Activated charcoal. You have seen it touted in health drinks for kidney health and people popping them in pill forms to prevent hangovers. Traditionally, it has been used by hospitals to prevent drug overdoses as well as by medical professionals to combat food poisoning as well as reducing intestinal gas and cholesterol levels. Activated charcoal is a black powder consisting of coal, olive pits (or sawdust), petroleum coke, coconut shells, peat, and bone char. The charcoal is heated at a high temperature to “activate” its properties, thus making it more porous. The activated charcoal can’t be absorbed by the body, so what happens is that toxic properties bind to the charcoal (and when consumed orally) leave the body via feces (yes, your stool will be black).
There has been an influx of beauty, hair, and skincare products with charcoal listed as their properties. Here are our top 5 picks!