Easy 3 Ingredient DIY Activated Charcoal Face Mask

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woman with charcoal face mask holding bowl

Get clearer skin with me!

With so many resources at our fingertips nowadays, you can DIY basically anything you put your mind to – including smearing activated charcoal all over your face. I’m sharing why this easy DIY face mask will give you great skin, plus all of my tips and tricks on how to do it perfectly on your own.

Here are the benefits of using activated charcoal on your face:

activated charcoal in measuring spoon

I was inspired by a popular face mask DIY and decided to try making my own to see whether or not this is a DIY worth investing time and money into. And since charcoal face masks are so expensive to buy I was really excited to possibly save money in the long run while still taking amazing care of my skin

The benefits of activated charcoal:

  • Cleanses your pores
    • Extracts bacteria, poisons, chemicals, dirt and other micro-particles
  • Fights acne and blackheads
  • Reduces excess oil
  • Helps speed up healing from eczema and psoriasis
  • Improves the overall appearance of skin

Here’s what you need to make this easy DIY face mask:

activated charcoal face mask ingredients

Here’s everything I used & why I used it:

Aztec Indian Healing Clay – 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. 

This clay has been used for centuries, otherwise known as The World’s Most Powerful Facial, it acts a lot like activated charcoal, drawing out impurities and improving your skin’s appearance.

Activated Charcoal – 2 tbsp.

Also known as Activated Carbon, this ingredient binds to toxins. So when placed on your face, it draws out everything you don’t want in your skin. 

Pure Coconut Oil – 1/4 cup (melted and cooled)

Since the two other ingredients are drawing oils and toxins out of your skin, the coconut oil acts as a natural moisturizer to leave your skin feeling soft. It also contains antimicrobial properties that can help treat acne and protect your skin from harmful bacteria. 

Silicone Applicator Brushes

These brushes worked perfectly to stir the ingredients together and apply the mask to my face rather than using my fingers. The silicone also performs better and makes clean-up easier than a standard brush made of hair. 

Steps to make the perfect charcoal face mask:

bowl of charcoal face mask

The first time I made this face mask I just dumped everything into a bowl and hoped for the best. I’m no scientist, but one thing I can tell you for sure is that you need to follow my steps exactly, or your consistency is going to be way, WAY off! You’ll also be wasting valuable product and your money. Who wants that?!

bowl of gray and black powder in bowl

Step 1: 

Mix together 1/4 cup of the Aztec Indian Healing Clay with 2 tbsp of the Activated Charcoal. It should be a solid dark gray color when they’re combined completely.

Step 2:

Slowly add the 1/4 cup of melted Pure Coconut Oil while stirring. Stir completely until there is no powder left and consistency is smooth.

Step 3: 

Slowly add the remaining 1 tbsp of Aztec Indian Healing Clay until you’ve reached the consistency you desire. It should look a lot like warm ganache on a delicious cake when you’re done.

Step 4:

Use the silicone brushes to apply the mask to face. Let sit until dry (or about 20-30 mins) and rinse well with warm water and a washcloth.

Here are 3 tips on what NOT to do:

gray powder in white bowl

1. Don’t use anything metal.

Do not, I repeat – DO NOT, mix ingredients with anything metal! Using metal bowls or spoons will make the Bentonite Clay (AKA – Aztec Indian Healing Clay) being to react which will reduce all of its healing properties, resulting in an ineffective product. Use wood, glass, or ceramic instead.

2. Don’t do the coconut oil first.

When I first attempted this DIY I added all of the clay to the coconut oil, which at first was a great consistency. But then I added the Activated Charcoal and it was a disaster. The consistency was clumpy and everything started to separate in the bowl.

3. Don’t wear anything you like.

Activated charcoal is MESSY! In case of spills, wear clothes you don’t love, use a work surface that can get messy, and use a rag to wash your face that can get stained.

woman wearing black charcoal face mask

Total cost: I spent less than $20 to create this DIY face mask. I used coconut oil I already had and I have plenty of each product left to make many more batches of this charcoal face mask.

My verdict: Overall, I’m really impressed with this DIY and in the long run, it’s super affordable! It felt really great on my face, and after rinsing it off my face felt so clean and perfectly moisturized. I definitely see myself using this on a weekly basis to continue a great skincare routine.

