Popular since 1550 B.C. as a powerful antidote to several poisons, activated charcoal is a magic product with many uses. Before we go into the details and discuss how it is used, let us learn more about activated charcoal first.
What is activated charcoal?
Well, the first thing to remember is that activated charcoal is NOT the same as the simple charcoal obtained from burning wood or other substances. It CANNOT be made at home. When the surface area of normal charcoal is expanded by a chemical process, it turns into activated charcoal. Once activated, it becomes a powerful adsorbing agent and can bind very strongly to other substances. Pure activated charcoal is tasteless, odorless and nontoxic. It is on the World Health Organization’s List of Essential Medicines, as a most effective and safe medicine needed in a health system.
Is activated charcoal found naturally in foods?
NO, it is not found naturally in foods; it is a manufactured product.
In what form is it available?
It is available in several forms, the common ones being powder, capsule, and tablet. It is also found in regular and dry shampoos. It is also available and liquid and suspension form for medical use.
What are its uses?
In addition to its main use as an antidote to poison, it is popularly used in beauty regimes. We bring to you 5 DIY ideas for using this product in your beauty regime.
ACNE TREATMENT MASK:
Preparation method: Take 1 capsule of activated charcoal and mix with 2 tsp of aloe vera gel. Make a smooth paste.
How to use: Apply over the entire face. After it dries up, rinse off thoroughly.
Benefits: Due to its powerful adsorption capacity, it binds with dirt and other pollutants and leaves a clear skin. It also helps in spot treatment.
Preparation method: Prepare a face mask by mixing 1 capsule/tablet (or a small amount of powder) of activated charcoal with your regular exfoliating scrub. Be sure to use a mild scrub as activated charcoal itself acts as a scrub and using a stronger scrub will be harsh on your skin.
How to use: Apply the mask on your face, leaving out the eye area. Leave on for 15 minutes or so, until the mask dries completely and wash with warm water.
- Gives a deeper cleansing to the skin and leaves it feeling very smooth.
- Removes oil and dirt out of skin pores.
- Dries the skin pores and makes them smaller.
HEALING AND SOOTHING BALM:
Preparation method: Take a tablet (or a small amount of powder) of activated charcoal and mix with half tsp of coconut oil and make a smooth paste.
How to use: Since activated charcoal is used medically in the treatment of poisoning, this balm can be applied on the area of INSECT BITES, STINGS, CUTS OR SMALL ABRASIONS. It absorbs the venom and heals the infected areas. Apply the balm over the affected area as a thin paste and leave it undisturbed.
- Treats and heals insect bites and bee stings.
- Heals cuts and small abrasions.
- Treats and heals minor infections and kitchen knife wounds.
There are shampoos available in the market, both dry and regular shampoos, which contain activated charcoal. Regular shampoos cannot clean enough the hair which is weighed down by dirt. Activated charcoal does the trick. It deep cleans the scalp and hair and adds bounce and volume. Do not forget to do a PATCH TEST, as lighter hair will stain easily with activated charcoal.
- Rids the hair of toxins and atmospheric pollutants.
- Adds shine and bounce to the hair.
- Adds volume to the hair.
Preparation method: Break a capsule of activated charcoal or a roughly half teaspoon of activated charcoal powder into a small cup.
How to use: Dip a wet, clean toothbrush into the powder and brush your teeth with small, circular motions. Let it sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Spit out and rinse thoroughly until you get all the powder out from your mouth. Brush with a second clean brush to get out any remaining powder from your teeth.
- Gives whiter, cleaner teeth.
- Improves the flora of the mouth and pH balance.
- Prevents cavities by killing the bad bacteria.
Activated charcoal is an important component in emergency medical kits as it is useful in the treatment of certain kinds of poisoning. It should be used under medical supervision. It adsorbs the poison and prevents the poison absorption into the stomach. To be effective, it should be used typically within 1 hour of poisoning. Be sure to consult a doctor before internal use, though!!
Given the many benefits of topical applications and uses of activated charcoal, whether you want to use it for your hair, your teeth or your skin, it gets a big YES from us. So friends, why not go ahead and make it a part of your beauty kit and your beauty regime and feel the difference!!
Mesmara’s Activated Charcoal is derived from Natural Coconut Fibre instead of regular hardwood charcoal. It is highly rewarding for the skin as it carries the goodness of the coconut fibre too, along with the benefits of activated charcoal mentioned above.