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.