The Black Wonder Powder
So you’ve all heard about it. Charcoal is the trendiest skincare ingredient of the this decade…well at least the last two years. Beauty bloggers, stay at home moms, over worked urbanites and even your goodly loving grandma is using charcoal. Think twice if you think you can crack out the grill and grind up some of those coals to use. It simply won’t be the same experience. [N.B we really discourage you from grinding regular BBQ coals for use in skincare]
First of all charcoal is a special type of coal that has been specially prepared at very high temperature in the presence of steam so that lots of tiny pores form in the coal. These pores make the coal porous and allow the charcoal to absorb all manner of things you don’t want on your skin. Activated Charcoal is generally recognised as safe (GRAS) by the US-FDA. Because Activated Charcoal is a superb absorbent material it can remove the toxins, dirt and grease from your skin. Nothing beats Activated Charcoal for absorbing toxins. It is even used in hospitals to remove toxic substances from the stomach and blood of patients.
The image above is a close up (x 50,000 magnification) of activated charcoal. You can see the pores in the charcoal that will suck up all the oil and toxins from your skin.
Which type of charcoal is best for skincare?
How do you pick a great activated charcoal product when there are so many types of charcoals being used in skincare products? You should know that they aren’t all created equal. To top your checklist:
- Be sure that the activated charcoal is certified to be pure and free from foreign matter and free of toxic heavy metals (which can be poisonous themselves).
- Look for activated charcoal that has a smooth texture and high surface area (at least 1200 m2 per gram, that means one gram has the same surface as a football field). The charcoal should not be gritty for application on the skin or the abrasiveness can lead to excessive redness and irritation.
- Use food grade activated charcoal.
We love activated bamboo charcoal and use it in our products. Bamboo is a fast growing renewable source of material for making charcoal and it is good for the environment too. Bamboo also has a high silica content which makes bamboo charcoal a great mild exfoliant.
In our face mask products we use Hardwood Activated Charcoal Powder because it has a finer texture and washes off more easily. Virgin sustainable hardwood is used to give this very potent form of activated charcoal that is neutral in pH and suitable for use in temporary leave on products.
What to use charcoal for?
- Treating acne – Activated charcoal is an excellent oil absorber and also draws out skin toxins but you need to leave it on for some time. Our products have extra helpers such as tea tree essential oil or lavender essential oil which boosts the effectiveness of activated charcoal products made for acne and blemish prone skin types.
- Detoxifying – say “goodbye” to toxins and pollutants. If you live in the city using a charcoal face mask, scrub or soap will tell your skin that you truly love it.
- Unclogging and refining your pores - clogged pores equals unhealthy skin and it shows! Use Activated Charcoal to get rid of the dirt and grease lodged deep in your pores. The result will be cleared pores and clearer, brighter skin. You can also control oily skin by using charcoal products.
- Exfoliation – every beauty regime must include exfoliation. Activated Charcoal can be a mild and effective exfoliant that also works to super clean the skin without leaving it overly dry. It is truly safe for everyday use.
Titbits you should know – be consumer smart
Activated charcoal will not whiten the skin in the traditional sense. Your skin will look brighter after using Activated Charcoal but it will not be physically lighter in tone. Skin lightening requires certain powerful actives that work to inhibit melanin production on several levels. If you are buying a charcoal product to lighten your skin in the long term we suggest you donate that money to a charity or use one of our tone enhancer products. Also using peel off charcoal masks, especially those made with any kind of glue, is not such a good idea either…don’t say we didn’t tell you so.
Our Activated Charcoal Products
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL SKIN DETOX SOAP – our all-time bestselling awesome handmade soap available in natural essential oil blends – Bay Rum, Tea Tree Plus and Alpine Woods. We can't make enough of it and our customers can't get enough of it. The reason is clear...clear beautiful radiant. The soap combines a cleansing but gentle coconut oil base with real activated charcoal and potent pure essential oils.
We promise you will fall in love instantly. Recommended for daily all over body use. Safe for use on the face as well.
ACTIVATED CHARCOAL ALL OVER SCRUB – Body scrub with a difference. It provides mild exfoliation as well as activated charcoal for detoxifying your skin. This is a non-drying natural soap based scrub so you can use it as soap and scrub in one.
One product with two uses = more value for you !
CLEAR AS BLACK ACTIVATED CHARCOAL FACE MASK – Another one of our fabulous mud masks packed with the goodness of charcoal, pure essential oils and potent exotic clays. Excellent for teenage and problem skin. Mild but deeply cleansing.