Sharing the Dirt on Activated Charcoal
Charcoal has become the latest buzzword in the beauty world - the black beauty wonder lends itself to many uses and is beneficial for detoxing the skin, clearing pores and even whitening your teeth! Charcoal is a key component in our certified organic award-winning Charcoal Orange Cleanser.
What is Activated Charcoal?
There are very few ingredients that have the ability to draw out toxins and absorb unwanted chemicals from the body - activated charcoal is one of those select few ingredients. It has been used for decades as a powerful detox therapy and that’s why it’s proven to be so popular in the health and beauty industry in recent times.
Also called 'activated carbon', activated charcoal can come from various sources, but is commonly made from coconut shell, wood or petroleum pitch. The charcoal we use is from coconut shell. To transform the raw material into activated charcoal, it is heated using a special process that results in increased porosity and adsorption capabilities.
It may come as a surprise to some that there are different grades of activated charcoal. A gram of activated charcoal can have a specific surface area (SSA) ranging from 500 m2 to 3,000 m2 - the higher the number, the better the adsorption. For cosmetics use, the SSA is generally 1,600 - 1,800 m2 per gram. This allows for maximum effect with even a very small dose.
A winning – clean – combination
Although cleansing is a critical part of a daily skincare routine for healthy, glowing skin, it shouldn’t leave your face feeling dry or tight, which is so often the experience with water-based foaming face washes. We’re fans of oil cleansing – which is much kinder to skin - and the anti-toxin benefits of activated charcoal. We wanted to combine the best of both worlds. However, charcoal and oil alone don’t make for a pleasant experience (please don’t try it at home!), so we set about creating a gentle, biodegradable product that deeply cleanses while maintaining balance, leaving skin feeling comfortable.
The key to our formulating principles is to never use cheap synthetic fillers, focusing instead on good quality plant-based (organic, where possible) raw materials that benefit skin, so it was only natural that we sought out these hard-working ingredients to combine with activated charcoal.