Charcoal is the New Kale

Charcoal is all the rage these days.  It is in your skin care, your oral care, your deodorant, your water, and now your food.  I am sure you have seen Charcoal Lemonade at your local juice bar.  Charcoal latte anyone?  

This isn’t your backyard barbecue charcoal.  So, what is activated charcoal?  Activated charcoal is a form of carbon treated to make the surface more porous.  All of those tiny pores are like little sponges to absorb particles.

Activated Charcoal isn’t exactly new.  It was used by ancient Egyptians for its preservative and detoxifying properties and is commonly used in Emergency Rooms to treat drug overdoses or poisonings.  It traps toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores and absorbs them, so that your body doesn’t and then they can safely be excreted.

So why should you add some activated charcoal to your life?  One word…DETOX. Whether it is your skin, your water, your mouth, or your internal organs, get yourself some activated charcoal.



Activated Charcoal is amazing for cleaning your skin.  It draws out dirt, oil and pollution from deep within the pores to leave you with super clean and fresh skin.  It absorbs toxins and impurities all while releasing beneficial minerals back into your skin, such as magnesium, calcium and potassium.  It is a gentle, effective cleanse that doesn’t leave your skin dry or irritated so it is safe for all skin types.

Charcoal’s natural adhesive qualities allow it to bind with surface staining culprits such as tea, coffee, wine and plaque which is why it is showing up in the toothpaste aisle.  Used in deodorants, charcoal helps absorb sweat and dirt from your skin and helps minimize odor.

Now, charcoal isn’t a cure-all and if you are ingesting it, you need to proceed with caution.  Keep in mind that it can absorb and remove toxins from your body but it can’t differentiate between toxins, nutrients, or medications.  If you are ingesting charcoal, make sure you do it at least 2 hours apart from taking any medication or eating and limit your charcoal to 1-2 times a week.

There are a lot of claims out there of ingested activated charcoal being a cure-all for many ailments, but the truth is, the studies have not been done to prove most of them. There are studies that have shown that it can help with digestive health and your immune system by helping remove metals and toxins from your digestive tract. Can it cure a hangover, decrease bloating, and lower cholesterol?  While there is evidence that it can help with these issues, enough studies have not been done to support this.  So, proceed with caution.

As for skin care, charcoal has shown some amazing results.  It is used in cleansers, masks and soaps.  Some top charcoal products  and exciting new launches to try:

May Lindstrom The Problem Solver

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This mask will literally solve your skin problems.  It is an indulgent mask that contains raw cacao and activated bamboo charcoal.  It is a powder that when mixed with water has a mousse like texture that will create a warming sensation on your skin.  You can see results from one use and it will leave your skin absolutely radiant.  You can check it out here.

Skin Owl Charcoal Beauty Bar

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This bar, from one of my favorite brands, is great for combination or acne prone skin and gently cleans and absorbs excess oil yet doesn’t strip your skin.  It contains a unique blend of 5 essential oils to effectively calm, heal and clarify your pores.  You can check it out here.

Osmia Organics Oh So Detox Soap

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I am obsessed with Osmia Organics soaps.  They are just beautiful bars of hand crafted goodness.  If you haven’t tried one, you are truly missing out.  They will replace your body wash and shaving cream.  They are so creamy, they lather beautifully and have so many gorgeous scents.   The Oh So Detox, however, is unscented and doesn’t contain any essential oils.  It contains activated charcoal to bind with unwanted toxins along with extra virgin organic olive oil, organic shea butter, organic avocado oil, black clay, and organic powdered coconut milk to moisturize and nourish the skin.  I am currently using this bar to help with some eczema that has flared up on my body.  You can check it out here.

Odacite Black Mint Cleanser

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A new launch from this beautiful brand which contains activated charcoal, rhassoul clay, peppermint, and a foam derived from apple amino acid.  This is a refreshing, minty gel cleanser that turns into a foam.  It creates a tingly sensation and leaves your skin feeling deeply clean but not dry or tight and it smells amazing. You can check it out here.

One Love Organics Love + Charcoal Masque

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This mask is great for a detox pick me up.  It can be used for dry or sensitive skin as well as oily to combination skin.  It clarifies your complexion and removes dirt, product buildup, and debris while nourishing with cupuacu butter and Alpine Rose. Use 1-2 times a week to detoxify and reveal smooth, clear skin.  You can check it out here.

La Bella Figura Purifying Manuka Honey Mask

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I love every La Bella Figura product I have ever used. Their philosophy is to raise the bar on natural beauty and they create luxurious formulas that really work.   I use the Healing Manuka Honey Mask and absolutely love it!  It is very hydrating and healing and makes my skin brighter and softer and helps with any irritation.  The Purifying version contains activated charcoal and helps clarify the skin and rid it of excess oil.  You can check it out here.

Mahalo The Bean


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This is one of my favorite masks that I have used since it first launched.  It has an amazing texture and scent and leaves your skin so soft.  It will give instant results from the gentle exfoliation and powerful antioxidants.  This is a must for any green beauty enthusiast or anyone who wants beautiful skin.  You can check it out here.

PearlBar Bamboo and Charcoal Toothbrush

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These toothbrushes are biodegradable and have activated charcoal coated bristles.  Did you know that plastic toothbrushes create over 50 million tons of landfill waste each year in the US alone?  It is mind blowing!  You can help do your part with these biodegradeable toothbrushes while the charcoal detoxifies, deodorizes, and helps balance pH levels.  They come in adult and children sizes and these brushes can be composted, recycled, or buried in the yard!  You can check them out here.

Kaia Naturals The Takesumi Detox Deodorant



This deodorant fights odor causing bacteria with activated charcoal and natural fermentation technology.  It comes in three scents to keep you smelling fresh all day. They also have a deodorant detox kit for those of you making the switch to natural deodorants.  You can check it out here.

I experimented with Activated Charcoal in my smoothies but I felt it was counterintuitive since I am trying to get my morning nutrition in my smoothie.   I will continue to use it but will stick with mixing it in Lemonade.  It barely has any taste at all and I definitely feel an increase in energy and less bloating since I started using it.

To make Charcoal Lemonade, take the juice of 2 lemons, 1 teaspoon of activated charcoal, and 1-2 tablespoons of maple syrup and enough water to fill your glass.  I use about 1 1/2 cups of filtered water.

Precautions with Charcoal in Skin Care

Charcoal can be messy and leave stains, so be extra careful.  The shower is a great place to use these products to help contain the mess.

Precautions with Charcoal in Oral Care:

Charcoal is abrasive, use sparingly so you don’t damage your tooth enamel.

Precautions with Ingesting Activated Charcoal:

Choose Activated Charcoal from Coconuts.  Charcoal can come from coconuts, wood, peat, or coal.  If you are going to ingest it, choose the coconut shell version.

Only use it a few times a week because it can lead to constipation.  Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated.

Do not ingest it within 2 hours of taking any medication or supplements because it will prevent absorption.  It is also counter productive to take it within 2 hours of eating a healthy meal or adding to a smoothie full of supplements or vitamins because it can bind to the nutrients.

Consult a physician if you have any medical conditions or concerns about adding charcoal to your diet.

Have you used any products with Charcoal or used activated charcoal in your diet?  I would love to hear your experiences.

Thanks for stopping by!

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