Charcoal Beauty Diaries Part 1: A DIY Natural Alternative To The Peel Away Charcoal Mask.

Charcoal has been having a moment! Over the last year I have seen countless charcoal beauty and wellness products advertised across all forms of social media. I’m seeing it in detox drinks (have you heard of the Dirty Lemon Cleanse), countless beauty products ( teeth whiteners, masks, soap, the list goes on and on), and now it’s even making it’s way into every day treats (a number of trendy ice cream spots  are now serving up charcoal flavor variations). So yea charcoal is pretty much everywhere!



Recently, I was passed along a few charcoal beauty products to give a try and it has kind of sparked my desire to jump down the rabbit hole and explore this whole charcoal trend. Get ready for it because quite a few of my upcoming post on the blog and our gram will be all about the charcoal explosion. What are it’s benefits? Should we be ingesting this on the regular? Do these trendy products and DIY’s really work?


I’m in the middle of doing a month long trial of Beauty Counter’s Balancing Charcoal Facial Mask and their Charcoal Cleansing Bar. This is my first time using the companies products and I am super excited to be giving their products a try. If your curious why I’m feeling all about this LA based company check out Part 1: Of My Beauty County Charcoal Review Video.

Part 1of Gigi's Review Of Beauty Counter's Charcoal Balancing Facial Mask and Charcoal Cleansing Bar.

While we are on the topic of charcoal beauty products one charcoal trend that I am beyond confused by is the internet phenomenon of “The DIY Charcoal Glue Mask.” Call me a purest. Call me a snob.


I am just as grossly fascinated with examining a pore strip as anyone else (Dr. Pimple Popper’s 3,471,467 subscribers prove I’m not alone). Needless to say I get the fascination of a peel off mask but, I draw the line at putting potentially abrasive substances on my face. I did consider that perhaps I was/ am over reacting. I thought, “Maybe I am wrong.” Maybe these glues are more natural then I assume them to be.” But no my instinct was spot on.  I probably read at least 15 articles discussing this issue and they unanimously agreed. THIS IS SHIT IS NOT GOOD!!!!!!!



Here are just a few excerpts from dermatologist interviewed in these articles ……..


Glue was never intended to be used on the skin, and therefore probably hasn't gone through the typical tests made to measure skin irritation and reactions to products. What's more are the preservatives added to glue, which can easily irritate many skin types. "Since it is a water-based household product, it probably contains preservatives that are not usually used in cosmetic products, so this could be a source of irritation or concern with repeated exposure." ~Allure~


"This charcoal and glue mixture could actually clog pores, leading to blemishes. Sensitive skin types may react to the stripping action of peeling off dried glue which removes the top protective layers of the epidermis and could lead to rashes [and] dryness.” ~Seventeen~


Dr. James C. Marotta, plastic surgeon and skin-care expert, doesn't recommend the glue trick, either. "You should typically refrain from applying something to your face that isn't meant for your skin, even if Elmer's is nontoxic," he says, noting, "The glue could actually clog your pores more, and you could also harm your skin when you remove it. ~Refinery29~

Babes if your doing this STOP! If your thinking about doing this DON’T! 

The topic of  peel away mask sans glue or not is a hot debate with many skin care experts urging against their use. 


Facialist Andy Millward recently took to Facebook to warn against the use of the masks claiming that they are ripping off the surface layer of skin.

"They look very damaging the skin. Literally ripping the surface layer of skin off (& probably the vellus hair with it) so of course it's going to feel soft & smooth underneath."He continues: "As for all those 'blackheads' it pulls out. The majority of the oils pulled from the skin will be sebaceous filaments and actually needed by the skin so will be replaced within 30 days anyway to ensure healthy skin balance."~Daily Mail~

If your feeling FMO because you absolutely must give this a try don't worry I've got your back. Instead, try this great natural version, which uses gelatin instead of glue to create it’s peel away effect. I found this DIY mask originally in a post  Dear Chrissy. I adapted it a smidge and  gave this mask a try last week on our IG story. It worked like a charm (i.e. if your looking to be just a grossly satisfied by looking at the mask post rip you will not be disappointed.) So go head babes peel away if you must.

charcoal mask.jpg

DIY Rose Charcoal Mask

What You Need:

1 teaspoon activated charcoal

½ teaspoon bentonite clay

1 tablespoon gelatin

2 tablespoons of Rose Water

Note:  Do not use a metal spoon or a metal bowl. In a nutshell (and saving you from reading a wordy scientific explanation), metal spoons and bowls will react with the clay reducing most of its healing properties. If you want a lengthier scientific explanation head here

The How To:

  • Preheat Toaster Oven to 375°
  • Combine the water and gelatin together in a small heat safe dish. Place dish in preheated toaster oven for 3-5 min or until you see mixture bubbling. Remove bowl from heat and mix in the activated charcoal and bentonite clay (making sure it does not come in contact with any metal from measuring spoons, whisks, dishes… you’ll see there is more information about this on the packaging). Stir until completely smooth. Once mixture has cooled  you are now ready to apply your mask. Be certain your mask is fully cooled before you apply to your skin.YOU DO NOT I repeat DO NOT want to be putting anything that is not cool to the touch on your face. The goal here is clear skin not burnt skin.
  • Carefully apply the mask to clean, dry skin and allow to completely dry.  You should feel the mask tighten on your skin as it starts to dry.
  • When the mask is dry, start on your forehead and carefully roll the edge to ‘start it’ and then gently pull down until you have removed the entire mask. Any leftover bits of the mask should easily wipe away.
  • Lastly, rinse your face with warm water, pat dry and follow with a toning mist and a very thin layer of coconut oil. This will help moisturize while providing an antibacterial layer of protection to those newly opened pores.

Another Note: Make sure that your hair is completely pulled back and away from your face. This mask will do a fantastic job removing blackheads, and also facial hair! You’ve been warned. Please be sure to keep it away from your eyebrows and sensitive skin around your eyes.


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