Activated charcoal products are in high demand. Celebrities and bloggers, both here and across the Atlantic, are raving about their benefits as they ditch chemical-based beauty products and choose natural alternatives.
It’s a versatile substance, and from activated charcoal tablets that ease gas and bloating, to teeth whitening toothpaste, this supercharged black power could be your new secret weapon. Here, our Beauty team answers some commonly asked questions so that you know what you’re buying before you try it out, whether you want smoother skin or are looking for a digestive cleanse.
What is activated charcoal made from?
The charcoal used in natural health and beauty products is different to BBQ charcoal. Activated charcoal is made by heating coconut shells, nuts, bamboo, wood or other natural materials to a high temperature (steam activated at 1000°C) then combining it with gases to increase its surface area.
This heating creates pores that can trap toxins and impurities. Then, once it’s ingested orally or applied to the body, it prevents the toxins from being absorbed and is able to clear up impurities such as bacteria or plaque on the teeth, or blackheads on the skin.
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Why is charcoal so great for my skin?
Activated charcoal offers plenty of benefits. It can help balance your oil levels and reduce and prevent blackheads and other types of acne. It also draws out impurities, deeply cleanses and encourages the production of new skin cells. It’s also enhances collagen and elastin production, reducing wrinkles and skin discolouration.
It also has other benefits that mean it could be an excellent addition to your daily routine, such as helping with digestion problems when ingested, and stopping body odour in its tracks.
What is the difference between activated charcoal and activated carbon?
Activated charcoal and activated carbon are the same thing, so either word can appear on products.
Are there any side effects to using activated charcoal products?
As with all products, there is always a risk of side effects. However, because activated charcoal is a natural product the chance of experiencing an adverse reaction is minimal. If you are at all worried about any beauty product then do a patch test first. Or, if you want to try the activated charcoal capsules to ease bloating or flatulence, but aren’t sure, then speak to your healthcare professional, especially if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or taking other medication.
Got more questions? Share your activated charcoal stories on Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter with #MyHB and #ChangetoCharcoal.