Charcoal & Turmeric Peelable Face Mask

Recently, I was blown away when I looked into the contents of a few mainstream charcoal peelable face masks. With such a simple concept, how on earth can one little bottle pack in so many ingredients, and how can anyone put so many questionable chemicals into a product and feel ok about it? Ingredients such as Triethanolamine, Parabens, Ceteareth’s, Phenoxyethanol and Benzyl Alcohol are common offenders in some of the store-bought bottles I investigated, but the DIY versions on the net encourage the combination of activated charcoal and GLUE! What the?!!

It is mainly for this reason that I created this recipe – to give the DIY-eager peeps a healthy alternative. But before you go and get all excited, applying a mask a week to suck out all of your blackheads and unclog your pores, please know that a mask like this is designed to be used infrequently. I recommend no more frequently than every 8-12 weeks. The reason for this is the skin on our face is covered in fine vellus hair which serves the purpose of regulating body temp and helping sweat evaporate, so we don’t want to be ripping that off. Also, the smoothing effect you feel afterwards is also enhanced because your skin’s natural oils and sebaceous filaments (mistaken for blackheads on the strip) may also be removed, compromising the skin’s barrier, which protects our skin from infection and harmful bacteria. The little sebaceous plugs will be replaced in 30 days anyway.

So with all of that in mind, use this mask occasionally IF you feel compelled. Just please don’t go using a DIY recipe that involved glue!

Charcoal & Turmeric Peelable Face Mask | The Inspired Little Pot

Makes: approx. 30g (single use)


(links provided for ingredients available here at The Inspired Little Pot)

2 tsp natural gelatin powder (I got mine from Jo & Tracey here)

1/2 tsp activated charcoal (find it at health food stores – bricks & mortar and online)

1/2 tsp turmeric (pantry item/market/supermarket)

1/4 tsp Jojoba oil

4 drops of essential oils (my oils of choice are lemon & lavender) *see notes below

2 tbsp hot water

  1. Add dry ingredients and essential oils to a small glass bowl.
  2. Add oils and water, and stir quickly and thoroughly until all ingredients are smooth and combined.
  • Using a make-up brush, apply in a thickish layer to skin. Avoid eyebrows, hairline, entire eye area and top lip.
  • Wait 20-30 minutes until it is dry, and peel off carefully. Wash off any excess with warm water and moisturise skin.
  • Don’t be limited by my essential oil suggestions. They can be substituted with oils that fit your budget, or with those that you already have in your collection. I recommend that you source essential oils from a brand you trust. Do your research. Ensure that crops are grown and harvested without the use of pesticides and that chemical processes are not used when the oils are extracted. Do not rely on statements on labels such as ‘100% pure’. I now stock essential oils from brands I trust – you can check them out here. Refer to this blog post for inspiration on essential oil blends.
  • I like to exfoliate gently (with this) after I apply the mask, and before I moisturise (with this).
  • You might like to make up a double/triple batch without water and keep it dry in a jar, only adding a tablespoon of mix and enough water to make a paste as you need it. This is perfect if you only want to treat your nose, chin and T-zone. Also makes a super-cool gift idea!
  • If the complete mix is left too long it will set. Add a little more hot water and mix until smooth.
  • I am working on a vegan-friendly alternative so stay tuned.


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