Charcoal has been used for many years in medicine, but over the last few years, it has boomed into a huge beauty and lifestyle trend. Social media has suddenly become filled with celebrities posing for charcoal face-mask selfies, while top chefs have been getting in on the act and experimenting with charcoal-tinted foods. Part of the appeal is that the black colour of charcoal makes for eye-catching imagery, especially when used in unexpected ways. The first time you see someone eating a black ice-cream or brushing their teeth with activated charcoal toothpaste, it can even be slightly shocking. Activated charcoal is more than just a fad that will be here today and gone tomorrow though. Its growing popularity has helped thousands of people to discover an effective and natural way to get a brighter, whiter smile.
What is activated charcoal?
When charcoal is mentioned, you probably think barbecue. Activated charcoal is quite different from the coals that you use to cook your burgers on a summer evening. Activated charcoal powder is produced by processing charcoal made from coconut, peat, bamboo or other plant materials. The charcoal is activated by exposure to extreme temperatures to increase the surface area and make it more porous, as well as removing any potentially harmful toxins. The activated charcoal is then ground up into a fine powder that can be used in cosmetic products, teeth whiteners, supplements and more.
What does activated charcoal do?
Activated charcoal has been used for decades to treat poisoning and some studies have shown that it may lower cholesterol and improve kidney function when taken internally. Recently, it has been recognised as an effective and natural teeth whitener. But how does it work?
Activated charcoal has many tiny holes all over its surface that allow it to bind with impurities. When you use an activated charcoal teeth whitening powder, it works to capture toxins and bacteria that cause plaque and bad breath. When you rinse after brushing, the charcoal will carry away all those nasties to leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean. The finely grained powder also gently polishes the teeth to remove stains causing by smoking, wine, coffee etc.
Is activated charcoal teeth whitener safe?
Activated charcoal teeth whitener, like Charli Coco, is a safe way to brighten your smile without bleach. However, it is essential to only use products which have been tested and comply with the relevant safety regulations. The risk of buying cheap, unregulated products is that you simply don't know what you are putting in your mouth. Untested activated carbon teeth whitening powders and toothpastes that are too abrasive could irritate your gums and damage your tooth enamel, while the presence of toxins could have serious health implications.