I’ve been using this exact scrub for the last month and a half, and it is my absolute FAVORITE of all time. It leaves your skin a little tingly cool, very soft, and clean as can be.
This scrub is formulated to be detoxifying as well as effective on oily-ish summer skin (although it’s suitable for all skin types). It’s also great for acne, as it contains turmeric resin, oats, evening primrose oil (which is both moisturizing and a great acne fighter), and peppermint essential oil.
But the star ingredient, by far, is the activated charcoal.
And just in case you don’t know much about activated charcoal, let’s have a quick chat before I give you the recipe and the ordering button.
Activated Charcoal – What IS It?
Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon, is a highly porous substance that’s been “opened up” or activated, in order to attract certain chemicals and toxins. That’s the best way I can describe it layman-like.
The activated charcoal you’ll want to use in face scrubs is food grade. You can find it in pill form in just about any natural foods store, but I get mine powdered and in bulk from More Than Alive, and of course, Amazon carries it as well. Here’s what a spoonful looks like:
Now, let me stress that we’re not dealing with regular old barbeque charcoal here. Activated charcoal is refined and, again, produced to do things like draw pollutants and impurities out of water or air. In fact, nearly every water filter you buy contains activated charcoal.
Please do not go out, crush up your charcoal briquettes and rub them on your faces.
From a scrub standpoint, I was dying to use this after I’d wrangled a tiny sample packet of a major natural brand’s activated charcoal wash/mask/moisturizer blend. I really wanted something that could combat pollutants that our skin comes into contact with on a daily basis, as well as draw out impurities that could potentially lead to premature signs of aging.
And that’s how it ended up in Crunchy Betty’s Activated Charcoal Cooling Summer Scrub.
Now, let’s make some.
Crunchy Betty’s Activated Charcoal Cooling Summer Scrub
One Note About This Scrub: The activated charcoal doesn’t stain your skin, nor does it stain the sink. However, it has stuck around subtly on a white washcloth I used, so if you get it on white fabric at some point, wash it out right away.
Now on to the good stuff. Here’s how you do it.
You want to gather up some ingredients that you’ll need to grind/powder. Organic whole oats first:
I’m not exactly sure how many whole oats equal 1/4 c. ground oats, so I’d suggest putting in about 1/2 – 3/4 c. whole oats. If you have excess, that’s great! Just put it in a jar and store it for a facial mask you can do later.
Put the oats into your food processor and give it a whirl. It usually takes no more than 30 seconds to a minute to achieve “ground” status. Here is what it’ll look like once it’s ground:
Now, there’s no need to wash out your food processor every time you turn things into powder, because it’s all just going to get mixed together anyway.
So, next you want to grind up almonds.
Again, there’s no exact way to measure how many almonds will equal 1/8 cup of ground almonds, so just grab yourself a couple of handfuls and toss them in the food processor:
The almonds may take a little longer to grind than the oats did. Just be sure not to let them grind too long, or you’ll end up with almond butter.
Not a bad mistake to make, though.
Here they are grinding (notice the spinning motion) and at exactly the right consistency:
Now pour your ground almonds into a holding container, and pull out some chamomile and calendula.
You’ll do these things separately, and I’ll tell you why in a minute.
Put a handful of dried calendula into your food processor and give it a whirl. It’s really not going to grind up all THAT much, but it’ll turn it into a size that’s manageable.
Set the calendula (otherwise known as marigold) aside and add your chamomile to the food processor. Let this grind for about a minute – two a the most.
Now pull out a fine-mesh sieve and run your ground chamomile through it. You’ll most likely end up with hulls that you want to sift out and discard. (Would be a great addition to your compost heap.)
Okay. You’re done grinding/powdering.
Now measure out all the dry ingredients (the recipe is listed below) and mix them together well. Take care with the activated charcoal powder, because it likes to puff out and about if you fling it wildly.
When that’s mixed together, start dropping in your evening primrose oil, turmeric resin, and peppermint essential oil drop by drop, stirring as you add.
