In the last post (link here) I talked about 3 amazing and unconventional skin super foods. This week I will discuss two skin healing substances and provide a healing face mask recipe.
4. Activated Charcoal (topical)
This is not your typical backyard BBQ charcoal but medical grade charcoal that is used in air and water filtration and in hospitals to treat poisoning. It binds to chemicals and all sorts of substances that help them be cleared from the body. It is because of this powerful binding ability that it is being used as a topical skin care treatment. It can draw out impurities and oil from pores and from the skin’s surface and help to dry up active acne lesions. It is used best in a mask that can be applied weekly or in a daily soap or even as a spot treatment.
5. Oil Cleansing
This one has been on the scene for a little while but it’s worth mentioning. That’t right using oil to clean and moisturize is a very effective treatment for sensitive, dry and acne prone skin. It seems counterintuitive but oil is lipophilic, meaning it likes to move toward itself so when you apply an oil to your skins surface the oil that is already there binds to this new oil and with it all of the dirt, make-up and other impurities that are trapped within it. It also doesn’t disrupt the delicate acid mantle on the surface of your skin that protects it from dryness and inflammation.
Using oil as a moisturizer is also effective for some skin types and is very gentle and nourishing.
Oil cleansing is done with a single oil or a blend of different oils. You can find out the properties of individual oils here and here . I like a blend of Jojoba, Sunflower and Avocado with some lavender and Frankincense essential oil added for cleansing and for moisturizing I like Rosehip, Seabuckthorn and Tamanu with the same essential oils.
Face mask recipe
1 tbsp bentonite clay
1 capsule activated charcoal broken open or ¼ tsp
1 tsp organic turmeric - (can stain clothes and cause temporary yellowing of skin in some)
1 opened probiotic capsule that contains L. acidophilis and B. bifudum-
1 tsp olive oil (or other oil of your choice)
add water until desired thickness is achieved
Apply to clean face avoiding eyes and leave on for 15-20 mins. Rinse with warm water. Once clean splash with cold water and moisturize as usual.
Any combination of these ingredients can be used for your own recipe as well. If you are worried about stains, leave out the turmeric. If you don’t have probiotics on hand leave them out. The mask will still be beneficial with any combination, as all of the ingredients have important skin nourishing properties.
This is a messy mask and can stain clothes and skin slightly but the skin stain comes off quite easily and the benefits are great.
This is not intended as a prescription. Before using any recipe it is recommended to check with your health care provider that it is safe and right for you.
I am a naturopathic doctor practicing in Toronto, Ontario. I practice evidence-based natural medicine with a focus on ancestral nutrition. I have a special interest in digestive, endocrine and mental health.