5 Products to Try if You Want to Add Activated Charcoal to Your Daily Routine

charcoal powder container messy

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Written By: Taylor Rao

Beauty trends come and go, but activated charcoal, AKA activated carbon, has carved out a steady space for itself in the marketplace as products that use this ingredient claim to rid your body of pollutants and toxins by trapping them inside the millions of tiny pores it has.

It’s hard to explain exactly what activated charcoal is without getting too technical (read this for a more specific breakdown), but it’s a natural treatment that can benefit the body in ways from whitening your teeth to reducing cholesterol and even reversing the effects of some types of poisoning.

Since taking off, activated charcoal has made appearances in toothpaste products, skin care and makeup lines and even in certain food and drinks. But, experts say there isn’t quite enough research out there yet to truly prove which benefits are the real deal and which still need to be tested on an episode of Mythbusters.

So, we break down a few tricks worth trying to boost your overall beauty and wellness routine.


1. Activated Charcoal Mask

The definition of what activated charcoal does sounds like a dream come true for a face mask -- absorbing the bad stuff out of your pores into its own tiny pores. Experts say for the activated charcoal to work, it needs to sit on the face for an extended period of time (say, 10 minutes), which is why a mask might be more effective than using a bar of soap or facial wash with the same ingredients.

We recommend: Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask to Clear Pores

$28, Ulta Beauty


2. Activated Charcoal Deodorant

We all know that your typical deodorants aren’t all that healthy for you, right? Well, if you didn’t know that already, consider making the switch to a natural solution to prevent odor and unwanted perspiration.

Natural deodorants are free of aluminum, dyes, parabens, sulfate and artificial fragrances, which can all clog your pores and have negative effects on your skin and body over time. When using a natural deodorant with activated charcoal in it, you can expect the product to absorb wetness and leave you feeling fresh and dry.

We recommend: Schmidt's Charcoal and Magnesium Natural Deodorant

$4.69, Target


3. Activated Charcoal Powder (for brushing your teeth)

Rather than dive into the internet craze and invest in a teeth cleaning set with activated charcoal toothpaste included, purchase a small container of activated charcoal powder to work into your bedtime brushing routine.

Most experts and fellow lifestyle bloggers say the activated charcoal toothpaste can be a bit too abrasive on your gums and enamel, but a bit of charcoal powder mixed with water can help you achieve similar results when it comes to brightening up your pearly whites.

We recommend: Earth Shift Activated Coconut Charcoal Powder

$5.99, Earth Shift


4. Activated Charcoal Air Filter

OK, so this product might fall a little outside the realm of a typical “beauty” routine, but what could be more valuable to your lifestyle than the air you breathe? With this product, it’s activated charcoal’s magic power of absorption that can lift bad odors or toxins right out of the air to make your space feel fresh and pure.

We recommend: Miele Active AirClean 50 Filter

$24.89, Amazon


5. Exfoliator with Charcoal Powder

Exfoliating is a major buzzword in the beauty biz, and this highly-active resurfacer made with charcoal powder also happens to be the 2018 Glamour Beauty Award winner for the best exfoliator. According to the product description, the powder formula activates upon contact with water to deep cleanse and detoxify pores, and the activated binchotan charcoal adsorbs pollutants that can irritate the skin.

We recommend: Dermalogica Daily Superfoliant

$59, Ulta