Activated charcoal is a black, odorless, and tasteless powder made from bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits, or sawdust. It is commonly used in emergency rooms to treat overdoses, and it has also been used to filter water and air.
Activated charcoal has many great uses and should be a standard item to have in your home. From products used with it to keeping some capsules on hand for health uses.
Beauty uses for activated charcoal
In recent years, activated charcoal has gained popularity as a beauty product, with people using it for everything from whitening their teeth to detoxifying their skin.
One of the most popular uses for activated charcoal in beauty is as a teeth whitener. When applied to the teeth, the charcoal absorbs plaque and other impurities, helping to remove stains and whiten the teeth. You can find a wide range of toothpaste options with activated charcoal.
Many people swear by this method, claiming that it has drastically improved the color of their teeth. It is important to be cautious when using activated charcoal as a teeth whitener, as it can be abrasive and may damage the enamel on the teeth if used excessively.
Activated charcoal is also often used as a detoxifying face mask. When applied to the skin, it is believed to absorb impurities and toxins from the pores, helping to purify the skin and prevent breakouts. I use activated charcoal and avocado to make a homemade face mask that leaves my skin feeling refreshed.
Some people even mix activated charcoal with water and use it as a natural alternative to store-bought pore strips. Pore strips are a great way to help clear areas like the nose that tend to build up dirt and oil.
In addition to its purifying properties, activated charcoal is also said to have anti-aging benefits. When applied to the skin, it is thought to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. An anti-aging face wash with activated charcoal is a great way to make use of these properties.
It is also believed to have the ability to absorb excess oil, making it a popular choice for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
DIY beauty products
I use activated charcoal for some DIY beauty products. particularly ones I plan to let my kids play with so I know for certain what ingredients are in products my children are putting on their skin. I have made DIY gel eyeliner and DIY mascara using activated charcoal.
Risks of using activated charcoal for beauty
Activated charcoal is not without its controversy, however. Some people claim that it is too harsh and can strip the skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and irritation. Others argue that it is too abrasive and can damage the enamel on the teeth. It is important to use activated charcoal with caution and to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Health and wellness uses for activated charcoal
One of the most well-known uses for activated charcoal is in the treatment of poisoning and drug overdoses. When ingested, activated charcoal absorbs toxins and drugs in the stomach, preventing them from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
This can help to prevent or reduce the severity of an overdose. Activated charcoal is not effective at treating all types of poison, however, and it should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
Keeping activated charcoal on hand when you have kids gives you an extra layer of protection should your child injest medication, cleaning chemicals, or any other harmful substance. Contact your doctor or poison control before using in these cases.
Using activated charcoal for digestive health
Activated charcoal is also believed to have other health benefits, including improving digestive issues, reducing cholesterol levels, and reducing the risk of kidney stones.
Some people take activated charcoal in capsule form to treat these conditions, while others mix the powder with water and drink it. It is important to note that there is limited scientific evidence to support these uses, and more research is needed.
Activated charcoal has been proven to be a great asset in fighting off food poisoning and other digestive illnesses by absorbing bacteria and helping it pass through the body.
Treat mild skin conditions
In addition to its internal uses, activated charcoal is also sometimes used topically to treat a variety of skin conditions. It is believed to have the ability to absorb impurities and toxins from the skin, making it a popular choice for people with oily or acne-prone skin.
Some people also use activated charcoal as a natural deodorant, claiming that it helps to absorb odors and keep them from forming.
Activated charcoal can be a great tool for helping to fight infection in wounds. You can use a paste of activated charcoal to act as a drawing cream to pull out infections or help to remove things like splinters or bee stingers from the skin.
Be mindful to contact your doctor before using activated charcoal paste on an open wound. This is best left to professionals. You can purchase wound dressings with activated charcoal in them for these uses.
Health risks of using activated charcoal
Overall, activated charcoal has a number of potential health uses, including in the treatment of poisonings and drug overdoses, and as a natural remedy for a variety of digestive and skin conditions.
While it is not without its controversy, many people swear by its effectiveness and continue to use it for its potential health benefits. It is important to use activated charcoal with caution and to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer.
Activated charcoal can interfere with oral medications. It is important that those on oral medications including birth control do not injest activated charcoal for several hours before or after taking their medications.