Everything you need to know about activated charcoal

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have taken an active measure to stay off the internet and social media, you’ve probably started to notice the words “activated charcoal” everywhere.

Products that contain activated charcoal are now being marketed to you non-stop; whether they’re face masks, face washes, shampoos or soaps, you’re starting to see these things everywhere.

What the hell are they, though?

A brief history of charcoal use

Traditionally of course, charcoal has been known for it’s use as kindling for fire. It burns faster and better than wood does and has thus been used predominantly as fuel.

The Ancient Egyptians had found a good use for charcoal during their early days, but almost accidentally, they also found out that charcoal can be used as a preservative. 

As time progressed, more and more people found that charcoal can be used for much more than just burning fire.

 The famous Egyptians mummies were wrapped in charcoal, which in turn preserved their corpses for centuries, and in turn led to the accidental discovery that charcoal can be used as an embalming product.

 Additionally, its medicinal properties were discovered as early as 1500 B.C. when charcoal was used for treatment of wounds, epilepsy, anemia, vertigo and a whole lot more.

The fact that the American Food and Drug Administration now rates charcoal in the “Category 1” with regard to acute poisoning shows just how versatile it can be.

It should come as no surprise then that now the cosmetics and grooming industries are starting to find multiple beneficial uses out of charcoal.

They are making their way into face masks, shampoos, soaps, face washes and even toothpastes.

A product that has been used as a universal antidote since the early days of man, has started to cement its place in the 21st century as well.

What exactly is activated charcoal?

Despite learning about the use of charcoal, you might still be confused about what activated charcoal actually is.

Yes, charcoal can be used as fuel for your barbeques, but it’s important to distinguish activated charcoal from charcoal briquettes. The key word here is “activated.”

Activated charcoal is essentially burnt charcoal. The high temperatures cause it to crumble into a porous, fine black powder. This in turn is used as an ingredient in many different products.

The medicinal use today is primarily limited to toxicity cases in the emergency rooms, due it’s highly absorbent properties. The toxic material in the gut is absorbed immediately by the activated charcoal, which helps calm the body down.

For cosmetic purposes, activated charcoal can help whiten your teeth, and has been proven to have plenty of anti-ageing properties. Furthermore, they are also shown to increase the carbon surface area of your skin, which in turn leads to more efficient cleaning of the impurities and dust particulates that have settled on your face and body.

In short, activated charcoal is a versatile, and now, vital ingredient across industries, and its products should be a staple part of your cosmetic arsenal.