The Best Activated Charcoal Products of 2017

Once upon a time, we thought charcoal was synonymous with the coal we feared we’d receive on Christmas. But now in 2017, we’ve seen activated charcoal used in face masks, soaps and cleansers, and as an ingredient in various drinks from chai to lemonade. Charcoal has even found its way into dentistry - from charcoal based teeth whitening powders to infusing the the bristles of toothbrushes. The once ominous black substance has now become the trendy face of all your wellness dreams.

But activated charcoal is nothing new. The medicinal properties of activated charcoal have been known for a very long time - it has been used for centuries as a universal antidote for poison in virtually every hospital in the world. Activated charcoal is also used to treat drug overdoses, as well as in kidney and liver dialysis machines to purify blood before it's allowed to enter back into the body.

It’s fitting that activated charcoal has recently made a resurgence as a “miracle cure”. We live in an age of obsession when it comes to nutrition, health and the pursuit of “detoxing” the body. Spending staggering amounts of money on alternative medicines and faddy foods that lack substantial scientific backing is the new normal. Whether or not charcoal should really be used in all the aforementioned use cases, we’re into it. Maybe it’s the sleek, black shade of the charcoal that makes us feel chic. Or maybe it’s because it helps fight our perpetual bloat. Either way, we’ve rounded up our favorite activated charcoal products of 2017.  

1. Bulletproof Coconut Charcoal Pills

The only NHS-approved use cases for activated charcoal is to alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating, aka “excessive flatulence” (LOL). Activated charcoal (basically when regular charcoal is heated to a point where it expands and becomes more porous) is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that can capture, bind, and remove up to 100 times the charcoal's weight in toxins. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged toxins and gas to be carried easily out of the body.

Take a dose of this environmentally sustainable coconut charcoal made from pure coconut shells before a typical gas-producing meal, with a full glass of water, and it’ll bind with some gas-producing elements. However, because charcoal is so absorbent, make sure you never take charcoal at the same time as medications, or anything else you want your body to absorb.

2. Cocovit Activated Charcoal Face Mask

Pores driving you crazy? Although you can’t really alter their size (unfortunately they get larger with age), what you can do is keep them clean to make them appear smaller. This totally clean, non-toxic activated charcoal face mask draws from ancient ayurvedic wisdom to do just that. The activated charcoal and bentonite clay act as magnets to deep clean your pores, while the powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of turmeric, neem powder and Indian ginseng purify, calm and brighten your skin.

3. Takesumi Detox Charcoal Deodorant in Cold Pressed Rose

In Japan, “Ta-keh-su-mee” (bamboo charcoal) is a time-honoured Japanese secret for odor control and detoxification.  

We love the fact that this natural charcoal deodorant is totally clean: it’s free of aluminum, synthetic fragrance and other harsh chemicals normally found in drugstore deodorant/antiperspirant. And best of all, it works. The activated bamboo charcoal helps to eliminate toxins from your body and has the power to draw out toxins from your sweat glands. Oh, and it smells like a field of roses.

The only downside is that it’s a little creamier than drugstore deodorant making it a little harder to apply. But knowing that it’s totally non-toxic makes it worth it.

4. Herbivore Botanicals Natural Bamboo Charcoal Face and Body Soap Bar

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with Herbivore Botanicals brand. Not only is the packaging super sexy, but their ingredients are totally clean as well. This cleansing soap bar contains activated bamboo charcoal in addition to tea tree and bergamot essential oils, which is the perfect combination for fighting bacteria and drawing out impurities. This bar is better suited to those with oily, combination and acne prone skin. And if your skin is extra sensitive, you might want to be weary of putting products with essential oils on your face.

5. Cali White Activated Charcoal & Coconut Oil Toothpaste

This mint flavored activated charcoal toothpaste claims to naturally whiten your teeth. Not gonna lie though, brushing your teeth with something black is a little counterintuitive. But hey, it makes for an entertaining Snapchat? Cali White has also added diatomaceous earth, tea tree oil, coconut oil, xylitol and peppermint oil to make it a complete toothpaste, while remaining fluoride free, SLS free, and vegan. 🙌