Want to shrink your pores and whiten your teeth?
I have to admit that I didn’t immediately jump on the activated charcoal wagon.
And not because I didn’t believe it could de-gunk my pores and whiten my teeth – mostly because I hate a mess.
I know that is a poor excuse from a beauty doctor, but once I finally got around to using activated charcoal to whiten my teeth and shrink my pores I changed my tune.
Activated charcoal is so cheap and so effective that it is an absolute beauty must-try.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is charcoal that has been processed using very high heat to make it safe for medicinal use. The high heat increases the porousness and surface area of the charcoal which makes it an incredible effective adsorption product.
How does activated charcoal work?
No – that was not a type-o. Activated charcoal works by ‘adsorption’, not ‘absorption’. This means that the ions in activated charcoal are negatively charged, so like a magnet it attracts ions that are positively charged. Most toxins, oils, pollutants, poisons, heavy metals and molds are positively charged, which makes activated charcoal incredibly useful for the following things:
1. Water filtration. Yup – that is how carbon filters work. The negatively charged ions attract all the positively charged substances (that are usually toxic).
2. Internal detoxification. Whether you have food poisoning, heavy metal poisoning, or yeast/mold overgrowth, activated charcoal can help. This is a huge topic – for another post – but internal use should only be short-term. Otherwise you could risk chronic constipation and mineral depletion.
3. Teeth Whitening. You never have to use those toxic whitening trays or strips again! Use activated charcoal to brush your teeth 5-7 days per month (using it more than that can damage tooth enamel). This is my all-time favourite tip for bright white teeth – a naturopathic beauty essential. Check out the video below for a brief tutorial.
4. Shrinking your pores and reducing oil production. Use an activated charcoal mask 1-2 times a week if you have oily skin and acne, and 1x per week if you have aging skin with large pores. If you have dry, irritated skin give this mask a pass. Watch the video below for the full mask procedure, but the recipe I love to use is as follows:
1 tsp activated charcoal powder (or 3-4 capsules)
1 tsp green clay (if oily) or white clay (if sensitive)
1 tsp rosewater (if oily) or 2+ tsp aloe vera gel (if aging or sensitive)
dab of raw honey (if sensitive)
Apply to the face for 10 minutes. Wipe off with a damp micro-fiber cloth. You may have to finish with a light oil cleanse or a few swipes of micellar water to completely remove. Watch out! Activated charcoal can be messy.
Be sure to let me know what you think!
Dr. Stacey Shillington ND