As someone with oily, blackhead prone skin, I love a good charcoal face mask.
When I moved from Southern California to the Inland Northwest, my face had one heck of a freakout. Though my skin was always oily, and my nose was never without a blackhead or two, I rarely, if ever, had zits. If there was one thing I was complimented on most by complete strangers, it was my skin. And I thanked my lucky stars for my good fortune!
Then there was a six month period post move where there was hardly a day I didn’t have a zit or two. Since I was in my mid-twenties, I thought I had sailed past pimples past. Teenage acne hadn’t touched my face during my adolescence, so why was it after me now?!
I remember sitting down at a beauty store one day, as the black on black clad employee helped my match my skin tone to a less pore clogging mixture, sympathized. She too had moved from Southern California to the Northwest and had battled a six month war on zits herself. She explained that the change in weather, altitude, and air quality could have my skin doing summersaults. I was glad to know I wasn’t alone, and took her suggestions for detoxing my complexion.
The silver lining of my red-bumped face, was that I tool a reeeeeal good look at my skincare and how I was treating my face. I switched to gentle non-toxic products and slowly my completion came back. One of the major players in the recovery: this Detox Charcoal Face Mask
There are a few charcoal and clay based face masks on the market, but a lot of them contain a long list of ingredients or are very expensive. I always try and avoid unnecessary chemicals in my beauty products, and since I had just dished out a jaw-dropping amount of money on new skincare and makeup, I was not keen to spend more of my paycheck on something that I was fairly certain that I could make at home. I had already experimented with similar masks in the past, and was willing to try. After a few rounds, I landed on a recipe that was perfect.
THIS DETOX CHARCOAL FACE MASK HAS JUST 3 INGREDIENTS AND CAN BE MADE IN LESS THAN 5 MINUTES.
The base of this mask is bentonite clay. There are a lot of clays to choose from out there when you are making a DIY face mask. I have tried several in this recipe, by bentonite is hands down my favorite. It is especially good at removing toxins and dirt from our skin and regulating oil production. It is not over-drying and can be used on all skin types.
Another detoxifying ingredient, activated charcoal, is next added to the mix. Activated charcoal is incredibly powerful at detoxifying whatever it comes into contact with. It has been used to treat poison victims, as activated charcoal can bind to toxins and safely usher them out of the body. It will pull dirt from pores, regulate oil production, and make pores visibly smaller.
Next to make our mask into a paste, we turn to raw apple cider vinegar to expertly get the job done. Apple cider vinegar mixes with clay better than other liquids which tend to cause the clay to clump. It also has skincare benefits as well. Apple cider vinegar regulates the PH level of the skin. Tap water is often the wrong PH and can cause buildup on the skin and lead to skin problems. Apple cider vinegar restores the skins natural PH. It also pulls toxins out of the skin (see a theme here?), reduces wrinkles, and treats scars and age spots.
WHEN YOU ARE MIXING YOUR DETOX CHARCOAL FACE MASK, THERE ARE A FEW THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND.
- Do not use metal. Metal will deactivate the detoxing properties of both the clay and the charcoal. Instead, use a wooden or glass utensil.
- The thickness of you mask will determine the intensity. For sensitive skin, I recommend adding in more apple cider vinegar. This will allow you to spread on a thinner layer of the mask and will be gentler on your skin.
I personally use this mask 1-2 times per week, but you will want to adjust that up or down based on your skincare needs. Dryer skin will want to use this mask less, and oilier skin might want to apply the mask more often. The longer I use this mask, the better results I see. After the first week, I saw immediate results, but a month or two in and my skin was looking even better. This mask is a long game, so I always have some pre-mixed and ready to go.
To use, apply the mask in an even layer to your skin. Let the mask dry, about 20-30 minutes. Once the mask has evenly dried, splash warm water onto the mask to start to soften it. Then, remove the mask with a wet washcloth. Apply a toner and moisturizer. For maximum benefits, apply the mask right when you get out of the shower or bath. The warm water will have steamed your pores open and it will be easier for the mask to draw out toxins and clean your pores.
Bye bye blackheads.