Probably everyone has at least heard of a hygiene product containing charcoal. We can see charcoal powder even in the most unusual products like shampoo, mouthwash, or face scrub. About 10 years ago, this was an exotic concept and cosmetics manufacturers weren’t ecstatic about the idea of potentially clogging their machines with black powder and creating a non-stereotypical product that could potentially lay around in their warehouses. A micro-trend was gaining power but was far from the tidal wave it recently became. 

What exactly is activated charcoal and how come something so dirty ends up in cleaning products?

Activated and active charcoal are equivalent terms, as are active carbon and active charcoal.

Charcoal is the carbon residue of heated biomatter. It is black and odorless and has a porous structure and microscopic grid that acts as a very fine filter. When the charcoal is activated that means that it is processed to significantly increase the number of pores and the surface area. After activation, the outspread surface of 1 gram of charcoal is 3,000 m2 which makes it ideal for filtering, and absorption, through bonding with different chemical substances. That makes the size of 2,5 Olympic pools.

It is very efficient at capturing large molecules and tannins present in tooth discoloration.

What are the applications of active charcoal?

Carbon in general has such a wide spectrum of usages varying from automobile and space and FMCG industry. Because of its multiple benefits, its application is truly universal.

Activated charcoal is widely used in the beauty, cosmetic and medical industries. It is effective against absorbing toxins in food poisoning; however, it is not effective against alcohol poisoning due to its inability to create a bond with the alcohol molecule. Some of its most practical uses are:

  • Filter for industrial and commercial water purification
  • Skin cleansing agent by absorbing microparticles as makeup, dirt, or sebum
  • Deodorant ingredient absorbing the bad odor
  • Dental hygiene and teeth whitening agent


Active Charcoal and Teeth Whitening

Since activated charcoal is not only a great absorbent but also abrasive it greatly serves the purpose of teeth cleaning agent. Plaque is the main reason for dental disease. It is a fine film of bacteria chains and food residuals that is surprisingly challenging to remove. That is why dentists recommend using ultrasonic toothbrushes and using ultrasound themselves to clean off the calcified plaque, called tartar.

Every toothpaste has some kind of abrasive agent. Depending on their hardness the toothpastes have different cleaning efficiency. When integrated into a toothpaste formula, the active charcoal helps cleansing power by scrubbing off plaque and absorbing tannins and other coloring molecules. It has double cleaning power – contributing to the general oral health and to the cosmetic need for a white smile. However, using activated charcoal powder directly on your teeth as abrasive needs to be consulted with your dentist because factors such as gum and enamel condition need to be taken into consideration. Using direct abrasive powder in combination with a toothbrush can be harmful and create an unpleasant feeling and visual effect of black particles stuck between your teeth. 



Even though active charcoal is a great way for prophylaxis of dental diseases and teeth discoloration, it cannot make your teeth whiter than their natural shade. Oral care products having this ingredient work on a surface level, as most of the other teeth whitening agents in mass cosmetics.

We, at Nordics, cherish the natural and super-natural powers of active charcoal as it is easy to produce bio ingredients, dissolves perfectly in Nature without polluting it, and serves great for humanity!