What is Activated Charcoal Powder

6 Natural Health & Beauty Uses + Tips

what is activated charcoal powder

Have you heard of activated charcoal powder? If you're a natural health enthusiast, you've probably spotted it in the aisle of your local health food store. Because even though it's been around since the Egyptians, lately, it seems to be everywhere! Have you noticed? Like me, maybe you've wondered what is activated charcoal powder?And what's the big deal?

Truth is, there's a lot of contradictory and even outright false information floating around about it.

That's why we rolled up our sleeves and did a bit of research. And what we discovered is that Activated Charcoal Powder is black gold!

It can whiten your teeth and keep your mouth healthy, keep your skin soft, help with digestion, or save the day from accidental poisoning.


In this post, we'll answer the question what is activated charcoal powder.

Plus you'll learn:

  • What it's made from
  • Why it's so effective
  • How to use if for natural health
  • The different ways to use it safely

So, let’s get started.

What is Activated Charcoal Powder?

Activated charcoal powder is actually a type of activated carbon processed into a powder substance. Its original purpose was to help trap and absorb any toxins in the body to prevent the body from absorbing them.

In fact, before people used Activated charcoal Powder for natural beauty and health purposes (as it's mostly used for now) hospitals used it for alcohol, drug, and food poisoning. If someone gets food poisoning you'll be happy to have it! It's an alternative to stomach-pumping which is why you should keep it in your first-aid kit.

Activated Charcoal Powder is odorless and tasteless and as long as you take it correctly, it's a safe way to eliminate toxins from your body.

Where Does Activated Charcoal Powder Come From?


It can come from many different sources. But, when it's used to make health and beauty products, it typically comes from natural sources like coconut shells, coconut husk, and other nut shells… Like this one I use, because it's the purest source I've found. 

Different Ways to Use Activated Charcoal Powder

Now comes the fun part… Learning how to use activated charcoal powder for natural health and beauty!
Here are 5 ways you can use activated charcoal powder to help with various health and beauty problems.

1. It Can Whiten Your Teeth

what is activated charcoal powder 
Teeth whitening is probably one of the most popular and well-known uses for activated charcoal powder! You will see it often advertised specifically for whitening teeth.
Many people wonder how a charcoal can whiten teeth when the powder is so black.
The main benefit of using this type of charcoal powder is that it can actually balance the pH levels in your mouth. This not only helps to remove stains, but it can help with general oral health, so it is good either way.
With whitening, the activated charcoal helps to absorb the plaque on your teeth that can cause staining. As with any other natural teeth whitening option… It is not going to work perfectly or the same for everyone, but since it doesn’t pose any major side effects, it is definitely worth a try!

How to Use it for Whitening

If you want to try it for whitening your teeth, you should have a toothbrush you use only for this purpose. It is going to stain so don’t use your regular toothbrush.
First, open up the charcoal container, then dip your toothbrush in water. Give it a shake so there isn’t a lot of water on it, then dip it into the charcoal. Now just brush your teeth as you normally would, paying good attention to the fronts of your teeth.
When you spit it out, you might want to get a little water to swish around. You can then rinse your mouth until your spit is completely clear.
Be extra careful with charcoal when brushing your teeth with it, since it might stain your clothing if you aren’t careful. It is a good idea to wear a t-shirt you don’t care too much about.

2. It Helps With Skin and Hair

what is activated charcoal powder 
Activated charcoal also has some great uses for your skin and hair. You can actually buy natural products that have activated charcoal as an ingredient… Or you can make your own DIY products with it.
Since it is a powder, it is good to add to different DIY face scrubs. You can also make your own mask by adding natural ingredients like honey and essential oils or just add water to turn it into a paste.
You can also add a tiny bit to your shampoo and use it for your hair, but be careful if you have light hair. There is a slight risk of it causing discoloration.

3. Use it to Detox Your Body

what is activated charcoal powder 

As you probably have guessed, you can use activated charcoal to help detox your body. Its ability to stop toxins from further damaging your body is incredibly useful. If you feel like you're getting sick, activated charcoal is worth a shot because it can help you from getting sick. 

what is activated charcoal powderThere are capsules of activated charcoal that you can take if you get food poisoning or just to help detox your body.

Or you can make a paste with water for use on your skin for burns or bug bites to draw out toxins.

Some people add the powder to juice or lemonade, and calling it black lemonade (like Gwyneth Paltrow's magazine Goop) which reports charcoal lemonade is one of the “best juice cleanses.”

Just make sure you talk to your doctor before ingesting this and be wary of other medications you are taking along with the charcoal.

4. Reduce Gas and Bloating

natural remedies for constipation 

According to the Journal of Gastroenterology, you can also take activated charcoal if you are experiencing gas or bloating

Typically you want to take it before a meal, as opposed to after you already have gas. Whenever you eat something that does not digest properly or that irritates the gut, Activated Charcoal can come in handy. I use it whenever I travel and am forced to eat heavy foods I normally don't eat. 

Make sure you are drinking plenty of water with, before, and after taking the activated charcoal.

5. Help Prevent a Hangover

what is activated charcoal powder 
When I started researching activated charcoal powder, I noticed it was often advertised as something to help prevent hangovers. People are running to their local health food store to pick up charcoal pills that they take before drinking to try to prevent their hangover.

