cholesterol levels, prevent hangover, remove toxins and poisons from the body, treat bile flow problems (cholestasis) during pregnancy. More recently it has been adopted as a very effective, gentle and natural treatment for oily skin, pimples, blackheads, and acne.
Common charcoal (used in BBQs) is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum, and activated charcoal is common charcoal that has been heated in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or pores. This porous surface has a negative electrical charge which causes positive-charged toxins and gas to bond with it causing its ability to absorb up to several times its weight which makes it an excellent product for soaking up oil and drawing out impurities from pores when used as a face mask, cleanser or soap.
Activated charcoal also works as an excellent tooth paste. It’s quite messy, but it binds with and strips away stains and plaque to make your teeth appear brighter without using bleaching products.
Soothe-me’s activated charcoal mask is made from renewable coconut shell and blended with Bentonite clay which is an ancient medicine still used to detoxify internally and externally. Bentonite has similar properties to activated charcoal, also producing an electrical charge which acts like a magnet to soak up oil, draw out toxins and heavy metals with the added benefit of neutralising bacteria. We also add high antioxidant matcha tea to fight the negative effects of free radicals and UV, helping to repair sun-damage, stimulate new skin cells, and improve dull skin – perfect for our after-summer skin now being treated to wind, rain, and high levels of air pollution.
Mixing the mask
Mix soothe-me’s activated charcoal powder to a smooth paste with mineral water, rose floral water or even an oil (grapeseed, olive or almond are all excellent), spread on the skin and leave for 4-7 minutes – this is great time to relax, breathe and practice mindfulness to clear your mind ready for the day ahead.
Rinse off thoroughly (and carefully) with a clean (designated) face-cloth and lots of water (taking care not to splash it about as it may stain fabrics & grouting). The mask will also remove dead skin cells leaving skin with a soft, supple feel.
After removing the mask try to wait at least 30mins before you use any further skincare, your skin may feel tight and a bit dry at first, but RESIST the temptation to moisturise! Let your skin’s natural PH and oil mantle re-balance. Then after at least 30mins you can start with a floral water spritz (one of soothe-me’s floral hydrosols work fantastically) then if you want use a suitable serum oil or a moisturiser for your skin type, and you are ready to go. With regular weekly use it will improve skin quality and minimise pores. It is our favourite product for reducing acne, blackheads and T-zone oil slicks.
PS: Apply make-up if you still feel the need but gradually you’ll find you are just as happy to greet the world with healthy, glowing, skin!!
Good to know…
Temporary redness of the skin is normal and due to drawing properties of the charcoal and clay.
Charcoal WILL stain so avoid using white towels or getting it on clothing.
When mixing the mask avoid inhalation of the powder, mix slowly and dont lean right over your pot
Taking activated charcoal internally can cause dehydration so we advise taking medical advice and always drink at least 10-12 glasses of water a day after use.
Written by: Maggi Martin
Editor: Suzie Hacker