Using Charcoal in Your Beauty Regimen
Credit: Benny Haddad/

Kim Kardashian, Shailene Woodley and Gwyneth Paltrow are just a few of the celebrities who have raved about the benefits of active charcoal in recent years. It is present in some toothpastes and face creams. I’ve even been given a shot of charcoal at an oh-so-trendy healthy juice bar in LA recently. Now, activated charcoal masks are the hottest new trend in beauty. Are there benefits to incorporating the use of activated charcoal into your daily beauty regimen? There seem to be mixed opinions on the subject. Here we delve into the subject.

Charcoal has long been touted for its ability to soak up toxins in the body. It’s been used in hospitals for drug overdoses and various poisonings, including alcohol poisoning. Now, people are turning to it for liver, kidney and overall body detoxes. It’s ability to absorb products through it’s porous quality. Activated charcoal is when charcoal is heated with a gas, leading to a more porous quality than natural charcoal. The more pores, the more the activated charcoal is able to pull more toxins, dirt and oil from the body’s organs, skin, blood and tissues.

For the teeth

Activated charcoal has been used as a teeth whitener, as it’s known for it’s ability to absorb the qualities in certain foods that can cause discoloring in the teeth, such as acidic foods in drinks like wines, citrus, coffee, and tea, etc. Several toothpastes are now incorporating activated clay in their ingredients now. Toothbrushes with the charcoal already in the bristles are also on the market now, which helps remove additional bacteria that might get into the toothbrush itself.

For the hair

Shampoo with charcoal will help extract extra oil from the hair strands and scalp while also moisturizing dull and dry locks. It will also help unclog any excess pollutants that can creep into our hair and scalp. The activated-charcoal-laden shampoos will also help aid in decreasing/alleviating dandruff.

For the Skin

Activated charcoal is thought to add to overall skin cleanliness, softness and glow. With it’s binding properties, it’s believed to be a great remedy for clogged pores, blackheads, acne and overall oily skin. It’s also touted as a great exfoliator with its coarse surface. For this reason, charcoal and clay are showing up in countless soaps, body cleanses, face washes and masks. The masks, while popular, are also coming under scrutiny, as they can be quite painful to take off and while they will remove toxins, they can also remove the protective first layer of skin.

It’s still up to debate as to the benefits of incorporating activated charcoal into your beauty or health regimen. As with any new beauty trend, there are risks and personal preferences to be considered. So, while trying out these charcoal-filled products, as with any beauty product, it’s important to research the ingredients that are in each product. When in doubt, reach out for professional advice as well.

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