It’s the dark purple toothpaste that’s taking off.

Pearl Drops
Thanks to our brand partner, Pearl Drops

It started off with one post, then very quickly everyone on my Instagram feed was doing it. Once a private ritual, suddenly everyone was sharing pictures of them brushing their teeth. Only they weren’t using your bog-standard toothpaste, they were using something far more unusual – black stuff – then sharing a snap of their sooty smile.

Turns out that “black stuff” is actually activated charcoal and the beauty world can’t get enough of it right now.

It’s not exactly new – activated charcoal has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years – but it’s only recently that its properties and benefits have been tapped for beauty purposes.

Activated charcoal has been used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine for hundreds of years. Image: Supplied.

In a smoothie, in a face mask and in a toothpaste, it's the latest buzz word taking over your beauty cabinet. So why are people doing it and what does it do?


Charcoal has long been praised for its detoxifying and cleansing benefits. The idea of using it to whiten teeth is thanks to its natural adhesive qualities which allow it to bind with the food and drinks that usually leave stains on your teeth, like coffee, tea, plaque and wine.

By applying the activated charcoal to your teeth, swilling or brushing it around, then spitting it out, it draws those stains out and after multiple uses you can see a noticeable difference in the colour of your teeth. The result? More confidence to break out that smile and showcase those pearly whites even more.

Once the stains have been removed, the continued use will help protect against any future ones.

Charcoal whitens teeth thanks to its natural adhesive qualities. Image: iStock.

As someone who has always been not necessarily self-conscious but aware that the colour of my teeth isn't exactly white like the Hollywood smiles you see on TV, I've previously thought about tooth whitening but feared the commitment of more serious procedures and treatments. A natural option like activated charcoal seems much less intimidating and scary, looks more natural, plus there's no scary dentist appointments. Oh, and I can do it in my daggy PJs at home. Winner.

While earlier formulas and brands involved getting messy by mixing activated charcoal dust yourself, Pearl Drops Instant Natural White Charcoal Innovation is far easier - and foolproof - to use.

For starters, it looks like a normal tube of toothpaste which means no-one need know your brightening secret even if they take a look at your bathroom cupboard. It comes out like traditional toothpaste too, albeit a slightly darker purple colour. Just squeeze onto your toothbrush and brush your teeth as you normally would, taking care not to swallow. After two minutes, spit out and rinse and you're good to go.

Activated charcoal
It's dark purple, but still tastes minty fresh. Image: Mamamia.

The biggest difference I noticed was definitely the taste. I've had a few gos at natural teeth whitening and cleaning alternatives (including making my own with makeshift ingredients - let's just say it did not end well) and the killer for me has always been the taste. I just can't stomach it and the gritty, dusty texture hasn't helped either.

With the Pearl Drops tube, all you can taste is the minty fresh flavouring and the purple is a little less frightening than the deep black should any unexpected visitors enter the bathroom. There's a subtle but noticeable change visible from the first use which is great if you're like me and impatient for instant gratification.

Containing 77 per cent natural original ingredients, it also boasts a gentle, low-abrasion formula and fluoride to strengthen tooth enamel.

Cleaning and protecting with the added bonus of a whiter, brighter smile? No surprise they call activated charcoal a wonder ingredient.

What do you think of the charcoal beauty trend? Share your thoughts below.

This content was created with thanks to our brand partner Pearl Drops .