Activated charcoal is an ancient ingredient. It was used by the Egyptians, Greeks, in Chinese medicine – you name it!
The recent interest in activated charcoal for body care is really just a rediscovery. But today, we know more than ever about the many topical benefits of activated charcoal. Yes, we said many!
But of course, we have to start by covering what activated charcoal even is.
What is activated charcoal?
Let’s get something out of the way...
Activated charcoal is NOT the same as campfire charcoal.
Cosmetic-grade activated charcoal starts with a careful selection of plant materials, like coconut husks, olive pits, or bamboo. These materials get “activated” by being superheated at high temperatures. Once carbonized, the charcoal is ground into a fine powder.
It may seem odd for a charred black powder to be so useful, but it quickly becomes clear when you learn and experience the benefits activated charcoal has to offer.
First, let’s cover the many benefits of activated charcoal for hair.
Benefits of activated charcoal for hair
Our hair is frequently exposed to air pollution, dust, dry air, and bacteria. Hair also has a not-so-pleasant but inevitable buildup of sweat and dead skin cells.
Activated charcoal (literally!) cuts to these root issues. But let’s get more specific with four pros to using activated charcoal in your haircare routine.
- Deep cleanses
Activated charcoal is a deep-cleansing powerhouse. It effectively removes oil, sweat, dead skin, and the like. And as we know, having a clean scalp is essential for healthy hair growth.
Charcoal is fantastic at absorbing odours, resulting in fresh-smelling hair. This s especially true when mixed with a yummy essential oil blend!
- Balances pH
Having a pH-balanced scalp is crucial for optimal functioning hair follicles. One way to know if your hair is out of balance is if you experience scalp irritation, dandruff, or dryness. Activated charcoal cleans the scalp without disrupting its natural ph.
- Soothes scalp
Removing hair buildup helps alleviate itchy scalps. Activated charcoal washes away any buildup and irritating toxins, soothing scalp discomfort.
Activated charcoal is a gentle, effective, and all-natural hair treatment, but how exactly do you reap these charcoal-granting benefits?
How to use activated charcoal in your hair
The best way to use activated charcoal in your haircare routine is with shampoo and conditioner, of course!
As we know, the best (and only) way to keep hair clean and healthy is with regular washes — more specifically, regular washes with a hair-beneficial shampoo bar. This is an important distinction to make, as most commercial soaps contain sulfates, silicones, and parabens, which can contribute to hair damage.
The greatest shampoos are made from plant-based ingredients and natural cleansing agents, like tea tree and activated charcoal.
If you’re new to the bottle-free goodness of shampoo and conditioner bars, you are in for a treat! Read here to learn more about their use and benefits.
Activated charcoal will take your hair to a new level, but it's also a wonderful skincare ingredient.
Benefits of activated charcoal for skin
Below are a few reasons why activated charcoal is one of the best natural skincare treatments out there.
- Balances sebum production
Sebum is the natural oil our pores produce, and our skin needs it. The problem is when sebum overproduces, causing acne or oily skin. Activated charcoal helps absorb the excess oils, keeping pores clean and clear.
- Treats acne
Activated charcoal is a natural remedy for acne-prone skin due to its cleansing ability and antibacterial properties. When used topically, activated charcoal keeps bacteria and sebum at bay — two things that cause acne.
- Deep cleanses
Activated charcoal binds with dirt, oil, and impurities. You can say goodbye to these as they wash down the drain, resulting in a brightened complexion.
- Gentle exfoliant
The fine-grained nature of activated charcoal makes it an effective (but gentle) daily exfoliant.
Taking advantage of these benefits requires successfully incorporating activated charcoal into your skincare routine.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
How to use activated charcoal in skincare
Activated charcoal is a treatment, meaning you need to use it frequently (daily or weekly), for best results. To reap the activated charcoal benefits for skin, adopt a charcoal-rich soap bar.
If you struggle with acne or sensitive skin, or if you simply want a gentle cleanser, our Tea Tree & Charcoal bar soap is for you. It cleanses and treats unitedly! You can use it as a facial cleanser followed by a cream, or as a body bar.
You may have noticed we love blending activated charcoal with tea tree, and it’s because they make a powerful skincare duo. If you’d like to learn more about tea tree, read here. But back to the shining star of activated charcoal!
Whether you have oily or dandruff-ridden hair, acne-prone or sensitive skin, activated charcoal can lend you and your family a helping hand. It’s deep cleansing while being ever-gentle on the face, body, and scalp.
- Written by Sariah Vilate