DIY Charcoal Face Mask Recipe (Only 3 Ingredients!)

How to make your own charcoal face mask

You may have seen my video on how to whiten your teeth with charcoal, but did you know that its great for your skin too? With only a few simple ingredients, this charcoal face mask is quick and easy. You can get clearer skin, detox, and soften your skin with this simple DIY recipe.

Benefits of Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay comes from aged volcanic ash sediment, and is used to attract, trap and remove toxins from the body. It’s the perfect addition to a cleansing face mask, as once mixed with water it will help to remove any impurities on the skin. On its own it can be a little drying, which is one reason why I’ve included raw honey in the recipe too.

Raw Honey for Soft Skin

If you’re a regular here at Wellness Mama, then you’ll already know how big a fan I am of raw honey. It can naturally sweeten desserts, soothe a burn, and is antibacterial. It’s useful for a face mask as it softens and soothes skin, and is antibacterial for anyone suffering from acne or blemishes. You can read more recipes and info on raw honey here.

Charcoal for Skin

And now we come to the key ingredient. Charcoal is widely used in emergency settings if internal poisoning is suspected for it’s ability to absorb toxins. In fact, charcoal is “estimated to reduce absorption of poisonous substances up to 60%.” When applied to the face, charcoal will help to absorb toxins and impurities on the skin.

Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a helpful addition to DIY skincare recipes and play a variety of roles. This recipe uses tea tree and lavender essential oil in particular for their ability to purify the skin. Tea tree is commonly used for acne because of its antimicrobial properties. Lavender is commonly recommended for skin health. The overall concentration is low and there’s only ½ drop of each essential oil per face mask, but it’s enough to get results.

Charcoal Mask Ingredients

How To Make A Charcoal Mask

  1. In a small glass bowl add the water and essential oil.
  2. Sprinkle the bentonite clay over the top of the water mixture in the bow. Allow it to absorb for a about 10 seconds before adding the rest of the ingredients. This makes the mixture easier to combine.
  3. Use a small rubber spatula to mash and mix everything together. The clay will want to stay lumpy, so this takes a few minutes to mix thoroughly. You’ll have enough mixture here for 2 face masks.
  4. Once your mask is mixed, apply it liberally to your face. Allow it to dry, about 10 minutes, before washing off with soap and warm water.

Note: This mask is meant to be used in one use and will not store well, as it does not contain preservatives.

Charcoal Mask Tips

  • Charcoal can and will stain light colored fabrics, and possibly your sink. Be sure to avoid getting it on your clothes, and immediately clean it off of your sink when using.
  • This mask can be tough to get off, and gentle soap helps to get the rest of the charcoal off of your skin. Using a washcloth helps too, but it may permanently stain, so use an old one. A washcloth also scrubs the charcoal across the skin, which may be too irritating for some skin types.
  • This charcoal face mask may be too drying for some skin types, especially after using soap to remove it. If you find your skin needs it, then apply a thin layer of oil, like sweet almond or pumpkin seed oil, or your favorite natural face lotion afterward.

What natural methods do you use to purify and detox your skin? Do you have a favorite detox face mask recipe?

Make your own charcoal face mask with bentonite clay, activated charcoal powder, and raw honey for smoother skin and fewer breakouts!

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Reader Comments

  1. Excited to try this recipe! Wondering if you think you can replace the bentonite clay with diatomaceous earth.


    • I haven’t tried, but if you do, let me know how it turns out!

  2. I make a version of this myself an add yoghurt in winter or apple cider vinegar (diluted) sometimes sandalwood EO. It is a skin game changer.


    • It should be fine since it’s not ingested through the digestive system and it’s such a small amount. However, always check with your doctor if you have concerns…

  4. Grapeseed oil is more readily absorbed by the skin of the face and it is not expensive. My everyday face oil is this plus yang-yang and Damascus rose. Spritzing first with rose water then using oil locks in the moisture.
    I generally only remove such masks with a lot of sightly-more-than-warm water, just keep rinsing until the mix comes off. Having said this, I have yet to add charcoal to this mix.

  5. I love mixing Dead Sea Mud with activated charcoal for a face mask. Don’t know why I never thought to add rae Honeycutt I’ll have to give that a try now. I use your charcoal and bentonite clay face soap exclusively on my face now because it’s so amazing. My favorite oil to moisturize my face with is red raspberry seed oil, are you familiar with it?

  6. I have tried to use your search tool and it has not worked says safari cannot open page
    Is this happening for anyone else?

    • We recently made some technical changes to the website and are trying to get it fixed. So sorry for the inconvenience, it should be fixed soon!

  7. I have two beautification recipes that were given to me by my mother many years ago. The one that I am offering today utilizes only Honey your fingertips and propping your feet up.

    Place a little honey in a little bowl. Then, recline on the floor (or a firm bed) and prop your feet up. Dip your fingertips (fingertips-both hands) in the little bowl of honey, and then, using your fingertips, gently press them to your face — all over your face — hope you’re not wearing glasses. Just pat your fingertips on your face. The honey will be a little sticky and then fingertips will stick more firmly and then finally they won’t stick at all. When your fingertips stop sticking, look at them -they’re covered with dead skin. Rinse your face off with plain water. You have just given yourself an exclusive and wonderful honey facial.

