Let’s be clear, we’re not talking about the same charcoal you use on your grill to cook burgers. It has the same basic chemical make up, but we're talking food grade charcoal that has been activated and safely cleared for medical use and consumer consumption. This activation process is where all the healthy perks come from. That sounds fancy, but all it means is that the carbon has been oxidized, and, this is especially important if you are trying to whiten your teeth - it’s been made okay to consume.
Activated Charcoal can be found in a number of grooming products right now but charcoal soaps and tablets are going to give you the best bang for your buck. The trend first caught on because activated charcoal has been found to help bind and remove toxins and impurities from your skin and body, similar to the way charcoal is used in air and water filters.
In fact, feel free to take your charcoal soap out of the shower and leave it in your bedroom for a natural, un-scented air freshener. The adsorbent qualities charcoal brings to the table make it great for decreasing impurities from the air as well as your skin.
Oil Be Gone
If you’re prone to oily skin, then you know finding the right solution that doesn't bring negative side effects can be tough. That greasy, dirty feeling when your face was washed only a few hours before is infuriating. Activated charcoal could be your fix. It removes impurities, dirt and oil. It’ll also reduce acne, tighten pores, and decrease that greasy feeling for longer than the typical face wash. Plus, if made and used properly, should be gentle enough to work without making your skin red and dry.
Tightening of the pores will prevent acne from coming back, too. This all happens because charcoal is highly adsorbent. Adsorption is the process in which a substance pulls things towards it without becoming one with it. (Becoming one with the substance is the process most of us are familiar with called absorption.)
Activated charcoal has the potential to adsorb thousands of times its own weight. Try charcoal soaps, or get an activated charcoal pill, break it open and sprinkle it in even parts aloe and water. This goop works as a great face-mask; just lather and rinse.
Activated charcoal can also be used in conjunction with shampoo. The chemistry is the same, so it makes sense that it helps hair stay less oily for longer. Try using the charcoal bars before or after washing your hair, or mix the pill powder into your regular product. And don’t worry if your hair is a lighter shade because it won’t stain. Just be a little careful with white shower curtains, and be sure to rinse them off after.
Plus, shampoo bars are greener than shampoo bottles. It's quickly becoming a new trend in products that are better for you and the environment. Giving a charcoal bar a try on your hair is a good way to tell if you’d be a fan of the shampoo bar. Mother Nature says thanks, too.
Bites, Sores and Stings
After a night out on the porch eating burgers, a couple bumps from the friendly neighborhood mosquitos are inevitable. Enter your new best friend. Charcoal can be used on bites to relieve their incessant itching because it draws out the poison.
Charcoal isn’t recommended as your go-to for serious poisons or life threatening situations, but, for the minor visits from a spider or bug, it’ll do the trick. Taking out the poison helps reduce swelling and inflammation and will put a stop to the desire to itch.
It may seem counter intuitive to use black powder to whiten teeth, but it can do wonders for creating a fresher smile. Try the same process you used with your shampoo but with toothpaste instead. Charcoal is used in a lot of diet cleanses, so it’s noted as safe to consume (in certain doses of course. always consider interactions) and can help rid the body of toxins, too. The benefits it provides for your teeth all go back to those adsorption properties. It’s attracting the bacteria, food stains and grime in on your teeth, so your smile can shine to its brightest potential.
By the way, this stuff is messy. The black powder has very little weight, so it spreads easily. Be careful opening the capsules in order to minimize clean up. Also, it can look a little freaky. Your teeth, toothbrush and sink will be black after, but it comes off easily. There won’t be any stain if you clean the surface when you’re done brushing.