There have been several studies, with mixed results, but it can be worth a try. It has been shown to lower blood alcohol levels or the effects of them in some people, as the charcoal helps with alcohol absorption. Others did not see a significant difference.

Personally, whenever I have more than one glass of wine, I feel dehydrated and dull the next morning. I've noticed that if I consume activated charcoal and water within a few hours of a glass of wine, I feel MUCH better than if I didn't take it.

You should not in any way use it as a way to support heavy drinking though! Practice caution and always drink responsibly.

What is the Right Dose?

There are sources that suggest a dosage of up to 25 grams for adults, but I use only about 1 tsp stirred into water. (This is equal to about 4 capsules). But, check with your doctor or health professional.what is activated charcoal powder

Tips for Using Activated Charcoal

what is activated charcoal powder 
If you are planning on trying out activated charcoal to see if it works for you, the following tips can be useful.

1. Be Careful With Other Medications

Activated charcoal has not been studied enough with other medications to know if it’s dangerous… So it is best that you practice caution. Not only should your doctor know if you are considering taking it, especially by ingestion, but you don’t want to take it with other medications. This includes prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

2. Watch Out for the Mess

Charcoal in powder form can get very messy, so be careful! If you are using it for a face mask, body scrub, or to whiten your teeth, never wear your nice clothes when using it. Even if you are super careful, there is still a risk of getting it on your clothes. Either wear old clothes you wear when dying your hair or painting, or just wear a towel or bath robe.
It is a good idea to have an old towel in your bathroom when using the charcoal for this use specifically, since that might get stained as well. Also be careful about spilling it on your sink or countertops, as some materials might stain.

3. Don't Ingest it Daily

While activated charcoal has many uses for removing various bacteria and toxins from your body, it isn’t good to ingest daily. While it does stop toxins, it could also keep good nutrients from being absorbed in your body as well. Too much activated charcoal in your body could actually make you ill from malnutrition

4. Drink Plenty of Water With it

Another tip to follow when using activated charcoal by ingestion is to drink a lot of water when taking it. The powder can be hard to go down and get stuck in your throat if you aren’t careful. Drink lots of water before, during, and after using the charcoal.

5. Rinse Your Mouth Well

Also be careful to rinse your mouth really well anytime you brush your teeth to whiten them with activated charcoal. Keep rinsing your mouth until you can swish water, spit it out, and it is completely clear. Depending on how much you had of it in your mouth or on your teeth, this can take a few minutes of rinsing.

Precautions and Side Effects

Before finishing up this post, it is really important that you use activated charcoal safely. This goes for any type of natural remedy that is not recommended directly by your doctor or a natural health practitioner. While it has not shown to have severe side effects, the studies are still in their beginning stages.

The good news is that the side effects aren’t too extreme. They can also vary by person, and depend on what you used the charcoal for.

Naturally, a risk for using it for whitening your teeth is that it might make your tongue a little black if you don't rinse properly. You can reduce the risk by only brushing your teeth, never your tongue, and rinse well each time.

There are some other side effects and risks:

  • Black or darker stools when ingesting the charcoal Having vomiting or diarrhea Constipation
  • If you are using it too much, it could lead to gastrointestinal blockages as well. Pay close attention to the proper dosage if you are ingesting the charcoal for health purposes.
  • Activated charcoal, when used for health or beauty, is typically from all-natural sources like coconut husks, but you should still practice caution and know the risks.

Things to keep in mind:

  • You should not be taking activated charcoal with medications unless directed by your doctor.
  • Avoid ingestion of charcoal during pregnancy or while breastfeeding without talking to your doctor first.
  • Do not give activated charcoal to children without asking your pediatrician.
  • Take only small doses first to see how your body reacts.

As long as you follow these simple guidelines, you can avoid any potential risks when ingesting activated charcoal powder

In general, natural remedies are meant to have very few side effects and risks, but you should always be extra careful

I hope I have sufficiently answered the question what is activated charcoal powder, but if you have any questions remaining, please do not hesitate to ask in the box below. I’m here to help you out and I would love nothing more than for you to be the healthiest and happiest version of yourself possible. Let me know if you need anything and I will be sure to get back within “hours” most of the time.

what is activated charcoal powder
Pin It

Written by Jackie Parker


Leave a Reply
  1. This stuff sounds like a wonder product. I have only ever heard of it as an ingredient in odour eaters for shoes!
    It certainly has many uses. I am going to try the face pack, as I have terrible skin and I feel it might help. If I take it orally do you think that would also help my skin?
    Thank you for such a good and helpful article!”

    • Hi Marcie, It depends. What sort of skin issue to you have? acne? If I know, I can better direct you to some remedies that may be more effective than activated charcoal.

  2. I didn’t realize activated charcoal powder had so many uses and benefits. I come from the medical field so I knew about ingesting to counteract poisons and overdoses. I think I’ve seen it advertised to whiten teeth, but now I know how it does it thanks to you. Being from the medical field I want to say thank you to you too for some of the precautions to take, for example if you’re pregnant. I’ll have to try using activated charcoal powder in order to get some of the benefits you mentioned. Thanks for the information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.