Five Days with Charcoal

Apparently activated charcoal is all the hype right now and can be used in several different ways. I am going to pick a handful of ways to try it out and hopefully it will be more informative than entertaining but either way, here we go!

DAY 1: TEETH WHITENING 

Guys, black is the new white and teeth whitening strips are out and brushing your teeth with activated charcoal is in and rumor it that it works really well. Make sure you buy one that is intended for this use. I used this one.

Why it works and the perks:

  • It’s a purifying agent that absorbs impurities
  • Brushing with it removes surface stains caused by coffee, tea, or red wine without bleach or abrasives
  • It’s all natural
  • You can use it instead of fluoride, since long-term fluoride ingestion can actually have harmful effects on your body
  • It has zero taste

My takeaways:

  • It’s actually not that bad at all since there is zero taste
  • I did it outside because I was scared to get jet-black charcoal everywhere
  • I purchased a new toothbrush that will be designated just for charcoal
  • Make sure you buy all-natural/organic activated charcoal
  • I had a water bottle right next to me to rinse quickly
  • I put my hair up and brought a towel for easy clean-up

Overall, day one went well! I wasn’t totally disgusted, my teeth feel good and it wasn’t as messy as I thought. I am going to keep going for the week and take daily photos to see if its actually making a difference.

DAY 2: ACTIVATED CHARCOAL AND CLAY FACE MASK

Well, today’s experiment with activated charcoal was a face mask using Indian healing clay. The clay is made of 100% natural calcium bentonite clay, works as a deep pore cleaner and doesn’t contain any additives, animals products or fragrance. 

Here are the deets and RECIPE.

  • 1 TBSP Activated Charcoal 
  • 2 TBSP 100% Natural Calcium Bentonite Clay
  • Water
    • Mix all ingredients with all non-metal materials (you don’t want to activate and take away properties of the clay). I used a wooden spoon and small mason jar
    • Apply all over your clean face and let it dry for about 5-7 minutes
    • Gently wash off and pat dry
    • Immediately moisturize (I used pure coconut oil right after because I figured it would immediately absorb and feel awesome (I was right).

What the point?:

  • Unclogs blocked pores
  • Fights acne
  • Firms and tones skin
  • Reduces pimples
  • Promotes softer skin
  • Helps with damaged skin
  • Draws out toxins
  • Gently exfoliates
  • Balances oily skin

So basically it does everything? Umm, neat.

My takeaways (after one use):

  • It was super easy to make
  • It dried super quick and I was into only having to “wear” it for about 5 minutes
  • It got super hard, which was weird but not too awful
  • Quick and easy to remove off with warm water
  • My face was sooooo soft afterwards
  • When I put the coconut oil on afterwards it only intensified how soft/smooth my skin was
    • SIDE NOTE: I don’t have oily skin and overall I don’t have any issues with blemishes, dryness, sensitivity etc.  From what I read though, this SHOULD be the result regardless of your skin type
  • You can customize the mask in so many ways using the activated charcoal as your base (ex. mix in egg whites, rose water, add tea tree or essential oils, the list is endless).

VERDICT: 

I like it! I am not one who does masks and a lot of self care but I would totally do this again. I read that it is not necessary or recommended to do it excessively and once a week would be ideal.

DAY 3: ACTIVATED CHARCOAL LEMONADE

Well, this magical all- natural substance is supposed to help with digestion issues, which I have been suffering from since my second baby. Although its not a cure to anything, it is supposed to be used for some relief from time to time.

I know, this does not look even a little appetizing but keep in mind that activated charcoal has zero taste, so even though the look is not ideal, there is zero taste associated with the actual charcoal.

FullSizeRender (39)

Alright round three, here we go with the recipes and results.

RECIPE:

I just put all the ingredients in a glass with ice and mixed it well. You could easily just use a premade lemonade (my favorite is the one from Costco) or drink of your choice.

THE PURPOSE OF DRINKING ACTIVATED CHARCOAL:

  • Drugs and toxins can bind to it
  • Helps rid the body of unwanted substance (used in the hospital for overdoses)
  • Used to treat poisons such as strong acids or bases
  • Prevents gas
  • Prevents hangovers

WARNING WARNING WARNING:

Activated charcoal is a BINDING AGENT. If you are on certain medications or take certain vitamins, the activated charcoal will also bind to them. You should be taking the charcoal on a empty stomach and not eat for several hours afterwards. If you are on medications, I would not ingest it at all before speaking with your doctor. 

MY PERSONAL TAKEAWAY:

  • It did help with my achy stomach but I have no idea if it was a coincidence or I mentally convinced myself that it did
  • It is NOT a cure to anything and shouldn’t be used on the regular so I am not sure how practical it is
  • Since I put it in lemonade, I couldn’t even tell the difference (other than the color of the drink) that I was drinking anything else
  • I have seen it made into a latte, which I think I may try later in the week

VERDICT:

It will not be something I do all the time BUT I would totally try it if I had a few drinks during a night out for a hangover, food poisoning or use it periodically to “detox”. I have also read some pretty neat things it does for hives and a few other ailments that if I ran into, I would give it a go.

DAY 4: ACTIVATED CHARCOAL T-ZONE PEEL-OFF MASK

Ok, honestly, I am over trying something new with charcoal everyday but this one was super easy.

As always the details and recipe are right below!

RECIPE

  • 1 TSP – Unflavored gelatin ( You can find this in the baking aisle for super cheap. I had some left over from making marshmallows at Christmas time)
  • 2 TSP – Activated Charcoal
  • 3 TSP – Water

Just mix it all together and throw it in the microwave until the gelatin melts (about 20-40 seconds). It should be a little thick and gooey.

  • Apply to your t-zone, make sure you wash and dry your face first.
  • Let it try (about 5 minutes)
  • GENTLY peel off

WHY?

  • Removes blackheads
  • Pulls nasty toxins from your skin
  • It’s fun?

MY TAKEAWAYS:

  • It was super easy to make since I had everything
  • I don’t usually do things like this so it was kind of fun
  • My skin is overly pretty good so I didn’t see any difference, I am fortunate and don’t get many blemishes so the mask in general didn’t improve my “t-zone” noticeable.
  • I heated the mixture too much in the beginning so keep an eye on it so it doesn’t explode everywhere
  • If you are going to buy the masks, this is absolutely the more economic way to go since you can use charcoal for so many different things

VERDICT:

I probably wouldn’t do this one again. It did make my skin soft but if I was going to take the time to do a mask I would do the one with clay that I did on Day Two. That one made all my skin really soft. My husband did this one with me and does have oily skin and noticed a little different but nothing too major.

Day 5: ACTIVATED CHARCOAL WITH INSECT BITES

Last but not least charcoal is great to have around in case of a bad spider bite or any bad insect bite. You would simply put any desired ointment on a ban-aid with some activated charcoal and put it over the bite.

IMG_0415 (1).JPG

Why?

  • Draws out toxins
  • Reduces the itch
  • reduces inflammation

OVERALL VERDICTS:

I would totally get some and keep it on hand! My husband I’s teeth are definitely whiter. I am not sure I would say a whole shade of white but it helped and its only been FIVE DAY!

I think it would be great for any kind of bites if I needed it for my kid or God forbid they ingested any chemicals I would have them drink it right after I call poison control.

Lastly, I am alllllll about the charcoal and clay face mask. I swear my skin is still super smooth from it. TRY IT!

The other uses, I probably wouldn’t do again or regularly but to each their own and it was for sure useful and mostly fun trying them all out!

 

 

Cheers,

Geneva 

 

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