Charcoal Face Masks: Why, How, and Which One You Should Use

9 min read 


DIY Charcoal Mask

Activated charcoal seems to be buzzword in beauty and healthcare. There are charcoal face masks, charcoal face washes, charcoal scrubs, charcoal toothpastes, toothbrushes, detoxifying juices, and what have you. Why though? What makes charcoal face masks a ‘miracle’ beauty product? Why are people constantly looking for DIY charcoal face masks and beauty aids? what is activated charcoal anyway?  

In this post you will learn:

  • What are the benefits of charcoal face masks?
  • How to make a charcoal face mask for acne
  • What are the ingredients you need for a DIY charcoal face wash
  • How to make a charcoal face mask for blackheads
  • Which are the best charcoal face masks out there?


What are the Benefits of Charcoal Face Masks?

Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated to increase its adsorbing qualities. This means that it attracts certain organic (carbon-based) compounds to its surface, and makes them stick. And this is why charcoal effectively pulls out dirt, toxins, and oil, from skin and hair. Charcoal powder is used to treat acne, control oil, whiten teeth, boost hair growth, and treat scalp conditions.


Tip! Add charcoal face masks to your regular beauty routine. To learn how, read our step by step guide on HOW TO DO A FACE CLEANUP AT HOME.


Charcoal Face Masks for Blackheads and Acne

Charcoal effectively clears clogged pores of dirt and impurities, the build-up of which causes acne, blackheads, and whiteheads. You can make an acne mask using activated charcoal, clay powder, and apple cider vinegar. The vinegar has antibacterial properties that fight pimple-causing bacteria. However, it is also a very strong, acidic substance that needs to be diluted with water before applying on the skin.

charcoal face mask

charcoal peel off mask

charcoal peel off mask

#1. Black Charcoal Peel Off Mask for Blackheads


  • Activated charcoal powder (absorbs excess oil and impurities): 1/2 teaspoon or 1 capsule
  • Gelatine (to nourish the skin and make the base for the peel off mask): 1 teaspoon
  • Clay powder (absorbs oil and tightens skin): 1 teaspoon
  • Tea Tree Oil (anti-acne): 2-3 drops
  • Hot water – 2 tablespoons

Directions: Mix the charcoal powder with the clay and gelatine with a wooden spatula. The wooden spatula would preserve the properties of the gelatine. Add the hot water and mix well. Next, add the tea tree oil and mix once again.

Use a makeup brush to apply the peel off mask quickly, before it thickens. In case the face mask dries in the bowl use teaspoon of hot water to revive it. Apply the peel off mask evenly all over your face, and wait for 20 minutes or until the charcoal face mask dries completely. Gently peel off the mask in small sections.

Precautions! DO NOT pull the face mask in case it doesn’t come off, especially in areas close to your eyebrows. You might just pull out your eyebrow hair! Instead, use a towel soaked in warm water to clean those areas. Remember that the mask pieces aren’t soluble which means you can’t wash them down the drain. Throw away in the bin instead.

Did you know? Tea tree oil is an effective remedy for problem skin types. Read our post and learn how to use TEA TREE OIL FOR ACNE.

#2. Charcoal Scrub for Blackheads

Charcoal clears the skin pores of impurities. Use it with rice flour and almond oil to make a body scrub that exfoliates dead cells, clears clogged pores, and leaves your skin hydrated and glowing.

charcoal scrub


  • Baking soda (exfoliant): 1 tablespoon
  • Lavender essential oil (soothes skin, antibacterial): 2-3 drops
  • Almond oil (nourishes skin): 1 tablespoon
  • Rice flour (lightens skin): 2 tablespoons
  • Activated charcoal powder (absorbs excess oil and impurities): 2 teaspoons

Directions: Mix all the ingredients to make a body scrub for one use. This scrub can be used once a week.

Tip! If you suffer from dandruff or thinning hair, use lavender essential oil. To learn more, read our post on how to use LAVENDER OIL FOR HAIR GROWTH.

#3. DIY Charcoal Face Mask for Acne


  • Activated charcoal powder (absorbs excess oil and impurities): ½ teaspoon
  • Clay powder (absorbs oil and tightens skin): 1 tablespoon
  • Apple cider vinegar (antibacterial): 2 teaspoons
  • Water (to dilute the vinegar and make the paste): 1 tablespoon

Directions: Apply this mixture for 10 minutes. Wash it off with cool water. Apply moisturiser after rinsing your face, since the charcoal and clay may cause the skin to dry out.

