9 On Your Side: Is activated charcoal safe to use?


Activated charcoal is one of the newest beauty hack trends all over social media. 9OYS spoke with a skin expert on Thursday to find out if this hack is safe. 

This charcoal is not the same charcoal on the summer grill, this powdery material is being used on the skin, hair and teeth. 

The phenomena has been a popular trend all over social media and YouTube. 

Paul Naoum, co-founder of Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design in Greenville said the trend has its pros and cons. He said the face mask videos, made with activated charcoal and glue, are bad for the skin; however, if used in a gentle way, the substance can be beneficial. 

“It is those charcoal peel off masks that you see, they are a fad and look really cool in a Facebook video,  they will put them over their face and yank it off,” said Naoum. “They are fun to watch but they are not good for your skin.”  

He said the substance is a porous material which is good at absorbing and removing toxins, which is relatively a good thing, but it can be used in negative ways.

“There are instances where it can be very helpful and instances where it isn’t so helpful, could be dangerous or could just be a placebo,” he said, 

Naoum warns against using the masks seen on social media. He said those masks strip the surface layer off your skin and can be very abrasive. He said these masks dehydrate the skin and cause sensitivity. 

9OYS also learned activated charcoal powder is being used on teeth. We spoke with dentists around town, and they said the whitening effects are temporary and can also deteriorate tooth enamel in used in access.

Naoum suggested before using activated charcoal, in any form, do your research. 

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