All about Activated Charcoal

Thursday, April 24, 2014

What is it? How is it used? Wait.. is this bbq charcoal?

Hello wonderful reader! I would love to introduce you to my dear friend Activated Charcoal!

This is not the same thing that you use on your grill. It is carbon that has been activated to increase its adsorption.

Adsorption, to explain simply, is the process of one substance attracting/ catching another substance (in this case a toxin) to remove it from a given surface.

Typically Activated Charcoal is used for dietary purposes as a laxative or aid for food poisoning. It is great to have on hand and you can even put it on snake bites to pull out the poison.

How I use it:

When I began my natural journey I threw away all of my makeup. I used to love eyeliner and mascara.. but I gave it all up in the name of a toxic free, all new me!

For eyeliner I carefully open one of the capsules and store it in a small plastic container. I lightly wet the end of an eyeliner brush and apply. Activated charcoal works great as eyeliner and comes off easily as well.

Mascara.. ah the fights I have fought with myself over the perfect mascara recipe.. after many wasted attempts, where I end up with more on my cheeks than my eyelashes, I have finally won the battle! :)

I only make this recipe in tiny amounts because now that I have gotten used to life without make up I rarely wear it. So when I have an occasion where I want to wear mascara I mix:

1 part bentonite clay, 1 part activated charcoal, 1 part vegetable glycerin & mix. Because I use tiny amounts at a time 1 part is equal to one capsule of activated charcoal.

Beauty Mask: This is super simple, and effective. Activated charcoal works wonders for purifying your skin. This mask may look scary but it really pulls out the bacteria and toxins hiding in your pores and makes your skin smooth.

Mix 1 capsule of activated charcoal with 1/8 cup of rose water, or regular water.. your call. Apply to your face, leave for 3-5 minutes and wash off.

Oral Hygiene: Many bloggers have talked about how well activated charcoal works as an all natural teeth whitener.(The picture above is for added entertainment, and because I'm cool like that!)

I had to try it, and now I'm hooked!

It's simple too; just open a capsule, wet your toothbrush, dip your toothbrush in the activated charcoal powder and brush your teeth. I like to leave the activated charcoal in my mouth for a minute or two and swish it around before I spit it out. Then brush your teeth as normal. Hopefully with hemp-paste! ;) I use this method once every two weeks or so. If I have an event or night out planned I will use it before I leave the house that day.

Tips for using activated charcoal:

First, it will make a mess if you buy it in the capsule form and open a new capsule each time. Why do I use the capsules then? Let's just say I've cried over my fair share of spilled ingredients/ makeup before and I would rather have a little mess than a dustpan full of it!

The solution here is simple, lay out a paper towel and try to bust open the end, don't pull the capsule apart just bust one of the ends. If you have any small jars laying around or even a plastic bag/ container (pill sized) you can bust open a few capsules at a time and store the rest for later use.

Also, this has nothing to do with health or beauty but... when I used activated charcoal on my teeth for the first time I made a HUGE mess in our white porcelain sink in the bathroom. Instead of freaking out I just sprinkled a little baking soda on a scrub brush and used the mess to my advantage! The activated charcoal made our old white sink sparkle like new. Hey.. if it will remove stains from my teeth why wouldn't it work on my sink right? I don't advise using it on furniture or your floors, I am only sharing this cleaning tip so that you don't freak out if you get it everywhere! ;)

I buy my activated charcoal from Vitacost,
click the image to the right for more info!

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