It's hard to keep track of what's going on with Drake these days when he's not doing promo for an album release cycle, but every now and then he lets us in on what's good in the 6ix. Apparently, he's really into activated charcoal right now, as revealed in a comment on this Instagram photo of him in the club flashing his signature smile. Someone foolishly attempted to accuse Champagne Papi of having food stuck in his pearly whites, but Drake did not hesitate at the chance to clap back and put them in their rightful place. "I have a pink diamond in my tooth," he replied. "I brush with activated charcoal before any club night where I will see baddies know datttttttttt."
The wrath of the 6 god is not something that I would ever want to awaken, but I think the bright side of this moment is that it's about to provide a major breakthrough for oral hygiene. While activated charcoal is nothing new in the skin care world — Boscia has an entire collection dedicated to the supplement — only recently has it been making a splash in the land of oral care. Not only is it now being sold in the form of capsules and toothpastes, but trendy bars and cafes are adding activated charcoal as a special ingredient for some of their cocktails and lattes. Believe it or not, there's even charcoal ice cream being served at some parlors.
I've been drinking activated charcoal lemonades for almost two years now and not only has this magical potion worked wonders for clearing up my acne-prone skin, but it also keeps my internal system feeling 100% clean. (If you live on the east coast, I highly recommend the offerings from Pressed Juicery, Lulitonix and JRINK). Some of the benefits of activated charcoal include teeth whitening, preventing bad breath and cavities, balancing pH levels in the mouth, alleviating gas and bloating, treating insect bites, reducing high cholesterol, cleaning the digestive system and removing toxins from the body. For centuries, it has been used to treat alcohol poisoning which makes it the ultimate hangover cure. Activated charcoal can also be used for water filtration and air purification, so it's good for the environment overall.
Dr. Gary Glassman, Chief Dental Officer of DentalCorp, warns people not to fall for trends based on celebrity endorsements though. "To date there are no conclusive evidence that these products work as they say they do on both the whitening and cleaning fronts," he said. "The long-term effects are that it can actually lead to enamel deterioration and tooth erosion."
Dr. Glassman advises people interested in trying activated charcoal toothpaste to use it sparingly rather than switching over completely. His main concern is the lack of fluoride in most of the formulas that are currently on the market — without this ingredient bacteria like plaque can't be removed.
Alix Turoff, a registered dietitian, nutrition consultant and certified personal trainer, also agrees that activated charcoal is probably safest to consume in moderation and small doses. "Realistically, it's probably not necessary for most people to be using activated charcoal as a way to 'detox' because your liver and kidney already take care of that for you," she said. "Activated charcoal by mouth is great when camping — for instance, if you are going to be drinking water from a source that you're unfamiliar with like a lake — or even if you're on vacation in a third world country that might not have the most clean drinking water but for the most part, it's not too necessary."
"Activated charcoal works by binding to the toxins and unwanted chemicals in your body, so your body doesn't absorb dangerous compounds," he explained in an email. "Even better, it's safe for most people to add to their daily routine–negative reactions to activated charcoal are rare and when they do happen, they're typically not severe."
So, don't be alarmed when your 💩 turns black because that's totally normal! There's also a slight chance the consumption of activated charcoal can lead to nausea or vomiting, but that's most likely a result of your body purging itself from toxins. Activated charcoal is labeled as a supplement, which means that it is regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), but the process is not as strict as it would be for medication so you'll want to consult a physician, doctor or nutritionist before trying anything. It's also important to mention that activated charcoal is not the same as the charcoal you use to fire up the grill for barbecue, so please do not make the deadly mistake of ingesting any of that.
If this is your first time stumbling down the rabbit hole of activated charcoal, don't worry because we've handpicked 13 products to get you started on your transformative journey.
Welcome to the dark side!
Morihata, Kishu Binchotan Charcoal 1/4 lb ($16, available at Free People)
Keeko, Mint Charcoal Mouthwash ($18, available at Free People)