It may sound like an unusual skincare ingredient; with its deep, dark grey pigment, washing with it can feel somewhat counter intuitive. However, activated charcoal soap has some surprising qualities which makes it an all round great cleanser, especially for oily skin.
Remove visions of smearing barbecue charcoal over your face because activated charcoal is not quite the same thing. It has an extremely interesting history and is an amazing ingredient which is used in countless ways for the benefit of us humans and the environment, so read on to find out more about activated charcoal and charcoal soap benefits.
What Is Activated Charcoal?
Also known as activated carbon, activated charcoal is produced by firstly burning carbon based materials such as hard wood, coconut husk or bamboo at extremely high temperatures, between 600 to 1200 degrees Celsius, then treating the resulting carbon granules or powder with gases such as steam or carbon dioxide. This is the activating process and it creates lots of minuscule pores within the powder particles which serve to drastically increase its surface area. In fact, a gram of activated carbon is said to have a greater surface area than a football field!
Activated charcoal is adsorbent, this is different from being absorbent. A sponge is absorbent as it sucks up liquid in to its material. When something is adsorbent, it attracts and binds molecules to its surface and it does this within liquids, gases and dissolved solids. Activated charcoal is therefore used to filter, detoxify and decontaminate. Picture activated charcoal as a remarkable micro magnet, which attracts contaminants to its surface. The larger the surface area, the more molecules it can attract. Its detoxifying properties means it is used in an enormous range products across multiple industries.
Who Discovered Activated Charcoal?
It might be the first time you’ve heard of it but the use of charcoal goes back thousands of years.
Evidence of its first use points to the ancient Egyptians who used it initially to melt metals. They subsequently relied on its preservative properties, as they found that charred wood didn’t rot like untreated wood in water, so they used charred wood to build docks in the river Nile. Its anti-bacterial properties were again capitalised on by the Egyptians for medicinal purposes such as reducing the odour from infected wounds and preparing the dead. These developments occurred gradually over several thousands of years.
In terms of purification, it appears to have been first used by early seafarers who charred the inside of water barrels for lengthy voyages to improve the taste of the water. They wouldn’t have known the science behind it but what they had stumbled upon was the process of adsorption. The charcoal in the water barrels filtered the water by attracting pollutants to its surface.
In the late 1700’s, charcoal’s intriguing properties fell under the scrutiny of scientists. Its ability to discolour liquid was discovered by accident by a Russian chemist, Johann Lowitz. Growing knowledge of its filtering properties coincided with a nascent sugar industry and charcoal was used to draw impurities from raw sugar which improved its colour and made it more visually appealing. As a consequence, charcoal became commercially important sparking further scientific scrutiny and it became an industry in itself.
Why Use Activated Charcoal Soap?
Activated Charcoal Soap has many key benefits that make it a very popular vegan soap bar for people of all ages. It’s striking outward appearance hides a number of helpful properties, which together make a truly excellent vegan soap bar.
Key Activated Charcoal Soap Benefits
Treat Oily & Acne Prone Skin
Oily skin is prone to developing spots. Sebaceous glands in the skin produce oil called sebum which provides natural moisture. However, overproduction of sebum can occur when hormones fluctuate, trapping dirt and bacteria in pores which causes breakouts. This is most common around the t-zone which includes the scalp, forehead, nose, chin, chest and upper back. The porous nature of activated charcoal means that the soap is great for drawing out toxins and tightening pores. It is particularly good for acne prone skin as it removes excess oils and dirt.
Reduce Pore Size
When we spend time outside smoke, dust and pollution can cause dirt to settle onto your skin’s pores which will increase their size and make them significantly more noticeable. In time they will become clearly visible on your skin. Activated charcoal soap bars are a great solution for tackling enlarged pores as it is powerful enough to extract the dirt and treat clogged pores which also reduces their size and appearance.
Make The Skin Tighter And Firmer
Loose skin is a common issue that many of us have as we age. If you want to make your skin tighter there are a number of ways to achieve this with one of these being charcoal soap. Activated charcoal soap can make the skin tighter and firmer. It has also known to help smooth out wrinkles by tightening pores and increasing low collagen levels.
Treat Psoriasis And Eczema
Psoriasis and eczema cause red and scaly patches to appear on your skin which can be very itchy. These patches are often found on joints like knees, elbows and ankles. By introducing a charcoal soap bar into your bathroom routine you can treat both conditions effectively. The activated charcoal soap will efficently remove dead skin cells while also giving your pores a deep clean to help prevent future breakouts.
Psoriasis and eczema are skin conditions that causes patches on the skin to appear red and scaly and are usually very itchy. They’re commonly found on joints like knees, elbows, ankles and sometimes scalps. By adding charcoal soap to your skin care routine, you can efficiently remove dead skin cells while cleaning deep down into the pores to prevent future breakouts.
Moisturise Dry Skin
Dry skin is a very common skin complaint and it can be improved with charcoal cleansing soap. Activated charcoal soap is very adaptable and it is great at meeting the specific skin needs of each person. While it is effective at removing excess oil from the skin, it is equally effective at moisturising dry skin too. If you also have sensitive skin, it is likely to be an even better choice as it is less likely to cause allergic reactions or annoying skin irritation.
Now You Have Discovered All The Charcoal Soap Benefits, Meet Our Activated Charcoal Soap Bar
Our activated charcoal soap bar draws out dirt and blemish causing toxins from your skin. Formulated with activated charcoal powder and fresh lemon essential oil, it provides natural antiseptic properties and helps tone the skin. All of our soaps are vegan and cruelty free, approved by the Vegetarian Society and certified by the Cruelty Free International Leaping Bunny Programme. They are also free from paraben and SLS.