Charcoal seems to be the ingredient du jour – but just why is it so popular and why is it good for you? You’ve seen it in things like water filtration, mold removal, etc. but why is it now in your skin care, hair care, digestive care and more? Here I will explore some of the benefits of these alternative charcoal uses plus share some of my favorite products that contain charcoal. (click images and titles to shop anything you see below)
Charcoal + Skin Care
The best benefits that I can find when it comes to charcoal and skincare is that charcoal is completely natural (so it’s safe to use) and it cleanses without stripping moisture. Skin care products with charcoal make my look and feel great, and they seem to make my pores appear smaller, too!
My favorite new cleanser/face wash is the Charcoal Cleansing Bar from BeautyCounter ($30). I find this great bar helps keep my skin clear and balanced while gently cleansing and removing dirt and makeup. It is also highly effective at naturally treating acne because it binds with environmental toxins and dirt that contribute to acne. And let’s face it, there aren’t many natural acne solutions out there. You can make your own activated charcoal masks and spot treatments, but I prefer a pre-made mask (it’s much less messy and easier to apply!). Here are some of my favorite masks:
Charcoal + Hair Care
Just like the benefits charcoal provides for your skin, it manages to cleanse hair of product build-up and impurities without stripping or drying your hair out. I’ve always been someone who uses a deep cleansing shampoo once every 1-2 weeks to make sure my hair isn’t being weighed down with anything, so finding an alternative that doesn’t require extra conditioner afterwards is great! I love this charcoal shampoo/conditioner pair from Drybar called On The Rocks ($30each, Sephora):
Like most teeth whitening solutions, charcoal is good at removing stains. Charcoal is said to be a natural solution for whitening teeth while also promoting good oral health for a number of other reasons.
How To Use: Wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. (It will look like you ate a bag of Oreos!) Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear.
My Experience: I got this Molr Charcoal Whitening Kit in a FabFitFun box this fall (shown below). I tried it and it is a hella messy procedure. It also tastes kind of weird. I did think that it worked fairly well, though, but it is a bit of a hassle compared to other whitening procedures.
Warnings: It can (and will) stain grout and fabrics. Protect counters, floors and clothing before using. If you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers, it’s possible that activated charcoal will stain them. In addition, if your teeth become sensitive, quit using it. Note that I am not a dentist, so always check with a dental care professional before trying something like this.
There are studies that show that activated charcoal can help to cleanse your system of toxins that cause allergies, joint pain and more. It’s also really effective for hangovers, too (it’s the main ingredient on those Pepto pills!). It’s said that it can help reduce cholesterol, and helps to prevent cellular damage to kidneys and liver. Cleansing toxins from the body like this is imperative for age-prevention, too! Because we are exposed to toxins in our food, often without knowing it, an activated charcoal cleanse can be really helpful. My favorite way to ingest activated charcoal is Dirty Lemonade from CruJuice ($10) in Calgary.They’ve also got a recipe for Charcoal Pancakes! Check it out here!
Sources & Notes:
Please note that I am not a medical professional, and as such if you have any questions or concerns regarding any of the items above, consult your medical professional. This post also contains affiliate links for which I receive commission without affecting your product cost.