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Lifestyle | 4 Ways to Use Activated Charcoal

Garnet McLaughlin

At Cinder + Salt we believe in sustainable, healthy living. While we’re always looking for all-natural products to incorporate into our daily lives, one staple in our homes, and on our store shelves, is our Charcoal Face Mask, handcrafted for us by Florapothecarie.


Activated charcoal can be made from a variety of things but when using it for personal wellness, look for natural sources such as coconut shells or wood species. It works through a process called adsorption; attaching itself to toxins and chemicals in your body before they can be absorbed into your blood stream. You can buy activated charcoal in almost any health food store in capsules or loose powder forms.

So, how do you use it? We’ve summed up 5 different ways to use activated charcoal in your daily life, according to Best Health Magazine.


Whiten Teeth:

Activated Charcoal can be used as an all natural (and cost effective) way of whitening your teeth. It adsorbs plaque and other small food/drink particles that stain teeth while maintaining a good pH balance. To use, either open a capsule over your toothbrush or dip your wet toothbrush into the jar of powder.

*Be careful because activated charcoal stains grout and fabric, it’s best to put an old towel on your bathroom sink to avoid ruining anything.*

Use the powdered toothbrush to brush your teeth as you would with toothpaste. Brush for 2-3 minutes, then take a sip of water, swish and spit. Repeat until there is no more charcoal residue. Repeat 2-3 times per week for best results.


Avoid Hang-Over

Charcoal has been used for hundreds of years to remove toxins from the body. It can be used to treat drug overdoses, food poisoning, or injesting hazardous substances. Recently, it’s been discovered that you can also use activated charcoal to prevent a hangover after having one too many at happy hour! Combine 1 teaspoon of charcoal with 1-2 cups of water and drink it before you go to sleep. You'll wake up feeling recharged and headache free!

While charcoal does rid your body of toxins, it also can take good things with it on its way out too, like good bacteria or medications. If you’re using any medication be sure to ask your doctor about the potential side effects before using.


Mosquito Bites/Bee Stings

Activated Charcoal can be used topically to mitigate a bunch of uncomfortable ailments that come along with the warmer weather. With spring in the air and summer right around the corner we’re spending a lot more time outside and we’re seeing an influx of mosquito bites, bee stings and poison ivy.

If you find yourself dealing with one of these ailments, mix 1 capsule of activated charcoal with ½ a teaspoon of coconut oil and apply to the bee-sting or mosquito bite. Use a larger quantity of the mixture at the same ratio for larger areas in case of poison ivy/poison oak. Make sure to cover the area with an old tee-shirt or gauze as activated charcoal stains most fabrics. Rinse every 2-3 hours and re-apply if necessary.


Clear Skin

Charcoal works on your skin through adsorption, the same way it works in your body. Dirt and oil attach to the charcoal, are pulled from your skin and washed away when you rinse the charcoal from your face.

You already know about our Charcoal Mask; learn more about the maker, Sami of Florapothecarie, in our recent profile of her later this week! This mask combines bentonite clay and activated charcoal that deep cleans pores without harsh chemicals.


Did we miss your favorite way to use charcoal? Let us know in the comments!


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