Why activated charcoal is not just another health fad –
You may or may not have heard about activated charcoal, but it’s slowly becoming the must-have item in everyone’s household. But first, what is activated charcoal? Activated charcoal or activated carbon as it’s sometimes called, has been around for thousands of years. It is a fine, black, odorless and tasteless powder, which can be made from wood or other materials that have been exposed to very high temperatures in an airless environment. It has been well documented since 1550 B.C. by the Egyptians to have significant healing effects. One of its most important uses is for treating poisoning, but here are some reasons you should start incorporating it into your life.
I have combination skin, which means I have a mix of oily and dry skin. Most people that have combination skin have an oily T-zone, which is when your forehead, nose and chin area are oily and your cheeks are usually dry. Most of the cleansers I have used over the years are gel-based cleansers that foam. Some of the brands I have used are – Acure Facial Cleansing Gel (unfortunately Acure Organics site is down, but you can easily purchase this at Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers), Avalon Organics Cleansing Gel with Vitamin C and Juice Beauty’s USDA Organic Facial Wash.
As I’ve been learning more and more about the benefits of charcoal, I wanted to seek out a cleanser that naturally incorporated it. After a month or two of looking, I found Derma E’s Purifying line. Talk about timing, because they just launched the line last September and I only came across it in my neighborhood Natural Grocer’s, not even at Whole Foods!
It’s designed for oily, active or urban skin and can be used for sensitive skin as well. It’s also like a deep detox program for your skin and that’s what really caught my eye. I bought both the cleanser and the scrub. I use the cleanser day and night everyday and the scrub once a week, supplementing Acure’s scrub one other time a week.
If you’re looking for a DIY cleanser, it’s super easy to make. All you need is:
1 part Activated Charcoal
1 part Witch Hazel
1 part pure aloe vera gel
3 drops of Tea Tree Oil
To get all the details of this amazing DIY charcoal cleanser, check out Bes Skincare’s post on it here.
Bloating & Hangovers
Depending upon what I eat I can sometimes get bloated. It is so uncomfortable and can take hours to go away. Most of the time I resorted to drinking lots of water or hot tea, but it still took time to go away. During my research on activated charcoal for skin care I also learned about it benefits for bloating. As I was a bit nervous to make my own remedy, I discovered my neighborhood juicery Vive had a cold-pressed juice with activated charcoal called Sensei. Sensei has lemon, ginger, raw honey, cayenne pepper, activated charcoal and filtered alkaline water in it and I fell in love with it.
As for hangovers, and honestly it’s not about the quantity of alcohol you drank the night before, even if you’ve had a glass or two of wine, you can wake up feeling sluggish. What activated charcoal does is remove the toxins from the body. If you take activated charcoal at the same time as consuming alcohol, it can greatly reduce the blood alcohol concentrations in your body.
There are so many other amazing benefits and uses of activated charcoal, like:
Water filtration (which you may know from filters such as Brita, but you can get higher quality filtration systems for your home, such as 10 Stage Water Filter System)
Treating insect bites or rashes from poison ivy
Even as an anti-aging agent that supports cognitive function
To learn more about activated charcoal, check out these articles:
Wellness Mama – How to use Activated Charcoal
The Free Dictionary – Definition, Other Uses and Precautions when using activated charcoal