Activated charcoal has been around for a very long time, but it’s only in the recent years that it’s getting the spotlight as a new miracle beauty product. However, is it worth all the hype? We sometimes tend to follow health fads without examining them closely, and this can lead to potential harm. The aim of this article is to examine this beauty trend and see if it has any real benefits and how can we use it in our beauty routines.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is carbon that has been processed by high temperatures and gas to create small, low-volume pores that give it excellent absorption qualities. It has been used in medicine to help treat drug overdose or alcohol poisoning, but now it is seeing a much wider range of application. It has the ability to absorb toxins and certain chemicals, and that’s generally the reason people have started using it in various hair and skin treatments, and even as a form of teeth whitener.
A lot of skin experts seem to agree that activated charcoal definitely brings benefits to our skin, with its ability to clean it thoroughly and get rid of all the excess oils. Acne prone skin responds to charcoal treatments especially well, and many people have started making facial masks and using it as a gentle scrub. As acne treatments go, this is a pretty good one, as it reaches deep into our pores and gets rid of all the dirt. A lot of spa professionals and aestheticians are using activated charcoal to help resolve various skin problems related to inflammation and even to get rid of cellulite.
Another popular way of using activated charcoal is as teeth whitener. The trend is very popular in Australia, where people like to mix a small amount of the substance with their toothpaste, and then brush their teeth twice a day. Everybody seems to have their cosmetic dentist in Sydney on speed-dial these days, so it’s no wonder that this trend is taking off, seeing as Australia is on the list of top countries when it comes to dental health. However, not all professionals are on board with charcoal toothpastes, so it’s best to schedule a consultation before you try anything. The health of your teeth is best left to a good dentist.
Besides the cosmetic purposes, activated charcoal can be used for its original purpose – to help settle your stomach, ease bloating, and collect any toxins related to food or alcohol poisoning.
The greatest risk of activated charcoal comes in case of an overdose, when it can cause severe cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea. Other than that, it’s actually pretty safe to use, but you should always consult your doctor, especially if you intend to use it in form of capsules.
While there are no great risks involved, there is surprisingly little data that supports the use of activated charcoal and its benefits. Some health professionals seem to think that it’s a passing trend, made popular mostly because of charcoal powder’s intense black colour. The colour makes it look more interesting and so we are easily fooled. Some people also report that it left their faces stained black, and irritated.
What it all comes down to is that activated charcoal seems relatively safe to use, if seemingly ineffective. But this is mostly down to individual experiences – what works for one person might not work for the next. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try because a lot of people still swear by it. From DIY facial masks to toothpaste, the trend doesn’t seem to be dying out. Luckily, it’s entirely inexpensive; so, you can give it a go to see if it does anything for you. Test it on a small patch of your skin and then have fun experimenting.
About the author:
Zara Lewis is a designer and a regular contributor to highstylife.com , devoted to implementing healthy life habits in every aspect of life of her family and friends. She seeks for beauty in everything that surrounds her. Romantic soul and tech geek in one body. She enjoys hiking, cycling, yoga and cooking.