Does activated charcoal really whiten teeth? 

I’ve always known activated charcoal (also known as activated carbon) is more porous than normal charcoal and is there for heavily used to aid in the removal of materials. More commonly it’s used to absorb poisons and other substances from the body that have been consumed, poisons that are organic chemicals such as the chemical created from food poisoning. However it’s more recently become very popular in the beauty industry and is being used as an ingredient that can draw out impurities (from the skin) and help remove unwanted particles and stains (from the teeth).


There are so many varieties of tooth whitening charcoal but the Laila London Activated Teeth Whitening Powder interested me the most with it's added ingredients, packaging and high reviews (I picked it up off of Amazon.co.uk) as well as the fact it is available in Boots!

The coconut based charcoal tooth whitening powder has added ingredients that change the PH levels in the mouth used to kill bacterial and prevent decay. It contains peppermint and lemon to soothe gums, cloves and cinnamon to not only add taste but also contain natural antibacterial properties as well as calcium carbonate to help strengthen sensitive teeth. 


But does it really work?

I’ve used the Laila London Activated Charcoal Tooth Whitening Powder for a week now and have noticed that it has made a difference. Although my teeth weren’t particularly stained beforehand and did appear quite white I had noticed they weren’t as ‘bright’ as usual and realised that’s probably due to those pesky coffee stains.

The product itself can be a little messy. It does advise to use purely the charcoal and no other toothpaste as apparently the glycerine in your average toothpaste can help prevent the natural process of strengthening and whitening your teeth (but you’d have to search that one!). I did try their recommended way of applying the powder to the toothbrush but preferred adding it to my toothpaste by dipping the toothbrush into the powder with a pea sized amount of paste attached. This made the application a little less messy.


The taste of the powder itself is like a sweet, fresh and very slightly spiced flavour which means you don’t get that usual chalky, mud like taste you get from plain old activated charcoal. The powder doesn’t foam up (if you’re using it alone) and you don’t get that satisfying feeling that your teeth have been cleaned to the core (even though they are!). This is another reason why I chose to add it to my toothpaste however it’s really just something that will take some getting used to. 


Another slight negative about the charcoal powder is that although it only suggested brushing your teeth with just water for the last part of your routine (to rid the powder fully) some particles do still stick around and I preferred to use mouth wash to rid those away.

However after using this for 1 week I was surprised to notice a difference. My teeth where whiter and brighter (especially between teeth) but you need to bear in mind that it’s a natural product and not a bleach, so it will only make your teeth as white as they can naturally be. Another positive to it being a natural whitening product is that it’s less harmful than strips, so it won’t strip the enamel or create sensitivity.

Will I continue to use this? Hell yeah. I tend to use it every other day as it’s really helping to rid those coffee stains that can build up daily in between teeth.  

Beki Xo


Strawberry & Basil Gin Punch Cocktail

Bulldog gin is a London dry gin. It is made from 12 botanicals that are distilled 4 times (3 times in neutral grain spirit and the fourth time with the added unique botanicals) to create an ultra-smooth and balanced gin with a citrus base. Those botanicals are; juniper, coriander, lemon, orris, liquorice, angelica, cassia, almond, French lavender, Chinese lotus leaves, Turkish white poppy and dragon eye (longan berries).

When creating this cocktail I wanted something that would complement the roundness of the gin but also add a summer punch feel for the up and coming warmer months.

After testing a couple garnishes to see which worked best with the flavours of the gin I loved the smooth taste of strawberry with the herbal hit of basil at it screamed summer cocktail!

Strawberry & Basil Gin Punch Cocktail Recipe:

50ml Bulldog Gin
1 Sprig of Basil (preferably fresh unlike mine!)
1 Handful of Strawberries
2 cubes of Ice
Fever Tree Tonic

Add the basil and strawberries to a cocktail shaker and muddle together to release the flavour.

Pour in 50ml of Bulldog Gin and 2 cubes of ice

Shake until the cocktail shaker becomes misty

Pop in 3-4 small chopped up strawberries into a balloon glass and pour in the gin

Top with Fevertree Tonic and garnish with a sprig of basil and 1 strawberry

The perfect summer punch cocktail that could be easily made into a larger quantity to serve at a BBQ!

Beki Xo


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