What Are Activated Charcoal Facial Masks? - Benefits & Uses - Seaside Medical Technologies What Are Activated Charcoal Facial Masks? - Benefits & Uses - Seaside Medical Technologies

Charcoal Facial Masks

December 27, 2017


Charcoal Facial Masks

by Dr. Stacy Matthews Branch

What is activated charcoal? Activated charcoal is increasingly used as an effective method to remove impurities and dirt from the skin’s pores. For this reason, many use charcoal-containing masks to control acne. Activated charcoal (or activated carbon) is a black powder (often pressed into a tablet form) made of substances such as peat, coconut shells, or sawdust. It is called “activated” when these substances are processed by subjecting to high temperatures, creating many small pores which increase the surface area of the carbon particles.

This great characteristic allows for the significant adsorption (adhesion) of substances to the charcoal, hence activated charcoal is used in many emergency situations where a toxic substance is ingested. Ingested poisons are bound to the charcoal so that they do not reach the circulation and are excreted by the bowel instead. This property can be exploited for removing substances from the skin as well via activated charcoal facial masks.

The concept of the biological use of charcoal is not a new one. The ancient Egyptians used charcoal as a preservative as they found that burned wood (creating a carbon covering) did not rot when immersed in soil.  This knowledge also promoted the use of charcoal as part of the corpse preservation process. The health-related uses were then developed for control of foul odors from gangrenous wounds. Studies conducted in the past ten years indicate the use of activated charcoal to remove odors from very badly compromised skin such as leg ulcers and blistering disorders (1,2).

Activated charcoal has gained popularity in many cosmetic products and was rated top rising search word related to skincare in 2017. Beauty Trends 2017 a think with Google study found that in the US and France, consumers show interest in earthy masks with charcoal, clay and mud masks and their use is closely tied to acne, clear skin, hydration and removing excess oils. Not all charcoal facial masks are created equal however, since knowing the adsorptive property of charcoal is crucial in preparing an effective mask. Activated charcoal when mixed with many other substances in a given product, may not do a good job of removing dirt and oil from the skin because the pores of the activated charcoal may already be filled with some of the ingredients that it is mixed with.  The more pure and fewer ingredients in an activated charcoal facial mask, the more surface area of charcoal to absorb impurities from the skin.  

Our Cytotone Organic Facial Scrub and Mask contains activated coconut charcoal with long known adsorptive properties, Kaolin clay and natural facial cleansing agents such as witch hazel and sea kelp. Simply made, Cytotone Scrub + Mask captures the full benefit of charcoal’s amazing adsorptive properties. Try a charcoal facial today!


1. Sornakumar L, Kalarani M, Srinivas CR. Activated charcoal dressing in malodorous leg ulcers. Indian J Lepr. 2010 Jul-Sep;82(3):147-8.

 2. Chakravarthi A, Srinivas CR, Mathew AC. Activated charcoal and baking soda to reduce odor associated with extensive blistering disorders. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2008 Mar-Apr;74(2):122-4.

2 Responses

vidhant24 on-demand services
vidhant24 on-demand services

July 13, 2022

This is an informative post. Got a lot of info and details from here. Thank you for sharing this and looking forward to reading more of your post.

Erika Jensen
Erika Jensen

July 21, 2018

Activated charcoal is known to be very absorbent. It’s so powerful that it sucks up poison, which is why it’s given to people who’ve swallowed poisonous substances. It works the same way by pulling out impurities and heavy metals from the skin. Make a simple face mask with it by mixing it with a little water or organic rose water (for astringent effects) to create a paste. Visit my blog http://charcoalfacemaskmagic.org/

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.