How to Treat Maskne with a Homemade Charcoal Soap

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A new problem for many of us, maskne is acne as a result of daily mask-wearing. Even those of us who haven?t seen a pimple in years are noticing them pop up! To help treat your maskne, I formulated this charcoal soap as a powerful tool to draw out toxins while being safe for the face.

This charcoal facial soap is an all-natural, yet powerful, cleanser to add to your every day skincare routine. It is made using my lather soap blend swirled with activated charcoal for a deep facial cleanse.

I formulated this soap after I noticed I was having some irritation and blemishes from wearing a mask. Adding this soap to your routine may just be the one thing you need to tackle maskne once and for all!

Performing a deep cleanse is only half the battle when it comes to maskne. I also wanted to include some maskne tips on how to prevent and treat it. But first, let?s see what we?re working with.

swirled charcoal soap for maskne with lavender

What is Maskne?

Ever since the pandemic started and I have been wearing mask, I have noticed that I?ve been getting pimples on the tip of my nose. As someone who very rarely gets pimples these days, it is certainly out of the ordinary.

Have you heard of maskne before? It?s become a bit of buzz word in the beauty community lately and has been popping up for a lot of people. Maskne is acne or skin irritation as a result of wearing a mask.

Since masks trap in oils and sweat, we become much more prone to blemishes. Whenever our pores get clogged from things such as dirt or sweat, it blocks the ability for sebum (our body?s natural oils) to rise to the surface. When our pores aren?t cleaned, they get blocked and infected, resulting in acne and blackheads.

I know a ton of people who have also noticed maskne. Anyone who wears tighter fitting masks for a long period of time will be more susceptible to it. The mask can either worsen someone who already has acne or even create new problems for someone like me who doesn?t often see a pimple pop up.

The idea of maskne is actually not as new as we think! Think of hockey or football players, or even our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers. They have been wearing masks for years and know all about maskne.

If what you are seeing looks like a rash and is itchy, you may actually have dermatitis. This can occur from irritation from a mask?s metal, rubber, or dye. Talk to a healthcare professional if you think you may have something other than maskne.

close up of a swirled charcoal soap for maskne

How to Treat Maskne

Luckily, there are a few things we can do to prevent and treat maskne or the severity of it. Here are some maskne tips to try:

  1. Change your mask. The first thing you want to consider is the type of mask you wear. 100% cotton is the best material for masks as it still allows your skin to breathe.
  2. Wash your mask. You will want to wash your mask every day. I?m sure many of us have multiple masks that we cycle through during the week. Once you?re done wearing your mask for the day, toss it in your laundry hamper and use a new one the following day.
  3. Avoid wearing makeup. The mask will really trap makeup into your pores and worsen acne. Since you will be wearing a mask anyways, consider only applying makeup to your eyes and anywhere else above the mask line.
  4. Change your skincare routine. Wearing a mask will actually intensify the product delivery to your skin (think applying Vaseline to dry feet and then wearing socks). You will want to avoid strong and harsh products. Instead, opt for products with fewer ingredients. This charcoal soap recipe is great for skin because it is all natural and contains no harsh chemicals or additives.
  5. Moisturize your skin. Not only does it moisturize your skin, but it will also protect your skin from further mask irritation. Check out my aftercare suggestions at the end of this post for more on moisturizers.
  6. Let your skin breathe. Now that you have cleansed and moisturized, avoid wearing a mark when at home and it is safe to do so, and avoid touching your face. Keeping pores unobstructed will help your breakouts heal.

activated coconut charcoal

The Benefits of Activated Charcoal in Face Soap

The magic ingredient in this soap recipe is activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is amazing for face soaps because of its ability to draw out toxins.

To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat it at an extremely high temperature which actually changes its internal structure. It does not resemble anything you would burn in your own firepit or barbecue.

Since it has a negative charge, it can actually help to draw our positively charged molecules such as toxins and grease. When used on the face, it acts as a deep cleanser to draw out microparticles from the skin including dirt, chemicals, toxins, dust, and bacteria. Once they are drawn to the surface, it makes the removal of the toxins much easier.

While it may have powerful toxin-clearing properties, it doesn?t absorb vitamins and nutrients that your skin needs. It is also inert, meaning it is unlikely to cause allergic reactions or irritate the skin if used properly.

You may even notice your pores are minimized after using activated charcoal. Dirt and oil make your pores appear larger. By removing them, you will notice smaller pores and smoother-looking skin.

All in all, activated charcoal is a 100% natural ingredient with powerful properties. It was a no-brainer for me to add it to my soap recipe!

swirled charcoal soap for maskne with charcoal powder underneath

Make Your Own Charcoal Soap

This recipe is a 75/25 blend of coconut and olive oil. It can be a bit drying for people with dry skin, but works great for those with oily skin and those who get acne. You will get a great lather to really clean the face thoroughly.

