How Activated Charcoal Works

How Activated Charcoal Works

The Beauty of Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal! People are either huge fans of this ingredient as a powerful skincare ally or are somewhat skeptical of it. You see it in just about everything now in the beauty industry…toothpaste, shampoos, cleansers, masks, deodorant, and the list goes on. From personal experience, I’m a huge fan! Activated charcoal is an ingredient that has been used for centuries to remove toxins from the body.

The World Health Organization recognizes activated charcoal as an emergency treatment in overdoses of poison. It’s also used for pets as I’ve recently learned after my sister’s 4.5 pound dog got into medicine after her purse fell on the floor while she was in the shower. Little Milo was hooked up to an IV of activated charcoal and it worked amazingly to remove the poison from his system! Yay!

However, if you are curious as to whether activated charcoal is safe for the skin and how it works on the skin, read along! The answer to the first question is a resounding YES! If it is safe to be ingested, it is absolutely safe to be on your skin, and keep in mind that the amount of this powerful ingredient is far less in skin care than what is used for medical purposes. How does it work? Let’s start from the beginning!

What Is Activated Charcoal?

By heating natural, plant-based carbon such as wood (oak, willow, pine, etc.) and/or coconut or peanut shells, to extremely high temperatures while exposing it to water vapor and air at high pressure, this provides for the carbon (i.e., charcoal) to become “activated”. When it is activated, what is left is a fine, black powder, in its purest form, that is extremely porous, like a sponge, and has powerful properties to attract toxins and capture them until they are removed.

Charcoal can’t be absorbed by the human body, so it works fabulously on skin and hair. by removing toxins and pollutants that dull your complexion, cause breakouts and odor, and diminish the shine and radiance in your hair.

Activated Charcoal For Your Skin

Using a charcoal mask is a great way to detox your skin, and is especially effective for those with oily or acne prone skin. Eve Organics Beauty Charcoal Mask is an organic, plant based, coconut activated charcoal mask and is a favorite amongst our customers. It is safe to use 1-2 times per week to really help remove the impurities and oils on your face. It is also a great mask to give a really deep clean for those that have normal and dry skin on a less frequent schedule (such as every other week or once a month) without drying out your skin, because it is has a powerful blend of nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin E, aloe and reishi mushroom extract, leaving your skin moisturized as well.

If you’ve tried natural deodorants before without much success at effectiveness, it could be that your arms needed to be detoxed first. Yes, you heard that right! It is important to use activated charcoal to aid in the transition of aluminum-based deodorants to natural deodorants to give yourself the greatest chance of success in effectiveness with natural deodorants. For detoxing underarms and for your whole body, this Charcoal & Clay bar soap by Rustic MAKA is absolutely amazing.

Not only does it have a refreshing scent from a combination of grapefruit and spearmint essential oils, but it is also extremely effective in removing oils, odor and other toxins trapped in your skin and underarms. It is so effective and safe that it can be used as a daily face cleanser, particularly if you have oily skin or are prone to acne and under the arms daily in the shower to detox your underarms as you transition away from aluminum based deodorants to natural deodorants. Additionally, if used in the shower daily for the whole body, it works great to neutralize odor causing bacteria which will extend the effectiveness of your deodorant and can help improve body acne that can sometimes arise on the chest and/or back.

In terms of deodorants, Rustic MAKA, is global award winner and a Cert Clean award winner for their incredible, 100% organic and plant-based deodorants that are also aluminum free and baking soda free. They have multiple deodorants to choose from, and the two with activated charcoal include Luna Bliss and Takes Two to Mango. Both are refreshing scents that are incredibly effective for long lasting odor control!

Activated Charcoal For Your Hair

Much like how activated charcoal works on your skin, activated charcoal works for your hair by drawing out the oils, dirt, and grime that can weigh down hair, resulting in loss of shine and radiance. Dirty Girl Farm Charcoal Shampoo and Conditioner, is infused with activated charcoal, and helps hair to reclaim its lost radiance, vibrancy and volume.

Charcoal Shampoo is developed with Brassica oil, which provides an intensely hydrating and smoothing effect that brings out a high shine and gloss, helping to give hair a super silky sheen and bounce.

Additional Benefits of Activated Charcoal

The medical community is doing significant research on all the ways activated charcoal can help improve one’s overall health. While research is still ongoing, it is believed to help kidney function, intestinal gas, oral health, water filtration and because activated charcoal made from coconut shells is believed it has antibacterial properties, thus helping with skin infections as well. Further, it is being used in some instances as air filtration to help those that suffer from allergies.

One thing is for certain: Activated charcoal has been a huge ally in the medical field for poisonings, and we are likely just on the cusp of learning all the ways this powerful compound can help us in our everyday life.


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