What to do With that Lump of Coal?
Charcoal: A New Beauty Trend
Not sure what to do with that lump of coal you found in your stocking this past Christmas? Try eating it, or putting it on your face. Charcoal is the latest health and beauty trend. Whether you drink it in a latte, brush your teeth with it, or luxuriate in a facial peel, charcoal is it.
As Canadians, we tend to wither and burrow when the temps dip below zero. February can be a harsh month for us. In the aftermath, the indulgence and stress of the holiday season just passed can make us feel sluggish and tired. Lack of sunshine and cold air can make us feel less energetic and unmotivated. We tend to feel ‘grey,’reflective of the weather. At this time more than ever we need to nourish and replenish our bodies, inside and out.
Activated charcoal has been used for years to improve intestinal health and as a medical aid to induce vomiting in cases of overdose or chemical poisoning.
Charcoal has also been used for years as a means of water purification. We are all familiar with Brita charcoal filters, which pull impurities from the water to make it safe to drink.
Presently, charcoal is used to whiten teeth, ramp up digestion and to remove impurities and reduce fine line lines on the skin.
Charcoal peels are the newest beauty fix. Not only are top shelf beauty spas and dermatologists in Yorkville and North Toronto offering charcoal peels and facials, so are tattoo parlors, such as Black Ink Studios in the hip King West area of Toronto.
Shoppers Drug Mart is one among many retailers that sells ‘do it yourself’ charcoal based facial masks for those on a budget, and who would rather mask up in the comfort of their homes. Luxury brands Clinique and Elizabeth Arden also have charcoal-based beauty products, while Garnier, St. Yves and Biore offer more modestly priced products. Shoppers even has its own Life Brand version of a peel-off charcoal facial for only *$6.99.
As peels and masks detoxify and purify the skin, ingesting charcoal does the same for your gut.
Charcoal helps rid the body of unwanted toxins and substances by binding to them and eliminating them before the body can absorb them. This is why activated charcoal has been used in poison control centres and emergency rooms for decades.
The activated charcoal can also assist in reducing bloating and gas. Similarly, charcoal has been thought to improve kidney health by removing toxins and unwanted medications from the kidney.
Black Lattes, Goth Lattes or Charcoal Lattes, the hottest things on the coffee scene since the popular turmeric latte, can be found at hipster cafes such as Sam James Coffee Bar on Harbord St. and Bayleys Brew Bar on Bathurst St.
After a day at the spa and a cup of black latte, be sure to clean your pearly whites with nothing other than charcoal tooth and gum cleanser.
Products such as Carbon Coco and InVitamin Natural Activated Charcoal Tooth and Gum Powder are usually flavoured with mint and applied directly on a dampened toothbrush.
Other charcoal dental products include charcoal toothpaste, which is like the traditional toothpaste most people have by the sink. Either way, brushing with activated charcoal is deemed to balance natural oral bacteria, prevent cavities, restore minerals to the teeth and to improve bad breath.
Other great products are charcoal cleansing bars, which help to combat blemishes and detoxify the skin and charcoal deodorants that are a natural way to neutralize body odor.
I think I may try the charcoal deodorant next. What are you going to try?
*Prices are subject to change. See website for info.