Think of it as a vacuum. Activated charcoal, or charcoal that has been heated or otherwise treated to increase its absorptive effect, has a magnetic effect on toxins. It’s such an effective detoxifier that it’s sometimes used to help treat emergency situations such as certain types of poisoning or a drug overdose. But activated charcoal has transformed into a beauty trend, with many skincare and haircare brands boasting products containing the all–natural ingredient. You can even drink it! Try this miracle worker yourself and use activated charcoal to...

1. Whiten your teeth

While it’s not recommended to use this more than once a week due to its abrasive properties, you can mix activated charcoal powder with water and dab the concoction onto your teeth to lift surface stains caused by substances like coffee. Let it sit for a couple minutes before rinsing thoroughly and admire your brighter smile.

Viva Doria Activated Charcoal Powder at Walmart for $7.99

2. Cleanse your pores

For a deep clean, use a face mask or cleanser containing activated charcoal to clear up your complexion. Activated charcoal binds to the excess oil and dirt that clog your pores. Upon pulling off the mask or rinsing your face, you’ll notice that your pores are less visible due to the charcoal pulling out the unwanted impurities. Just avoid overusing the product; certain oils are essential for healthy, moisturized skin and you don’t want to dry out.

Biore Deep Charcoal Cleanser at Target for $5.99
Worthy Splurge: GLAMGLOW SUPERMUD Activated Charcoal Treatment at Sephora for $24 (Mini Size)

3. Detoxify your body from the inside out

Drinking a bottle of black juice might be intimidating at first. Your friends will probably think you’re crazy. But drinking activated charcoal juice is an amazing way to pull unwanted toxins, such as pesticides in food, out of your system. There are a few drawbacks to this, however. While it’s completely safe, activated charcoal will also bind to healthy vitamins and minerals inside your body (as well as medication like birth control—wait at least two hours between consuming charcoal and the pill!), so it’s important not to drink it more than once or twice a week. It also won’t cure your hangover, because it doesn’t bind well with alcohol. But it will remove toxins from your body, such as that greasy pizza you indulged in last night.

Pineapple Charcoal Lemon-aid at Sip–N–Glo Juicery for $8 

4. Clear your scalp and hair

Is your scalp oily, itchy, or flaky? There are several brands of charcoal shampoo out there to naturally purify your scalp. Furthermore, its antibacterial and anti–fungal properties will not only remove buildup and impurities from your hair but also bind to and draw out unpleasant smells, leaving your hair shiny and lush. 

HASK Charcoal Clarifying Shampoo at Ulta Beauty for $5.99


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