It's commonplace to think about a lekker traditional South African braai when the word charcoal comes to mind but did you know there is an alternative, called activated charcoal?

Activated charcoal is not the same substance as that found in charcoal bricks or burnt pieces of food. The manufacture of activated charcoal makes it extremely adsorbent, allowing it to bind to molecules, ions, or atoms. In this way, it removes these from dissolved substances. Making activated charcoal involves heating carbon-rich materials, such as wood, peat, coconut shells, or sawdust, to very high temperatures. This 'activation' process strips the charcoal of previously absorbed molecules and frees up bonding sites again. This process also reduces the size of the pores in the charcoal and makes more holes in each molecule, therefore, increasing its overall surface area. 

Activated charcoal has a number of toxin-absorbing properties. Due to its absorbent qualities, activated charcoal can be used in skin care, water filtration and for your digestive system. 

Here are some activated charcoal products and benefits we think you should try:

1. Skin Care – Nivea Men Deep Range

The detoxifying ingredient traps toxins from the environment and can help with reducing oil and treat acne. It purifies skin and can be used in the form of cleansers, masks or moisturisers. 

2. Mouth Care – Activated Charcoal toothpaste

A variety of toothpaste contains activated charcoal as an ingredient for teeth whitening. Its antibacterial properties work in mouth hygiene and are said to kill off bad breath. 

3. For your digestive system – Supplements

Not only can the black ingredient get rid of impurities on the outside but also from the inside. Activated charcoal isn’t absorbed by your digestive tract, so all of the harmful toxins and chemicals it picks up passes right through. 

Activated charcoal has also been used in bites and for emergency toxin removal by emergency services. Turns out, black is the new black. 

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