Materials

  • Double boiler made of stainless steel (not aluminum)  and a pot of water
  • Pyrex or (4-cup)
  • Safety gear (rubber gloves, face mask, apron, eye protection, etc.)

Ingredients

  • 532 ml (18 oz)
  • 177 ml (6 oz)
  • 290 ml (9.8 oz) distilled water
  • 124 ml (4.2 oz) lye
  • 60 ml (2 oz) 
  • 15 ml (0.5 oz) , , or 
  • 15 ml
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp

activated coconut charcoal soap for maskne

Make It!

These step-by-step instructions are great for those who have made soap before. If it is your first time, please find more detailed instructions and photos on , but be sure to follow this recipe?s ingredients.

  1. Keep your eyes and skin safe by wearing goggles and work gloves.
  2. Using a scale, weigh all your ingredients exactly as told in the recipe.
  3. Measure your bentonite clay and activated charcoal in two little containers, such as a shot glass or ramekin. Set aside.
  4. Slowly heat your oils over the stove in a stainless steel pot.
  5. Add water to a heat-resistant 4-cup measuring cup. Very slowly add your lye while stirring constantly. It is best to do this in a well-ventilated area as there will be very strong fumes you will not want to breathe in.
  6. Place your lye mixture in an ice bath. It will need to cool spot 11x11 popup gazebo tent instant with mosquito netting outdoor gazebo canopy shelter with 121 square feet of shade beige_700053 to 115?F. Your oils should also measure at 115?F. Reheat the oils if necessary.
  7. Using an immersion blender, pour the lye mixture into the oils.
  8. Continue blending until your mixture reaches a light trace.
  9. Blend in your lavender essential oils and pulse with the blender a few times. Work quickly as this will speed up the trace.
  10. To make the marbled effect, remove a couple of tablespoons of your soap and mix it with the charcoal and then the bentonite clay. Once thoroughly mixed, scoop the batter back into the bowl. Use a spatula to pull it through the mixture three times in different directions to create swirls.
  11. Pour your mixture into a soap mold. If you don?t have a soap mold, a cleaned and dried 1L milk carton will also work.
  12. Cover your mold with towels and cardboard, then set it somewhere warm (such as the top of the fridge) for 48 hours.
  13. After 48 hours, remove your soap from the mold. Cut into equal sections.
  14. Place your soap on a wire rack and allow it to cure in a cool and dark place for 6 weeks.

Aftercare Routine

Since it is a deep cleanser, you will want to make sure you are following up this charcoal soap with a good aftercare routine. If you have been suffering from acne, chances are your skin balance is off. I use my own in order to naturally restore my skin?s pH. Since we have stripped away the acid layer on top of our skin with a good cleansing, the toner will help to add a new protective layer to the skin.

Rosewater Toner Recipe

After toner, you will need to moisturize your skin. Even if you have oily skin, it is essential to add moisture back after stripping away our skin of its natural oils. And as I mentioned before, it will also help to reduce irritation for future mask use.

I liked to use my after washing my skin with charcoal soap. The lotion is formulated to absorb quickly, not clog pores, and moisturize without creating a heavy feeling.

Altogether, the charcoal soap, rosewater toner, and natural lotion have been my saviour for maskne these past few months. Give them a go and you should notice a difference in your skin too!

Charcoal Face Soap Recipe + How to Treat Maskne with It

This charcoal soap will help to draw out toxins trapped in the skin from wearing a mask. Use it to prevent and treat maskne.

Equipment

  • Double boiler, soap making pitcher, and a pot of water.
  • Heat proof measuring cup (4-cup)
  • Safety gear (rubber gloves, face mask, apron, eye protection, etc.)
  • Loaf-style mold

Supplies

  • 532 ml (18 oz)
  • 177 ml (6 oz)
  • 290 ml (9.8 oz)
  • 124 ml (4.2 oz)
  • 60 ml (2 oz)
  • 15 ml (0.5 oz)
  • 1 tsp
  • 1 tsp
  • 15 ml

