Aztec secret indian healing clay mask*

I Tried 5 Charcoal Beauty Hacks And Was Seriously Impressed

From the moment I opened the pouch of powder, I knew this experiment was going to be messy With all the black dust flying out, I felt like I was meant to start singing "Chim Chim Cher-ee" from Mary Poppins at any moment How could something so dirty clean my face or whiten my teeth? I thought this experiment would be a total bust But I have been wrong before

Before we get in to my DIY charcoal tests, I want to cover some basics First, I should stress that there is a certain type of charcoal you need to use DO NOT, please do not, use the charcoal that you would grill with You need food-grade, activated charcoal powder I used Rocky Mountain Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder ($11, amazoncom )

"Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been treated to increase its adsorptive ability," explains RealSelf contributor and dermatologist Joel Schlessinger, MD And yes, that is spelled correctly—adsorptive, not to be confused with absorptive RealSelf contributor and dermatologist Sejal Shah, MD goes even further to says "It's an electrical attraction that causes substances to stick together," she explains "So basically it acts like a magnet for dirt, oil, and other impurities"

Schlessinger explains that this process is incredibly beneficial in medicine to help treat drug overdoses and alcohol poisoning But it works on a much smaller scale when it comes to skin—if at all There is little-to-no science behind charcoal's skincare benefits On the bright side, charcoal is a fairly inert ingredient, therefore it's unlikely to cause irritation or allergic reactions "Clearly there's little harm to using it," says Schlessinger, "But there also may not be a ton of benefit from itPurpose Charcoal works in hair the same way it does with the skinit pulls out dirt and buildup."

With that being said, I still wanted to check out this trendy ingredient for myself I figured it's taking over the beauty aisle for a reason! So, see how the charcoal worked on everything from skin to hair ahead

First, I tried a cleansing facial scrub with charcoal and sea salt

Purpose: "The sea salt helps fight bacteria and acne," explains Grigore "The charcoal will assist in cleansing and detoxing skin cells, while the addition of rose water helps to hydrate and fight inflammation" Typically, I don't use physical exfoliants in my beauty routine because I have sensitive skin, but I was intrigued by the addition of sea salt in this recipe

  • ½ tablespoon of activated charcoal powder
  • ½ tablespoon of rose water (I used SW Basics Rosewater Spray , $16)
  • ½ tablespoon of fine grain sea salt

My Experience: Unlike most scrubs, this DIY mix has a watery consistency I ended up trying to overcompensate for its runny texture So I made more than the recipe called for and ended up dumping half of it afterwards (lesson learned) Using circular motions, I scrubbed my face for about a minute and a half before rinsing with warm water The sea salt felt really gentle, not scratching my skin at all Afterwards, my skin felt clean just like when I do my regular cleansing routine before bed

The Verdict: I was surprised how much I actually loved this scrub My face felt soft to the touch afterwards And while most scrubs make my face red (just look at my face after this Korean scrub ), the rose water really played its part to calm down any irritation This DIY was really easy to rinse off and clean up since it was so thin and light

Then, I attempted a charcoal face mask with the added benefit of clay

Purpose : A mask seems to be the most effective and popular way to use charcoal as a skincare ingredient "It draws out impurities from deep within the pores," explains Schlessinger And while I don't have noticeable blackheads, my esthetician did mention that I should really opt for extractions (which I did not) So, I knew I could really use this mask to unclog my city-life pores

  • 1 tablespoon of activated charcoal powder
  • ½ tablespoon of Bentonite Clay (I used Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay , $10)
  • Pinch of rose water

After leaving it on for 15 minutes or so, it was time to rinse This took forever OK, it turned out to be only seven minutes, but that's still longer than you want to spend bent over a sink I started by splashing water all over my face to loosen up the clay Then, I cleaned my face section by section First, I focused on my cheeks Then, I washed my chin and finished with the nose area

Even though I felt like I would never get the mask off, my face did feel really clean and smooth afterwards And when I looked closely in the mirror about an hour later, I noticed my pores were all empty—like shockingly clear There were one or two blackheads left, but I couldn't believe all the results after one use Bentonite clay has similar benefits as charcoal, meaning it supposedly unclogs and shrinks your pores So who's to say which ingredient did the majority of the work, but my bet's on the clay

The Verdict: While the way this mask unclogged my pores was kind of amazing, it just took too damn long to take off I like to use a mask when I'm relaxing, and a frozen face just was not my idea of zen But if I noticed a bunch of visible blackheads on my face, I would turn to this as a quick fix The results were too clear to ignore

Next, I brushed my teeth with charcoal

  • Your regular toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Enough activated charcoal powder for dipping

The Verdict: The only thing alarming about this DIY trick is how dark my mouth looked during the process Otherwise it felt just like I was brushing with normal toothpaste Since I have so much left over charcoal powder, I might even make this a habit As for the whitening results, I've been using charcoal once a day for a week and my teeth do seem slightly whiter

And I added charcoal to my shampoo for a clarifying boost

Purpose: Charcoal works in hair the same way it does with the skin—it pulls out dirt and buildup This keeps the hair from feeling weighed down, giving it some extra volume (something I'm always looking for with my fine hair ) It's also great for the scalp The charcoal can help relieve dandruff, redness, and itchiness

  • Your regular shampoo
  • A pinch of activated charcoal powder

My Experience: I played it pretty safe with the amount of charcoal I added to my shampoo Since I have blonde hair, I didn't want the black to stain my color The lather felt a bit gritty rather than silky And there was a pool of grey water at my feet Luckily, it all rinsed out easily In the end, my hair did feel slightly less squeaky clean than it usually does, which I actually enjoyed because it gave my hair a bit of extra grip when I went to style

The Verdict: Since I don't really have scalp problems or use much product in my hair, I didn't necessarily need to boost my shampoo I was hoping to see more volume But since my hair falls flat naturally—not because of product buildup—I didn't see any major results So, I'll be sticking to my reverse shampoo routine to get extra volume

Finally, I tried charcoal as a matte eyeliner

Purpose: Honestly, I had a lot of leftover activated charcoal powder So, I figured I'd give this a try And since all it took was water and an eyeliner brush, I figured what the heck! One more thing to add to the things I've tested

  • A wet, angled eyeliner brush
  • A pinch of activated charcoal powder

My Experience: I found it tricky to get the pay off and consistency you'd ideally want from an eyeliner with the loose charcoal powder It was either too wet or really powdery—either way it was tough to get a clear line So I found myself constantly dipping the brush in the powder and water until I thought it was good enough Full disclosure: I'm already terrible at doing eyeliner, so this did not help me improve that skill

The Verdict: I wouldn't recommend this DIY simply because regular eyeliner already has the perfect texture to give you the sharp dark lines you want And aren't hacks supposed to make your life easier? It's also important to note that I have sensitive eyes and wear contacts, and the powder didn't bother my eyes the slightest bit

All in all, I really loved the results I saw using charcoal for my skin and teeth But between my grimy fingernails, my darkened palms, and the black sink, the results weren't worth the mess it left behind If you're looking to try these DIY recipes, you should know it did not stain anything permanently—a relieving realization since I was working away in my brand-new, porcelain white bathroom

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