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.
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.