Skip to content
Ingredient Highlight: Bamboo Charcoal

Ingredient Highlight: Bamboo Charcoal

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. 

A dark-skinned woman in a white bathrobe cleansing her skin in front of a mirror

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.

A woman's left hand on the faucet lever of a modern-looking sink with her right hand holding onto her Bamboo Charcoal Sponge under running water

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.


Click here to learn 3 ways to incorporate our luxe serum duo into your skincare routine.


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.

Image Credits Credit for main photo: Matthew Henry 
Previous article Meet Shay: Community Coordinator
Graydon's insiders club

Be the first to know about sales and product launches, get monthly Insider's Perks and access to exclusive deals while learning about skincare, with tips and tricks from Mindful Beauty Magazine.

Latest articles

  • Picture of a close up of ocean water and sky
    June 8, 2023 Team Graydon

    How Graydon Skincare Helps the Ocean

    Today, plastic waste makes up for 80% of all marine pollution with approximately up to ten million metric tons of plastic ending up in the ocean each year.  Research states that plastic will outweigh all fish in the sea by...

    Read now
  • Strawberry milk in a jar next to a bowl of strawberries
    June 3, 2023 Graydon Moffat

    Plant-Based Milk Recipes by Skin Chef Graydon

    Let’s clarify this first…all milk alternatives are far better for the planet than dairy. A 2018 study* by researchers at the University of Oxford showed that producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times more greenhouse gas emissions than any plant-based milk and it consumes nine times more land than any of the milk alternatives. 
    Read now