Back in Black: the Wonders of Activated Charcoal


Spotlight on Activated Charcoal

It’s not a big surprise to learn black is trending. You may have seen a black ice cream cone pop up in your social media feed. Or how about black toothpaste? Black is also seen in skincare in the way of activated charcoal and is a favourite ingredient with us folk here at SeaLuxe.

What exactly is activated charcoal?

Coal might have made you think of a summer bar-b-que on the beach, or what Santa drops off in a naughty’s kids stocking. But it’s also a wonderful beauty ingredient.

It is nothing new, used in hospitals to treat alcohol poisoning and the like. It attaches itself to toxins and absorbs them before they can enter the bloodstream. In your skincare routine, it has a similar function by acting as a magnet to attract and absorb dirt and oil.

The secret is the carbon in the charcoal that been treated by way of a high-temperature stream activation process. The process increases the surface area of the charcoal which increases its ability to absorb and filter.

When we said it’s nothing new, we meant it!  Activated charcoal with its many applications can be traced back as far as 1500 BC when Egyptians used it for medicinal purposes and for purification.

It has been a trusted detox ingredient to treat someone who has been poisoned and also why we here at SeaLuxe travel with some just in case we eat something a little off (or end up in a James Bond-esque plot)…

A wonderful ingredient

Because of its amazing adsorption potential and its ability to remove toxins, it makes it ideal for use in skincare.  When activated charcoal comes into contact with your skin it doesn’t add or adhere to anything. It just swoops in like a caped hero soaking up everything toxic. It rinses away with water, easily taking all that unwanted stuff along with it without absorbing any vitamins or nutrients your skin needs to be healthy.  This is exactly what makes it great for treating acne and other skin impurities.

We use activated charcoal in our Pretty In Pink, True Grit and Activated Charcoal soap bars and the Charcoal Face Mask.


Want to dive deeper into this subject?

SeaLuxe superstar Erin recommends the following books:

Activated Carbon Absorption - Roop Chand Bansal & Meenakshi Goya (2005)

Activated Carbon - Harry Marsh, Francisco Rodríguez Reinoso (2006)