Not so sure if you want to make your own? Check out these highly-rated charcoal masks you can buy:

stock photos of charcoal face masks

  1. Clinique City Block Purifying Charcoal Clay Mask + Scrub
  2. Origins Clear Improvement Charcoal Honey Mask
  3. GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment Mask

Interested in making DIY dry shampoo?

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 25

  1. Kel

    How long will it keep for in those tiny containers after it’s made?

    • Kitty

      Looks interesting… I love face masks. I wonder if coconut oil is comedogenic since I have heard it is not.
      Also correct me if I’m wrong, but masks should not be applied over eyebrows right?

      • Sara

        Hey Kitty! That’s a great point, I certainly could have avoid them and made clean up easily when I washed it off LOL. However, this isn’t a peel mask, so I think eyebrows are safe if they get some of the product on it. 🙂 Hope this helps!

        • Kitty

          Lol good point!

    • Sara

      Hey Kel! I’m so glad you asked! I just updated this post because after checking on my samples I noticed they weren’t the same texture. So if you do make this mask make sure to have a friend enjoy it so no product goes to waste. 🙂 Hope this helps!

  2. BrBa

    Coconut oil is definitely comedogenic, so those that are acne-prone should be careful.

    But that Aztec clay + apple cider vinegar is my all-time favorite mask for oily/combo/acne-prone skin! Leaves skin super clean and glowing! You have to use ACV though and not water- which can’t neutralize the clay to make it the right pH for skin- and use a plastic utensil to mix it instead of metal.

    • Lase

      Thanks for the tip on ACV. I’ll definitely try it cause I have oily skin.

    • Kitty

      I think you could probably substitute the coconut oil for another oil like jojoba oil or grape seed. Something to look into. Also the apple cider and aztec clay is a classic!

      • BrBa

        Possibly, but many ppl w/ acne-prone skin just don’t do well w/ oils left on the skin (even for oil cleansing, let alone a mask). Some will react due to the oil itself and not its comedogenicity. Either way you definitely have to patch test first and remember that for those w/ acne, it’s always a YMMV thing etc!

      • Lola

        Just tried this with grapeseed oil with mixed results.

        I had a bunch of bumps on my face from an allergic reaction and some pimples, this knocked them all down flat but the MESS!

        MY shower is stained black and scrubbing it off my face, and then my hands, and inevitably my feet (washed off in a shower) was next to impossible!

        I love the results but its a big mess! Very sticky and pigmented. Proceed with caution

  3. Laura


    • Melissa

      What do you do then? Take yourself outside and hose your face down with your garden hose?

      • Luna

        Wipe off with a wet towel

      • Cranberry

        LOL wut? No, you wipe it off w/ a wet washcloth. And if you have any of the mask mixture left over, then you wipe the bowl out instead of pouring it down the sink.

  4. MelRox

    It’s not a mask but I’ve been impressed with the Dollar Tree charcoal face wash. Definitely made a noticable difference and has a very slight menthol to it.

  5. Cindy

    LOL!! Hose your face off outside with garden hose. Made me laugh! Needed a laugh today.

  6. Maria

    Thanks for the post. Always wanted to try out a face mask with activated charcoal. Can I use half of the quantity of ingredients as I feel it would be too much for one person?

    • Sara

      Hey Maria, if you follow the steps I have listed, I don’t see why it wouldn’t turn out perfectly at half the amounts. Let me know how it turns out for you!

  7. Luna

    It’s multhani mithi can get easily on Amazon but the big pack if you have Indian store near you can buy a smaller pack. Add rose water for the best results

  8. Ash

    I have been really into masks lately lol. I personally love Mary Kay’s charcoal mask. It is only $24 and lasts for up to 30 applications. Its wipe off and has made a huge difference for my skin.

  9. A

    Do NOT put coconut oil on your face!

  10. Thrifty mama

    You can always use a couple of drops of rose hip oil, lavender, tea tree or frankincense oil to help with drying out or acne problems instead of coconut oil. Charcoal, clay water and oil. I’ve never tried the acv in place of water but I’m sure it would do fine 😊

  11. Jocy

    I don’t know if it’s just me but I followed the mixture as said above and it was too thick. I had to add more coconut oil. Maybe because I had a wet face but applying this to skin started clumping up. Don’t get what happened. After 30 min I washed off but had to use soap to wash off twice. Happy with the outcome but too messy.

  12. Lupita

    How often should this mask be done?

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Once a week!

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