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1 Ingredient, 3 Ways: Charcoal

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It seems like every week, there’s a buzzy new supplement taking over the wellness world. Juice bars are touting the benefits of adaptogenic mushroom powders. Nutritionists are suddenly enamored with ashwagandha. Something called shilajit is supposedly the answer to boosting your immune system.

While it’s amazing to be introduced to all of these new pathways to health, it can feel overwhelming to try to incorporate all of them into your daily routine. So let’s make it simple: One ingredient, three easy ways to work with it — this time, with detoxifying charcoal.

What Is Charcoal? 

Today, most people probably know charcoal as a skincare ingredient. Charcoal face masks are popular, as are charcoal teeth-whitening products. This is because it is one of nature’s most effective detoxifying agents: It grabs onto bacteria, dirt, debris, and oil; all of which rinse right off when you rinse off the charcoal. But you don’t need to buy every buzzy new beauty product on the market to reap the benefits — all you really need is activated, food-grade charcoal powder, and you can DIY your way to clearer skin.

Activated charcoal — which, by the way, is not the same as charcoal for grilling — also detoxifies from the inside out. The activation process presses “power” on charcoal’s ability to absorb; so the substance develops an almost magnetic quality. When ingested, it “magnetizes” to toxins and helps usher them out of the system via the excretory organs.

However, it’s important to note that it is not recommended to ingest charcoal if you’re on any medications — the reason being, it basically identifies your meds as “toxins” and soaks them up, too; rendering the medication ineffective. If you currently take any prescription pills, it’s safest to stick with surface-level charcoal DIYs.

Ahead, discover three low-effort, high-impact methods for adding a natural detox to your daily self-care routine.

Drink A Charcoal Latte

It sounds strange — charcoal and milk? But trust me, a charcoal latte is both delicious and detoxifying. To make, fill a mug with heated almond milk (or coconut milk, oat milk, hemp milk — whatever you prefer) and mix in a teaspoon of charcoal, a teaspoon of reishi powder, and a scoop of bone broth collagen powder. Blend with an electric frother to get it nice and foamy, and sip on it at your leisure.The best part? This latte is totally Insta-worthy.


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Make A DIY Cleanser

I don’t necessarily recommend slathering on a face mask made out of 100% activated charcoal — like I said, this stuff is powerful, and if left on for too long, it can strip your skin of its natural oils. Instead, make a DIY cleanser by mixing a pinch of charcoal powder with a pinch of finely ground sea salt, then adding a spritz (or two) of thermal water. Rub the mixture between your fingers tips, then (gently) apply it to your face in a light scrubbing motion for about a minute. Rinse off with water and pat dry — your skin should feel buffed and bacteria-free.

Brush Your Teeth With It

If you’re looking for a natural teeth whitener that won’t bleach your enamel, try plain activated charcoal powder. To use, load up your toothbrush with toothpaste as you normally would, then sprinkle a healthy amount of charcoal powder on top. Brush, brush, brush — and rinse really well. Your teeth will look black at first but that goes away after rinsing. Do this once a week to see whiter, brighter teeth over time.

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