Finally, give the entire mixture one more whirl in the food processor. This helps break up any oil clumps that may have formed, as well as grinds any larger pieces down into perfect scrub size.
And that’s it! You’re done!
Activated Charcoal Cooling Summer Scrub Recipe
- 1/4 c. finely ground oats
- 1/4 c. white rice flour
- 1/8 c. finely ground almonds
- 2 Tbsp cosmetic clay (fuller’s earth, bentonite, kaolin, french green, or rhassoul)
- 1 Tbsp ground dried calendula
- 1 Tbsp ground chamomile
- 1 tsp activated charcoal
- 1/4 tsp evening primrose oil
- 7 drops turmeric resin oil
- 5 drops peppermint essential oil
Grind oats, almonds, calendula, and chamomile into a powder (the almonds won’t look “powdery). Mix together in a small bowl, and add in the rice flour, clay, and activated charcoal. Mix well. Drop by drop, add in the evening primrose oil, turmeric resin oil, and peppermint essential oil, stirring well after every drop. Place the scrub back into the food processor, and let it run for another 30 seconds.
To Use as a Scrub: Place 1/2 tsp in the palm of your hand or in a small dish. Add a bit of water, milk, almond or coconut milk, or witch hazel (for extra oily skin) and allow it to soak into the scrub for 30 or so seconds. Wet your face with water, and then apply the scrub, in light circular motions, around your face. Scrub for 30 seconds to a minute. Rinse well. Moisturize. Love your skin.
To Use as a Mask: Mix together 1-1/2 Tbsp scrub with 1 Tbsp water or milk. Spread onto a clean face. Allow to dry for 15-20 minutes. Rinse well. It will be tingly, refreshing, and minty good.
If you want to make this scrub yourself, you can buy things like turmeric resin, chamomile, calendula, evening primrose oil, cosmetic clay, and peppermint essential oil from Mountain Rose Herbs.
You can find activated charcoal at More Than Alive or in your local natural foods store. If you get the “pellets,” just grind them into a powder with a mortar and pestle.
And, of course, things like organic whole oats, organic raw almonds, organic white rice flour and more at your local natural foods store (hopefully)!
If you know someone who could use a daily scrub like this, be sure to send them this link!
Go, Crunchy Beauties, Go!
Two things you can do for me here in the comments:
- Tell me what other things you’d like me to make and sell.
- Tell the world what you thought about the winter scrub, if you ordered it and used it as suggested.
Oh, also? You could also scratch my back. Right there. Right there in the middle. Oooh yeah. That’s good.
Are you still taking orders for the Activated Charcoal Cooling Summer Scrub?
Could one just add a small amount of ground turmeric in place of the turmeric oil? I have the one, but not the other…
Anyway, this sounds great!
This looks awesome, except that peppermint tends to inflame a host of skin problems for me (and most with sensitive skin!). Otherwise, another A+!
I’ve received mine, and after the 100degree + days we’ve had here, it’s been really nice to use! My skin feels great. Though I have had a few girls look at me funny (I’m deployed and have a community bathroom), but it’s led to some great coversations…I’m still waiting for someone to be willing to try it 🙂
And I’m with you Pam, I felt like I was doing it wrong when my face was black after rinsing it off…I have to be extra careful to get it completely off of my face because it doesn’t rinse very easily.
Thanks again for making and selling these things since I can’t make them here 🙂
I just received my summer scrub and have used it three times now. I can’t believe how soft and clean my skin feels afterward. One weird thing though is that because I have really big pores, the charcoal gets trapped in them and I look like I’ve got a million blackheads, so I have to use a washcloth when I rinse to get into all the nooks and crannies. Any ideas on how to minimize my big pores? And I too think you should continue selling the scrub … i’m too lazy to make my own!
Hi, I’m on a new journey toward natural health and wellness. I just wanted to say thanks for writing a post that a newbie like me can follow. As I began to read this post I was thinking what a good way to use up my leftover bbq charcoal, but now I know better! I’ve got alot of learning to do, and I’m sure I’ll get alot out of subscribing to your blog! Cheers!
