• Noreen Nguru

Rants and Reviews: Using Activated Charcoal For A Beautiful Smile

Updated: Apr 17, 2019



The humble beginnings of charcoal...

Ah, the humble charcoal.


Gone are the days when charcoal was merely an ashy substance relegated to the fiery pits of summer barbecues. In early 2017 activated charcoal exploded onto the health and beauty market and was immediately lauded by beauty industry insiders far and wide as an incredible new 'holy grail ingredient'; this seemingly innocuous ingredient appeared to do it all!


Natural deodorant? Check! Anti-ageing properties? Check! Anti-bacterial properties? Check! Anti-inflammatory properties? Check!


Fast-forward to today and the love for activated charcoal shows no signs of dissipating. It is seemingly EVERYWHERE and in just about every beauty product you can of. Including toothpaste.


Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Products


You've seen them. The Youtube vloggers happily brandishing ghoulish jet-black teeth to their viewers and the Instagram stars posing next to pots of charcoal teeth whitening powder, dazzling megawatt smiles in tow. I guess we'll go ahead and add natural teeth whitener to the long list of activated charcoal's superpowers! Sadly, the controversy over whether these pastes and powders actually work has cropped up again and again with a small group of Instagrammers standing accused of digitally lightening their 'after' photos in order to sell products. Yuck. Absolutely grimy practice.




But the critical question still remains: do activated charcoal teeth whitening products work?


I put the Pro Teeth Whitening Company's Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening toothpaste to the test.


The Science Behind (Activated) Charcoal.


So what exactly is activated charcoal and why has it gained such notoriety in beauty and health industries? Contrary to popular belief, activated charcoal bears little resemblance to actual charcoal despite their common base elements. Coconut shells, bone char, olive pits, coal, sawdust and similar substances are crushed into a finely milled black powder that is 'activated' during an intensive heating process; a process which increases the surface area of activated charcoal and renders its chemical composition safe for human use.



This increase in surface area and porosity enables activated charcoal to act as toxin binder and effectively trap positively charged ions such as chemicals, free radicals and gases.


And for those worried about the safety of potentially ingesting products with activated charcoal, fear not!



The medical profession frequently uses activated charcoal in emergency situations to reduce the harmful effects of ingested poisonous materials. In the same way, upon contact with tooth enamel, activated charcoal is able to draw out surface-level impurities and even certain deeper-rooted stains - according to anecdotal evidence - resulting in a natural significantly whiter smile!


Aside from activated charcoal's whitening effects on enamel when used as a toothpaste or powder, its known antibacterial properties deferentially neutralise nasty oral bacteria and improving gum health and bad breath alike.


Using Activated Charcoal For A Beautiful Smile


Sounds incredible!


The emergence of activated charcoal teeth products on all accounts appear to be the perfect solution for those seeking alternatives to fluoride toothpastes. However, don't throw away your traditional toothpastes just yet. Dentists advice alternating use of activated charcoal pastes and powders with a toothpaste containing fluoride in order to prevent dental caries/decay. And do bear in mind that the consistency of most activated charcoal teeth products, though milled, can be quite rough and could potentially damaging to tooth enamel if over-used. Please consult your dentist or a physician before using activated charcoal as a tooth whitener if you are worried about harmful effects to your teeth or have further questions.


To read my review of a popular activated charcoal tooth whitening brand, click here.


Have you had experience using activated charcoal as a natural teeth whitener? Also, what products reviews / beauty tips / travel topics should I cover next? Drop me a comment below, I'd love to hear your thoughts!


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