How to Use Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a type of charcoal that has been specially treated to have a large number of internal pores. It is effective at capturing chemicals and preventing their absorption. Activated charcoal is popular, and there are numerous applications for it. It can be used to make an exfoliating scrub, toothpaste, and even added to food and drinks for a fun colour and texture.


0.33 cups (78 mL) cane sugar

2 capsules activated charcoal

2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil

Essential oils (optional)

Method 1 Exfoliating with an Activated Charcoal Scrub

1. Combine 0.33 cup (78 mL) cane sugar and 2 activated charcoal capsules. Pour your dry ingredients into a mixing bowl and combine them. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.

If you bought your activated charcoal powder, 2 capsules equals about 0.5 teaspoon (2.5 mL).

2. 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil, plus optional essential oils Make sure you’re using extra virgin olive oil, not an oil blend that includes other oils. The texture of the activated charcoal should be similar to that of wet sand.

If you want to give the scrub a nice fragrance, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender or lemon.

3. Rub the scrub gently over your body for 15 seconds. Scoop a small amount of scrub from the jar onto your hand. With your hands, rub it into your skin in small circles. If you’re going to use a washcloth, make sure you use short, light strokes.

Exfoliating too hard or too frequently can actually aggravate your skin, so limit your exfoliation to once a week.

If you have cuts or sunburn on your skin, avoid exfoliating.

4. Warm water should be used to rinse off the scrub. Rinse your body with warm, but not hot, water to remove all of the activated charcoal scrub. Your skin should feel smooth and revitalised.

Instead, if your skin feels a little painful, activated charcoal exfoliator may be too harsh for you.

5. After exfoliating, moisturise your skin. Because exfoliating can dry out your skin, use your favourite moisturiser afterward to keep it healthy. For your face, use a light-weight facial moisturiser, and for your body, use a body lotion. Pay special attention to any areas of your skin that are particularly dry.

Moisturizing is less important if you have oily skin.

6. Keep any leftover scrub in a glass jar for future use. Fill a glass jar halfway with the remaining activated charcoal scrub and seal it. Keep the jar in your shower or next to your sink – wherever you like to exfoliate.

Because the scrub will not spoil, you can keep it for as long as you need to.

Method 2 Using Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

1. Before using activated charcoal toothpaste, consult with your dentist. This toothpaste should not be used by children or women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. If you have fillings, the charcoal can get into them and make them difficult to remove.

Many people believe that activated charcoal toothpaste can help remove stains, but there is no evidence to support this claim.

According to the American Dental Association, the abrasiveness may actually harm your teeth in the long run.

2. Make a paste with the activated charcoal powder and a little water. When you buy activated charcoal, it will most likely come in the form of capsules or powder. In a small bowl, place a spoonful of powder or open one or two capsules. Then add enough water to make a paste of the powder.

If you accidentally add too much water, simply swish the mixture around your mouth instead of using it as toothpaste, so it doesn’t matter if you make a mistake.

3. As an alternative, you can buy ready-made activated charcoal toothpaste. If you don’t want to make your own powder and water mixture, you can buy activated charcoal toothpaste. Before you buy, carefully read the ingredients list.

Some toothpastes contain sorbitol, which causes allergic reactions in some people.

To protect your teeth from corrosion, the American Dental Association recommends using toothpaste with a relative dentin abrasiveness of less than 250.

4. Apply the paste to your teeth with a toothbrush or your finger. Because activated charcoal can stain your toothbrush black, you should get an extra one just for using with activated charcoal. Because activated charcoal has a gritty texture, you may prefer to rub it on with your finger for a softer feel.

If you discover that the paste is causing you pain, discontinue use.

5. After applying the paste, thoroughly rinse your mouth. Swish a mouthful of water around your mouth for a few seconds, then spit it into the sink. You may need to repeat this process several times to remove all of the charcoal.

If your teeth are still black, try brushing them with regular toothpaste.

6. Only use the toothpaste for a few days. The grittiness of the charcoal may damage the enamel on your teeth if used for an extended period of time. If you want to use activated charcoal toothpaste for a longer period of time, alternate it with regular toothpaste.

To protect your teeth from cavities, continue to brush your teeth on a regular basis with a regular fluoride toothpaste.

Method 3 Consuming Activated Charcoal Powder and Capsules

1. Before using activated charcoal for medicinal purposes, consult your doctor. Some people believe that activated charcoal removes toxins from the body, but your liver and kidneys do this on their own. Others use activated charcoal to treat diarrhoea or nausea. However, some of the side effects of activated charcoal include the stomach issues you were hoping to avoid.

Despite what some people claim, activated charcoal is not an effective hangover cure.

2. Do not use activated charcoal to treat self-poisoning. Hospitals frequently administer activated charcoal to people who have ingested poisons, but unless you are a trained medical professional, you should not attempt it at home. Instead, if someone has been poisoned, contact emergency services.

If you live in the United States, call Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 or 911 right away.

3. If activated charcoal was prescribed, take the correct dose. Your doctor should have told you exactly how much to take and when. Be cautious when opening the powder container and adding water so that the powder does not scatter. Make sure to take the entire amount prescribed by your doctor.

Adults typically receive 25-100 grammes, children receive 25-50 grammes, and infants receive 10-25 grammes.

4. For a fun colour and texture, try activated-charcoal-infused food and drink. Activated charcoal can be found in a variety of products, including ice cream, cocktails, lemonade, and even pancakes. Using activated charcoal in food and beverages gives your food a unique black colour with a gritty texture.

Though it’s fun to experiment with from time to time, activated charcoal should not be a regular part of your diet.

If you’re making it yourself, use only a few spoonfuls of activated charcoal.

5. Wait 2 hours after consuming activated charcoal before taking any prescribed medications. Because activated charcoal inhibits absorption in your body, it is frequently used to treat poisonings. However, it can also prevent your body from absorbing other medications, so wait at least 2 hours after taking activated charcoal before taking any other medications. If you have any concerns about how activated charcoal may interact with medications you are taking, you should consult your doctor.

Keep in mind that activated charcoal can interfere with hormonal birth control, so if you’re on the pill, wait 2 hours before taking it.

6. If you have an upset stomach after taking it, contact your doctor. Activated charcoal is not easily digestible for everyone. If you experience stomach pain or swelling, diarrhoea, constipation, or vomiting, you should seek medical attention.

Activated charcoal will turn your poop black, but this is not a cause for concern.

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