The Best Charcoal Teeth Whitening Supplement (Plus, Those Best for Health and Beauty)

Consuming charcoal or using it on your body can seem very strange. You may have heard of it being used in hospitals to help overdose patients, but when you’re standing there looking down as you grill your meat over the fire it all seems rather dubious.

Activated charcoal isn’t really new. Charcoal has actually been used for centuries and before proper toothpaste was invented, this is what people used to clean their teeth and as an antidote for poisons.

We’ll go through exactly what activated charcoal is shortly, and no, it’s definitely not the same as the charcoal you use at a BBQ. First, we’re going to go through some of the best activated charcoal brands.

1. Viva Doria Virgin Activated Charcoal Powder

Viva Doria Virgin Activated Charcoal Powder

Our Verdict: Best for Trying it the First Time

This jar is quite small with a net weight of 1.2 oz which makes it great for traveling if you prefer to use powder. It’s made out of hardwood trees from a controlled environment right here in the U.S.

It’s great to use to whiten your teeth and in masks and facial scrubs. To take orally, the recommended dose is ½ teaspoon mixed with water.

The powder is very fine, so be very careful with it. Always open it slowly and keeping it out of the reach of kids who might spill it everywhere is advised. Poking holes in the seal before opening it is the best way to avoid a cloud of black powder going everywhere when you open it the first time.

Pros:

  • USP Food Grade
  • Vegan and gluten-free
  • Made in the USA
  • Pure virgin Activated Hardwood Charcoal
  • Easy to adjust dose and use in DIY products

Cons:

  • Very messy
  • Opening the seal usually results in a puff of powder being released

2. NaturaLife Labs Organic Activated Charcoal Capsules

NaturaLife Labs Organic Activated Charcoal Capsules

Our Verdict: Best Activated Charcoal Capsules

If you prefer to take capsules these are a great option. Each capsule provides 600mg of activated charcoal. These capsules may help with gas and can be opened to use the powder for your teeth or in DIY projects. If you prefer not to risk getting charcoal everywhere, capsules are a must.

If you are trying to be healthier, drinking excessively won’t help you, but it’s worth it to note that these can help for hangovers when taken before you drink.

The capsules can be a bit dry so take them with lots of water to prevent them from getting stuck on the way down.

Pros:

  • Made in the USA in an FDA registered facility in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • Pure coconut shell activated charcoal, the only other ingredient is vegetable cellulose for the capsule
  • Although not certified as such, these are GMO-free and organic
  • 50 servings per bottle
  • Third party tested

Cons:

  • You have to take 2 capsules to reach the recommended dose
  • The capsules can be dry when swallowing them

3. Sagano Raw Activated Charcoal Powder

Sagano Raw Activated Charcoal Powder

Our Verdict: Best Activated Charcoal Powder

The bigger size of this bag is great for DIY projects. It’s easy to control your dose and mixes well with water when you want to take it orally. It may be really helpful for acne-prone skin and clogged pores when used in masks.

While the packaging states that it’s raw, this is not meant literally. What they mean is pure. The ziplock bag can be a bit messy to use so be careful when scooping and be sure to close it properly again.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Pure coconut shell activated charcoal
  • Lasts long, up to a year
  • The recommended dose for taking internally is 1 teaspoon in a glass of water
  • 1 lb bag

Cons:

  • Although the coconuts come from Indonesia, the product is made in China
  • Can be messy

4. Schizandu Organic Coconut Activated Charcoal Capsules

Schizandu Organic Coconut Activated Charcoal Capsules

Our Verdict: Best Budget Buy

If you prefer smaller doses, 2 capsules are the equivalent of 520mg. These capsules are easy to take and you can open them up to use them in powdered form. They may be helpful for upset and bloated stomachs and easy to take along on your travels.

If you are passionate about getting the oceans cleaned up, this brand is great. Each bottle you buy ensure some of the profit goes toward that cause.

If you do want to take a larger dose, you will have to take more than two of these capsules at a time. They also tend to leak the powder slightly and can turn your hands black which is annoying, especially if you’re in a hurry.

Pros:

  • Vegan and non-GMO
  • GMP certified and manufactured in an FDA approved facility in the U.S
  • Easy to swallow or open to use the powder
  • Perfect for smaller doses (105 servings if you take 2 capsules)

Cons:

  • At 520mg the dose is quite small
  • The powder leaks from the capsules making them messy

5. Active Wow Teeth Whitening Charcoal Powder

Active Wow Teeth Whitening Charcoal Powder

Our Verdict: Best Charcoal Teeth Whitening Product

This isn’t just activated coconut charcoal, but also contains bentonite, orange seed oil, baking powder, coconut oil, and mint which help to whiten your teeth, kill germs, and freshen your mouth. It comes in different flavors as well, Natural, Spearmint, and Vanilla.

It is quite pricey, and because not everyone’s teeth will be white after removing surface stains, it can be disappointing. The powder is also not as fine as some of the other brands so brush very gently to prevent damage to your teeth and gums.