    • Wow, I love it! I’ll have to try this.

    • Cindy, your honey tip made all the difference my skins exfoliation. What’s your mom’s other tip:)?

    • I’m excited to try this! I’m with Kathleen… What’s your mother’s other secret?!

    • does this work with normal honey or raw honey?

  8. Wow…this is great. I’ve been looking for a recipe like this for a while now. I can’t wait to use it. Well, actually I’ll be using it tonight, so…lol. Is it okay to double this recipe or not? Should I do it in separate times? Just curious as to what would be best. Thanks for the recipe and future answer! 🙂

      • Thanks! I used it, and it worked perfectly, My skin felt amazing. And I was surprised with how well it came off in the shower, too. So thanks for this recipe! And I also have another question, which I could have just missed it when I was reading the recipe, but; how often can I use this mask? Like I was wondering if I could only use it once a month due to the charcoal? Thanks! 🙂

        • I use it once or twice a week without a problem… though I’d just pay attention to your skin

  9. Hello for the toothpaste is is ok to use peppermint extract as flavoring? Or does it need to be essential oil?

  10. I like how my face feels/looks right after I use clay, but for the next couple of mornings I get pimples. This happens every time I use Bentonite clay. Does any one have experience with or suggestions for this?

    • The clay is detoxing your skin.

  11. Hi Katie! I was just wondering if you put ads in this site, it was showing an ad for pizza hut, and I thought that was kinda weird since I know they’re not like a natural foods place.

    • Hi Cairo, yes, there are ads that are run through a network. I can’t fully control what displays, but if there are questionable ads, I can ask that they be removed. Many of the ads that display are based on past browsing history though, so what I see could be completely different than what you do. Thanks for letting me know though.

      • Thanks for letting me know! I love your site!

  12. After I make the elderberry syrup recipe I make a mask of the left over pulp.

    • How to make mask from leftover elderberries?

  13. I make a facial soap using bentonite clay and one using activated charcoal. I’m wondering if I could add honey to the soap. What do you think?

  14. This sounds great. I would love to get my 18 year old to give this a try instead of the cosmetics she uses! I only use coconut oil to moisturise but this sounds like a great recipe to try out!

  15. I really wish I could use bentonite clay. When I have tried it in any way (homemade toothpaste, face mask, etc.) it very quickly worsens some of my mental/emotional difficulties I struggle with. I wonder if I have a sensitive system when it comes to mineral balance. I’ve been taking thyroid hormone for many years, and I make sure I get iodine, high quality sea salts, Himalayan salts, and other minerals. Provided I use high quality clay, Katie, do you have any idea why? I cannot seem to find an answer on the Internet. Thanks!

    • Update: I have had success with slowly introducing clay with the tooth powder. Now I can use the tooth powder freely! I am assuming that my sensitive system can be worked with if I do it slowly and carefully. I’m so glad I can benefit from using clay now.

  16. Hi Katie,
    I made a bunch of these masks, and put them in nice containers for gifts. They all molded. Is that normal? If so, do you know why? I had to toss all of the containers and ingredients. The main reason is why it molds.
    Thank you,
    Niko M

    • I’ve updated the recipe to explain this more, but the mask is designed to be made and used in one use and immediately. Because it contains water, it can’t be stored for long periods of time, or even days, and the texture will change over time as well.

      • Did I misunderstand above where someone asked if they could double the recipe? I presumed they meant to keep it for the future, but maybe it was for two to use it at the same time.

        • True… definitely possible to make a bigger batch for multiple people as long as it is all used in one day

  17. Ok, that makes sense. Thank you! I’ve been storing it in my fridge, and that has been working. Would a substitute for water (maybe coconut oil, or apple cider vinegar) help it not to mold? I appreciate it, and thank you for all of your amazing DIY recipes! I love them all! The lip balms are AMAZING!

  18. Is it possible to make a big batch and keep it in a container for later use? Or will it dry out?

    • On my list to share… but a little more difficult so it is taking me a little longer to compile

  19. Since it has water should I add a preservative?

    • I make a single batch and use all at once. It does have water and I would not try to store it. Also, it hardens easily over a period of a few hours and would not store well.

  20. can you use real aloe from a plant in this mask

    • Yes, you can, Jenny. 🙂

  21. Do you have a recipe to make a facial cleanser using some of the ingredients used in the mask? I’ve seen some recipes use baking soda and coconut oil along with essential oils. Any suggestions? Thank you 🙂

  22. Sort of related to this post. Do you have any recipes or tips you can share for making a charcoal face wash? That would be in liquid form. I have never made soap before and would like to start out with liquid before I delve into soap making. I’ve got items like activated charcoal capsules, bentonite clay, red Moroccan clay, tea tree Castile soap, jojoba oil and various essential oils. I’m thinking I may have leaky gut (cystic acne) and am currently pregnant. I know internal help may benefit me more than external but I would like to incorporate charcoal into my daily skin care routine.

    • The easiest way is to add charcoal to a natural pre-made face wash you already have on hand. Other than that, I’d experiment with mixing liquid castille soap and charcoal and see how your skin does.

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