Our Black Bamboo Activated Charcoal Soap is one of our most popular skin care products, but many people have questions about what this funny-looking black soap is for and how it works.
First, it pays to have a bit of information about what activated charcoal is and how it works. Activated charcoal is not the same as the charcoal used in your barbecue grill. Activated charcoal has gone through a physical or chemical activation to drastically increase the surface area of the carbon molecules. The carbon forms large pores, fissures and pockets on the surface of the molecule. Other molecules, chemicals, and toxins then bind to the pores and gaps within the activated charcoal, becoming trapped and entangled with the carbon. When the carbon molecules are subsequently washed away, these other molecules are taken along too.
This amazing property of activated charcoal to attract and bind to other molecules has been known about and used for centuries. Egyptians were using activated charcoal as a medical aid thousands of years ago. Today, activated charcoal is used to clean up environmental pollutants in air and water at an industrial scale, as well as for air and water filtration at a consumer level. Tablets of activated charcoal are used to treat poisoning or overdose, and it makes a great whitening tooth scrub. It has uses in organic farming, gas purification and metal finishing.
But back to skin care. Anecdotally, soap with activated charcoal can help treat a variety of mild skin conditions. The most popular tends to be that stubborn case of adult acne that many people fight. Now, activated charcoal isn't going to be able to solve serious, extensive cases of cystic acne, but for those of us that always seem to have a few small pimples on our faces at all times, an activated charcoal facial soap can do wonders.
Hopefully, the description of how activated charcoal binds with various molecules and impurities helps explain how the soap can help remove unwanted molecules, particles and toxins from the surface and even within the top layer of facial skin. The skin is a permeable membrane, allowing chemicals and molecules to flow both in and out. Activated charcoal can help draw the impurities out through this membrane in a safe and gentle manner. Because it binds with such a broad range of particles, activated charcoal soap can help a wide variety of people suffering from irritation from a wide variety of skin impurities.
For those of you with sensitive skin, the activated charcoal does not bind with the natural oils that soothe and protect the skin, leaving your barrier layer intact. This is also why it has less of an effect on teenage acne that is primarily caused by excess oil production.
The small particles of carbon that make up the activate charcoal are also an excellent mild physical abrasive to help scrub and remove the top layer of dead skin cells. In fact, the activated charcoal can often replace any other facial exfoliation.
If this sounds like activated charcoal soap can be somewhat of a one stop shop for facial cleansing, well, that's because it is! Strong physical or chemical exfoliation routines can leave your skin feeling squeaky clean and refreshed, with dirt and impurities removed from your skin, but it also removes a lot of your skin and can heavily damage your skin's barrier layer. Over time this causes your skin to become drier and drier. Activated charcoal is a much gentler way to draw out and wash away these impurities, scrub off only the topmost layer of dead skin, and keep your skin moisturized and strong.
At only $2.80 for a 3.5 oz bar, our Black Bamboo Activated Charcoal Soap is a clear winner.