The term ‘activated charcoal’ has been buzzing around for quite some time now. The black powder (that you might have seen in face washes and face masks) has become a trend not just in the beauty world, but also in the culinary world! But what is activated charcoal, and why is it popular?
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon or animal charcoal) is a powdered mineral that is made of bone char, coconut shells, peat, petroleum coke, coal, olive pits or sawdust. This charcoal is ‘activated’ when put under severe pressure and processing it under high temperatures. This processing changes its internal structure and makes it porous.
How Does Activated Charcoal Work?
Because activated charcoal is super porous, it gets a ‘negative’ charge which makes it attract ‘positive’ charged molecules like gases and chemicals. So, applying it on your body can make it trap harmful toxins and eliminate them from your body.
This is why activated charcoal is a new trend – it has a lot of benefits attached to it! Activated charcoal powders are available both online and in pharmacies, so take your pick!
A word of caution: Activated charcoal is different from charcoal that we use in our tandoors and barbeque parties. Even though they are both made of similar components, charcoal is not processed under high heat – thus, it is toxic for humans. Remember this before you consider reaping the benefits of activated charcoal!
Skin Benefits of Activated Charcoal
Putting activated charcoal on your skin has several benefits. Here they are:
1. Reduces pores
Our daily grind shows its effects on the skin. The skin’s exposure to pollution and dirt and the body’s sweat tends to accumulate on the skin, making the pores larger. Activated charcoal is a great remedy for this problem – it simply traps these harmful chemicals and takes them with it. This brings the pores back to their normal size and makes your skin look tighter.
2. Godsend for oily skin
Activated charcoal works miraculously on oily skin! Oily skin is the result of excess sebum produced by the body, and not taking care of its production can cause pimples on the skin. Activated charcoal absorbs the oil and leaves skin feeling fresh and light.
3. Works as a great exfoliator
Activated charcoal when used with naturally exfoliating materials takes the dead skin and dirt off, making way for soft and glowing skin.
4. Fights blackheads
The ability of activated charcoal to soak itself into the skin makes it an excellent mineral to naturally remove black and whiteheads. It allows the pores to breathe and go back to their normal size too.
5. Naturally brightens skin
Pollution can wreak havoc on your skin. The dirt and grime can not only make your pores large, but can also make your skin look dull. Activated charcoal does its magic by sucking out all the dirt and impurities, leaving your skin bright and beautiful.
6. Helps with acne
Oily skin is also acne-prone skin, which means there needs to be a remedy to get rid of the excess oil. Fear not, because activated charcoal does exactly that! It cleans out oily pores and the toxins that accompany them, thus restricting acne build-up.
7. Soothes cuts, bites, and irritation
Did you know that activated charcoal is popularly used among medics in cases where someone is poisoned? The adsorbing properties of activated charcoal are used to reverse the effects of poison in one’s body. So, applying this on cuts and bites helps immensely in reducing redness, bumps, and even helps suck out venom (produced by poisonous animals). Applying some activated charcoal in paste form is the best way to get rid of skin irritation and cuts.