Origin: It is believed that the first use of activated charcoal goes as far back as 3750 B.C. It was first used by the Egyptians for smelting ores to make bronze. By 1500 B.C. the Egyptians were also using it for intestinal ailments, absorbing unpleasant odors, and for writing on papyrus.

People have been producing charcoal since about 4000 BC in both China and West Asia. In ancient times, North and South American people, Africans, and Europeans produced and used charcoal. They produced charcoal by piling the wood up and covering it with dampened dirt, and then lighting the wood on the fire, when the wood burned slowly without much oxygen, it produced charcoal The best charcoal is received by burning hardwood like oak or beech. The production of charcoal dates back to ancient times. It is generally produced in the areas where wood is available in abundance. 

Scientifically: Charcoal is the blackish material consisting mainly of carbon obtained by removing water and other volatile constituents from plant matter (such as wood). Charcoal is usually produced by the process of slow pyrolysis. It is the process of heating of wood, sugar, bone, or other materials in the absence of oxygen. The byproduct of this process is 85 to 98 percent carbon and the remainder is chemicals and ash. Charcoal is basically soft, brittle, lightweight, black, and porous, and it resembles almost like coal. 
Wood charcoal is basically a component of gunpowder and is a reducing agent in the extraction of metals. In ancient times when the petroleum was scarce, automobiles and buses were run by obtaining gas from Charcoal. 

Usage: The major use of Charcoal is cooking (such as outdoor grilling) and some industrial processes. Activated charcoal is a good adsorbent and is used to filter water, absorb odors, and remove undesirable stains. In medicine, activated charcoal is used to adsorb intestinal gases and to remove certain toxins. It is also used in cosmetics like face wash, shampoos, etc. Charcoal is also used in the art for drawing and making sketches. Activated Charcoal has amazing benefits on the skin; it helps in cleansing of the skin and improving its appearance.

Below are some DIYs with Charcoal for beautiful skin and hair:

-    Take 2-3 capsules of activated charcoal and add some rose water to it. Mix and apply this pack on face for 10 minutes. Rinse later. This helps in purification of the skin.
-    Take 2-3 capsules of activated charcoal, 1/2 teaspoon of Multani mitti, 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil, and 1 tablespoon of rose water and mix all these ingredients together. Apply this mask on your face to achieve a smooth, acne-free skin.
-    Take one capsule activated charcoal, one tablespoon of aloe vera gel, and one drop of tea tree oil. Mix all these ingredients together. Apply this mixture on your face and leave it on for five minutes. Wash off with cold water. This mask helps in reducing the appearance of acne.
-    Add a pinch of charcoal powder to your toothpaste for brushing teeth. This helps in making teeth white. 
-    Take a teaspoon of charcoal powder, half a teaspoon of baking soda, a teaspoon of multani mitti and some coconut oil. Mix all these ingredients together and apply on the face for 10 minutes. This mask helps in removing blemishes and shrinking of pores.