Culture & Arts
All about activated charcoalInitially, it was used as a medicine to treat drug overdoses and poisoning but now it has become a sought after component in skincare products.
Most of us think of barbecues and burning wood when we hear the word ‘charcoal’ but this carbon residue also has a lot of benefits when used in cosmetics. The Post asked Amisha Pant (@skincarewith__me on Instagram), a certified aesthetic cosmetologist who also curates customized skincare routine for her clients, all about activated charcoal. Here is what she has to say about this popular compound.
What is activated charcoal?
Activated charcoal is a black powder-like product used to treat poison patients in ancient period. Today it is commonly used for whitening your teeth, removing blackheads, to get glowing skin and many more. It can be used in different products—especially in skincare. Researchers also state that there are no possible side effects of activated charcoal when applied externally. The compund is usually made by heating charcoal in presence of gas.
What are its uses?
Initially, activated charcoal was used as a medicine to treat drug overdoses and poisoning. But now, the narratives have changed. It has become a sought out component in various skincare lines. Pant says, “When used in skincare, activated charcoal mostly benefits persons with oily skin who have clogged, enlarged pores and people who produce a lot of oil on their face. It removes all of the skin's extra sebum/oil and dead skin cells. It won't help dry skin because it will make it much dryer.” She explains that it basically deep-cleanses the skin. Pant also talked further about activated charcoal’s medicinal values. “The body's poison is absorbed by it. After ingestion, the chemicals and poisons normally bind to the charcoal and prevent absorption into the body”, Pant added.
What are its side effects?
Many skin products use activated charcoal. According to Pant it does not have any side effects when used in small amounts. One side effect of the compound, when it is consumed as a medicine, is that it could turn your excreta black.
Pant further states, “Oily skin may also get affected by charcoal if used in high amount because it has a tendency to make your skin dry. But this depends on how long use use the substance.” She elaborates that one can easily use cleansers containing activated charcoal once or twice a day and face masks once a week.
Why is this getting popular?
Skincare items have a big impact on people. We can see how popular skincare is among all walks of life. In terms of facemasks and cleansers, it enjoys significant market share and widespread popularity. According to reports, the fact that it grips and thoroughly cleans the skin may also be the source of its appeal.
Activated charcoal, despite being widely used in beauty products, is strictly forbidden in the food business. “There is lack of research to determine its safety when ingested. Activated charcoal is not an acknowledged food additive or valid dietary ingredient, and it is not a recognised color additive either,” Pant says.