Activated charcoal is a lot like coal made from naturally carbon rich materials like wood, bamboo and coconut shells, heated at high temperatures minus oxygen, the end product being a fine, tasteless powder, rendering it most porous. it is functional not through absorption, but rather adsorption, meaning that particles attach to a surface.
The earliest known use was in the form of wood chars [charcoal] by the Sumerians in 3750 BC and later the Greeks to ease the symptoms of food poisoning due to toxins emitted from ingested bacteria.
The Phoenicians were noted for charring barrels to hold water on long sea voyages.
Mankind has through time used charcoal to absorb odours from gangrenous wounds and later on to counteract acute poisoning.
During World War one it was incorporated into gas masks worn by American soldiers to ward off poisonous gases.
In these modern times many claims regarding the success rate of using activated charcoal are still being investigated, however regarding water filtration it does improve clarity, removes chlorine and some impurities and contaminants, but not micro organisms like bacteria and viruses.
Studies are yet inconclusive that capsules will relieve uncomfortable bloating by trapping gases in the intestine.
As for a whitening effect in toothpaste it is thought that activated charcoal could absorb molecules that stain teeth such as the tannins in red wine, tea and coffee.
However this inclusion could cause gum irritation and alter the texture of tooth enamel.
Some cosmetic companies are making bold claims regarding the “super power“ of activated charcoal in reducing ageing effects, rendering deep cleansing, refining of the skin’s pores and being an effective exfoliator.
Thus far the studies focused on skin have revealed that wounds treated with activated charcoal dressings have helped remove toxins and fluids that slow down the healing process.
As with every supplement, no matter how natural, there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all“ approach when it come to safety.
Therefore confirmation should be received from a physician, dermatologist or dentist when venturing into the unknown regarding inclusions yet to be verified as reliable.
The purity of cosmetics is paramount and the trustworthyness of the Matsimela Brand can allay any fears or doubts ….