3 Obscure Ways Activated Charcoal Can Help While Traveling

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3 Obscure Ways Activated Charcoal Can Help While Traveling

Summertime means vacation time! The warm months bring with them graduations, weddings, vacations, family reunions and a whole host of other fun events that find you packing your bags and getting out of town. Speaking of packing your bags— space is often at a premium which means beauty products, clothes, shoes and tech accessories are fighting for space in your carry-on. To help ease the (literal) burden, it’s smart to choose single products that can pull double duty. Or, as in the case of activated charcoal, can pull triple duty and free up some serious space in that suitcase. What’s more, activated charcoal is a powder…which means it isn’t a liquid and isn’t subject to TSA flight regulations.


Most of the time, hotel shampoo is the worst. It’s drying, full of chemicals and smells awful. Thankfully, it’s so easy to use activated charcoal as an effective and easy alternative to traditional shampoo. It’s a natural exfoliant so it helps invigorate your scalp and remove unwanted build-up.

Basic Activated Charcoal Shampoo Recipe


  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1/4 tsp activated charcoal

Directions: Mix baking soda in water until dissolved and add charcoal. Work into your scalp and through your hair before rinsing. Remember, it won’t lather – and that’s okay!

*You can find small plastic travel-sized bottles in most major stores; just add your baking soda and activated charcoal to one each and you’re good to go.

Eyeliner and Eyebrow Gel

Any make-up product that’s going to act as a two-for-one is a magical lifesaver, right? Activated charcoal makes a perfect inky black base for any number of eye products like eyeliner and eyebrow gel. Reuse a small pot from an old gel eyeliner and load up on this natural activated charcoal recipe for your next trip out of town.

Basic Activated Charcoal Gel Eyeliner and Eyebrow Gel Recipe from Half Hippy


  • Fresh aloe gel
  • Unrefined shea butter
  • Arrowroot powder
  • Activated charcoal powder

Directions: Start with a few drops of aloe in your pot; add shea butter and arrowroot powder to make your base. You want the consistency to be a thick gel— just like a store-bought version. Once the base is complete, add a tiny bit of activated charcoal until you’ve reached the opacity you want.

Insect Balm for Bug Bites

Because of all its toxin-pulling properties, activated charcoal is an excellent ingredient in a salve to help stop inflammation and itchiness due to bug bites. If you know you’ll be spending time outdoors on your trip, it’s a no brainer to pack a small tin of this balm— your entire family will thank you for it!


1 tbsp coconut oil

1 part shea butter

5-7 drops organic lavender essential oil

1 tsp activated charcoal powder

1 tsp aloe vera gel

Directions: In a double broiler, melt down coconut oil and Shea butter. Once fully melted, remove from heat. Add aloe vera gel, lavender essential oil, and activated charcoal — mix well.

Carefully spoon the liquid into your containers. Allow to rest for 2-3 hours.

*Be sure to keep this in a cool, dry place as the coconut oil will melt in high temps.

Bonus Tip: Use Activated Charcoal for Food Poisoning! 

Activated charcoal is really such an amazing, natural remedy for many things. However, many people don’t realize how well it works for food poisoning. This can be an absolute life saver when you’re trying different foods in exotic areas. Activated charcoal won’t save your food poisoning immediately, but it will definitely stop it from progressing, and it will stop it quickly! We definitely recommend keeping this in your travel bag.

Of course, there are so many other ways you can use activated charcoal in your travel routine but these three are often the most overlooked— and thus the most important to share!

About the Author

Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free. You can find her work at Rocky Mountain Essential where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.

Author: Megan

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