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The Skinny Confidential talks charcoal.

Hi, hi, hi.

Heard of charcoal pills?

Chances are you haven’t, or you have & you’re super obsessed.

If you haven’t, let’s talk.


Well they’re exactly that: pills that are charcoal.

Wait, hold up. WHAT?

Yesssss. Bear with me.

I first found out about charcoal from my friend, Annie of Suja Juice. I asked her some tips for feeling better when I was SICK AS A DOG. She recommended charcoal to eliminate toxins AKA sick-ass germs.

Let’s start with the benefits of ingesting charcoal:

♥ Contains many small chambers & cavities that capture/bind-up unwanted materials & gas
♥ Safely carries unwanted materials and gas out of the digestive system
♥ One of the finest natural adsorbent agents
♥ Provides fast detoxing for better digestion & rejuvenation

&…don’t tell your mom The Skinny Confidential told you this BUT it’s kind of the best hangover cure ever.

It’s like a Dementor from Harry Potter: it sucks the hangover from your soul.


A little more charcoal research for ya because you guys know I LOVE MY F-ING RESEARCH!!

According to this source the powered version of charcoal is AWESOME for whitening teeth ( need to try this ASAP ): “while you might not think that a black powder could actually whiten teeth, you’d be surprised – all you have to do is sprinkle charcoal onto a toothpaste-ladened toothbrush, and brush away. Your mouth may look really bizarre when you brush with charcoal, but if you do this daily, you’ll notice a difference within a couple of weeks. Activated charcoal is odorless and tasteless, so aside from having temporarily black teeth, you won’t be able to tell you’ve got charcoal in your mouth. Keep in mind that activated charcoal is a fine black powder. Although it won’t stain your skin, it can be messy to use, so keep a wet paper towel on hand for a quick clean-up in case you spill” ( HAS ANYONE DONE THIS? IF YOU HAVE, PLEASE SHARE!! ).

As far as ingesting charcoal in pill form, “activated charcoal is a highly absorbent material with millions of tiny pores that can capture, bind, and remove up to 100 times the charcoal’s weight in toxins. The porous surface has a negative electric charge that attracts positively charged toxins and gas to be carried easily out of the body.

Toxins from low quality, processed food, and environmental pollution are a real problem. It is important to help your body eliminate them to promote a healthy digestive system and brain. Chronic exposure to toxins produces cellular damage, allergic reactions, compromised immunity, and more rapid aging. Regular use of activated charcoal is easy on the colon and can remove unwanted toxins from your body, leaving you feeling renewed and more vibrant, often in minutes. Try it even once and you’ll feel a difference!”

AKA if you need to have a bowel movement, try charcoal as an all-natural, healthy option. Laxatives were supposedly cool circa 1995 when Cher met Dee. I was never a fan— OUCH!

All natural options are the way to go ( literally though? ). & since we are on the subject of poo, if you need a healthier bowel movement: DON’T FORGET TO EAT YOUR CHIA SEEDS after popping your charcoal pill.

So, it honestly doesn’t matter which brand you buy as long as the only ingredient is charcoal. I have this kind ( it’s $8 bucks!! ) in my medi cabinet & it works great. There’s also one by BulletProof which is fun because it contains coconut oil too..but it’s more pricey.

Anyone else as obsessed with charcoal as I am??!

x, lauryn

+ as always, consult a doctor before taking any kind of pill.

  1. My aunt is a homeopath and she swears by charcoal. She gave my cousin who got way too tipssyy charcoal and well she woke up fine, ready for the day. We will just leave it at that. Haa

  2. I have used charcoal for teeth whitening for a long time . Works great! Those strips are full of chemicals and hurt, I came across charcoal and it worked even better. just brush for 5 min or so with 1/2 a capsule. I use it every so often for a quick shine up now.

    1. LOVE this. Going to try charcoal powder for my teeth this weekend : ). Just ordered on good, ole Amazon.

  3. Yes! Didn’t realize they even sold charcoal anywhere I’ll need to buy asap, I was given charcoal pills by a pharmacist in Croatia for mild food poisoning- I was better by the next day! For the rest of my vacation I used them for my hangovers and brought extras with me back home for whenever I had an upset stomach. They definitely work.

