S+A Tries: Activated Charcoal

When it comes to soap and other skincare products, we're pretty used to a certain standard: a creamy or foamy liquid that is almost certainly white, but might have some super exciting blue, green or orange micro beads tossed in if the manufacturer is feeling adventurous. So understandably, we were a little thrown off by the idea of turning to a black powdery substance previously reserved for art class and barbecues in the name of clearer skin. But as it turns out, activated charcoal might just be what skincare dreams are made of after all.

If you’ve never heard of activated charcoal being used as a beauty product, you're not alone. The basic premise is as follows: charcoal is highly absorbent and is often used for water filtration and other chemical purifications. So it makes sense that it could also easily remove dirt from your pores, helping to reduce skin issues such as acne. It can also apparently whiten your teeth, which was a concept so bizarre that we absolutely had to try it.

Taycia: My initial thoughts surrounding activated charcoal in beauty products were, in order: weird, cool, what else can we do with it?  So naturally when we read about it's alleged teeth-whitening properties, I jumped at the chance to try it.
I was expecting it to feel kind of sandy... like when you haven't mixed your hot chocolate properly and a lump of dry, undissolved powder makes it's way into your mouth. Surprisingly, there was pretty much no texture and no taste (though this could be because I mixed it in with my regular toothpaste).
It also wasn't as messy as I thought it'd be. We went outside to try it, but it could very easily be contained in your bathroom sink. The powder is REALLY fine though, so make sure all fans are off otherwise it'll get everywhere.
As far as whitening goes... I didn't notice much. My teeth did, however, feel really clean and smooth. So there's that, if nothing else. Oh and it makes your mouth silvery-grey, which was fun.
For the less daring among us, Malee by Nature's Charcoal soap bar will definitely do the trick. All the 100% natural charcoal goodness with a fraction of the mess: a win-win as far as we're concerned.