Think of charcoal as the vacuum cleaner that will clear out all the gunk from your poresdead skin, oil and all. It is one of the most efficient ingredients that you can use to deal with skin concerns like acne, congestion and uneven texture. How? The right formula can not only absorb excess oil from pores but break down white and blackheads in a jiffy. Even better, you dont have to invest in expensive store-bought products to see a difference. Ahead, find the complete guide to concocting and using charcoal face masks at home.What is a charcoal face mask?Charcoal as an ingredient has been around for years and is commonly used to treat overdosing of drugs. In the beauty world, it is quickly gaining traction thanks to its ability to lug out all the dirt, bacteria, oil, chemicals and toxins from the pores to the surface of the skin. In a peel-off mask formula, charcoal can however remove all the natural oils and fine hair from the surface of the skin as well as cause irritation. In powder form, it can cause excessive dryness. Like any ingredient, it is important to use this with caution.Ingredients to make a charcoal face mask at homeWhen making a DIY charcoal face mask, it is advisable to create a base and then add activated charcoal powder. For the same, you can use kaolin or bentonite clay as it will work in tandem with charcoal to clean out pores.How to make a charcoal face mask at homeCharcoal face masks should be made and used immediately for best results. Leave them on for five to 10 minutes and wash off when semi-dry. If youre using clay in your face masks, it is important to rinse it off before it dries off completely otherwise it will pull at your skin. Use a face mist to keep your mask damp and the clay active.For dry skinUse ingredients like Vaseline, honey, apple cider vinegar and more.For oily skinUse ingredients like tomato juice, a few drops of alcohol-free witch hazel, rose or lavender essential oil and rosewater.For combination skinUse ingredients like green tea or chamomile tea to soothe skin and reduce redness and irritation.Precautions to take while using a charcoal face maskPeel-off masks can be immensely satisfying to use but these can damage the skin in the long run. The tugging and pulling of the skin cause irritation and redness. To prevent this, stick to using wet masks and make sure you wash these off before they dry up completely. This will prevent them from soaking up all the natural oils from the surface of the skin.Benefits of charcoal face masksEven though there is no concrete evidence that charcoal masks can benefit skin, experts believe that activated charcoals natural ability to soak up grime can go a long way in clearing up skin. Removes dirt and grimeSome research has shown that charcoal can absorb toxins from the body which makes beauty formulators sure that it can do the same for skin. Reduces acneAcne-causing bacteria love to breed in pores that are clogged with sebum, dirt, and grime. If youre on the lookout for a natural remedy, try mixing a little bit of yoghurt or a drop of tea tree oil with some activated charcoal and apply it as a spot treatment. Regulates sebum productionActivated charcoal absorbs excess oil from the skin, balancing it out and giving it healthy a glow.How to use a charcoal face mask for blackheadsTo clear out your pores, you can use a tablespoon of activated charcoal and clay each and add apple cider vinegar as and when needed to make a paste. Apply this over your blackhead-prone area and let it semi-dry. Wash off with warm water and moisturise after.How to use activated charcoal in your beauty routine1. Teeth whitenerUsing a pinch of activated charcoal with your toothpaste twice a week can do wonders for your teeth health and colour. It removes yellow stains from the teeth and helps to fight bad breath.2. Body maskWant to give your body some TLC? Try using an activated charcoal all-over body mask. Mix some clay, tea tree oil and rosewater with a teaspoon of activated charcoal and apply it. Wash off when semi-dry.3. Detox shampooMix some activated charcoal with a very gentle shampoo formula and use it to wash your hair.4.Scalp scrubTo get rid of product buildup and gunk, mix some activated charcoal with brown sugar and coconut oil. Apply this scrub to your scalp and massage it well. Shampoo and condition your hair as usual.There are a number of ways to use activated charcoal in your routine but like any beauty ingredient, it is essential to be careful to prevent allergies or adverse reactions. With AC, less is more so make sure you use a pinch when the recipe says a pinch!FAQsCan I use activated charcoal products if I have dry skin?Activated charcoal does absorb excess oil from the skin and soothes it, making it safe for a large range of skin types.Can I use charcoal on my hair?Activated charcoal deep cleans and clarifies skin and hair. It is best used once or twice a week.