It’s the buzz word with claims it can do everything from detox problem skin to purify the digestive system. SO what’s all the fuss about charcoal?
If you hadn’t noticed already, charcoal – the stuff traditionally used to stoke your fire – is appearing in the most unusual places. Water bottles containing charcoal shards have become de rigueur among the yoga set, you can buy charcoal pills and powder in health shops and it’s now also found in trendy foods – ice-cream, salads, smoothies, ‘detox lemonade’ and even burger buns are being given the charcoal treatment, all gaining a pleasingly dark hue with this added ingredient. And that’s not all. The burnt wood is now much lorded in the beauty industry and being used in beauty products – from tooth whitening kits, toothpaste, activated charcoal masks and soaps.
Why is charcoal beneficial?
Charcoal is known for its health-giving and detoxifying benefits and has been used to rid the body of toxins and bacteria (both internally and topically) for centuries, with the earliest records dating right back to the Egyptians in 1550 BC. It’s purported to absorb 100-200 times its weight in impurities making it an excellent natural product to purify and deeply cleanse skin.
What is activated charcoal?
It’s not just any old charcoal you need for maximum beauty benefits; the ‘activated’ kind is the only one to buy. Activated charcoal is created when oxygen is added to regular charcoal. This process increases the surface area of the particles to attract impurities and hold them there in a process called adsorption, rather than absorption. Up until recently, it was mostly used by doctors to treat poison, GI tract infections, nausea and even alcohol poisoning and drug overdoses. It works by attaching to toxins in the stomach and absorbing them before the bloodstream can.
Activated charcoal for skin
It might seem counterintuitive to spread a black colored paste onto your skin to cleanse and purify it but activated charcoal does just that. Activated charcoal face masks act like a magnet and help draw bacteria, poisons, pollution, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface of skin, helping you to fight problem skin and achieve a flawless complexion.
So, if you’re looking to cleanse your skin and purify your body, it’s time to take that leap of faith!