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Let's Learn More About: Activated Charcoal

activated charcoal

Today we're going in-depth on an ingredient that is getting a lot of great (and deserving) press lately in the wellness and natural beauty community: activated charcoal.

What is it? Here is the full definition according to 

"Common charcoal is made from peat, coal, wood, coconut shell, or petroleum. “Activated charcoal” is similar to common charcoal, but is made especially for use as a medicine. To make activated charcoal, manufacturers heat common charcoal in the presence of a gas that causes the charcoal to develop lots of internal spaces or “pores.” These pores help activated charcoal “trap” chemicals."

Activated charcoal powder acts like a magnet and draws out dirt and oil from your pores. It is a natural way to eliminate blackheads, reduce oiliness and blemishes. You can mix a little powder with water to make a simple paste. Apply spot treatments using a Q-tip or use as a full facial mask.

In our opinion, it is a better, more natural treatment than over the counter benzoyl peroxide acne treatments. During my teenage years I used benzoyl peroxide and can personally attest to how very harsh it is. I would apply it to my acne or clogged pores and then it would often burn and sting my skin. It would also over dry my skin, thereby causing my skin to want to produce more oil to combat the itchy, flaky dryness. Often products that contain benzoyl peroxide also contain artificial fragrances and colors which can further irritate sensitive skin.

Additionally, you can also use the powder to whiten your teeth. Just dab a little bit of powder onto your toothbrush with or before your normal paste. Brush your teeth and rinse thoroughly. Mix with less water or with diluted hydrogen peroxide and create a paste consistency and apply to your teeth and leave on for 10 minutes for a more intensive whitening treatment.

Here are some common questions and answers about using activated charcoal:

1. Can you take it internally? Yes, however, we only recommend using ours for external, topical treatments because it comes in a loose powder form. For best results for internal detoxification we recommend taking activated charcoal by mouth through vegetarian capsules (we do not recommend the tablets that are available on the internet). We also advise you consult with a licensed naturopathic doctor before taking activated charcoal for internal detoxification to make sure you are dosing and hydrating properly and ensuring that it won't interfere with any medications or supplements that you might be already taking.

2. Will it stain my clothes or bathroom? It may, however, if cleaned up immediately, we've not noticed any loose powder that has come across our skin and toothbrush cause any permanent staining. To err on side of caution we recommend using an old towel and washcloth when handling loose activated charcoal.

3. Is your activated charcoal made from petroleum or coal products? No, our activated charcoal is sourced from coconut shells, never from petroleum or coal products.

Order some of our loose powder activated charcoal here or check out our activated charcoal soap (safe to use on your face and body) or our newest product that contains activated charcoal: tooth whitening powder. 

As always, if you have any questions regarding any of our products or activated charcoal in general let us know in the comments or email us directly:

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