One of our favourite natural miracle-workers during the summer time (and anytime, really!) is activated charcoal. When you needs a bit of a boost after a bit too much sun or one too many late nights enjoying the longer, lighter evenings, it’s a brilliant skin-saver to turn to. It also helps to support your health in a multitude of ways. Read on to find out more about why activated charcoal is so beneficial, and how to incorporate it into your health and beauty routines.
Activated charcoal isn’t just any old charcoal. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that a piece off your barbecue will work wonders! Activated charcoal is different because it has been processed to have an increased surface area. This increased surface area then allows for adsorption of toxins, helping to relieve certain symptoms if digested, or helping to clear the skin of impurities. Here are just some of the ways activated charcoal can support your health, and how to use it.
Improve skin condition
If you use activated charcoal in your skincare routine, you can help to reduce acne, tighten your pores and remove blackheads. Many existing skincare products have activated charcoal as a listed ingredient – but often alongside chemicals that won’t have any benefits. So, why not try your hand at mixing up your own skincare solution?
We have loose activated charcoal powder that combines brilliantly with aloe vera gel for a gel cleanser. Mix a flat teaspoon of charcoal powder with 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel. You can use this as a cleanser (so place on your skin them remove with a hot cloth, rinse thoroughly) or leave on for longer as a deeply cleansing mask that should help to reduce pore size and remove impurities. When you rinse off, pat your skin dry and follow up with moisturiser. Alternatively, you can mix your charcoal powder with bentonite clay for a different texture for your mask or cleanser.
Some people use activated charcoal as a natural method for teeth whitening. Any surface stains such as coffee, tea and wine bind to the charcoal powder in the same way that it attracts dirt and toxins. Just be careful not to over-do this one, as overuse can contribute to a wearing down of the enamel. Keep it to once or twice a week to be safe. To make this up, mix charcoal powder with water until you get a fairly thick paste. Don’t use this with a toothbrush – instead, dab the mixture onto your teeth, leave for two minutes, and then rinse with water.
As activated charcoal adsorbs gas as well as toxins, it can reduce gas in the stomach and relieve pain that’s caused by trapped wind. Keep a bottle of charcoal capsules in your medicine cabinet if you suffer from digestion issues and they can help to naturally lessen the symptoms.
Activated charcoal is a great natural ingredient to explore if you are thinking about trying to detox your body. The porous charcoal will attract and capture toxins in the body, helping you to flush them out faster. If you’re feeling lethargic, have issues with your digestive system or just generally feel under the weather, give activated charcoal a go to help you get your spark back. It’s also useful if you’re suffering a bit the morning after a night out – as it will help to remove the traces of alcohol from your body and ease you out of a hangover!
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