Activated Charcoal: What You Should Know Before You Dive In

Activated charcoal seems to be in every beauty and health product these days. From whiter teeth and clarifying pores to a full body detox, it seems everywhere you look these days, that activated charcoal is being hailed for its unique binding attributes. So what exactly is activated charcoal and how do you you use it?

What is Activated Charcoal

Charcoal is wood that is cooked in an environment with little oxygen until it burns all that is left is pure carbon. Charcoal becomes activated when an accelerant is used to heat the surface until it expands.

How it Works

Activated charcoal binds toxins to it and is then carried out of the body through the digestive tract, or washed off.

How Can You Use It

Since toxins and other compounds are drawn to activated charcoal and bind to it like a magnet, it included in many health and beauty products. The following are a few common activated charcoal uses and what you should know before you try it.

Whiten Your Teeth

Charcoal teeth whitening products are everywhere. The teeth whitening theory is sound and it does seem to work, but the question you should be asking is “What does this do to my teeth.”
Dentists are now warning that charcoal dental whitening may do more damage than good for your smile. Charcoal is an abrasive compound and can erode the enamel on your teeth.
If you choose to whiten with charcoal, do so sparingly. Also maintain regular dental checkups to ensure there is no erosion to the enamel or cavities.

Your Skin

Activated charcoal binds to oils and toxins in your skin. In facial cleansers and masks, this results are fewer breakouts and a more flawless, smooth complexion. Bear in mind that it may remove helpful components from your skin and cause dry skin if overused.

Internal Use

Many health and wellness sites recommend activated charcoal as a great way to detox. This, however is not recommended. Activated charcoal can bind nutrients, minerals, and medications to it and not absorb in your GI tract. The result may prevent medications from working, leaving you more ill. In addition, this may also constipate you. Only take activated charcoal on your doctor’s orders.
Activated charcoal offers some impressive absorbing components. Before you try the next charcoal fad, be sure to research adverse side effect before you decide to jump on the band wagon.

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