If you could make a version of Egyptian Magic I would love you forever.
I just ordered some. Turns out I’m too lazy to make my own scrub, hehe! I think you should definitely keep selling scrubs (you should make your own line of fancy face scrubs and sell them! fab idea!!!), and I would advocate for the moisturizer as well.
Um, I’m also still waiting for you to finish that book on natural acne treatments that you keep alluding to…
I used the winter scrub and I really like it, it helped calm my skin a bit and was very soothing, but I need something stronger (read: more detoxing) for my cystic-acne-prone skin, so I’m hoping this summer scrub will do the trick! Since I live in Florida where it’s already super hot and humid, I need major detoxification – STAT!
I love activated charcoal. I never thought to pu tit on my face, I drink it. Before bed, i put it in water twirl it and drink it. It helps pull out toxins and it also has helped with my sleep. I will def need to try it out my body.
I tried drinking it a couple of weeks ago, and had a hard time getting it down. For a minute, I thought about adding it to a smoothie, but I’m curious whether its adsorbent properties would nullify the good stuff you’re drinking along with it. Hmmm.
Have you ever tried taking clay for detox (internally)? That’s one thing I haven’t been able to bring myself to do yet.
I know many people do not like the taste of it, but I kind of like it. I am not sure if putting it in the smoothies would nullify the good things.
I have internally taken clay, but it was when I went to this wellness retreat, it tasted really good, but they also mixed it with other stuff. They also stated that you can put certain clays in the vagina to help with the PH and stuff, but I never had courage to try that.
I bought activated charcoal pills and voila, no need to try choking it down!
I’m ordering now…this stuff will be great here in the ‘Stan 😉 So excited!!!!
As everyone has been mentioning, I would love to see something on lotion/moisturizer. I used oil for a long time but I was getting SOOOO many bug bites that I just couldn’t do it anymore. Maybe I wasn’t using the best kind. Now I’ve kind of just stopped moisturizing (problem!) or I use store-bought when I’m super dry or itchy, which I would really prefer not to do.
Anyway, I plan to order the scrub! It seems awesome. And I am new to your blog and love it already!
You know, I think you’re the first person I’ve ever come across who’s said using oil as a moisturizer attracted the bugs. I SO have to check into this phenomenon and see if it’s a widespread thing.
I only use oils to moisturize with, but I bet you could add a few things in yours that would actually repel bugs a bit. It’s SUPER late right now and my brain is fried, so I’m having a hard time remembering ones that are good for bug repelling AND moisturizing, but … hopefully I’ll remember tomorrow morning, after much sleep.
Neem is great for repelling bugs :)I get neem stuff from neemtreefarms.com. I don’t know them, but they were recommended by my organic farm, so I felt pretty good about trying them out.
Neem is great, but wow there is a smell!! Proceed with caution.
Stacy @ Delighting in the Days
This is very cool. I would never have thought of using activated charcoal that way.
You think of everything 🙂
Your Winter Scrub was a-mazing and I know this one will be too! Can’t wait to try it out!
I ordered the scrub and I LOVE it. It cleanses great, exfoliates, and leaves my skin (and bathroom) with a lovely lavender scent. Just realized I’ve been using 2 times as much as I need. Now it will last even longer. Yay!
I’m using apple cider vinegar as my toner, and then moisurizing with neem leaf extract and a couple drops of tea tree oil. I live in Florida and my skin is a smidge oily.
Any suggestions on a toner that is good for oil prone skin that doesn’t cover up the wonderful lavender? How about good moisturizer/oil that won’t clog pores?
I’m open to any and all suggestions!
Yay crunchy betty, you’ve already changed my life in a few short weeks. Freaking heart you. A lot.
You are awesome.
I’m SO glad you loved it – and so glad things are going in a positive direction for you, all around!
For toner, beings that you’re in Florida and have some oiliness, try witch hazel with a few drops of lavender EO, iff’n you don’t like the smell of the ACV.
