Fad or fab: 4 things you need to know about charcoal

Image: 123RF/Monchai Tudsamalee

The excitement of the trend maybe in it’s settling down phase but before you partake; do you know all there is to know about charcoal?

If there is one ingredient in the beauty industry that has had major buzz - it would have to be the elusive charcoal. When it was discovered that the same material that charged up your braai was also a powerful purifying ingredient when used in skincare., beauty brands wasted no time adding charcoal to all their product ingredients lists and consumers where ready to slather on ever cream and ingest every detox smoothie if charcoal was involved. Brush up on your charcoal knowledge with the key things to know before trying out this powerful ingredient.

1. Activated charcoal is what we looking for 

Activated charcoal is created when charcoal is heated up to very high temperatures in order to make it more porous and have the ability to be able to absorb more toxins. Its primary use has been in hospital emergency rooms to treat poison or overdose patients by absorbing toxins out of the body.   

2. Charcoal is a master skin purifier  

Any mask or cream that features this ingredient in it is a guaranteed winner. Known for its detoxifying properties, charcoal helps draw out toxins from the skin as well as treat oily skin conditions and unclog pores by removing excess sebum.

3. Charcoal may be dangerous to consume  

There have been debates as to whether charcoal is safe to ingest or not. These days, charcoal has not only hit the beauty world but the culinary one too bringing about popular foods such as charcoal juices, smoothies, charcoal burger buns and more. Due to the high level of carbon that activated charcoal has, some would argue that eating activated charcoal infused foods is  the equivalent of eating burnt food – which is a no no as it has been said that it can cause cancer.  It also does not have the ability to decipher how much or which toxins to remove so it is possible that charcoal, when ingested, could also be removing some good properties in the body too. 

4. It makes a great at-home teeth whitener

Brushing your teeth with charcoal sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but in actual fact; it can really help improve your dental health. Though it makes your mouth black when in use, it helps to draw out plague, teeth stains for super white teeth and regulates the mouths ph to prevent oral diseases.

Activated charcoal products:

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