Pros:

  • Vegan
  • Made with natural ingredients in the US.
  • Refreshing taste
  • The jar is small so it’s easy to travel with
  • A little goes a long way

Cons:

  • It’s a bit on the pricey side
  • It can be a bit abrasive as the powder isn’t very fine

What is Activated Charcoal?

toothbrush black and white reflection

Activated charcoal also called activated carbon can be made of different materials. Peat, coconut shells, olive pits, wood, bone char, sawdust, etc, can all be used. The material is heated up to very high temperatures which activate it. Steam or acid can also be used to treat the charcoal.

What the activation process does is change the structure of the charcoal making the surface area larger and the pores smaller. It becomes more absorbent too.

This is essentially the difference between normal charcoal and activated charcoal. Normal charcoal is never heated to such high temperatures and is actually toxic to eat and we wouldn’t advise using it in any DIY beauty and personal care products either.

Activated charcoal is safe to use as long as you use it correctly.

What is the Best Activated Charcoal?

When it comes to the best type of activated charcoal, there are a few things to consider since different types of activated charcoal are best for different things.

Naturally, if you are vegan or vegetarian you’ll want to avoid charcoal made from bone char.

Reputable brands will already have the appropriate type of charcoal packaged for that purpose, usually hardwood, bamboo, or coconut for beauty and health. Just make sure that when you buy powder as opposed to pills or capsules that it’s food grade.

What Do You Use Activated Charcoal For?

Because activated charcoal is so good for absorbing impurities, unwanted chemicals, and toxins, it’s used for a wide variety of things such as water filtration systems and as mentioned, to help patients who have overdosed on drugs or medication.

These same properties make it great for using activated charcoal for health, cosmetic, and personal care use as well. Uses include:

Teeth Whitening

While there is little scientific evidence that activated charcoal whitens your teeth, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that it does.

It’s important to understand that unlike bleach or hydrogen peroxide-based whitening treatments, charcoal can’t change the color of your actual teeth, but what it can help to do is to remove the stains that accumulate on your teeth.

The main problem aside from stains from tea, coffee, red wine, greens, beetroot, etc, what causes our teeth to yellow is the enamel thinning over the years. The dentin below is yellow.

Getting your teeth whitened professionally or using over the counter solutions can be time consuming and make your teeth more sensitive.

But taking care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing can help and charcoal removes stains without making your teeth sensitive when used gently.

How to use activated charcoal for whitening:

  • Wet your toothbrush
  • Dip it into the charcoal (the capsules can be opened to provide powder if you don’t have the powder version)
  • Brush your teeth
  • You can also leave it in your mouth for a few minutes after brushing
  • Spit and rinse (you will probably need to floss as well as the charcoal particles can get stuck between teeth

You can also buy charcoal toothpaste or mix your toothpaste with the charcoal, but be aware that it absorbs fluoride, calcium, and magnesium which can negate the effects of your toothpaste. So it may be best to use the method above.

Check out this video for a full rundown of how to do it:

Face Masks and Scrubs

To get smooth skin and remove impurities, adding charcoal to your DIY masks and scrubs, or purchasing commercial products containing charcoal. It’s especially good for those with clogged pores or acne prone skin.

Get Rid of Toxins

If you have excessive toxins in your body, you can lighten the burden for your body’s own detox system a little by taking a charcoal pill or capsule. It binds to all the toxins in your gut and then leaves your body when you visit the restroom.

You will see the results in your skin, joints, and your energy levels if you did indeed have a buildup of toxins

Improves Kidney function

Carbon has been shown to improve kidney function so if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, this is a simple way of improving your health.

Lower Cholesterol

You can also use this method to reduce your cholesterol levels. This was seen in a study done as early as 1989 already. Another added bonus is that it helps to reduce excess gas from the digestive tract too.

Concerns About Activated Charcoal

Binds to More Than Just Toxins

Activated charcoal is safe to consume, but the problem is that it binds to not only the bad substances in your body but the good ones too. If you take it too close to your meals all your nutrients will be bound in the carbon and transported out of your body.

So take it at least 3-4 hours before or after your meals. Steer clear of those charcoal smoothies and pancakes too for this reason.

It also affects the absorption of medication, so speak to your doctor before using charcoal if you are on any medication at all or taking supplements to combat a deficiency.

Staining

The powder can get everywhere. Clothes, carpets, cracks in the walls or along the bath or sink, even in your gum line. If the powder is dry, first try smacking or swatting it with a fly swatter or tennis racket or even a wooden spoon. Then try vacuuming it. Only then try putting it in the wash.

As you can see, preventing it from getting it on your carpets is key. But you should be able to wash or wipe away the carbon if it’s on hard surface.

It Stains You Too

If you brush your teeth with it you may end up walking around with a black tongue. You will also note that when you poop that your stools may also be black if you take it orally.

Other Side Effects

If you use too much charcoal or your system doesn’t like it, it can cause constipation, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. It can also cause intestinal blockages or exacerbate an existing intestinal blockage. It can also cause dehydration.

Don’t use carbon if you are prone to intestinal blockages or currently have one.

Consult your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Pregnancy makes you prone to constipation and you need to make sure that your body absorbs optimal amounts of nutrients for you and your growing baby.


There you have it. The best activated carbon brands, how to use them, and what to look out for.

Our Top 3 Favorites

Let us know if you’ve tried any of these and if you have any questions, pop them in the comment section below.

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