Activated charcoal, this seems to be one of the celebrity ingredients of today and popping up all around us.
So, what is activated charcoal? Also known as active or activated carbon, activated charcoal is a form of carbon that has been processed to be extremely porous. Now, activated charcoal should not be confused with burnt pieces of wood, or the charcoal you buy for your barbeque.
To make activated charcoal, you need to take carbon-rich materials such as wood, peat, coconut shells or sawdust and heat it to very high temperatures. This "superheating" actually strips the charcoal of any other molecules that it may have previously absorbed.
Think of it this way, if you are holding things in your hands, you don't have room to pick something else up. The same concept works here if each carbon molecule is attached to dirt, water, oils… it won't have room to attach to anything else. So superheating basically allows the molecule to let go.
At Rocky Mountain Soap Company, we use activated charcoal made from bamboo. Bamboo is an amazing source of carbon and is totally natural.
Activated charcoal has a myriad of uses in and outside of skincare. Thanks to its incredible surface area, activated charcoal absorbs excess oil and organic toxins like few other ingredients can. It also makes for very rich grey or black hues when added to our soap.