  4. Whoa! Mind blown – I had no idea about any of this stuff! Thanks for the eye opener! You always have really interesting finds. Plus, I don’t mind that your posts are making me laugh on a daily basis. Thanks girl!


    Sarah | QueSarahSera

  5. How do charcoal pills differentiate (like, can they?) between the icky bad stuff and the good-for-you nutrients? AKA if I was to eat a watermelon (yums!) then a bag of chips, how does it know boo chips yay watermelon?

    1. You are right they will absorb some nutrients as well as toxins. They are meant to be used to treat some people who have ingested poisons and this is done under supervised conditions. They can also cause severe vomiting, diahrea and intestinal issues. They should not be taken by people with heart conditions and can make birth control innaffective. There had not been enough conclusive research to say if the the benefits outweigh the risks.

    2. Good to know Rachel (especially for women who are on birth control) because I was wondering the same thing. Interesting post nonetheless.


  6. I LOVE activated charcoal!! I buy it in capsule form and break it open and then pour it onto my teeth – your spit will make it pasty – then I hop into the shower #multitasking and then when I get out of the shower (so I leave it on 5-15 minutes) I rinse with water a ton of times and brush my teeth (and tongue it will be black) – and voila!! white white teeth. I like to do it before events for an extra sparkle!

    I legit have sent my friends so many before and afters and force my family to do it too… plus if you swallow a bit you don’t feel like you just ingested 2930875 chemicals!

    xx B

  7. I’ve heard that charcoal can be really constipating if you take very much of it, so you’re right – balance it out with that good fiber and a ton of water

  8. I lalalalovvve charcoal tablets, they really calm down any bloating, and help to give you a flat stomach. I use them for teeth whitening, and I saw a difference after just using it once. I just used half a capsule, and brushed gently for about 3-5 minutes. It’s important to note, not to take charcoal tablets alongside any other medications, i.e. birth control, as it can absorb the medication :0 enjoy your sparkly knashers. (could they be more sparkly tho?) xox

  9. I have heard about this and just saw it for the first time in the stomach issues aisle at Walgreens the other day!! I was definitely intrigued – thanks for all these deets. If I’m not eating perfectly FODMAP or lactose free, you can bet my stomach needs all the absorbency healp it can get!! Definitely giving this a shot 🙂

  10. Wow – need to try! Do you recommend taking them the night of drinking or the morning after for a hangover cure? 🙂

  11. Hmmm, I’m always down to try new remedies. My boyfriend will love this, he has horrible hangovers but I don’t. i wonder, do you take it the night you drink, before you fall asleep? Or do you take it in the morning?

  12. I have used the charcoal powder from capsules to whiten my teeth. It didn’t do wonders for me because I already had pretty white teeth (oil pulling!) BUT I made my bf do it and it was amazing how much it helped whiten his yellowy teeth!

  13. I love this! It totally makes sense – my little pup got into something he shouldn’t have and the vet gave him charcoal. I use a charcoal face mask so why wouldn’t it work in other ways too?! Definitely want to try the teeth whitening!!
    Xo,D –> Meet the Pets of 204 Park!

  14. Awesome! I totally swear by this for so many reasons, including those bloated days after big sushi and sake nights, hangovers, or during hormonal times of the month when I start feeling way too puffy. Bulletproof is great, and you get so much for the price that it’s a good deal and the best quality.


  15. Charcoal pills are staples here in Thailand! They even sell them at 7-11 because of all the crap from the water! I use these every so often when I feel the need to cleanse and restart without doing the whole juice cleanse bit! So glad you posted about this I had no idea I could use it for my teeth! xo C

  16. I LOVE my charcoal!!! I started using it once a day for a week to jumpstart whitening my teeth and now I use it every once in a while to touch up. I have also used it for the odd hangover or stomach issues. More than anything I keep it on hand as a mom to use in a poisoning emergency. It can also be a natural remedy for many other things that affect babies and kids! I swear by activated charcoal!!!!!

  17. Yes! LOVE charcoal for teeth whitening (I went with a clay based tooth paste, and my teeth seriously haven’t been whiter ever since I made the swap from the flouride stuff), and it is also so great for eyebrows too (mix with a little aloe + coco oil)! I also have a lava salt that is mixed with the activated charcoal that I put on literally everything I eat, it is amazing. I haven’t even THOUGHT of taking them in pills, just the powder, and getting over hangy’s are incentive enough… 😉

    1. Sorry – to clarify, I noticed that my teeth have been at its whitest when I did the natural toothpaste + charcoal whitening treatments.

