A fine black powder with no odour produced from coconut shells that have been burned into charcoal and then exposed to superheated steam which gives it a sponge like texture. It is then cooled down and milled to a fine powder (5 to 10 microns particle size). No chemical processing is involved in this natural product. This is also categorised as a pharmaceutical grade which is testament to the quality and purity of the product.
When the superheated steam is passed through it, tiny pores open up in the charcoal and it is these pores that have the ability to pull impurities out of the skin and hold them in the charcoal ready for it to be removed. Coconut charcoal has a higher density than charcoal obtained from other sources such as softwoods.
Because of the immense porosity of this charcoal, just 1g has a huge surface area for adsorption from the skin, up to 1,000 m². This means that our Activated Charcoal has a much higher adsorption power than regular charcoal powder.
The coconuts are mechanically recovered, no monkeys are used in the harvesting process.
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Activated Charcoal are:
Abrasive, Adsorbent, Opacifying
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here
Excellent for cleansing the pores of accumulated sebum, grease, environmental pollutants, chemical residues from makeup and toxins excreted by the skin due to its amazing adsorption properties (it acts like a magnet for the “dirt” in your pores). This can help to reduce the size of your pores.
Ideal to use in cleansing masks for acne prone skin, teenage skin and as a weekly facial cleanse for all skin types as it has antimicrobial properties.
It will balance oily skin and hair by removing excess sebum. Excellent when followed by creams, lotion or serums containing Geranium Essential Oil which also has a balancing effect.
It has can improve the appearance of a smoker’s skin to look brighter and fresher by gently exfoliating the top layer of dead and discoloured skin cells.
Although it is fabulous for the skin it may be best not to use an Activated Charcoal product too often as it may also draw out the good things like minerals and vitamins or make your skin dry so when including it in your recipes remember to add other nourishing ingredients for your skin type and only use your Activated Charcoal product 1-3 times a week.
Use in shampoo bars for a detoxifying scalp clarifying shampoo.
Regular use of a detoxifying shampoo bar with Activated Charcoal unclogs the hair follicles and enables them to absorb more of the nourishing ingredients in your hair care products. For best results try alternating this with a bar that does not contain Activated Charcoal (see our sample formula with Activated Charcoal under the recipes tab).
Use 1% to 75%.
Use 0.1% to 5% in gels, creams, masks and shampoo bars.
Insoluble in water and oil. It can be dispersed in small amounts in creams lotions, masks and water based gels that will hold it in suspension.
Heat stable but it is best added in Stage 3 (cool down stage) so that you can gauge how much the colour changes.
Can also be used in toothpastes as a gentle abrasive and also to freshen the breath.
Excellent to combine with Rice Starch to give a more gel like mass that will adhere to the skin better.
To make a simple mask, add to other powders such as any of the clays or Vitamin B3 and then add spring water or flower water to make a paste. Use immediately as there has been no preservative added.
You can change the type of clay used and vegetable oils used to suit your own specific skin type and needs.
You can use Activated Charcoal to soothe insect bites, stings, nettle or poison ivy rash as it will draw out the toxins that cause the irritation. Add some of the powder to Aloe Vera Base Gel, mix into a paste and apply to the bite or sting. Cover with a large plaster or a square of gauze and then apply to the skin and wrap in cling film to hold it in place. Leave for an hour or two before gently rinsing off.
You could also make an Activated Charcoal balm stick by adding some to a solid balm recipe. However if you are allergic to insect bites etc always seek medical help.
Detoxifying Syndet Shampoo Bar
Rub shampoo bar over wet hair to create a lather. Rub scalp and hair then rinse off and condition as required.
Stage 1: (above 75°C)
20% Beta T
8% Emulsifying Wax
5% Tomato Seed Oil (or any vegetable oil suitable for hair use)
2% Cetearyl Alcohol
50% SCI Solid Surfactant (ground to a powder in a coffee grinder)
Stage 2: (room temperature)
6.9% Boiled Spring Water
3% Comfrey Glycerol Extract
Stage 3: (below 40°C)
2% Activated Charcoal Powder
1.1% Preservative Eco Plus
0.75% Lemon Essential Oil
0.75% Tea Tree Essential Oil
0.5% Rosemary Verbenone Essential Oil
Please make sure you wear a suitable face mask when using SCI Solid Surfactant.
Melt Stage 1 ingredients in a double boiler / bain marie.
Carefully add ground down Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate and heat until melted.
Add Stage 2 ingredients and stir to fully combine.
Carefully stir Activated Charcoal Powder then add the remaining Stage 3 ingredients and mix thoroughly.
Press into suitable moulds, refrigerate until set. Release from moulds and allow to harden in a safe place.
Wrap and label. Allow to dry between use.
Face Mask for Sensitive Skin
Stage 1: (heat up to at least 70°C)
10% Rice Starch
68.9% Bottled Spring Water
Stage 2: (room temperature)
10% Chamomile Water to dissolve Vit B3
2% Vitamin B3
3% Activated Charcoal
3% White Clay
2% Watermelon Seed Oil
1.1% Preservative 12
Combine the Stage 1 ingredients whilst cold and put into a double boiler to heat up. This stage must be heated from cold and then brought to temperature or it will not thicken. It is important to stir this all the time.
When it is thick enough, put into a cold water bath to drop the temperature to below 40°C.
Dissolve the Vitamin B3 in the Chamomile Water.
Then stir in all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Jar and label.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Traditionally used by qualified aromatherapists as a detoxifying treatment. It was understood that charcoal did not discriminate and could absorb harmful toxins just as well as beneficial nutrients and vitamins, so it was used carefully when needed rather than casually where it could lead to nutritional deficiencies.
Used for centuries. Records show that it was used by the Ancient Egyptians as a purifier and decontaminant as well as for medicinal treatments like counteracting ingested poisons. It was mentioned by Hippocrates in 460 BC.
In the early 19th Century, the early “medical profession” were doing public performance taking poisons internally and showing how charcoal absorbed the poisons and saved them.
Today, it is still used in water treatment and filtration systems.