What Is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal has been around for many years. Activated charcoal is well-known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammation properties, amongst several others. The substance is used in making many of the products available in the market today. From skincare products to baked goods, water filtration system, oral health, and beverages, etc.  

But what is activated charcoal and how is it produced? 

activated charcoal for skincare

How Is Activated Charcoal Produced? 

Activated charcoal is produced by heating charcoal to an extremely high temperature to the extent of removing the various elements and compounds bound with the carbon atoms. This heating is done until all binding sites for the carbon are empty to enable them to bind with other forms of molecules and atoms such as toxins. 

Heating to make all binding sites on activated charcoal empty makes it more porous than ordinary charcoal. Heating also enhances activated charcoal’s surface area to make them more effective. So many illustrations have been made to explain the size of activated charcoal’s surface area. One of such is that due to its porosity, a teaspoonful of activated charcoal contains a surface area that is similar to the size of a football field.

After heating, the charcoal powder is often charred with some other substances like chloride salts to help it form a better porous structure. The additional material is then washed off using a dilute acid solution leaving only pure carbon. The charcoal can be treated further to produce a better network of pores to create more surface area. This is usually done by exposing it to an oxidizing gas like carbon dioxide or steam. 

Several beauty products in the market today contains activated charcoal and they include: 

Volcanic Charcoal Face and Body Masque

Volcanic Charcoal Body Polish, and the

Volcanic Charcoal Pumice Soap

activated charcoal products

Similarities between activated charcoal and charcoal 

Activated charcoal and charcoal are dehydrated remains from burning organic materials like woods in low oxygen environments. Also, compared to other forms of carbon, activated charcoal and charcoal are more porous making them more effective for filtering material. In addition, both are created at high temperatures. 

How is activated charcoal different from charcoal? 

Though activated charcoal and charcoal may seem similar, both are very different. Here are notable differences between both:  

  • Activated charcoal is created at extreme temperatures than charcoal
  • Activated charcoal is typically used in medicine than charcoal 
  • Charcoal is less porous than activated charcoal 
  • Activated charcoal is more potent in filtering any material and more effective in absorbing other materials than charcoal 

Benefits of using activated charcoals  

There are several benefits of using activated charcoal and these include: 

  • It reduces acne and enhances skin health 
  • It is effective for general detoxification
  • It relieves gas and bloating 
  • Its effective for water filtration 
  • It relieves bee stings and other poisonous bites 
  • It is effective for teeth-whitening and oral health 

How activated charcoals work 

The way activated charcoal works depends on why you’re using it. Activated charcoal is well known for its ability to trap chemicals and toxins in the gut thereby preventing your body from absorbing them. 

The porous texture of activated charcoal has a negative electrical charge which attracts positively charged molecules like gases and toxins. This is why activated charcoal is effective in trapping toxins and other chemicals in the gut. The best part is that your body does not absorb activated charcoal so it can easily move the toxins attached to its surface out of your system through feces.