  18. You do need to be careful with charcoal pills, however, if you’re taking certain medication. It can interfere with the absorption of some medications.

  19. I have used charcoal to whiten my teeth before… it is super messy, but it works! I also keep a bottle of capsules in my desk at work & at home for when I am having stomach issues – it seriously cures everything! Just make sure you drink a ton of water with it, it tends to dehydrate 🙂

  20. I started reading this post thinking you were crazy… but now, I’m totally hooked. Definitely going to stop at Target after work and pick up some charcoal pills?!?! (if they have it)… and definitely going to order some powder for my teeth off Amazon! Thanks for the tips! — & love the HP reference.

  21. My roommate first introduced charcoal capsules to me in the fall & I adore them! I break open the capsule in a bowl & use about half of it, then I put a few drops of water in the bowl to moisten it up. Once it turns in to more of a paste form instead of a powered form I rub it on my teeth with my (clean) finger. Let it sit on my teeth for 10-15 minutes, but I can’t close my lips, LOL. Otherwise the inside of your lips will rub the charcoal right off. Once the time is up I’ll rinse my mouth with water and brush my teeth like normal.

  22. I kid you not, here I am googling an all-natural anti-bloat because HI MOTHER NATURE CALLED, she said I’m not having a baby, and I’m bloating like a whale! It’s a beautiful thing being a woman. I am going to get this amazon primed ASAP to my house. Also teeth whitening from charcoal sounds awesome, can’t wait to try!

    All the best!

  23. OMG I love you for this tip – hangovers are the worst.. Speaking of, what are your thoughts of adding chia to your cocktails? 🙂

  24. I’ve ONLY ever heard of using activated charcoal for toxin removal. If you swallowed some poison the doctor in the E.R. would give you charcoal to combat the effects of the poison.
    Who knew you could do all these other things with it.

    Awesome post Lauryn. Thanks for putting this out there.

  25. I’ve heard that some ERs give activated charcoal to children who have accidentally ingested toxins or chemicals. Homeopaths recommend that if you have kids you keep activated charcoal on hand in case of emergencies like that!

  26. Hey there! Just want to chime in–I work for Bulletproof and our charcoal does not have coconut oil in it. The charcoal itself is made from pure coconut shells.

    But on the topic of teeth whitening, I use charcoal all the time and it works wonders! I have really sensitive teeth and can’t use conventional whitening products, so charcoal is a lifesaver for me.

    One more note on the topic–make sure not to take it with any medication! It can bind to more than just toxins.

  27. Interestinggggg!! I am definitely interested in anything that can help with teeth whitening. My teeth have such weak enamel that white strips will just tear them apart so I love the natural alternative.

  28. Literally was about to put white strips on right after this. Now I will be throwing them away and ordering some charcoal powder! Can’t wait to try it out! Xx

  29. YES when I was in India, I noticed that everyone I came in contact with, even the least fortunate people I met had THE most gleaming white teeth, like sparkling. When I asked a woman how her teeth were so damn sparkly she showed me this little pot of charcoal powder that you get from the chemist out there that apparently they ALL use – literally everyone even the old people, explaining how they have the most amazing pearly whites. So obviously I run and get some and dumb old Western me didnt think to ask how they used it so I just dug into it with my finger and rubbed away on my teeth with my finger, didn’t think much of it and never used it again. THANK YOU for pointing me in the right direction!! I’ll be digging out my little pot of Indian charcoal asap

  30. It’s the bomb! I mix it with peppermint essential oil and coconut oil so it’s not so messy. Also great before a date so you don’t get nervous tummy gas…Do check if you are taking certain meds, it can clean them right out of your system.

  31. LOVE THIS! I have been taking activated charcoal for the past few years! I originally found out about its amazing benefits when my body was rejecting a lot of foods and I wasn’t able to digest certain things and would get absolutely horrible acid reflux. I didn’t want to take icky prescription medication so I found out about charcoal. I keep some in a little plastic baggy in my purse at all times in case I eat something my body struggles with. AMAZING with digestion! I have also used it a few times for brushing my teeth! I just open up a capsule onto my toothbrush/toothpaste. It definitely works, but I don’t do it all the time because cleaning up after it makes a mess can be a little time consuming. But it is definitely great if you are getting ready for an event/pictures and want that extra whiteness boost!

