The Charcoal Craze
I feel like when it comes to activated charcoal there are only two types of people:
- The ones who jump up and down because I have charcoal soap
- The ones who don't know what charcoal is or why it is used
If you're a jumper, this post probably isn't for you, but who knows, maybe you will find other uses for activated charcoal that you didn't know existed!
Rewind a few years ago, if you mentioned charcoal to me, I would have thought of drawing a picture, or cooking up some s'mores. These days, my mind goes to a much different place.
Activated Charcoal is a powerful detoxifying agent. It works by trapping toxins and chemicals through a chemical process known as adsorption. Adsorption, as defined by Merriam-Webster, is "the adhesion in an extremely thin layer of molecules (as of gases, solutes, or liquids) to the surfaces of solid bodies or liquids with which they are in contact." This happens because activated charcoal has a negatively charged surface, which attracts positive charged toxins and gasses to bond with it.
Activated charcoal is used in soaps such as Detox, face masks, and other topical treatments to aid in the treatment of acne. It successfully binds with the toxins and dirt that are responsible for causing acne. Topically, activated charcoal is effective in the treatment of more than just acne. Consider using it for treating body odor, rashes (like those from poison ivy or poison oak), and insect bites.
Going along with the fact that activated charcoal works through the process of adsorption, it might make perfect sense to you that it can be used to whiten teeth. The charcoal adsorbs plaque and other nasty things that stain your teeth, but also changes the pH balance in your mouth. This pH change actually helps prevent bad breath, gingivitis and other gum disease, and cavities. The best part is, it's so simple to do! Simply get your toothbrush wet, skip the toothpaste, and instead, dip it into powdered activated charcoal. Brush as normal, and rinse until the charcoal is no longer present in your saliva. It's recommended that this process is repeated 2-3 times a week, so don't chuck the toothpaste just yet.
- Activated Charcoal will stain. Everything. This includes grout between your tiles, light colored fabrics, your toothbrush, caps or crowns (on your teeth). Please use carefully!
- I am not a doctor, please consult one before starting any new health care routines
- If your teeth or skin become sensitive, stop using activated charcoal
- Activated Charcoal is NOT the same as what goes in the grill - know what you are using!
Ready to Buy Some Charcoal Soap??
I've merely scratched the surface of the beneficial aspects of activated charcoal for cosmetic purposes. Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS gives a list of his Top 10 Uses For Activated Charcoal, which is totally worth a read if you're scouring for more uses!