The Best Activated Charcoal Products Of 2017

Illustrated by Sydney Hass

Once upon a time, we thought charcoal was synonymous with the coal we feared we’d receive on Christmas. But now, in 2017, we’ve seen activated charcoal used in everything face masks to lemonade. The once ominous black substance has now become the trendy face of all your wellness dreams. But activated charcoal is nothing new. The medicinal properties of activated charcoal have been known for a very long time - it's been used for centuries as a universal antidote for poison in virtually every hospital in the world. What exactly is it, though? Activated charcoal (basically when regular charcoal is heated to a point where it expands and becomes more porous) is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that can capture, bind, and remove up to 100 times the charcoal's weight in toxins. We live in an age of obsession when it comes to the relentless pursuit of detoxing the body. So, it’s only fitting that activated charcoal has made a resurgence as a “cure all.” If you're feeling tempted to dabble with this ingredient de jour, here's our round up of our favorite activated charcoal products so far.  

1. Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal Pills

The only NHS-approved use cases for activated charcoal is to alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating (#necessary). The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged toxins and gas to be carried easily out of the body. Take a dose of this environmentally sustainable coconut charcoal made from pure coconut shells before a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water, and it’ll bind with some gas-producing elements. However, because charcoal is so absorbent, make sure you never take charcoal at the same time as medications, or anything else you want your body to absorb. 

2. Cocovit Activated Charcoal Face Mask

Although you can’t really alter the size of your pores (unfortunately they get larger with age), what you can do is keep them clean to make them appear smaller. This totally clean, non-toxic activated charcoal face mask draws from ancient Ayurvedic wisdom to do just that. The activated charcoal and bentonite clay act as magnets to deep clean your pores, while the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric, neem powder and Indian ginseng purify, calm and brighten your skin.

3. Takesumi Detox Charcoal Deodorant in Cold Pressed Rose

In Japan, “Ta-keh-su-mee” (bamboo charcoal) is a time-honoured Japanese secret for odor control and detoxification.   We love the fact that this natural charcoal deodorant is totally clean: it’s free of aluminum, synthetic fragrance and other harsh chemicals normally found in drugstore deodorant/antiperspirant. And best of all, it works. The activated bamboo charcoal helps to eliminate toxins from your body and has the power to draw out toxins from your sweat glands. Oh, and it smells like a field of roses. The only downside is that it’s a little creamier than drugstore deodorant so it's a little messier to apply. But, as far as clean deoderant goes, this one is really a winner.

4. Herbivore Botanicals Natural Bamboo Charcoal Face and Body Soap Bar

This super sleek cleansing soap bar contains activated bamboo charcoal in addition to tea tree and bergamot essential oils, which is the perfect combination for fighting bacteria and drawing out impurities. This bar is better suited to those with oily, combination and acne prone skin. And if your skin is extra sensitive, you might want to use this to wash your hands instead of your face.

5. Cali White Activated Charcoal & Coconut Oil Toothpaste

This mint flavored activated charcoal toothpaste really does live up to its promise to whiten your teeth. Not gonna lie though, brushing your teeth with a black paste is a little counterintuitive and more than a little messy. But hey, it makes for an entertaining Insta? Cali White has also added diatomaceous earth, tea tree oil, coconut oil, xylitol and peppermint oil to make it a complete toothpaste, while remaining fluoride free, SLS free, and vegan. 🙌

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