Some people put Elmer’s Glue on their face, because they say it can get rid of blackheads, whiteheads and dirt in their pores. You know I’m big on DIY beauty projects. But even I can’t bring myself to put glue on my face. Especially, after I learned from the product website that,
Elmer’s Glues are chemical based. They are made or formulated from chemicals which are synthesized (created by Man). These chemicals were originally obtained or manufactured from petroleum, natural gas and other raw materials . . . .
No thank you! I’m not putting glue on my face. Rather, I want a more natural way to deep clean pores. So there’s gotta be a way to make a glue-free DIY Charcoal Mask that gets rid of the gunk in the pores, right?
Yep, there is! All you need for this glue-free, deep pore cleansing, DIY Charcoal Mask are a few ingredients: unflavored gelatin or agar powder (vegan jelly), and detox superstars activated charcoal and calcium bentonite clay. This DIY Charcoal Mask is extremely effective in cleaning pores. How effective??! Scroll down and take a look at the blackheads and whiteheads that the mask pulled out on my dear hubby’s nose. (He was such a good sport. Thank you, honey!) This DIY Charcoal Mask is shockingly easy and cheap to make. And most of all it does an amazing job at cleansing pores and your face.
Using a few natural ingredients, you can make 2 different versions of the glue-free DIY Charcoal Mask. You can make either a peelable mask (what I used on my hubby that produced the dramatic pictures below) or a non-peelable version. The non-peelable version is much gentler on your face. Instead of peeling off the mask, you wash the non-peelable DIY Charcoal Mask off with water. Both versions of the face mask are effective, but you shouldn’t use either face mask more than once a week. Also, it’s always a good idea to do a patch test, before using a new beauty product, including this DIY Charcoal Mask.
DIY Charcoal Mask, Deep Pore Cleansing Mask without Glue
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Yields: 1 use for your entire face
Ingredients for DIY Charcoal Mask
includes affiliate links
- Unflavored Gelatin (for a peelable face mask, and the best pore cleansing result) – 1 tablespoon. I use Knox Unflavored Gelatin. 1 small 0.25 oz packet of Knox unflavored gelatin is about 1 tablespoon. You can usually find unflavored gelatin in the jello or baking section of a supermarket.
- OR Agar Powder (for a gentler, non-peelable face mask) – 1/2 tablespoon. You can try Now Foods Agar Powder. Agar powder is a good vegan option. [Update: a number of DIYers have told me that their mask turned out too thick to apply on their face. Because of this, I recommend using 1/2 tablespoon, rather than 1 tablespoon, of agar powder.]
- Activated Charcoal – 1 teaspoon. I use Zen Activated Charcoal. You can also try Starwest Botanicals Food Grade Activated Charcoal, or Rocky Mountain Essentials Activated Charcoal.
- Calcium Bentonite Clay – 1/2 teaspoon. I use Aztec Secret Indian Healing Clay. You can also try Living Clay Calcium Bentonite Clay, or Molivera Organics Bentonite Clay. DON’T let your calcium bentonite clay touch any metal items, like utensils or containers. Metal interacts with the clay, making it less effective.
- Distilled Water – 2 tablespoon. Get it at your local supermarket.
How to Make DIY Charcoal Mask
(2) Add activated charcoal and calcium bentonite clay. It’s important that all the ingredients are mixed well. You don’t want any clumps. I use a long bamboo skewer to stir the mixture pretty vigorously.
(3) Heat up the DIY charcoal mask mixture in a double boiler. You want the mixture to thicken. It took me about 10 minutes using a double boiler. You can also put the mixture in a microwave for 10 seconds to achieve the same result.
When the mixture is out of the double boiler or microwave, it’s a good idea to give it a couple of good stirs to make sure you don’t have any clumps.
(4) When the DIY charcoal mask mixture reaches the consistency of honey, put it in a freezer for about 3-4 minutes to allow it to thicken some more. Check periodically (like every 1 minute or so) to make sure the mixture hasn’t solidified, or turned into jello. Finally, when you have a thick, gooey consistency, your mask is ready for use.
One DIYer reported that her charcoal mask thickened without this freezer step (see Sara’s Nov. 21, 2016 comment below). So you can skip this step and wait a little bit to see if your mask will become thick enough to apply on your face. If you don’t put your DIY charcoal mask in the freezer, please make sure it has sufficiently cooled before applying it on your face. You don’t want to burn your face with a hot face mask.
How to Use DIY Charcoal Mask
(1) Wash your face with warm water. Pat dry your face with a soft towel. If you are a guy, make sure you are fresh-shaven.
(2) Use a brush or your fingers to apply DIY charcoal mask on your face. This can get VERY messy. It’s a good idea to apply it over a sink. You want to apply a very thick layer of the mask on your face.
(3) DON’T put the peelable DIY charcoal mask (made with gelatin) on or near your eyebrows, because the peelable face mask can pull out blackheads/whiteheads, as well as hair.
Also, the first few times you try the peelable mask, maybe use it only on your nose or chin, rather than on your whole face. It can be uncomfortable (painful!) when peeling the mask off the entire face. Please remember that this DIY charcoal mask is water soluble. You can always wash it off, if peeling it off becomes too uncomfortable.
In the picture below, I’m using the non-peelable version of the face mask. That’s why I put the DIY charcoal mask on my eyebrows too.
(4) Let the DIY charcoal mask dry completely on your face. It took me about 45 minutes. As the mask dries, you will feel it tightening on your face. When the DIY charcoal mask is completely dry, it feels very hard to the touch.
If you are using the peelable version, then you have to wait until the DIY charcoal mask is COMPLETELY DRY on your face. Otherwise the mask won’t pull the gunk out of your pores. If the mask feels either rubbery or cold to the touch, then it’s NOT yet completely dry. When it’s very hard, and no longer cold to the touch, then it’s ready to be peeled. So you have to be patient when using the peelable charcoal mask.
(5) If you use unflavored gelatin to make a peelable face mask, move your facial muscles to loosen the peelable mask from your face. Then gently pull the mask off your face. Take your time, it can be uncomfortable and painful to some people. If it becomes too uncomfortable when you’re peeling the mask off, you can wash the mask off with water. The mask is fully water soluble.
- If you use agar powder, then you don’t peel the face mask off. Instead, gently wash the DIY Charcoal Mask off your face with warm water. I massage my face while washing it, to allow the activated charcoal and calcium bentonite clay to gently exfoliate my face.
(6) After the DIY charcoal mask is completely off your face, gently wipe your face with a cold wet towel. A cold towel should calm the redness you might have on your face.
(7) I usually put rosehip oil on my face to further calm the redness and to add moisture.
Ok, as promised. Here are some dramatic pictures showing how effective the glue-free DIY charcoal mask can be. The peelable face mask (made with gelatin) pulled out a ton of stuff on and around my husband’s nose.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Don’t you agree? You can see how much gunk, blackheads and whiteheads that the glue-free, peelable DIY charcoal mask pulled out of my dear husband’s face, especially around his nose area. I’m truly impressed with this DIY charcoal mask. It’s easy and costs very little to make. But it can do the job of many pricey store-bought pore strips. I’m talking about you, Biore Pore Strips. So, will you be giving this DIY charcoal mask recipe a try? I’d love to know how it goes. If you are an adventurous type and want to try the Elmer’s Glue face mask, I’d love to know how that goes too. So, reach out! As always, please share and pin this recipe if you like it!