The Wonders of Activated Charcoal

Conscious Living Tips, DIYs, Healthy Living v July 9, 2015


You may have noticed the hype centered around activated charcoal. What became familiarized as something found in air purifying systems has now made its way into many of the products that we use in and on our bodies. We did some research to find out more about the properties of this carbon and how it can detoxify our bodies in more ways than one:

What exactly is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal (AC) is a form of low-volume carbon created as a result of burning substances like coal or wood. The charcoal that is formed becomes “activated” when high temperatures combine with a gas or activating agent to expand its surface area. This process removes all the oxygen from the substance, leaving millions of tiny pores in its place. Instead of dissolving, when in contact with other substances, it binds–this is known as adsorption. This property allows activated charcoal to be extremely beneficial for people in numerous ways as it has the potential to bind to and remove toxins.



An activated charcoal mask is an remedy for oily, acne-prone skin. The adsorbent property of AC draw unwanted oils, dirt, bacteria and environmental toxins from the skin. Since charcoal is not actually absorbed into the skin, it can even be used to disinfect poisonous bites and various wounds. Mixed with water and applied to the face, AC makes a great DIY mask for problematic skin. Activated charcoal can also be found in more mild concentrations, like soaps or lotions, which help to maintain healthy skin.


*Elegant Rose Boutique Activated Charcoal Soap for face and body


*Herbs + Oil Bath Detox Skincare Set


*Round About Botanicals Activated Charcoal Facial Detox Mask




Just as activated charcoal does not absorb topically, it does the same in your stomach as well. When consumed, the AC adheres to the icky things that your body hopelessly tries to reject. By failing to metabolize, the AC simply binds to unwanted toxins and gases that exist in the stomach. Chemistry lesson: the surface of AC is negatively charged, which attracts the positively charged, oxygen heavy toxins. The superior adsorption qualities make for a vast array of benefits in the body. In addition to detoxifying what is already inside the body, AC also acts as the perfect filtering system for air and water via the adsorption of toxins.


*Finding a natural activated charcoal  – either in capsules or loose power – at your local drugstore, pharmacy or vitamin shop.

Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.56.29 PM

*Buying an AC water filter, or making your own.



Although its color may cause hesitation, one of activated charcoal’s most common uses is for teeth whitening! The adsorption property acts to remove stains found on the teeth. The AC works to eliminate even the slightest discoloration, leaving your pearly whites white! Many natural salts contain traces of activated charcoal, coloring the substance black. Even in small doses, the AC proves effective for detoxifying the mouth and body.


*Ginger + Olive Black Charcoal Toothpaste


*The Kitchen Imp Hiwa Kai Black Salt 




Phoebe Gillan

Phoebe is from San Francisco, California and has lived in Manhattan for a year. She is studying Strategic Design & Management at Parsons School of Design, in her second year of their Bachelor of Business Administration program. When she’s not working on EcoHabitude’s blog or social media platforms, she loves to explore New York City rooftops, upcycle her clothes and learn new languages.

Follow Phoebe on tumblr


Related Posts