Monday, 2 May 2011

Activated charcoal.

Everything was going so tremendously well with all of my experimentation with homemade remedies, so I thought I would go off on a limb and try to invent my own face scrub.  I had an idea last month that I would make my own mascara using tea tree oil, aloe vera gel and activated charcoal.  It didn't go very well, and for some reason the mixture looks very much like mascara but doesn't stick to my eyelashes at all.  It also tends to flake a bit (I guess the aloe dries out in time).  Who would have thought it would be hard to make a natural mascara?

So that project is on hold.  However, I had bought a large number of activated charcoal capsules (it is used as a natural remedy and can be purchased at natural health stores), so was trying to come up with other fun things to do with all this excess I now had.  I know that activated charcoal is used in lots of skin products these days because it is a renowned absorber of impurities.  I decided that the grainy-ness (it is very fine) of it really militated towards trying to make some sort of a face scrub with it.  So I combined it with some tea tree oil and some coconut oil and made it into a paste.  I put it in a container and left it in the shower.  I tried it today and get ready for the result...

When I was using it, it felt great.  It was EXACTLY the right texture.  However, I started to run into trouble when I tried to get it off.  Perhaps due to the oils, or maybe just due to the charcoal itself.  I don't know, but it essentially formed some sort of a slick on my face that would not come off with any of the products I had in my shower.  I used my gentle cleanser, my Lush cleansing bar (twice), Tim's Dove soap, my body soap.  Nothing would take it off.  I also had black stuff all over my body which wouldn't come off and in my shower.  It was a mess.  When I finally thought I had gotten it off of my face, I got out of the shower and discovered it was still all over my face.  In the end, I had to literally scrub/tear it off of my face with a face cloth.

On the bright side, I now know that I probably can't use activated charcoal in this way, so the mystery has been solved.  I've heard of adding it to your cleanser, and that might be a safer way to go about it.  I may also still have some success with my mascara experiments.  My skin IS really soft now, but I also feel like I have a sunburn because I must have rubbed the top layer off in my efforts to get all the black grease off.  What a mess! Lesson learned.

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