If you read my DIY Homemade Deodorant post you know that I’m big into staying away from toxic chemicals on my skin. Now eyeliner is one of those things that I wouldn’t necessarily consider to be high on the toxic list, not like, say a moisturizer filled with phthalates or something, but still, I like to know EXACTLY what is going on my skin. Especially if you are or have been on some sort of strict elimination diet to try to figure out what is triggering autoimmune issues or other symptoms, knowing exactly what goes IN your body and ON your body is equally as important.
I first heard of activated charcoal a few years ago from some natural health blogs where they were talking about using it for preventing stomach flu. My ears (or eyes, since I was reading) immediately perked up, since we had just been through a few rounds of the nasty illness and if there is anything I hate, it’s throwing up. I went to the local Walgreens that evening, purchased a bottle of capsules from the Gas Relief section and was now ready for the stomach flu to make another appearance. As these things go, of course it didn’t come back for over a year. But when it DID, I was ready. My older son started throwing up one evening, so both my husband and I ingested 2 capsules each of the activated charcoal and we gave my younger son a ¼ of a capsule in some applesauce. (At that time we didn’t try giving the sick one any). Two hours later my husband and I took 2 more capsules. In the middle of the night my husband threw up once but then had no other issues. I spent some quality time in the bathroom, expelling my demons through what I called the “preferred end”, but I didn’t throw up. My younger son escaped unscathed.
Ok, you say, this was one time. But alas, this has actually happened multiple times since. Each time one of us starts throwing up, the rest of us start knocking back the AC. And each time, we’ve had reduced or no symptoms whatsoever. We’ve also started to give the actively sick person a bit (like a ¼ to ½ capsule) in a small bit of applesauce in between expelling sessions and it really seems to help. (Note: it does turn EVERYTHING black, so if you have a wee one who can’t aim into a bucket or toilet, be very careful.)
But why does this work? Well, the process of manufacturing activated charcoal causes it to develop lots of pores that help it to absorb toxins, chemicals, and poisons. Emergency rooms often use it after pumping a stomach to remove poisons as it can help further remove the poisons that have reached beyond the stomach. Both the Dave Asprey (Bulletproof Exec) and Katie The Wellness Mama have great articles about the history and other uses of the substance if you want to know more (Katie started me on using it for teeth whitening and it works so well!).
Enough about vomiting though. On to why you really want to read this post – how I use activated charcoal as a natural homemade eyeliner!Because it is such a dark powder, it works really well as an eyeliner. Be very careful though as it can stain things as you prepare it. You can either buy the capsules that you can find in any drug or grocery store (typically in the Gas Relief aisle or you can get them here) and break them apart, or you can buy it in bulk. I like to buy it in bulk so I can use it in multiple things, like this eyeliner, mascara (a future blog post), and for the teeth whitening powder as Katie The Wellness Mama details. Buying it in bulk also seems to be a lot less messy.
I apply it one of two ways:
- With just water – This way gives a similar look to an eyeliner pencil. Soft and pretty, but not too bold. A great day look. Simply wet an angle brush in water, then dip in the activated charcoal and mix until you get a bit of a paste. Then apply like you are applying a powder eyeliner.
- With oil – This way gives a much bolder, darker line that is akin to using a liquid eyeliner. Great for a cateye look. I like to use olive oil for this, but really any liquid oil will work. Again, dip an angle brush in the oil, then into the activated charcoal and mix until you get a paste. Then apply. This one sometimes take a bit longer to dry than the water version, so just keep that in mind.
Both of these methods can easily be removed with just water or a cotton ball soaked with a bit of olive oil. Which is to say, if you are going to go have a really sweaty workout session, I am not sure how this will hold up. But if you are just going to work, hanging out about town, or on a date it will be just fine (well, depends on how that date ends up… haha).
See the how-to video tutorial to see how I “make” and apply it: