At such moment in time, many can safely assume that activated charcoal has finally controlled the beauty world. It’s widely believed to have the benefits of removing oil, dirt, and other toxins glued on the skin. The compound can now be seen in just about any beauty products including facial masks and bar soap.
How It Functions
Activated charcoal is capable of absorbing different chemicals and drugs. It takes on these materials via adsorption. Adsorption is a natural process wherein molecules and atoms move from a phase (gas, liquid, or solid) to a liquid or solid-based space.
In layman’s terms, the harmful chemicals are directly attached to the charcoal surface. Since the compound can’t be digested, it remains within the gastrointestinal track and excretes the chemicals whenever one has bowel movement.
Such process should never be confused to that of absorption, which is a process when a substance is able to pass through or in a tissue — similar to water making its way into the tissue).
Once the chemicals are absorbed by the gut, charcoal will be rendered ineffective in extracting the harmful chemicals. Attachment to the substances can only be made while they’re still in the intestines or stomach.
A charcoal can only be deemed “activated” when its particle size is fine. This would further increase the surface area of the compound which makes it capable of adsorbing chemicals. Activated charcoal can be produced by including steam and acid to the carbon-based materials involved. These materials can either be coconut shells, coal, wood, and/or rye starch.
In hindsight, a 50g dosage of activated charcoal has an immense surface area that’s equivalent the size of a dozen football fields.
The compound is frequently combined with Sorbitol, which is a substance responsible for stimulating bowel movement, to lessen the time it would take move through the system. This would reduce the chances of developing constipation.
Unfortunately, avoiding the adverse effects shouldn’t include Sorbitol especially when charcoal is in the mix.
Efforts should be done to lessen the adsorption of highly toxic elements since the compound has its limitations with: lithium (ex. strong acids and bases; metals; and certain inorganic metals), alcohol (ex. methanol, acetone, glycols, and isopropyl), and hyrdrocarbons (ex. plant hydrocarbons and petroleum).
Activated charcoal is incapable of irritating the mucous membranes within the gastrointestinal system. Aside from adsorbing harmful toxins, activated charcoal has a knack for adsorbing the “good stuff” like food nutrients, prescription medications, minerals, and vitamins. Such short-term effect isn’t a major problem whenever activated charcoal is involved in treating accidental poisonings.
Charcoal in Toothpaste
Activated charcoal isn’t just limited to medical use and skin-care. It also found its other home in the world of dental products. The idea of shoving charcoal in one’s mouth may be intriguing to some.
One product that has garnered attention for some is Hello Products’ Activated Charcoal Fluoride toothpaste.
One may feel a near-gratification the second it’s placed on the toothbrush head. While it may be a bit darker and messy than what one would typically experience, it’s still a sight to have a non-toothpaste-looking blob oozing out of the tube.
Then there’s that appearance that charcoal has on the teeth. It may turn some off to smile at the mirror and see a mouthful of black-colored goo.
Keep in mind that after brushing anything with activated charcoal, one may have to clean the sink thoroughly. Using soap and water for cleaning is more than enough.
Taste and Effectiveness
When it comes to taste, the toothpaste emits refreshing and minty notes. It may have more mint compared to other toothpastes that feature the flavor. Hello Products believes that whichever ingredient makes it to the mouth has to taste great. Their toothpaste offers a nice combination of peppermint, spearmint, and mint ingredients.
In terms of effectiveness, the company believes they specifically came up with the toothpaste to work gently on the enamel unlike those of peroxide and abrasive toothpastes.
Some users have decided to abandon their traditional whitening toothpaste in favor of the product. None of the users experienced irritation on their enamel after trying Hello Products Activated Charcoal Fluoride toothpaste.
Even though activated charcoal is widely labelled as an organic whitening compound, one may not be able to see the difference on their teeth whiteness. Users who visited their dentist after trying the product for several weeks received a clean bill of dental health. That means the toothpaste does live up to its promise of clean, white teeth.
Teeth whitening results are largely dependent on factors such as one’s dietary intake and brushing habits. Certain users may believe results can be seen immediately but results can only be determined after a week of brushing.
Some Dentists Disagree
It should be noted that not all dentists are happy with people using activated charcoal on their teeth. Some dental organizations warn that using a toothpaste like Hello Products Activated Charcoal Fluoride may cause abrasions.
Meanwhile, other dentists say using charcoal toothpaste is fine as long as it’s used the right way. It’s advisable to stray from teeth whitening toothpaste or charcoal-based toothpaste if one is suffering from tooth sensitivity or has receding teeth.
For the most part, the toothpaste will work effectively when used in moderation.
Hello Products’ Activate Charcoal toothpaste happens to be free from fluoride. Dental organizations believe fluoride plays an important role in fighting cavities.
The manufacturer notes that while there is the absence of the component in the product, they make up for it by replacing it with Xylitol and Erythritol. Both of the ingredients are said to curb bacteria from attaching to the teeth surface.
Some dentists believe brushing teeth without fluoride in their toothpaste is fine. As long as the users are brushing their teeth twice a day and ensuring a low-sugar diet and consistently maintaining healthy dental habits, then they should be fine. For a majority of developed cities, tap water contains enough fluoride to make it effective in fighting cavities.
Obviously, if one isn’t sure which is the best approach for cleaning their teeth or more information is required before making a switch, it’s always a good idea to visit the dentist. Sometimes it’s not a bad idea to move from the typical fluoride toothpaste to a charcoal-based toothpaste once in a while.
Every person’s mouth is unique so one’s “smile” may vary. But to best judge one’s teeth, give the product a try and observe after using it for a week. If one is still unsure if Hello Products Activated Charcoal Fluoride works for them, seek help from a dentist for an evaluation.