Activated Charcoal, So Hot

Wellness ingredients wax and wane with the times, but it is the hope that we’re continually moving toward a more natural way of life. I’m grateful that this seems to emphatically align with the time we’re living in now. One of nature’s gifts that’s been used throughout history, and is popping up as an ingredient in natural products today is activated charcoal. (It’s so hot right now.) 

What exactly is activated charcoal good for? Should we be using it more often, and where on our bodies? In what ways? Also, what is activated charcoal as compared to the regular variety?

People have been consuming and utilizing charcoal for its wellness purposes for at least as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who used it medically for its detoxification properties. The science of consuming charcoal is this: it absorbs toxins, chemicals, and residual medicines in the intestines and stomach [1]. It is also used for teeth whitening and cleaning, deodorant, cleansing (without in skin care products, and within in pill form), and apparently hangover prevention, among other uses.

The difference between activated charcoal and regular charcoal is in the ingredients. While charcoal is made from coal, peat, wood pulp, petroleum, and coconut shells, activated charcoal is made from wood, bamboo, and coal or coconut shells. Way more skin and body friendly! High heat is what “activates” it, releasing its detoxifying and cleansing properties.

Juniper Station carries several products that have activated charcoal as an ingredient. The Charcoal Detoxifying Body Wash Bar is all-natural, smells like heaven, and detoxifies as you scrub. The ONYX Facial Cleansing Bar is vegan and full of moisturizing ingredients to nourish and cleanse skin. Finally, PATCH Compostable Bandages are eco-friendly and aid in the healing process beyond protecting your scrapes and scabs. We can see that the addition of activated charcoal as an ingredient in our health and wellness products raises them up a notch, adding a wildly valuable benefit to products we already use and love on the regular. 

It seems to have no adverse side effects on skin or otherwise, though one should certainly do their research when considering taking any new supplement. We know that charcoal is used to forcibly draw poisons out of the body in medical settings, so if you’re planning on taking it internally, dosage should be thoughtfully considered.

Humbly and sustainably accepting gifts from Mother Buddha brings all of us closer to our origins and our purpose. This may sound out of proportion when we’re talking about supplements, deodorizers, and skin care products, but I am deeply confident that the secret is in these small choices. These are the ways we feel in our bodies and the ways we connect with the earth and other living creatures. 

So much of this blog is about the way intention can reshape our lives into something we actually recognize and resonate with. It’s easier to recognize ourselves when we live in connection with the earth because these are the organic shapes of our ancestors and the star stuff we are all made of. Turning to the natural is a homecoming.


Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash