Editor’s Note: If you’re thinking of buying a charcoal toothpaste or powder, we recommend first checking out our best charcoal toothpaste article. It contains a huge guide on using and choosing charcoal toothpaste.
Whilst mankind has come up with lots of fantastic solutions to lots of problems, sometimes the all natural solutions can be best.
Take for example tiredness, an energy drink may get you through, but nothing beats good sleep.
Feeling a bit down, a day out in the sun is a fantastic cure in my opinion.
So how about when it comes to cleaning and whitening your teeth?
Activated Charcoal is currently one of the most talked about, used and promoted products.
Made from the shells of coconuts, does this all black powder really work as many are suggesting and is it the all natural cure or alternative to expensive whitening processes?
I put CoCo Pure Activated Coconut Charcoal to the test and in this article I am here to report my findings.
Does it actually work?
For some, but at a price.
I am not here to kid you, not everyone will see benefits.
Those with regular tooth brushing habits are less likely to see the same level of improvement in colour compared to those with a poor oral healthcare routine and heavily stained teeth.
Charcoal works by removing stains from the teeth and does not whiten teeth by bleaching.
However, this comes at a price. Not necessarily financially, but by the messier and maybe not as pleasant process that is using charcoal compared to ordinary toothpaste.
How much does it cost?
£3.95 for a tub which contains 20g (view on Amazon).
This is the cheapest activated charcoal product I have used to date. There is less in the tub which is reflected in the price, but many products are 3 times the cost, but quite often you get more charcoal.
Warpaint is a more expensive competitor. £25 for 30g!
This makes CoCo Pure very reasonable and spoiler alert, it is just as effective.
Where can I buy it?
Both sites offer the powder at the same price.
- 100% natural
- Suitable for vegans
- Made in the UK
- Smart packaging
- It can improve teeth colour and ‘whiten’ them
- Can be messy and taste a bit dull
- Gritty taste/texture
- Will not whiten teeth for all
- The true effects on the teeth are not known
Would I recommend it?
Having tested several different activated charcoal products, my recommendations remain fairly consistent throughout.
This is not a guaranteed whitening fix for your teeth. Some will benefits whilst others will not.
Going by the directions provided by CoCo Pure the time required to use this is less than other brands.
However this is a potentially messy and feels less natural a process, despite being a 100% natural product.
The biggest reason to opt for CoCo Pure compared to other brands is the value. It is one of the cheapest options from the more tried and tested products out there and acts as a cost effective way to try the whole ‘activated charcoal’ craze out.
Do any kind of web or social media search for activated charcoal and you will likely be greeted with results that include images of before and after shots as well as some with a rather black looking smile.
That black coloured smile is the activated charcoal working its all natural magic on the teeth, removing stains and making your teeth whiter.
In fact if you believe the packaging of CoCo Pure then it is said to rescue and restore your teeth, which I think might be a stretch given the lack of research into the danger and benefits of charcoal as a toothpaste.
But what is is really like to use on a regular basis?
How I tested the activated charcoal
I have highlighted in our best charcoal toothpaste article how there is a lack of detailed study in the use of charcoal products.
This review certainly does not qualify as a clinical study or scientific test to prove or disprove the merits of charcoal.
But, in the interest of trying to be fair, I have tried to test this under relatively strict conditions.
CoCo Pure Activated Coconut Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder was part of my routine for 4 weeks.
I made no changes to my brushing other than using activated charcoal rather than a regular toothpaste.
CoCo Pure suggest to use once or twice a week.
Unsure as to whether this should be just 1 or 2 brushing sessions or 1 or 2 days, I used morning and night for 2 days per week, over the 4 week period. This totaled 8 days or 16 brushing sessions. This should have given it the best chance to succeed.
I used an Oral-B Genius 9000 electric toothbrush with the powder.
Each clean lasted for 2 minutes with the powder and then once complete, I rinsed my mouth out and brushed again with a regular toothpaste.
I then used the regular toothpaste on the other 5 days of the week too.
I flossed once a day and made no other significant changes in my diet or habits.
Summary How I tested Coco Pure
- Test lasted for 4 weeks
- Used Oral-B Genius 9000 electric toothbrush
- Cleaned twice a day for 2 minutes with the charcoal for 2 days of the week followed by regular toothpaste
- Remaining 5 days brushed with regular toothpaste twice a day for 2 minutes
- Flossed once a day
- No changes in diet
Shipped in what looks to be a metal tin, it is in fact a plastic container finished in silver.
A CoCo Pure sticker is found on the top and the bottom and a white piece of tape acts as a seal between the two parts of the container.
Break the seal, and unscrew the cap to reveal the super fine and really black activated charcoal.
Be careful when opening, this powder is very fine and is like flour. Drop it or spill it and it goes everywhere. Just be warned.
Inside the tub is just 20g, but that actually looks like a lot, when you need only a small coating on the bristles of your brush.
There are varying suggestions on how best to use activated charcoal on your teeth.
CoCo Pure suggest to dab a wetted toothbrush into the powder, brush for 2 minutes, rinse and then brush again with a regular toothpaste.
They say do this once or twice a week.
Some other brands suggest leave the charcoal on the teeth for a couple of minutes after brushing to let it work, then rinse. Others do also suggest it is safe to use everyday.
No manufacturer of activated charcoal powders have provided any evidence to explain or demonstrate the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA). This is a scale that ranks how abrasive a product is on the teeth. Different pastes and powders rank differently.
When asked was it safe to use, I was met with a response that my question was passed to another department, to which I received no further response from CoCo Pure.
Their website is also very light on information and poorly formatted with spelling and layout issues. I wish not to reflect these shortcomings on the product, but the mind does wonder.
Only Beverly Hills have offered data in relation to the RDA results of their charcoal toothpaste.
This formulation is very fine and it did not taste or feel as abrasive in the mouth as other pastes I have used, but, that is not confirmation that it is safe to use long term. Many are with few reported side effects.
If you do use and feel added sensitivity, bleeding or problems as a result, then consult a dentist for professional advice if these symptoms do not subside within a couple of days. This goes for any change of toothpaste, charcoal based or not.
Charcoal can stain clothes and toothbrushes, so you need to be careful and you may want to use an alternative toothbrush if you decide to use this. Manual or electric, either are fine. You can use your normal brush, but if white, it may end up a dull grey; a lot washes off.
If you did that web search for charcoal toothpaste or powder it is during and after the 2 minute brushing that your mouth will be left with a dark grey/black coating, it looks odd but it is normal.
When using CoCo Pure I noticed no real taste to the powder that is 100% natural made from coconuts. If anything it tastes ‘earthy’. There is certainly a gritty texture to it though. Bite together when in the mouth and you can really taste it.
After cleaning your teeth do feel clean, just in a way that you might not be used to. You are not left with that zingy fresh clean that is common from most regular mint flavoured toothpastes.
Unlike Coco Smile and Pro Teeth Whitening Co’s options there are no other added ingredients, be that natural or man made.
This therefore makes the coconut based activated charcoal safe for vegans.
It is also made in the UK.
The powder has a 12 month shelf life once opened. How long a tub will last will depend on how frequently you use it.
Used just a couple of times a week and you will probably get 6+ months out of the pot, used everyday and maybe 6 weeks.
It would have been more appealing had there been a minty taste, but to get this would have required more ingredients and it would have unlikely ever achieved the zesty taste you get with a tube of toothpaste, without adding man made ingredients.
At £3.95 a tub, this is cheaper than the competition and is certainly a good way for you to find out whether you want to continue using such a product or not.
Prices of alternative brands can reach up to £25, but somewhere between £10-£15 is what most go for, although they often include 2 or 3 times the amount of powder.
I believe in being truthful and honest and as such, I need to ensure you are aware of the principles upon which charcoal actually works and how it whitens teeth.
It does not whiten teeth by bleaching or staining them another colour. It achieves this by effectively cleaning the teeth and removing surface stains.
Tannins and bacteria such as plaque, tea. Coffee stains and more are essentially absorbed by the charcoal powder and removed as you brush and spit the excess out.
Activated charcoal, at a microscopic level is porous and absorbs bacteria amongst it, leaving the mouth cleaner and fresher.
You will not get a Hollywood smile with this. A couple of shades lighter, maybe. However you will really only see the benefit if you have not for a while or previously used any whitening products. Those already brushing with a whitening paste, don’t swap for the sake of it, the odds of improvement are slim.
Brush once a day, smoke 10 a day, drink plenty of coffee and like a glass of red wine, then you are a perfect candidate for the best chance of results.
You only have to look at other reviews, particularly those on Amazon to see how some swear by it whilst others see no advantage.
Professional whitening offered by a dentist uses bleaches and peroxides to change the tooth colour, whereas charcoal restores natural whiteness by cleaning stains off.
Activated Charcoal including CoCo Pure is made from coconuts. This is not the same as charcoal used on your BBQ.
Whilst I failed to see any colour change in my teeth over the 4 week period, what I did feel is that my teeth did feel clean. There is also an odd psychological effect, see your black teeth, rinse it off and instantly the teeth look whiter.
I should note that I have used many whitening products over the last couple of years, so it would be a challenge for CoCo Pure to have had a positive effect.
Summary of Daily Usage
- Plastic tub – silver in colour looks metal
- Screw lid
- Contains 20g of activated charcoal
- 12 month shelf life
- Black in colour
- Fine texture
- No real taste
- Brush for 2 minutes, rinse and brush again with a normal toothpaste
- Use once or twice a week
- Whitens teeth by removing stain causing bacteria better, the charcoal absorbs this
- Can be instant whitening effect or may have limited signs of improvement for some
- Can be messy and stain brush heads
- Good value
- 100% natural
- Suitable for vegans
So after 4 weeks and 16 cleans with CoCo Pure, my teeth are no whiter in my opinion.
Having used many whitening products over the years, it was going to be a challenge to have whitened them, as there are no noticeable stains.
Others, particularly you if you do have stained teeth, and you know you could do better at cleaning, could see an improvement. 66% of those who have reviewed it on Amazon have seen improvement.
22% have rated it as poor though. I think because it is one of the cheaper options it is getting the majority of the negative comments, as users are disappointed by it. However I do also believe that there is a misunderstanding of how exactly it works.
Conclusion, is CoCo Pure Activated Coconut Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder any good?
Less than £4 could be the answer to whiter teeth for some, not for me though.
Even though I did not expect, it, you should not expect it either, if it works for you then great.
However whilst the dental profession are not always right about everything, they are right to question the safety and long term effects of charcoal.
There is no real evidence, that is pro or anti charcoal, so if you want to try it, do so aware of the possible risks.
As charcoal products to try go, this is without doubt the best value one to opt for.
Electric Teeth Rating
- Where can I buy CoCo Pure Activated Coconut Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder?
- The best way to obtain CoCo Pure is via online outlets such as Amazon or CoCo Pure’s own website.
- What are the ingredients in CoCo Pure Activated Coconut Charcoal Whitening Tooth Powder?
- 100% activated charcoal powder (coconut shell) BPC1934
- Does it contain peroxides?
- What does it taste like?
- There is no real taste to speak of to it.
- How does it work?
- The activated charcoal absorbs bacteria that forms the stains found on teeth. Absorbing and removing these bacteria helps whiten the teeth by removing what would normally stick and discolour the teeth.
- How much should I use?
- Just enough to coat the tips of the brush bristles.
- How long should I brush for?
- It is advised to brush for 2 minutes, rinse and brush again with a regular paste to remove residue.
- Does it actually work?
- Yes it can do as explained above in the full review.
- Does it hurt?
- I had no sensitivity, pain or side affects from using this. Should you should gain additional sensitivity or side effects as a result of using it, stop doing so and consult a dentist.
- How long does it last?
- It depends on how frequently you use it. 6 weeks for everyday use, maybe 6 months if using just a couple of times a week.
- Is it safe? / Does it damage the enamel on my teeth?
- The manufacturer suggest it is safe although can provide no evidence, nor a detailed reply to my direct query to them about this. Dentists have concerns over the use or activated charcoal and the long term implications on the teeth and the enamel surfaces are unknown, but no dedicated studies exist to really prove either way.