Instructions

  • Keep your eyes and skin safe by wearing goggles and work gloves.
  • Using a scale, weigh all your ingredients exactly as told in the recipe.
  • Slowly heat your oils over the stove in a stainless steel pot.
  • Add water to a heat-resistant 4-cup measuring cup. Very slowly add your lye while stirring constantly. It is best to do this in a well ventilated area as there will be very strong fumes you will not want to breathe in.
  • Place your lye mixture in an ice bath. It will need to cool to 115?F. Your oils should also measure at 115?F.Reheat them if necessary.
  • Using an immersion blender, pour the lye mixture into the oils.
  • Continue blending until your mixture reaches a light trace or the consistency of pudding.
  • To make the marbled effect, remove a couple tablespoons of your soap and mix it with the charcoal. Once thoroughly mixed, add the batter back into the bowl. Use a spatula to pull it through the mixture three times in different directions.
  • Pour your mixture into a soap mold. If you don?t have a soap mold, a cleaned and dried 1L milk carton will also work.
  • Cover your mold with towels and cardboard, then set it somewhere warm (such as the top of the fridge) for 48 hours.
  • After 48 hours, remove your soap from the mold. Cut into equal sections.
  • Place your soap on a wire rack and allow it to cure in a cool and dark place for 6 weeks.

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Without access to all the goodness of outdoor soil, your indoor plants are going to need a good houseplant fertilizer to get their nutrients. 100% natural, this organic fertilizer recipe is one of the 80+ from my herbal garden recipe book, . It will keep your houseplants happy, healthy, and blooming for stunning indoor displays.

Do houseplants need fertilizer? While outdoor plants source nutrients found in the soil and their ecosystem, houseplants don?t have the same luxury. Due to the closed system of soil they live in, they are completely dependent on their human plant parents for available nutrients.

There are times when it?s easier to use a liquid fertilizer than a granular one, such as when you are watering houseplants. In the summer, houseplants respond to warmth and light, and it stimulates their growth. Applying this liquid houseplant fertilizer will ensure they are getting all the nutrients they need for this growth period.

Many home brew liquid fertilizers have microorganisms that support healthy outdoor soil but are not great for indoor soil. Specifically crafted with houseplants in mind, this DIY fertilizer will help them thrive, bloom, and grow.

There are lots of recipes in my book, , for the home gardener to apply organic methods in the home and out in the garden. Set up like a cookbook, you?ll find a ton more fertilizer recipes, as well as pest deterrents, potting mixes, and other projects and elixirs to boost your garden. This excerpt on organic fertilizer for houseplants was reprinted with permission by Cool Springs Press. !

indoor plant fertilizer in jar

What is the Best Fertilizer for Indoor Plants?

Organic vs Synthetic

When it comes to choosing a fertilizer, first we must look at the key differences between organic and synthetic fertilizers. Organic fertilizers are derived from minerals, plants, and animal products while synthetic fertilizers are synthesized chemicals of nutrients.

Synthetic fertilizer molecules are made to be readily available to plants, and therefore can be hard to regulate. It?s easy to over apply synthetic fertilizer and cause plants to take up too much nutrition, too quickly, causing fertilizer ?burn.?

Organic fertilizers are more forgiving because, often, they are not as readily available for plants. Natural organic fertilizers are broken down more slowly and therefor regulate the speed at which the nutrients are available, and encourages the plant to grow stable roots and expand the area that they collect nutrients from.

Liquid vs Granular

You can find synthetic and organic houseplant fertilizer in both liquid and granular form. Liquid fertilizer is the easiest to use as you can add it to your watering can while watering the plants. It does need to be done more frequently than granular, but you are minimizing the potential for fertilizer burn.

Granular fertilizer comes in either spikes or pellet forms. You either sprinkle or push the fertilizer into the soil and the nutrients slowly release. You can find natural and organic granular fertilizer by checking the ingredient list. If there is none, it is a synthetic fertilizer.

My houseplant fertilizer recipe is an organic liquid formula. In my opinion, this is the best fertilizer for indoor plants and the one I use most regularly. It is easy to make and use, and provides eco-friendly, natural growth enhancement.

houseplant fertilizer

When Should I Fertilize my Indoor Plants?

Plants are good at letting you know when they need water or more sunlight, but not so good at letting you know when they need fertilizer. Stagnant growth is oftentimes the biggest indicator and is not so blaringly obvious as a wilted or yellowing leaf.

I primarily use my houseplant fertilizer during the summer. While plants have different needs, these fertilizing guidelines will apply to most houseplants. The plants may live inside, but they do most of their growing in the summer. Since we want to encourage growth, this is the best time to apply fertilizer.

Begin fertilizing in late spring or approximately 8 weeks before the last frost of the season. Start off with smaller doses of fertilizer and work your way up to full strength for the summer. I use my liquid fertilizer for my indoor plants anywhere from once a week to once a month, based on the plant.

It?s also a good practice to add a slow-release dry fertilizer at planting and again annually. I do this at the beginning of summer.

When summer comes to a close, we want to ease up on the fertilizing. Slowly stop fertilizing so that by the first frost, you are no longer adding fertilizer to your indoor plants. They will remain dormant for the winter and will not require any fertilizer.

