Using Activated Charcoal for Brightening Skin, Teeth and Much More!

Who knew using activated charcoal has so many beauty benefits? It will amaze you! It can be used in a wide variety of ways that enhance the skin and its extensions. Having some on hand for emergencies is a smart move but there are many other good reasons to keep some around as well!

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What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal is light and fluffy and is NOT the same as the charcoal you use when you grill, although it’s a bi-product. The process of activation is done by heating charcoal (via steam or extremely hot air) that erodes the internal surface area to produce a lot of small spaces/pores within the charcoal surface. Because of the activation process, the charcoal is able to trap chemicals that it comes in contact with.

Much like food grade diatomaceous earth, activated charcoal is used to trap toxins within the body then flush them out so toxins are not reabsorbed. According to Dr. Axe:

"It doesn’t absorb the toxins, however. Instead it works through the chemical process of adsorption. In the body, absorption is the reaction of elements, including nutrients, chemicals and toxins, soaked up and assimilated into the blood stream. Adsorption is the chemical reaction where elements bind to a surface."

When used externally, you don’t have to worry about drinking ample amounts of water but you should anyway. Water is essential to the plumpness of the skin and removing toxins.

When used internally, drinking copious amounts of water is essential; that is 12 – 16 glasses of water daily. This is because using activated charcoal can cause dehydration quickly if water intake is inadequate. Water consumption also eliminates toxins a lot faster AND prevents constipation.

Whenever you take activated charcoal, it’s imperative to drink 12-16 glasses of water per day. Activated charcoal can cause dehydration if adequate amounts of water aren’t consumed in tandem. In addition, this helps to flush out the toxins quickly and prevents constipation experienced by some individuals.

*Note: When using activated charcoal, less is more... in other words, a little goes a long way. That’s because its’ molecules can hold 1000 times its own mass (gas, liquid, solute). Large amounts can actually cause skin irritation and redness.

*Note: Activated charcoal can stain porous surfaces, clothes, and counter tops/tiles very quickly so use caution when handling it. I like to spread out a newspaper/paper towel under it when I’m handling the loose form. However, I usually buy the capsules for this very reason!

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10 Beauty Benefits of Using Activated Charcoal

  • You can make a cleansing facial mask using activated charcoal and bentonite clay. Both are purifying and help eliminate excess sebum, blackheads, and other impurities found in the skin. Beauty Munsta uses this formula:

    Mix 2 T bentonite clay with 3 capsules activated charcoal in a plastic bowl. Add one teaspoon of water at a time and mix (use a wooden or plastic spoon) until you achieve a thick paste. *DO NOT use metal apparatus as this reacts with the clay and causes it to lose its healing properties.

    Secure your hair with a hair tie and apply the mask to clean skin. Allow the mask to dry and remove with warm water and pat dry. Did you notice any brightening of the skin? I sure did!

  • Acne is a huge problem for millions of people around the globe. However, activated charcoal can solve blemish problems rapidly. You should really try it! It works by absorbing the germs and impurities that are known to cause pimples. Additionally, it reduces inflammation and keeps your pores squeaky clean.

    How to use: In a small plastic bowl, mix half of a capsule of AC with 1 tsp aloe vera gel and 1 drop tea tree oil. With a clean face and clean fingertips, apply the mixture to your entire face, focusing on problem areas. (Don’t get too close to the eyes especially.) Allow it to dry then remove with warm water rinses, then pat the skin dry. Reapply this mask twice a week for problem acne and less often for regular maintenance.

  • You’ve already learned that the molecules of AC can hold 1000 times its own mass so it’s no surprise that it can absorb all types of impurities from the skin, including heavy metals and even poisonous substances like poison ivy. Here’s how to use a simple mask using activated charcoal.

    To use: Mix a small amount of AC with distilled water or rose water until you form a thick paste. Apply to affected areas, allow to dry, and remove with plain tepid water.

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  • AC can be used to discourage the aging process by cleansing the liver and kidneys and supporting the adrenal glands. Chemicals are everywhere and cause havoc on internal systems in your body. Because of this toxic load, it’s advisable to cleanse toxins whenever you come in contact with them (eating GMO foods or coming in contact with heavy metals or toxic halogens such as chloride or fluoride).

    To use for anti aging purposes: Take two capsules of activated charcoal daily or after coming in contact with toxic substances. This supports digestion, liver and kidney function, and cognitive function.

  • Because of its deep black color, in a pinch, you can use activated charcoal to make your own eyeliner.

    Here’s how: Place a very small amount of activated charcoal in a small non-metal bowl or piece of paper. Using an angular eyeliner brush that you’ve moistened with water, dip the brush into the charcoal. Tap off excesses then line upper eyelids as thick or thin as you like. Allow to dry.

    To remove, wash your face with warm water, paying attention to close the eyes good and tight.

  • If embarrassing dark underarms are a problem, it’s no wonder that using activated charcoal can lighten them.

    To use: Mix 2 capsules AC in a bowl. Add 2 tsp raw honey and 2 tsp of lemon juice. (DO NOT use lemon juice if you have cuts, abrasions, or freshly shaved underarms). Allow the mixture to stay in place for 5 minutes or longer and remove with water. Repeat weekly for the best results.

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  • It only makes sense that since AC can brighten the skin, it can also brighten the teeth. Brushing with it regularly changes the pH within the mouth which prevents cavities, eliminates bad breath, and fights periodontal disease.

    How does it work?

    Activated charcoal bonds to plaque and tartar along with other organic particles that are known to stain the teeth. It’s also slightly abrasive (much like baking soda) which helps scrub off stains or plaque that gets stuck on the teeth. Using activated charcoal regularly helps fight staining by tea, coffee, wine, nicotine, and fresh berries.

    To use: Wet your toothbrush, shake out excess water, then dip your brush into powdered activated charcoal. If you are using the capsules, open one up and sprinkle it over the brush.

    Brush your teeth paying special attention to problem areas.

    Rinse well until all traces are gone. Repeat as necessary during the week to help brighten your smile.

    *Note: If you have dental implants, crowns, or porcelain veneers, its highly possible that the charcoal will stain them. If your teeth become sensitive, stop using it.

  • Activated charcoal mixed with a little water can soothe itchy bug bites and bee stings. It also calms irritated skin that can occur from scratches or scrapes.

  • AC can also be used to reduce excess sebum often associated with oily skin. Mix contents with one capsule of AC with rose hips or plain water. Apply to the skin, concentrating on trouble areas and remove. Repeat weekly to help control oily skin.

  • Because of its gritty nature, using activated charcoal is a great exfoliator. Use plain or mixed with water.

    Contraindications When Using Activated Charcoal Internally

    Activated charcoal is extremely safe to use for most people. With that said, there are times you would not want to use it such as in cases of internal bleeding, holes in the intestines, blockage of any kind, ongoing dehydration, recent abdominal surgery, or slow digestion.

    Additionally, AC can interfere with the absorption of certain nutrients, vitamins, and some prescription medications. Therefore, it is suggested to take activated charcoal 2 hours before meals or taking medications or supplements.

    If you are taking prescription medications, always consult with your medical provider first.

    Have you already been using activated charcoal? Please share your experiences in the comments below!

    Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.

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