Hello all, I'm Michelle and I'm a sucker for any ~new and trendy~ thing I see on my Instagram feed.
I've been seeing an influx of charcoal-filled mouths on my timeline, and I thought: What other DIY uses for charcoal could be out there?
So I headed to Pinterest, scrolled for ages, and found five charcoal ~hacks~ that seemed actually doable for a normal person like me.
How it's supposed to work: The activated charcoal supposedly grips onto plaque and other nasties on your teeth, which helps to remove that gross, yellow colour.
How I think it worked: So, trying to contain the charcoal on your toothbrush and nothing else is a tricky task. However, once you start brushing, it's fine. It's weird because there's no foamy lather or minty relief like you get with normal toothpaste, but I found it did whiten my teeth slightly (no photo will really show that though). I do have to say that after I took my photos, I went back and brushed with normal toothpaste because I didn't feel as ~fresh~ as I normally do after a good brushing sesh.
Verdict: It works, probably even more with extended use!
How to make it: Combine one capsule of charcoal with a few drops of aloe vera gel, spread on pimple, let dry, and rinse off.
How it's supposed to work: The aloe vera is meant to soothe the pimple and the charcoal supposedly brings all the gunk to the surface.
How I think it worked: It was a lot cleaner than the other hacks that I tried, but tbh, I don't think it did anything. The spot looked the same after I wiped the charcoal off, and the next morning the pimple was still there...so, yeah. This one was kind of a letdown.
Verdict: Mmmm, yeah, it's gonna be a no from me, dawg.
How to make it: Take about seven charcoal tablets, a tablespoon of aloe vera, add some water and tea-tree oil, and then mix together. Put the mixture on a clean face for 10 to 15 minutes. Then rinse it off.
How it's supposed to work: The aloe vera cools and the tea-tree oil works as an antiseptic to prevent breakouts. The charcoal is meant to draw out impurities hiding beneath the skin and lightly exfoliate as you rinse the mask off.
How I think it worked: To me, this mask worked just like any old mask. It did have some ~cooling~ effects, so I reckon it's probably a good mask for the hotter months, or even after sunburn (thanks to the aloe). While my skin felt soft and smooth after, I applied the mask on pretty thick and it took ages to dry, so I suggest less is more in this case.
Verdict: Yep! It's a keeper.
How to make it: Clean and dry your pits, mix three charcoal pills and a tablespoon of honey, apply, leave on for 20 minutes, and wash off.
How it's supposed to work: The hydrogen peroxide in the honey is supposed to lighten the dark spots and the charcoal is meant to pull out all the impurities.
How I think it worked: Well, my first mistake was wearing a white singlet because no one warns you that honey DRIPS. FAST. It was fine at first, but once I put my arms down, it literally went everywhere. As for the results? There wasn't enough change* to make all the sticky dripping and stains worth it. Tbh, there was like none at all.
*I know y'all are going to drag me for my armpits being so dark. They've been like this for the majority of my life. I've seen doctors about it before. I am fine.
How to make it: Mix four charcoal capsules with a few drops of water 'til clumpy. Then use a damp eyeliner brush to apply.
How it's supposed to work: The charcoal becomes a usable paste once mixed with water, and the darkness of the charcoal makes the colour really pigmented.
How I think it worked: I was very skeptical that this would work after seven whole minutes of mixing and it still resembling nothing that could ever be called eyeliner. When it finally became something I could use, it took ages to draw a nice, crisp, straight line. Surprisingly, when I got home I found the charcoal eyeliner stayed on better than my normal gel liner did after nine hours of wear.
Verdict: For sure! Well, maybe if you've got a spare seven minutes in the morning.