Myself, I use kind of a “kitchen sink” oil for moisturizer (has tons of oils in it like jojoba, apricot kernel, sesame, emu, neem, tamanu, tons of EOs), and I don’t have any issues with pore clogging. However, just plain old jojoba oil is a great moisturizer that’s VERY similar to your own natural oils, so your face won’t try to work harder to produce oils … which will most likely leave your pores unclogged.
Mwah! I’m SO happy you found me. I’m so happy you’re here. And that’s the truth.
Danika @ Your Organic Life
You need to bring that to the next Trading Post/Community Cupboard!
Funny story. I had planned on going to the last PPCC, and four days before I started making a HUGE batch of this scrub to bring.
The exact moment I started making it, I received an email from someone asking if they could buy the winter scrub. Well, I didn’t have anymore of that, but I was about to make a huge batch of this, so I offered it instead. She bought three orders of it. The next day, someone else emailed about the winter scrub, and she bought a batch. And then I sold another one a day after that.
And then I was out.
And I couldn’t go anyway, because Skip keeps having to work on Sundays at EXACTLY the time I’d need the car to get to the trading post.
Hopefully the Manitou one happens soon! I KNOW I can make it to that one.
First, let me say I LOVED the winter scrub! Love, love, love. Made my skin super soft and not dry. Also, it taught me the consistency I should be going for with my scrubs. I wasn’t making them fine enough. Beautiful skin and I learned something, too.
Second, I’m so ordering this. I need some detoxing now.
Yay! And, yeah, the consistency is helpful. If you make ’em too chunky, not only are they hard on your face, but they’re hard on your drain, too.
(In the beginning, two years ago, Skip had to unclog our sink twice because I had no idea how important it was to make the scrubs finer. Oops.)
I actually think this one’s even finer than the first. The dried coconut in the first scrub never ground down as far as I wanted.
It was hard not to put neem powder in this scrub, by the way, ’cause it’s so awesome for acne. I just needed to give it a break. After months of having the weird taste of neem powder (from when you inhale it a little) in the back of my throat, I couldn’t fathom doing that again this time. Ha!
I cannot WAIT! I have been having some kinda awful acne issues, so hopefully this little diddy will help me out a bit. If nothing else, it certainly sounds like it will be super refreshing!
Mm, I like the lotions/moisturizer suggestion. Right now my skin, as I mentioned, is all aflame with the unfortunate painy redness of Acneville, so I’ve been steering clear of oils. I don’t know if they we’re hurting, but they certainly weren’t helping, so I’m using the process of elimination tot ry and get to the bottom of this. Which means I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I should moisturize with that’s natural and isn’t an oil. If that’s at all possible. So anyway, any sort of face moisturizer that is acne prone skin friendly (bonus if it kicks it’s butt too!) would be maaahvelous! You can bet I’d be aaaall over it!
Neem and tamanu oil. Did you try either of those things? Tamanu is a little thicker, and it doesn’t soak in as quickly, so it’s a better spot treatment. Neem is fantastic. Also, check into fuller’s earth clay. If you do a mask every week (or maybe twice a week), it might help with the redness, and it’ll also help “dry up” any acne issues.
All of these things, of course, are available at MRH, but you could try a local natural foods store to see.
That being said, don’t forget about what you’re putting IN your body, too. Green smoothies often? Taking fish oil supplements? (Cod liver oil is my fave for clear skin.) These things might help too?
But the scrub – hopefully it’ll help. I don’t know if you saw Jenny’s comment above, but it’s already helped clear up some of her hairline breakouts. Yay!
I hadn’t tried either of those oils! I had been using jojoba as a moisturizer with some tea tree to try and help the acne to little avail. I’ll definitely be getting some neem and tamanu, along with fuller’s earth clay.
That’s the thing! I have been taking my fish oil (though not cod liver oil, so mayhaps I will change it up!) twice a day (as directed on bottle), and even having green smoothies for breakfast.
