Charcoal. You’ve seen it used in many natural skin and dental care products in the last few years, but what is it exactly? And what are its benefits?
The charcoal used in skincare is not the same as the charcoal used for grilling. Instead, it’s “activated charcoal.” This charcoal can be derived from various sources like coconut shells, wood (like ours!), paper mills, or charred bones. It’s “activated” when the carbon is processed at very high temperatures, creating many tiny pores that increase its molecular surface. You can think of it like popcorn; when the kernels are exposed to high heat, they pop, becoming lighter and with a much larger surface area.
The fine, porous activated charcoal powder becomes a magnet to toxins. Its molecules have a negative electrical charge that attracts and binds to molecules that are positively charged, like those in toxins and gases. It has many uses, including air and water filtration, metal extraction and purification, and medical uses.
Activated charcoal’s binding action makes it an excellent skin cleanser. It purifies pores by pulling out undesirable microparticles and can help remove chemical buildup on the hair and scalp. Many swear by its use to treat acne, as a spot treatment by applying the powder directly onto affected areas or using soaps containing it. It’s safe for those with sensitive skin, as it will cleanse without stripping the natural oils that soothe and protect the skin.
At SallyeAnder, we love activated charcoal and use it in several of our soaps. Ours is sourced from pure hardwoods, and you can find it in some of our essential soaps and most of our all-in-one (body, shampoo & shave) bars.
- Lemongrass & Charcoal Essential Soap
- Storm Essential Soap
- Lavender Moon Essential Soap
- Evergreen Essential Soap