Activated Charcoal; what is it? Why do I need it?

Activated charcoal, also known as activated carbon is pretty amazing stuff…

This magical mineral is made when carbon is combined with certain gases, then heated to a very high temperature. It has been used for medicinal purposes since the 19th century.

What exactly is it used for?

Following is a list (not a full list, but it’ll give you an idea) of uses of activated charcoal:

  • To whiten teeth (I know, it’s black! What the?!)
  • Absorb toxins (From your skin, or even within your gut)
  • Help combat poisons (Ingested, or in the form of an insect bite)
  • Help improve kidney function (By reducing the number of waste products the kidney has to filter)
  • For water filtration (Reduces heavy metal and fluoride content in water)
  • Used as a skin treatment (In a mask, cream, or soap)

Activated charcoal face mask

How exactly does it work?

It works by trapping toxins, then getting rid of them. In the case of taking charcoal internally, it holds all the toxins together, enabling them to be flushed out rather than being absorbed by the body. This works for daily internal cleansing as well as for more specific circumstances, like if you ingest poison. If you try taking charcoal internally, you need to drink at least 12 glasses of water because the charcoal absorbs water, leaving you dehydrated.

In the case of your skin, you can use an activated charcoal soap or face mask. This works as a binder whereby the very porous surface of the charcoal binds all the nasty toxins and dirt, and allows these to be washed away.

When using activated charcoal on your skin just be aware that it stains! You should wash it off after no more than 10 minutes, or you may be left looking a little, erm, grey…

Fear not; I have done this many times. It’s easy to fix. Just wash off as much as you can, then apply a natural moisturiser or balm, and wipe off the excess charcoal that was left in your pores. This has the added bonus of giving your skin back some hydration.

What about me? What do I use it for?

As for me personally, I use it on a weekly basis to cleanse my face. I can feel it tightening and drawing out all the nasties from my skin. Afterwards, my skin feels so smooth, and I feel like I’ve really given my skin a treat by having taken away some of the dead skin cells to reveal new skin underneath.

I also plan on buying a special water filter jug to take the nasties out of our drinking water.

That way I’ll be helping cleanse my body both inside and out.

If you’re interested in trying activated charcoal on your skin, why not check out our gorgeous Charcoal Soap or Face Mask. Your skin will love you for it.

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