Other names: Activated Bamboo Charcoal Extract
What it is: adsorbent
You can find it in: Bamboo Charcoal Sponge
Activated charcoal is the carbon soot that remains after slowly heating high-carbon-content materials (in our case, it’s bamboo). It has a sponge-like structure (it has many pores) that makes it very effective at soaking up substances. Activated charcoal has been used in medical applications and is even used to filter water, as it's efficient at removing impurities.
So what makes bamboo charcoal such a wonderful ingredient?
First off, we want to be honest and say that there’s no scientific data to prove the use of activated charcoal in skincare. However, in theory and based on anecdotal evidence, charcoal can adsorb impurities like grime and dirt when applied topically to the skin.
This makes it a particularly useful ingredient for cleansing the skin.
Here’s why: Typically, a normal cleanser contains surfactants to remove surface dirt and oil. However, surfactants have a hard time cleaning and removing impurities that are deep within the pores. This is why you may sometimes find that cleansing your skin once doesn't remove all your makeup, if you wear any, and why we advocate for double cleansing.
Activated charcoal can adsorb oil from your pores and effectively draw out impurities. It can enhance the properties of your cleanser by giving you a better, deeper cleanse.
So, who is it good for?
Basically, if you like to have fun with your skincare, and if you want to elevate your cleansing routine to the next level, then you should give activated charcoal a try.
You'll find this ingredient particularily useful if you enjoy wearing makeup or if you have oily skin. Our Bamboo Charcoal Sponge helps to remove makeup, deeply cleanse your skin and gently draw out excess oil and impurities to reveal a cleaner, smoother complexion.
Chandy T, Sharma CP. Activated charcoal microcapsules and their applications. J Biomater Appl. 1998 Oct;13(2):128-57. doi: 10.1177/088532829801300204. PMID: 9777464.
Hale SE, Arp HP, Kupryianchyk D, Cornelissen G. A synthesis of parameters related to the binding of neutral organic compounds to charcoal. Chemosphere. 2016 Feb;144:65-74. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.08.047. Epub 2015 Sep 5. PMID: 26347927.
Credit for main photo: Matthew Henry