The benefits of charcoal
Author: Jasmine Cottan Date Posted: 3 July 2018
The benefits of Activated Charcoal – The myths answered
It’s on social media, you see bottles of the stuff lining the shelves of your local health and nutrition store, beauty vloggers love it, skincare and beauty companies are churning out more and more of these products every month – Activated Charcoal is currently one of the most trending topics on the internet.
Although the concept of spreading on a black sticky substance all over your face might not sound like the most appealing activity in the world, we can confidently guarantee that activated charcoal works. From skincare, haircare, ingestion and teeth whitening benefits, the list of the positive effects of activated charcoal is endless.
What is Activated Charcoal?
To put it simply for those who have little to no knowledge of chemistry, ‘Activated Charcoal’ is basically the stuff you use for your barbecue (but a million times better). Activated charcoal is a natural and readily available element that instantly traps, draws and removes toxins, bacteria and harmful chemicals on or within the body.
Unlike the charcoal found on your barbecue which contains harmful substances, activated charcoal is made from natural ingredients like peat, coconut shells, natural coal, olive pits or saw dust. Also, activated Charcoal comes in a fine granulated powder form for most beauty related products.
How does it work?
The charcoal is ‘activated’ and made safe through intense heat. Any of the listed ingredients above are heated to extremely high temperatures. These high temperatures change the internal structure of the ingredient and reduces the surface area.
The charcoal’s surface area possesses negative electrical charges, causing the pores to attract the positively charged molecules like toxins of gas within or on the body. As a result, toxins stick to the powdered charcoal and are drawn away.
People have been turning to activated charcoal to remedy and remove stains on the teeth enamel. It’s cost-effective, natural, easy to use and a safe at-home option for a brighter smile. When made into a paste, the charcoal absorbs plaque and microscopic bacteria that causes your teeth to stain.
Better yet, the charcoal promotes great oral hygiene as it balances the pH levels and acidity in your mouth, preventing cavities, mouth ulcers, bad breath and the chances of gum disease. Professionals recommend using 2-3 times a week for best results.
It’s important to note, that although charcoal teeth whiteners do result in whiter teeth, they are designed to remove the surface stains of your teeth and will not change the teeth’s natural colour. If you’re after a long-term ‘pristine white smile’ you will need to seek professional help and take more drastic whitening processes
At times, the abrasiveness of the charcoal particles can damage the enamel of your teeth. Majority of charcoal teeth whiteners come as a fine powder so this issue shouldn’t occur.
Great skincare regimen
Activated charcoal has been proven to detoxify the skin’s surface area and is a popular ingredient found in peel and sheet masks, rehydrating face washes and facial cleansers.
Whether you suffer from acne, dry and dead skin or produce excess sebum, the charcoal in these types of skincare products targets the impurities and bacteria buried within the skin and draws them away from the pores, while balancing the skin’s pH levels. As a result, the skin is left feeling tighter and cleaner.
As charcoal strips away dead skin and oils, it’s advisable to implement the charcoal sparingly in your skincare routine. You don’t want to overdo the process and dehydrate your pores.
Cleanses the hair
If you possess an oily scalp or have hair saturated with chemicals from over-dyeing, then charcoal may be the way to go.
A charcoal based shampoo or conditioner delivers a deep cleanse from the roots to the ends of your hair, ridding it from toxins the same way it does with your skin.
This adds volume and leaves your hair feeling light and fluffy.
Charcoal haircare products are fantastic if you suffer from an irritated scalp or dandruff, as the charcoal particles clean the individual follicles and pull away unwanted toxins.
Is it safe to use?
Activated charcoal is natural, cruelty free and does not contain artificially based or harmful chemicals. So it's definitely safe to use!
What if I accidentally ingest the charcoal?
Activated charcoal is safe to ingest. Due to its detoxifying and inflammatory properties, activated charcoal has been used for a number of stomach and indigestion issues for years and is considered a natural remedy for alcohol poisoning.
Also, charcoal cannot be absorbed by the body, meaning it will leave your system eventually. Don’t make a habit of eating your facial cleansing mask though!