I Used Activated Charcoal Products For Five Days — & This Is What Happened

Have you noticed that the beauty world is looking a bit dark lately? From black highlighter to color-changing black lipstick, it seems the overload of all things unicorn this past year has finally pushed us in the completely opposite direction.

It could be because goth-inspired makeup is just cool, but another influence might be one trendy ingredient: activated charcoal. It's all over the beauty aisle — in pore-clearing masks, scrubs, and even toothpaste, so this week, I put the cult ingredient to the test.

Before brushing it all over my teeth and ingesting it, though, I did a bit of research to see what activated charcoal really is. As it turns out, it's is not the same type of charcoal that fuels our BBQ pits and cooks our burgers — it's born out of a different process. The charcoal is slowly dried, heated, and oxidized with carbon dioxide or steam, which creates tons of tiny pores across its surface that can trap toxins or chemicals.

And while activated charcoal might be a magic ingredient when it comes to beauty, I avoided taking activated charcoal pills as a dietary supplement because many experts have said that taking it every single day can lead to vitamin deficiencies and potentially make medications you’re on – such as birth control – less effective.

Ahead, watch my five day charcoal challenge and see the products I relied on from head to toe.

In this video, see me try everything from brushing my teeth with the powder for whiteness to eating a black charcoal waffle to making DIY mascara and eyeliner. Then click through for some charcoal beauty buys that might just work wonders for your skin.
If you're feeling DIY, start with pure activated charcoal powder, but if you prefer products targeted to solve specific problems, there's a plethora of charcoal beauty buys ahead.

Majestic Pure Cosmeceuticals Activated Charcoal Powder, $12.95, available at Amazon.
For Your Face

Yes To Tomatoes Clear Skin Charcoal DIY Powder-To-Clay Mask, $15.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
Plant Not A Spot Acne Treatment Mask, $24, available at Target.
Context Skin White Charcoal Detox Mask, $45, available at Neiman Marcus.
Glamglow Supermud Clearing Treatment, $69, available at Neiman Marcus.
Dr. Jart+ Pore Minimalist Black Charcoal Sheet Mask, $35, available at Sephora.
Origins Clear Improvement Active Charcoal Mask To Clear Pores, $27, available at Ulta Beauty.
Boscia Charcoal MakeUp Melter Cleansing Oil-Balm, $32, available at Sephora.
Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser,$5.99, available at Target.
Julep Charcoal Konjac Sponge, $12, available at Amazon.
Sephora Collection Bamboo Charcoal Blotting Papers, $8, available at Sephora.
For Your Body

Brooklyn Botany Activated Charcoal Body And Face Scrub, $14.50, available at Brooklyn Botany.
Lush Dark Angels Cleanser, $14.95, available at Lush.
Blackbird Black Square Soap, $12, available at Blackbird.
Little Seed Farm Activated Charcoal Soap, $5.99, available at Target.
Morihata Binchotan Activated Charcoal Body Scrub Towel, $10.90, available at Amazon.
For Your Teeth

InVitamin Cinnamint Whitening Tooth & Gum Powder, $8.99, available at Target.
Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Charcoal Toothbrush, $8, available at Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co.
Carbon6Lab Black Toothpaste,$18.99, available at Carbon6Lab.
For Your Hair

Sort of Coal Kuro Shampoo, $35, available at Sort of Coal.
Hask Charcoal Clarifying Conditioner, $5.99, available at Ulta Beauty.
For Your Underarms

Juicy Bamboo The Takesumi Detox Bamboo Charcoal Deodorant, $21, available at Neiman Marcus.
Schmidt's Natural Charcoal + Magnesium Minerla-Enriched Deodorant, $9.99, available at Schmidt's Naturals.
For Your Water Bottle

BU Water The Bamboo Filter Water Bottle, $37.87, available at BU Products.
Kishu Charcoal Activated Charcoal Water Filter, $17.49, available at Amazon.
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