3 DIY Activated Charcoal Face Masks

by Pratima Ati

We are going back to our roots, and ingredients like charcoal are here to prove that. When I first walked past the beauty aisles, I thought that this was some beautifully packaged marketing trap.

It turns out that it is one of the most effective ingredients that helps detox your face by cleaning impurities, exfoliating your skin, clearing up clogged pores, and a lot more your skin goes through. But, taking a natural ingredient and mixing it with chemicals for a ready-to-use mask is not so comforting for some of us, especially when the idea is to go au naturel. It does not take more than a few minutes to whip up one of these masks or procure the ingredients. Everything is available in the comfort of your kitchen. Wondering how? Read on to find out.

1. DIY Activated Charcoal Face Mask Recipe Without Glue


  • ½ tablespoon activated charcoal
  • ½ tablespoon bentonite clay
  • ¼ tablespoon baking soda
  • ½ tablespoon coconut oil
What Else You Need
  • Glass bowl
  • Wooden spoon
  • Brush for applying the mask
  1. In a glass bowl, first add the dry ingredients – bentonite clay, activated charcoal, and baking soda.
  2. Add coconut oil to this and mix well. Ensure it is as smooth as possible without lumps.
  3. Add a little water to this mixture to get the desired consistency.
  4. With a clean mask applicator or brush, apply it all over your face.
  5. Leave it on for about 10-15 minutes but not more, even if it hasn’t dried up completely.
  6. Wash your face with tap water and pat it dry.
Why This Works

Activated charcoal naturally draws toxins, impurities, and dust to the skin’s surface, and bentonite clay soaks up the excess sebum and clears your skin up (1), (2). Baking soda is a natural exfoliator and has antibacterial properties (3). Coconut oil nourishes your skin (4). Combining these ingredients is one of the easiest ways to keep new acne at bay.

2. DIY Activated Charcoal Face Mask Recipe With Glue


  • Charcoal tablets – 2
  • PVA glue
What Else You Need
  • Mixing bowl
  • Spoon or spatula
  1. Add the glue to the glass bowl. Use glue that is safe for use on your skin.
  2. Open the charcoal tablets and add them to the bowl.
  3. If you are using tablets that need to be powdered first, do that and then add the powder to the bowl.
  4. Add more if needed. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Take a little of this paste on your fingertips and start applying.
  6. Start from the top and spread it evenly into a uniform layer.
  7. It takes about 20 minutes or more for it to be completely dry.
  8. You will notice that the peel is ready to come out.
  9. Start peeling it off slowly. It might hurt a little if you have facial hair, so be gentle.
Why This Works

Just charcoal is enough to attract all the impurities that manifest as blackheads and show up more vividly on some areas of our face, like our nose. While there are ready-to-use peel off masks available especially for this purpose, this is an easy DIY recipe that is quite effective. Glue acts as a binding agent that collects the blackheads onto its surface as you yank it all out.

Note: Do not use this mask frequently because even though most glues say they are non-toxic, they still contain chemicals that are not recommended for the skin. Though this mask is effective and does the job well, stay away from making it a habit.

3. DIY Activated Charcoal Face Mask Recipe With Essential Oils


  • 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
  • 1 tablespoon activated charcoal
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1-2 drops of lavender oil
  • 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 2 tablespoons water
What Else You Need
  • Glass bowl
  • Spoon
  • Applicator brush
  1. Mix all the dry ingredients in the bowl.
  2. Add honey to the mixture and whip it all up.
  3. Add a little water and mix well to get a paste-like consistency – not too thick or too runny.
  4. Finish it by adding lavender and tea tree oils.
  5. Apply the mixture with an applicator brush.
  6. Leave the mask on your face for about 10-15 minutes.
  7. Wash it off gently
  8. and pat your face dry with a towel.
Why This Works

Charcoal draws toxins from your skin and drives everything that causes acne to the surface. Tea tree oil is antibacterial and antifungal and has natural healing properties (5). Acne can cause infections, inflammation, and redness, so you need something that calms your skin down, preventing bacteria from breeding further. Lavender oil is a great relaxant and soothes your skin (6). The mask smells great, and the ingredients make for the perfect combination to heal acne. Use this mask at least once a month to see visible results.

You need to keep a few tips in mind while using charcoal masks. They are listed below.

Tips While Using Charcoal Mask

  • If you have not noticed yet, charcoal is black, so make sure you wear really old clothes and be in an area that is okay to be stained. Use a plastic sheet or a cloth around the area.
  • Charcoal masks, especially when used with bentonite clay, can dry and tighten your skin, so use hydrating ingredients. If you have dry or combination skin, you need to follow it up with a moisturizer. Otherwise, it can cause breakouts.
  • If you are using baking soda, alternate between the masks and use a combination of ingredients. Baking soda can irritate your skin if used frequently, so stick to once a week.
  • Use a glass bowl and wooden spoon because bentonite clay loses its properties when used with an iron bowl.

Just like everything else, you need to be consistent with skin care. Just spend a few minutes every weekend and experience the joy of creating a mask that is natural. Also, knowing what exactly is going into it is liberating. Have you jumped on the charcoal bandwagon yet? Let us know by dropping in a message in the comments section below.


  1. Activated Charcoal-Past, Present and Future”, western journal of medicine, US National Library of Medicine
  2. Sustainable rates of sebum secretion in acne patients and matched normal control subjects”, Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, US National Library of Medicine
  3. Antimicrobial Activity of Sodium Bicarbonate”, Journal of Food Science, Wiley Online Library
  4. A randomized double-blind controlled trial comparing extra virgin coconut oil with mineral oil as a moisturizer for mild to moderate xerosis”, Dermatitis: contact, atopic, occupational, drug, US National Library of Medicine
  5. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: A Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties”, Clinical Microbiology Reviews, US National Library of Medicine
  6. Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases”, Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, US National Library of Medicine
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Pratima Ati

After working in Marketing and Business Development for a few years, Pratima Ati jumped ship to pursue two things she loved – fashion and writing. She’s now a full-time Fashion & Lifestyle writer and has never looked back ever since. She sleeps early, reads often, and when she can't, she finally gives a closure to all the characters living in her drafts. Sometimes, they pass off as poetry too! That, and her training in Indian classical music and playing (learning) the veena keep her sane, civil, and bearable.