You can freely say that activated charcoal is an unlikely ingredient for your skin and hair care. I must admit that up to few years ago, I was unaware of the magic that activated charcoal creates. I knew only one use for it, and that was for bloating and gas (I’m pretty sure that mostly everyone knows about that one). But there are many other uses for activated charcoal.
Now, I know that putting charcoal on your face and hair is not the most glamorous thing to do. But think of it this way: who will know? When you do your hair and skin treatments, you are probably home alone, or with your close friends or family. And that can be your beauty secret.
Activated charcoal is not the same the charcoal used for grilling. It is a medical-grade version. In hospitals, activated charcoal is one of the emergency treatments for poisoning (I bet you didn’t know that!). And without further ado, I would like to introduce you to the various uses for activated charcoal. See how you can use that gritty black ingredient in your home health, beauty and other treatments.
We all drink water on a daily basis. In fact, for a healthy lifestyle, nutritionists and doctors recommend eight ounces of water per day. But do you know how many chemicals you get with your tap water? Old pipes mean that some of the chemicals and metals in them end up in your water. Yes, that’s a small, generally harmless dose, but you want your water chemical-free. And one way to do that is by filtration.
Activated charcoal, for example, removes the fluoride from the water. Tap water is laden with chemicals. You can purchase activated charcoal water filters for your home, or you can simply add a charcoal to the bottle of water. Just remember, don’t leave the charcoal in the water for more than five minutes. That’s all the time it takes for the charcoal to filtrate your water.
Relieve bloating and gas discomfort
As noted earlier, this is one of the common, well-known uses of activated charcoal. You can relieve any stomach problem, be it bloating, diarrhea, gas discomfort. Just take one tablet/capsule, and that’s it. Tablets are the cheaper option. I would also suggest you drink a lot of water when taking the tablets.
A side effect from activated charcoal tablets is constipation. And in order to prevent that, you need water, and lots of it. The best way to take the tablets is in between meals, when your stomach is empty. This way, the charcoal can help without depleting your body of vitamins and nutrients.
Remove stains on your teeth
This use for activated charcoal was what got me to look for more uses. A few years ago, I met a girl who had perfectly white teeth. I asked her secret, and she told me activated charcoal. Brushing your teeth with it removes plaque and whitens your teeth. Now, it’s not pretty, and it can get messy. But I will tell you the best way to go about it.
Once a month, brush your teeth for three days with activated charcoal (crush a tablet or use charcoal powder). First brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste, then with charcoal, and then again with toothpaste. Do this treatment at night, before going to bed. Three days per week, once a month, is more than enough.
A regular toothbrush will do the trick, but just remember to use it only as your activated charcoal toothbrush.
Activated charcoal shampoo
If you want to remove toxins from your hair and cleanse it, charcoal is the way to go. All you have to do is add a teaspoon of charcoal to your regular shampoo. Wash and rinse your hair as usual. If you have light hair, make sure to rinse your hair twice, to ensure you remove any discoloration from the charcoal. As with the teeth whitening method, this is not for daily use. You should also never use this shampoo on dry hair. Use it as any deep-cleaning product, once a week.
Alcohol poisoning and hangovers
Another one of the activated charcoal uses that I found out about recently. I’ve had my fair share of hangovers. But I never knew that activated charcoal could treat alcohol poisoning and prevent a hangover. How to do it? Drink one charcoal tablet about 30 minutes before you start consuming alcohol. This will keep your stomach toxin-free, and prevent poisoning and a nasty hangover in the morning. Note: you should not use this trick to get drunk.
Have you ever tried black lemonade? Probably not. But that is exactly what this drink is. You have a glass of juice with some charcoal inside. Drink the beverage between meals, and you will start eliminating toxins. A side effect is that as you eliminate toxins, you will probably lose a pound or two (so bonus points for that!). Also, don’t mix activated charcoal with acidic (citrus) juices. Use this drink once per week, not daily.
Treat bee stings
Mosquito bites and bee stings can be irritating, itchy, and sometimes painful. I’ve found that using activated charcoal on the affected area reduces the symptoms and provides relief. You’ll need one capsule of activated charcoal, one tablespoon of water, and one teaspoon of honey. Mix them together and apply on the affected area. ; just add ½ teaspoon of it to the mix.
Many of us suffered from acne in our teenage years. Boy, I certainly wish I had known about this trick back then! Yes, we had our tricks to treat acne, but this one is much more effective. You need one capsule of charcoal, two teaspoons of aloe vera gel, and nothing more. Mix them together, apply on your face, and wait for it to dry. Once the mask is dry, rinse thoroughly.
Aging is part of life; there’s no reversing the process. But we can certainly slow it down. Consuming lots of antioxidants is crucial to slowing down the anti-aging process. Another way to slow it down is by consuming activated charcoal capsules. They prevent cellular damage to the kidneys and the liver, which is essential for slowing down the aging process. Charcoal also promotes healthy adrenal glands.
The best face mask
I would like to conclude this list with probably the best face mask you’ll ever find. It combines several healthy ingredients that are all good for the skin. Before you apply the mask, I would recommend you steam up.
- ½ teaspoon activated charcoal powder
- ½ teaspoon aloe vera gel
- 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
- 1 teaspoon rosewater
How to make it
- Mix all the ingredients in a shot glass, and then apply on your face. If two drops of tea tree oil are too much, add just one. You’ll know if you’ve used too much tea tree oil because of the stinging.
- Be careful when washing your face. Things will get messy, so be wary of the splash zone. Wash off any splatter right away to avoid stains.