What is Activated Charcoal?
You probably think of charcoal as something you use to barbecue or what’s left after a campfire. Charcoal is the porous, carbon residue that remains after burning organic material such as wood or peat. Common charcoal becomes “activated” when it is heated again to very high temperatures.
When charcoal is activated, it becomes even more porous, making it especially good at filtration and trapping toxins in air, water, and even in your body. Refrigerator filters, faucet water filters and filters on range hoods often use activated charcoal to get the job done. It can even be used to clean up pesticide or chemical spills.
Activated charcoal also has a variety of uses in medicine, including as a poison antidote, a treatment for kidney disease, and to improve acne or gut health. It’s at work in many beauty and hygiene products such as facial masks and cleansers, shampoos, and toothpastes to help exfoliate, cleanse, unclog, remove toxins, and whiten.
You’ll find activated charcoal throughout your medicine cabinet and toiletry kit to help clean your face, body, hair, and teeth. In addition to buying products containing activated charcoal, you can purchase it in a powdered form. You can even swallow activated charcoal tablets to help your digestive system.
Despite being used in movies and theater to make teeth look blackened or to portray a zombie or ghoul, activated charcoal is also part of many toothpaste formulas. Instead of making you look ghoulish, activated charcoal in toothpaste is added to help whiten and brighten your smile.