    P.S. It was so wonderful seeing you at the RV!

    Love reading as always,
    Kayleigh Bush

  32. You are hilarious, and this article made me laugh out loud. I read somewhere that vagina steaming might be relaxing to some, but the special blend of herbs & spices (Johnny’s Seasoning Salt, anyone?) doesn’t even come close to making it inside your body. You’re steaming your vagina, not your uterus. You vag has lips, just like your face. They don’t just spread open willy-nilly and let everything in, no matter how relaxed you are. If they did, you’d have water pouring out of your vagina every time you got out of a swimming pool. Imagine closing your mouth, and then blasting steam at it. The steam hits your lips, it might feel good, but it’s not making it into your mouth. So unless you have the same kind of control over your JJ lips that you do over the ones on your face, and can open wide on demand, the steam is just hitting the outer part of your female anatomy. I can get behind that it might help fight the nasty little bacteria that grow there, and could be helpful in that regard. But as for healing steam wafting around my womb? Not gonna happen. The only thing that gets past my cervix is sperm, and they cry when they see the IUD.

    1. What the f are you even saying………. I think you’re on the wrong article idiot.

  33. Wow! I want to try it by where can I get them I look at CVS and they didn’t have them it would be great if someone can tell me where to get them or what drug store to go them !!

  34. How often do you take these and how much? My package says 12 a day but I can’t believe that’s true….

  35. great article!! I definitely want to try these – how often do you take them? And if you use powder, how much do you mix in with water?


  36. When using the activated charcoal for drinking, do you take it the night of drinking, or after the drinking is done?


  37. I always ask for charcoal in my cold-pressed drinks at the market but these other options are AMAZING! Perfect for my occasional drinking and teeth whitening!

  38. It may be cheaper to get charcoal tablets at chemist, they are black and messy though but also include icing sugar so taste a bit better! I have tablets during the.night with alcohol. I might also take them after a hangover.

  39. Charcoal is my JAM — take turmeric, charcoal, + magnesium every night before bed, wake up feeling great (especially after you’ve had your morning coffee **insert smiling poo emoji here**)

    Break open a charcoal capsule and mix with an egg white for a quick + easy detox face mask – the best, especially after working out with makeup on and your pores need to clear OUT. <3

  40. To get faster results from using activated charcoal for whitening teeth, use it as a mouthwash. You add some to a little bit of water, swish it around your mouth then hold it there for a few mins. After you spit it out you’ll see an improvement immediately

  41. I’m as big a fan as anyone of the positive effects of activated charcole but in addition, please warn people that this will also strip your body of many off the vitamins and minerals that you put in it. I love it but it’s a broad brush! It’s meant for use with a purpose not constant consumption.

  42. Wow!!!!! Such a great read.

    Lauryn, YOU care about your health and talk about polution / and are very aware of free radical damage. You really really have to try Protandim!!!! It litterally turns on your Nrf2 gene which fights off free radicals 1 million times more than antioxidants from food / nutrients– fighting off inflammation like a mother fucker and turning back the clock from aging with just 5 natural ingredients: green tea extract, turmeric, ashwagandha, bocoupa extract & milk thistle. I couldn’t go a day without it! Get on board my love. <3

  43. I brush my teeth with activated charcoal daily and they have never been whiter! Really great option for sensitive teeth.

  44. I take both the charcoal pills and do the charcoal teeth whitening! I take the charcoal pill every Sunday night to kind of cleanse my body for the weekend and get ready for the week. As for the charcoal powder for teeth whitening, I brush it on my teeth and hop in the shower, let it sit on my teeth for about 5 minutes and then rinse it out with shower water. It deff whitens your teeth by removing the stains but you have to for sure keep up with it! Good article! I love all your tips!

  45. Charcoal tablets can be used for other annoyances such as foul body odor – in fact some even use the tablets externally on locations such as the arm pits – however a good charcoal deodorant is probally a better idea for this. Activated charcoal may even help fungi issues and bacterial issues within the body like Candia and yeast infections.

  46. Worth mentioning that you don’t want to take charcoal pills with any medications or vitamins since it can reduce their absorption & efficacy. True?

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