Bright pink flowering cyclamen

Should I Fertilize My Sick Plant?

Fertilizers are necessary for indoor plants to thrive but do not solve all plant health issues. Some well-meaning plant parents over-fertilize plants because they think the plant has a nutrient deficiency.

If you have a sick plant, there may be other reasons for their issues. Fertilizers simply enhance the nutrients, so only if your plant is lacking nutrients will it make a difference. Specific nutrient deficiencies will show up as plant health indicators such as disease, pests, dieback, and discoloration.

Plants can be sick for many reasons. If you have healthy indoor soil, like this indoor soil mix from , then soil fertility is not likely to be the issue. If your plant has pests, yellowing leaves from over-watering, browning leaves from too much sun, or other indicators, fertilizer will not act as miracle medicine. Make sure you know what problem your plant faces before your start fertilizing it like crazy!

Peace lily indoors

How to Make Fertilizer

Like any good recipe, it?s all about sourcing quality ingredients. These are my must-haves ingredients for creating a fertilizer for indoor plants:

Alfalfa Meal

is a source of nitrogen and potassium plus a broad spectrum of other minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and the growth hormone triacontanol. It helps to improve the soil structure and helps plants access nutrients.

Blood Meal

is a by product of cattle and hog farming that is very high in nitrogen and full of trace minerals. It comes in a dried powder form and can be included in certified organic soil mixes (although this doesn?t necessarily mean that the animal or farm was certified organic). Note: Alfalfa meal is a plant-based alternative to blood meal so if you don?t want to use it, substitute with alfalfa meal.

Rock Phosphate

is a slow-release mineralized source of phosphorous for amending soil. Most home gardens have adequate amounts of phosphorous in the soil and therefore is not needed. However, it helps fertilizing plants in potting soil and encouraging flowering in plants.

Kelp Meal

has low levels of nitrogen and potassium, but works as a soil amendment due to its multitude of readily available trace elements and over 60 naturally chelated minerals. This seaweed extract also improves soil structure, prevents nutrients leaching, and increases soil?s water-holding capacity.

Rainwater

Tap water that comes from municipal sources is often treated with chlorine to remove and suppress microorganism growth. We want to encourage the growth of beneficial organisms as well as retain a plant?s herbal properties. If you don?t have a large enough supply of available rainwater, then allow water to sit in a wide-mouth bucket for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate or use boiled (then cooled) water.

indoor plant fertilizer with hydrangea

Organic Fertilizer for Indoor Plants

This DIY fertilizer only takes a few moments to make and will give you plenty of fertilizer to cover all your houseplants for a few months.

Materials

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) soluble seaweed ()
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) (or substitute with alfalfa meal)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
  • 1 gallon (3.8 L) rainwater or dechlorinated water

Make It!

  1. Measure the ingredients and add them to a glass bottle or jar with a lid. Stir well to combine and shake well before each use.
  2. Dilute the fertilizer by adding ? cup (120 ml) of the liquid fertilizer blend into 4 cups (950 ml) of water in a watering can. Water houseplants with the diluted fertilizer mix monthly in spring and summer and discontinue use in fall and winter.
  3. Use the diluted fertilizer immediately. Store the prepared fertilizer in a cool, dark location for up to 3 months. Discard if the liquid shows signs of spoilage such as discoloration, mold, or an unpleasant odor.

bottle of homemade organic fertilizer for houseplants

If you?re interested in learning more fertilizer recipes, such as ones for outdoor plants or granular fertilizer blends, be sure to check out my book, . With over 80 organic gardening recipes, keep your indoor and outdoor plants thriving and natural.

More Posts About Houseplants:

 

indoor plant fertilizer

Houseplant Fertilizer for Healthy Indoor Plants

100% natural, this DIY houseplant fertilizer recipe will keep your houseplants happy, healthy, and blooming for stunning indoor displays.

Supplies

  • 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp
  • 1 tbsp (or substitute with alfalfa meal)
  • 1 tbsp
  • 1 gal rainwater or dechlorinated water

Instructions

  • Measure the ingredients and add them to a glass bottle or jar with a lid. Stir well to combine and shake well before each use.
  • Dilute the fertilizer by adding ?cup (120 ml) or the liquid fertilizer blend into 4 cups (950 ml) of water in a watering can. Water houseplants with the diluted fertilizer mix monthly in spring and summer and discontinue use in fall and winter.
  • Use the diluted fertilizer immediately. The prepared fertilizer can be stored in a cool, dark location for up to 3 months. Discard if the liquid shows signs of spoilage such as discoloration, mold, or an unpleasant odor.

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