Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Skin care Week Tip Tuesday: Activated Charcoal - How to use it in your beauty routine

Have you ever heard of activated charcoal? It is charcoal that has been treated with oxygen to open up millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. Which, in simple terms, means that it absorbs impurities (activated charcoal is used in water filters for it's absorbing benefits). It's starting to become a well known staple in the beauty world with companies like Biore, Garnier, Michael Todd, and Freeman Beauty all using it in recent releases of masks and cleansing products. But why is it so special? I have a few reasons why you need to keep this amazing ingredient in your medicine cabinet.

1. Activated charcoal can be used on your face to rid your skin of toxins and other impurities. It seems like skin care companies are exploding with new products containing activated charcoal. But, with a few easy steps, you can use this powerful detoxifying ingredient without running to the store. Grab 1 capsule of activated charcoal, 1 teaspoon Aloe Vera Gel, 1 teaspoon water, a few drops of tea tree oil, and a pinch of sea salt. Open the capsule of activated charcoal and empty it into a dish, then mix in all the other ingredients very well and apply it to your face. Be careful, it can stain your clothing (however, this mask will not stain your face). Leave it on for 10-15 minutes or until dry, then rinse it off. This mask it great for acne prone skin as well as oily skin, as it pulls out impurities. Be aware that your skin will feel amazing afterwards.

2. Activated charcoal is a great way to whiten teeth without killing your enamel and/or using harmful ingredients. There are a few different methods for using activated charcoal for teeth whitening.
  • Sprinkle a small amount on your toothbrush that already has toothpaste on it, then brush very gently.
  • Mix activated charcoal with a tiny amount of water to make a thick paste, and apply it to your teeth very delicately and leave on for 5 minutes.
  • Mix 1 activated charcoal capsule to 2 Tablespoons of water, and swish in your mouth just as you would mouthwash.
Be aware that your mouth will look gross while doing any of these treatments, however, when you  rinse really, really well with water, you will be amazed at the results of how white your teeth are afterwards!

3. Lastly, activated charcoal can absorb toxins in your body. Do you have toddlers at home? Then activated charcoal is a must! If your little lady or little man, has a tendency to get into things he or she shouldn't (translate: all toddlers), there is a huge risk of them ingesting something that could be very harmful. Activated charcoal can help a great deal in these sorts of situations. If administered soon after a toxic substance, activated charcoal can absorb all the yuck, making it truly life saving if the situation is serious enough. They will even use this method in hospitals. However, you don't have to have a toddler at home to reap this great benefit of activated charcoal. Do you have a favorite, yet shady, Mexican joint that you like to eat at here and there? Does that favorite Mexican joint make you feel yucky afterwards? Some people think that eating at certain places, and feeling yucky after the fact, is due to not being used to the food. Most of the time, it's because of the foreign or toxic substances in the meal that make us feel sick afterwords. So, taking activated charcoal after a questionable meal can greatly reduce those feelings of "yuck", and possibly keep you from getting sick as well.  

There you have it. How do you use activated charcoal? I'd love to know in the comments.  


  1. I had no idea about all this stuff. What about oil pulling...have you heard about that for teeth whitening?

    1. I have heard of oil pulling. I'm intrigued by it, but have never tried it. Do you do it?

  2. I have done it a couple times, but probably won't see teeth whitening results unless I do it several days consecutively. I'm skeptical about the other detoxifying results, but I have no doubt it helps those with TMJ because you're actually exercising your jaw muscles!

  3. These charcoal capsules are great to carry around with you in a small container and can be taken in the morning, charcoal medicine

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