#4. Charcoal Spot Treatment for Acne

If you have pimples, you can try this spot treatment that is simple to make, using activated charcoal powder, lavender essential oil, and aloe vera juice. While the lavender oil reduces redness and inflammation, the aloe vera juice acts as a carrier for the essential oil.


  • Activated charcoal powder (absorbs excess oil and impurities): ½ teaspoon
  • Aloe vera juice (moisturiser): 1 tablespoon
  • Lavender essential oil: 2-3 drops

Directions: Mix to make a thick paste. Apply it night, over the affected. Wash off the next morning.  


Are you looking for a way to to wake to a glowing face? We’ll give you 11! Read up on these 11 ways to wake up to a BRIGHT MORNING FACE.


Charcoal Face Masks for Oily Skin

The adsorbing qualities of activated charcoal make it a good remedy for oily skin. You can make a DIY cleanser using activated charcoal powder and organic coconut oil. Contrary to what you’ve heard oil is  for oily skin types. Not only does it restore your skin’s moisture lost to soap, or in this case charcoal, it also mixes with oil-based dirt trapped inside your pores, and cleans it out thoroughly. To this mix, you can add an exfoliator like baking soda, and essential oils like lavender and rosemary, in case you have acne-prone skin.

DIY charcoal mask for oily skin

#5. DIY Charcoal Face Mask for Oily Skin with Oils


  • Activated charcoal powder (for cleansing and oil control)
  • Organic coconut oil (for moisturisation)  
  • Baking soda (for dead skin)
  • Rosemary essential oil (for inflammation)
  • Lavender essential oil (for acne): 2-3 drops

Directions:  Mix the ingredients to make a thin paste. Apply it to your face in circular motions. Wash it off.

#6. DIY Charcoal Face Mask with Green Tea

Use this simple DIY charcoal mask with clay and green tea once a week to make your skin glow. While multani mitti or clay is an age old ingredient to control oil, the detoxifying qualities of green tea have been vouched for by man.


  • Activated charcoal powder (absorbs excess oil and toxins) – 1 teaspoon
  • Clay powder (absorbs excess oil and toxins) – 1 tablespoon
  • Brewed Green tea (astringent and rich in antioxidants)

Directions: Mix the ingredients to make a smooth paste. Apply this evenly on your face and neck. Leave it on till it dries, before washing off with cool water.


Tip! Cocoa butter is to dry skin what charcoal is to oily skin. To learn more, browse through our post on how to use COCOA BUTTER USES FOR DRY SKIN.


Other Uses of Charcoal Masks

#7. Remedies With Charcoal for Dark Underarms

Besides being a adsorbent, activated charcoal is also a whitening agent. Use it as a paste with raw honey for lighter and smooth underarms.


  • Charcoal powder (bleaches under: 1 teaspoon
  • Organic honey: 2 tablespoons

Directions: Make a smooth paste and apply.  Let it stay for 20 minutes before washing off with lukewarm water.

#8. Charcoal DIY Hair Mask for Hair Growth

charcoal hair mask

Activated charcoal absorbs dirt and other impurities from the scalp. It unclogs the hair follicles and improves hair growth.


  • Shampoo: 1 tablespoon
  • Activated charcoal powder (cleanses the scalp): ¼ teaspoon

Directions: Mix the charcoal powder with your shampoo, and apply it to your scalp. Do this once a week.


Last Words on Charcoal Face Masks

Here are answers to frequently asked questions we often get about charcoal face masks.

Are charcoal face masks good for your skin?

Charcoal face masks are best used for oily skin and acne prone skin. The adsorbing properties of activated charcoal aid it in pulling out impurities from deep within the skin, unclog the pores, and balance natural oils. Charcoal face masks are not recommended for dry skin types since they cause the skin to dry out.

Which are the best charcoal face masks?

HipHop Charcoal Nose Strips Blackhead Remover (3 Strips)Rs.90
DearPacker Home Remedy Charcoal Mask (single use)Rs.100
Jovees Activated Charcoal Detoxifying Face MasqueRs.335
Matra Activated Charcoal Face PackRs.345
Fabindia Charcoal Face MaskRs.360
Lushveda Facial Treatment Pack – Anti Acne Activated CharcoalRs.385
Faces Urban Balance Charcoal Peel Off MaskRs.449
Inatur Charcoal Face Mask for MenRs.450


What is a charcoal peel off mask?

A charcoal peel off mask contains activated charcoal. Peel-off masks have to be ‘peeled off’ your face after they dry, unlike other face masks which are washed off with water. The peel-off action helps pull out impurities from deep within the pores.

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