Activated charcoal is the go-to ingredient for many doctors and skincare specialists around the world.
Why? Activated charcoal has the power to draw out impurities from the body, such as bacteria, poisons, chemicals and dirt. In medicine, it can draw toxins to the surface of the skin and away from the bloodstream. In cosmetics, it has the pulling power to extract dirt and oil that clog up pores, making it a superior ingredient in the treatment of acne.
What’s old is new again
Charcoal has been used for years – centuries, in fact – for medicinal purposes. It is believed the Ancient Egyptians used charcoal for disinfecting against sicknesses and as a poultice to clean wounds. And the North American Indians used it to ease inflammation and bruises in skin infections.
Forget about modern technological advances, it would seem what’s old is new again! Today, activated charcoal is used in hospitals around the globe to treat poisoning and overdoses.
According to the British medical journal Lancet, a moist poultice or compress with activated charcoal will draw bacteria and poison through the skin and into the poultice or compress!
Activated charcoal works by attaching to, and absorbing, toxins and grime. The charcoal pulls them to the surface of the skin, making it easy to wash away.
This absorbing of toxic substances is replicated in beauty products. Activated charcoal acts like a magnet on dirt, oil and pollutants that clog pores and cause breakouts, making it a superior ingredient in the treatment of acne.
Cleaning your skin with an exfoliant or face wash containing activated charcoal helps draw out the grime in your pores, making it easy to wash away. The result is thoroughly clean, fresh skin and a flawless complexion.
Unactivated vs activated
The most effective type of charcoal is the activated form. This process renders it two to three times more as effective as regular charcoal.
Charcoal is activated by grinding it finely and placing it in a steam chamber. This opens up the charcoal and exposes more of its surfaces, enabling it to adsorb much more.
Other uses of activated charcoal
Activated charcoal is also used as an odour eater, intestinal gas neutraliser, teeth whitener, in oral health and to filter water.