10 Surprising Ways To Use Activated Charcoal

By Aniela / September 19, 2017

Activated charcoal has taken the DIY beauty community by storm! We're seriously obsessed with activated charcoal and we've made hundreds of different face, hair, and body masks out of this wonderful element! But did you know that activated charcoal has many more uses other than just face and hair masks? Activated charcoal not only detoxifies and cleanses – it's so much more than that! These 10 surprising ways to use activated charcoal will seriously up your charcoal game!

Before we dive into these DIY recipes, let's take a closer look at what exactly activated charcoal really is. As you may already know, activated charcoal is the fine black powder that is made from bone char, coconut shells, coal, olive pits, petroleum coke, peat, or sawdust. The charcoal gets activated once it is processed at very high temperatures. Charcoal that you use for your barbecue is NOT the same thing as activated charcoal powder that is used for the skin and hair. The charcoal used for barbecues has not been activated by high heat, and also contains substances that are toxic to humans.

The reason why activated charcoal is so popular (and has been for thousands of years actually), is because of its amazing properties. Activated charcoal is not absorbed by the body, and therefore it can carry toxins out of the body. This means that if you use it as a face mask, for example, the activated charcoal can remove the toxins from the skin, resulting in healthier, softer skin.

10 Surprising Ways to Use Activated Charcoal That You Never Knew About!

#1. A DIY Eyeliner

homemade eyeliner

Because activated charcoal is so dark, it's no wonder it would be the perfect ingredient in a homemade eyeliner! Just mix 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil with 2-3 capsules of activated charcoal and scoop into an empty, clean eyeshadow tin. Now that your DIY eyeliner is ready, all you need to do is grab an eyeliner pencil, dip it in, and get to tracing!

#2. A DIY Mascara

homemade mascara

Ran out of mascara but have some activated charcoal laying around? No problem! Just mix activated charcoal with a few drops of coconut oil and use a clean mascara wand to pick up the mixture. Apply like you would any mascara! Your lashes will be midnight black and stay put all day long!

#3. A Teeth Whitener

activated charcoal teeth

There are HOARDS of people that swear by using activated charcoal to brush their teeth. And it's true – activated charcoal is an AMAZING teeth whitener. Simply mix in some activated charcoal with a little bit of water until it forms a paste. Then, brush your teeth with the mixture and leave on for 3 minutes. Rinse out and enjoy your pearly whites! Gentle enough to use every day!

#4. A DIY Skin Salve

activated charcoal salve

Activated charcoal is amazing at soothing skin, especially if you have any allergies or itchiness. Simply mix in some activated charcoal capsules with an ointment and apply to affected areas.

#5. Bee and Wasp Stings

activated charcoal mask

Activated charcoal isn't just for beauty – it can also be part of your first aid kit! If you happen to get stung by a bee or a wasp, mix activated charcoal with a little bit of water and apply to the sting. Place a cloth on top and leave on until the swelling subsides.

#6. For Gardening

activated charcoal for gardening

Did you know that activated charcoal can also be used for gardening? Sprinkle some onto your garden beds and it will act as a fertilizer, insecticide and pesticide!

#7. Detoxify Armpits

activated charcoal on armpits

Most of you may know about this one, but for those of you that don't, this is seriously one of the best reasons to use activated charcoal! Our armpits are caked in harmful toxins, but making a charcoal and water paste and applying it to the armpits will draw all those toxins out.

#8. Activated Charcoal Shampoo


Using activated charcoal on your hair detoxifies it and also leaves it soft, manageable, and build-up free. Mix 1 tsp baking soda with 1 cup water and 1/4 tsp activated charcoal. Apply to wet or dry hair, work in, and rinse. Use 2-3 times a week.

#9. As a Hair Dye

dark hair

Wanna dye your hair darker, the natural way? Activated charcoal can help you with that as well! Add 1/4 cup of flax seed  and 2 tbsp activated charcoal to 1/2 cup of warm water. Apply the mixture to wet hair and leave on for at least 45 minutes. Rinse out with an apple cider vinegar rinse for shine and longevity.

#10. Zit Zapper

activated charcoal powder

It's no wonder that with charcoal's great properties, it will also get rid of pimples and acne. Simply make a paste by mixing activated charcoal with some water and apply to the affected area. Leave on for 30 minutes and rinse off. So now that you know these surprising ways to use activated charcoal, it's time to put it to good use!

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