I’m sure it has something to do with quiting the pill. I only went on it for my skin, but it was never ever ever this bad. So maybe it’ll just take time (it’s been almost 5 months so far), or just finding the right skin taming combo. So thank you very much for the suggestions! It’s pretty durn bad, so I really appreciate them!
Sarah, I just started using 4 drops of tea tree oil and like 4-6 drops of neem leaf extract as my “moisturizer”. I have oil prone skin and this is working great so far. I’ve been doing this for about 2 weeks now, and I was worried about putting oil on my skin too. The message has always been that oil is the worst thing we could use, but crunchybetty is broadening my little horizon with all this great research and sweet recommendations.
I’m going to buy this tamanu oil. Never heard of it before. But I’m in like flynn 🙂
I have been using the oil cleansing method religiously and it has been wonderful. I’ve never been happier with my face, and now i dont really do anything else because it works so wonderfully (I LOVE MY FACE WITH OCM. LOVE.). Is this face scrub compatible with faces that have only been using OCM lately? I feel like I would just be doing…too much to my face, if that makes sense. Though I guess not, can a face be too clean? I just don’t know. Would adding this be overkill if my face is currently happy?
Okay. Here’s how I feel about what you’re saying right now: If you LOVE the way your skin is, don’t do anything differently. Seriously. Don’t mess it up by trying to add or subtract things. The only thing I’d say is that you might want to make sure you’re still moisturizing really well.
That being said, this is actually relatively complimentary to the OCM. I wouldn’t use either method twice a day, but I’d use both methods once. The scrub is super gentle, and if I were doing OCM religiously, I’d probably do OCM at night and the scrub in the morning (or maybe two or three times a week as a good exfoliator, which you don’t get with the OCM). As it is, I only use the scrub at night and do a very light toner swipe in the morning. (Like you, I don’t want to be TOO clean.) I’m too scatterbrained to OCM every day; I only do it when I’m wearing makeup.
Neither method is going to strip your skin of the inherent oils it makes/needs, but it’ll clean.
Also – I’ve done this scrub as a mask twice now and just love it. It tightens nicely and leaves your skin super duper soft and clean.
So, if you don’t want to use it as a scrub, you can use it as a facial mask once a week.
Did I make your mind up for you? Probably not. I probably just confused you.
I’m a horrible marketer. Hehe.
So far I love this scrub!! I can’t decide if I like it more than the winter scrub, which made my face super soft pretty, but it’s close. I like the tingly, mojito-like feeling after I use it, which will be awesome if (and note I said if) the weather ever warms up around here. It also seems to be helping clear up the breakout area around my hairline, which popped up last month (when good ol’ AF returned) and has been hanging around ever since, so that makes me freakin’ ecstatic. It does make kind of a mess in the tub (I have to take the bathmat out and spray under it), but that’s not a big deal. Beauty can be messy sometimes, right?
As far as stuff I’d like you to make: moisturizer!! I’ve really been wanting to find a more natural moisturizer, but I never know what to try, esp. given that the more natural stuff is more expensive (I did try Burt’s Bees daily moisturizer a while back and hated it). So, I’d be willing to try anything you can cook up in the lotions/moisturizers category.
Anyway, love the scrub, love you, nuff said. 🙂
Thanks for the feedback, lady!
For those of you who read this comment, I actually sold a few orders of the scrub to people who emailed me asking for some. Jenny was one of those awesome, lucky people who got to try it very first!
I reformulated just a *little bit* for the recipe I’m selling now. Not as much activated charcoal, because you said the darkness kinda freaked you out, Jenny. This one’s a bit lighter, and a teeny tiny bit less minty. You know how yours is kinda black once you wet it? This one’s more gray. Still as effective, just not as in-your-face black. (In your face. Ha.)
It seems moisturizer is a popular request. I’ll have to get on that. I actually use oils to moisturize (kind of a kitchen sink moisturizer, if you will, of all my favorite healing/moisturizing oils I have).
That’ll definitely be next!
Thanks again, lady. Mwah!
Kristin @ Peace, Love and Muesli
I am going to need to find a local activated charcoal source. I am all about toxins going awwwwwaaaay.